Type: Trad, 600 ft, 4 pitches, Grade II
FA: Dan Hare & Randy McGregor, 1972
Page Views: 40,027 total · 180/month
Shared By: Charles Vernon on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Season raptor closures Details


To approach the Left Book, you take the Book trail, but actually then leave it to the left on the trail to the Bookmark. Hike around west of the Bookmark, and then, follow the "trail" (i.e. bushwhack) up past the chimneyish recess separating the Bookmark from the Book, to the base of the slabby cliff, which will be on the right. Unfortunately it is somewhat difficult to distinguish between routes here.

P1. The first pitch of White Whale is a crack that leads up to a tree about 10 feet above a rectangular roof. The correct crack intersects the very left edge of the roof band and is very easy at the start; similar cracks lie to the left of this one.

P2. The cracks on pitch two lie flush on the slab and angle up and somewhat left from the belay; fantastic 5.7. Belay on the left side of a large concave roof/bulge/alcove after a full ropelength.

P3. The third pitch goes up a crack around the left edge of this feature, and then wanders up a steeper wall to the walk-off ledge and a tree belay (a little run-out; be sure to avoid a black water groove on the right which is 5.8 and totally unprotected). One can avoid the final wall by traversing left to the walk-off ledge after the initial crack on P3.

P4. Addendum: Wide, right-angling crack above walkoff ledge.


Bring a standard rack, emphasizing finger-sized gear. Like many Lumpy climbs, it is flared but gobbles up stoppers.

Kid Friendliness

It has enough features and short-enough traverses to allow a shorter (7-8 year old) to ascend without excessive difficulty.
We started early and had the climb to ourselves. The climb had good protection and would make a great starter trad lead. I set the second belay on a dirty, vegetated ledge. We finished up and right from here with a short face section. This section had some long reaches but bomber holds. Jul 23, 2001
Bomber! Great route. Great pro. Definitely deserves three stars. Lots of other great multi-pitch moderates in the area, too. Apr 9, 2002
Joe Keyser
Scottsdale, AZ
Joe Keyser   Scottsdale, AZ
I'd say that this is one of my favorite routes of its grade that I've done anywhere... I 2nd, 3rd, 4th or whatever, the 3-star rating! Apr 11, 2002
I felt this was a really nice and comfortable 5.7.

Not necesarily comparable to other Lumpy Ridge 5.7. Perhaps it was the relatively low angle or the readily available amount of pro.

Great fun climb.

WT Jun 14, 2002
Great fun. 2nd pitch is a full rope length if you use a 50 meter rope. Be sure to save some hand/fist pro for the 2nd belay in the small nook left of the roof. The entire route is very well protected. A definite must do. Apr 27, 2003
Tonya Clement
Boulder, CO
Tonya Clement   Boulder, CO
Great 4th of July climb if you are the first one on the route. We pulled into the parking lot at 5:30 am (first car). By the time we came off the route, the entire rock was filled with climbers. On this super hot day, we were in the shade all morning. This route is fabulous. I am trying to do more leads without first following someone. This is the perfect route to just jump on. It protects well (make sure you are comfortable with hanging belays - one is needed at the top of P2). P1 gives you ample opportunity to use your hexes if you carry them. The travers ng under the little roof at the top of P1 tests your patience...it isn't hard....it just requires you to do a little undercling. As you come around the left edge the crack to grab is quite thin....trust the feet as they stick. P2 has a super fun crack to climb. You can foot jam it all the way or use the features on each side. It does angle up and left to the big roof. This climb is one I will do again and again. Jul 4, 2003
Anthony Lopez
Anthony Lopez  
Great climb, deserves every star. Don't hesitate to do this climb, it's worth the hike. Jan 19, 2004
A much more moderate route it definitely put a smile on my face. Until the walk off in my rock shoes. All in all unless you ware your shoes like sunday slippers. I recommend bringin a pair to hike down with. Enjoy... for the alpine bunch this would be a fun route to do with mountaineering boots for practice. Peace, Love, and Chicken Grease !!! Jun 19, 2004
Billy Danger
Asheville, NC
Billy Danger   Asheville, NC
The crack on the 2nd pitch is about as good as it gets! The 3rd pitch is a little run out. Apr 20, 2005
Gary Schmidt
Boulder, CO
Gary Schmidt   Boulder, CO
The second pitch is as good a lead as you will find at this grade. Keeps going and going, tons of fun. However, imho, this climb is much easier than its neighboring climb, Haitus which is also rated 5.7. Don't be fooled. Jun 19, 2005
craggin carl  
Good moves at the crux, slabby and exciting, I hardly had to jam the crack. Good route. Aug 2, 2005
Charles Danforth
L'ville, CO
Charles Danforth   L'ville, CO
My first time at Lumpy and my first bonafide 5.7 trad lead. Blindly following the crack/seam at the upper end of P2, I found myself under the large roof, on wet rock, 20' above my last (marginal) gear, and desperately wanting something better. If you head left a little earlier up a face, you get to a nice set of shallow cracks which take gear. From there, you can extend P2 around to the left of the large roof into a chimney where it's a little easier to set a belay. The moves out of this chimney (beginning of P3) were a little spicy and committing, but over quickly.

Great route and a real confidence-builder for my trad leading skills. Aug 16, 2005
Mark Hyams
Mark Hyams   Albuquerque
I think the only real 5.7 part of this climb is the thin, shallow corner 20 feet below the first belay tree. The rest is 5.6, IMO, including the second pitch, hence it feeling easier than its neighbor, Hiatus which is significantly harder and more sustatined at 5.7+. Apr 13, 2006
Jim Matt
Indianapolis, IN
Jim Matt   Indianapolis, IN
This is a great route, however, please heed the warning to avoid the water groove on the right near the top of the third pitch. I did not, and paid the price by taking a ~40' whipper (fortunately, my gear and belayer held). I made the mistake of not checking the guidebook before hand. That water groove IMHO is more like polished 5.9+ R/X. Otherwise...very cool and well protected route...I'll be back in August to do it ON ROUTE! :) Jun 11, 2006
Parker, Colorado
DavidHH   Parker, Colorado
FWIW, I found Tricams to be very useful on this route. I would not recommend this for new 5.7 leaders, the climbing is easy but you have a couple places with a decent run that may spook fledgling leaders at the grade. IMHO. Jun 26, 2006
Fort Collins, CO
climber73   Fort Collins, CO
Fun route! It is possible to do this route in 2 pitches if you go past the tree at the usual P1 belay and keep running to the crack systems at the diagonal about 1/2 way from the tree up to the roof. If I recall correctly the belay took a hand size cam upside down under a flake (#1 or #2 Camalot) and a couple of nuts. We did this with a 60 meter rope, and there was snow on the ground so our starting point was maybe 3 or 4 meters above the ground proper. 1 belay instead of 2 = faster and more fun!! I did this as a 5.10+ trad climber on a 5.7 route with lots of hanging belays under my belt. If you're climbing close to your limit, stick with the standard belays. Apr 23, 2007
Boulder, CO
kevinnlong   Boulder, CO
Excellent! I would highly recommend carrying a set of DMM double tapered nuts (are these called Wallnuts?). In any event, they are suitable nuts for flared cracks, and there are plenty of locations on this climb where they protected MUCH better than my standard set of Metolius nuts. Jul 21, 2008
Steve Knapp
Highlands Ranch, CO
Steve Knapp   Highlands Ranch, CO
We did all four pitches on this, our first ever at Lumpy. Awesome route! P1 is mostly easy with the toughest move at the flake below the belay tree. Nice finger crack there. P2 is totally sweet with a nice hand crack most of the way. Lots of places for nuts and cams. Slightly runout below the alcove at the end of the pitch. There is a fixed nut up there which I clipped. P3 is also fun but much more run out. You can walk off from the top of P2 if you don't want to do P3. P4 is also optional and surprised us all. It's an interesting off-width that narrows and steepens. After the crux it's easy until a roof move, and then 4th class to the top. I think most people probably skip P4. Sep 7, 2008
Great route. Can be done in two pitches. Nov 1, 2008
Scott McMahon
Boulder, CO
Scott McMahon   Boulder, CO
Fun route. I must have lead the second pitch differently as it seemed to be more run out and balancy, putting me about 15' above gear (or at least it seemed that way). I don't remember a classic crack, just slabby moves. The pro didn't seem to be as good either, and I was glad to get to the fixed nut and underclings at the roof right before the 2nd belay. Watch out for parties behind you on Hiatus as they'll climb right through your 2nd pitch belay gully. May 27, 2009
Wade Frank
Littleton, CO
Wade Frank   Littleton, CO
Very fun climb, easy 5.7 for Lumpy!!! Aug 24, 2009
Paul Szymanski
Park Ridge, Illinois
  5.7 PG13
Paul Szymanski   Park Ridge, Illinois
  5.7 PG13
This is well protected route for someone who wants to learn how to lead. It is also one of my favorite routes on the Lumpy Ridge. The last section of the second pitch is great. This is a pure joy climb. Sep 26, 2010
Michael Foy
Denver, CO
Michael Foy   Denver, CO
Great fun, people were moving slow on the thin to flared section (about 15 feet long) on pitch 2. Weather was great, saw a bunch of people doing laps. Jun 21, 2011
Simon Thompson
New Paltz, NY
  5.7 PG13
Simon Thompson   New Paltz, NY
  5.7 PG13
The first two pitches were fun. The flared finger crack on p2 was harder to protect than I expected... great toe jams though. Pitch 3 (last pitch of Hiatus, I believe?) was an on-sight route-finding challenge and made for a stressful lead. Jul 26, 2012
Dom R
Bend, OR
Dom R   Bend, OR
I went into this route expecting to have a perfect hand-crack up the second pitch. So when I got there and discovered it was flaring and you only got to use it for feet (no real hands anywhere), I was a little bummed. So that may have turned me off this route a touch. The second pitch is the most memorable to me though. I agree that the second pitch was a little harder to protect than expected. I laced it with nuts for most of the pitch, small TCUs would've been helpful, but if you know how to slot nuts well, it shouldn't be a huge issue. The first pitch roof move isn't as bad as people make it out to be either, just press your feet good, the holds are all there. Found the climbing to be pretty fun and well worth doing, but it's a little overhyped. Jun 27, 2014
Boulder, CO
Ketchup   Boulder, CO
The third pitch of this route deserves an R. Once you turn the small roof an commit to the flakes, there is a long section where no gear would hold a fall. There are plenty of nice edges and solution pockets but no reliable gear. A #1 or 2 Camalot might hold in the flaring pocket mid-slab but probably not. A fall in the middle of this section would be nasty. Nonetheless a great final pitch. Avoid the lefthand escape ramp. It's lame. Aug 18, 2014
Russ Keane
Asheville, NC
Russ Keane   Asheville, NC
Worthy of its popularity. A great fun climb with a consistent grade throughout (5.7-).

Such high quality! Sep 17, 2014
Jim Fox
Westminster, CO
Jim Fox   Westminster, CO
Climbed this about 20 yrs ago & again yesterday as a Father's Day climb with my son.
We got there early and were 1st ones at the crag, but there were 4 parties on or waiting by the time we finished & walked off.
I really enjoyed p2 & found it reasonable to protect (read many comments about this issue). I put in more pro than I usually would, because I had brand new shoes, and they kept slipping which made me a little nervous.
Still a really fun climb in a beautiful place. The approach is pretty long but worth it. Jun 22, 2015
Castle Rock, CO
aikibujin   Castle Rock, CO
The route description said " emphasizing small gear", so I brought a bunch of small cams and micro nuts but ended up never place any small gear. A standard rack is enough, no need for really small gear. The smallest cam I used was a #0.75 BD C4. The flaring crack on P2 protected well with medium to large stoppers. P3 was very hard to protect. The moves were not hard, but definitely don't fall. Jul 3, 2015
Charles Vernon
mind & body in Colorado, he…
Charles Vernon   mind & body in Colorado, he…
Changed it to "finger-sized gear" to be more accurate. Thanks. Jul 3, 2015
Bear Creek, CO
percious   Bear Creek, CO
I thought the crux was p4, a short section of 5.8 climbing. Jul 17, 2015
Dom R
Bend, OR
Dom R   Bend, OR
Did the water groove finish on this the other day, and it's not too bad. Obviously it's quite run out, so a good head is in order, but the climbing itself is quite positive and goes at probably 5.7+. Really fun movement and cool position. Aug 5, 2015
Got a BD #4 stuck on the roof under the first belay on 10/23/16. A six pack and good vibes to the kind awesome human that retrieves it. Thanks! Oct 23, 2016
Quinn Davie
Boulder, Co
Quinn Davie   Boulder, Co
This climb is probably one of the best beginner multi-pitch climbs I've ever done! It has good belay stances all the way up, takes good gear, and has a quick & easy walk off. The Left Book also dries quickly, it rained for about 10 mins as we were walking down, but after 30 mins of waiting, the rock was completely dry. Jul 22, 2018
Ted Pinson
Chicago, IL
Ted Pinson   Chicago, IL
Fantastic climb. I’d recommend being fairly solid on 5.7 before leading it, wouldn’t recommend it (or anything at Lumpy) as a first lead. The pro was there but not always obvious due to those famous flaring cracks, and the full-length, sustained 5.7 pitches were definitely engaging. The crux for me was when that beautiful finger crack on the second pitch suddenly puckered up and disappeared, leading you to make some exposed pure slab moves over whatever you could fit (blue #3 stopper for me) in the seam before it closed. Very heady on lead. Aug 11, 2018