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Routes in The Whale's Tail

Ahab T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Amputee Love T 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Buffoon T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
C'est What? S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Clementine T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Dihedral One T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c V2 5+ R
Dihedral Two T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
East Slabs T 5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c
Fight Gone Bad T 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b R
Finger Crack T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13
Free Speech S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Gumbo T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Gut Feeling T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Horangutan T 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b PG13
Jack The Ripper T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a X
Jim Crack T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Kid's Climb T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Left Arete T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
M aka The Divine Ms. M T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Martindale T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13
Monument, The S 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
NED (Nothing Except Dynamics) T 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b PG13
New Cambria T,TR 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
No Problem T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13
Northeast Arete T 4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b
Second Coming S,TR 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c X
Spoof T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Spoof Roof T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
West Crack T,TR 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
West Dihedral T,TR 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
West Face [Whale's Tail] T,TR 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b X
Yorkshire Ripper, The T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R
Type: Trad
FA: unknown
Page Views: 96 total, 0/month
Shared By: Mark J. Nelson on Sep 15, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Seasonal Closures Details

Description

Spoof follows an obvious line along the strata in the south face of the Whale's Tail. It begins about 30 feet right of the Cave, and moves up and left all the way around to the west end.

Rossiter describes the crux as the first 25 feet of the route. I would describe it as the first 30-35 feet. Three factors come together to make this something of an intimidating lead: the rock is water polished, the climb is constantly traversing, and the stances and gear are adequate but not ideal. For those reasons, your feet feel insecure, your ground fall potential is increased, and your pump and pucker factors are higher than you might expect.

Rossiter didn't give this route a star, and I agree. Unless you enjoy the things I already mentioned, plus being on display since you're climbing from the trail, there's not much motivation to climb Spoof. If you're looking for 5.8+ routes at Eldorado, you've got several alternatives: Werk Supp (P1 only), Mr. Natural, Chianti, and even Flakes to Whistlestop (5.9-) are all better, easier leads.

If you're still planning on giving it a go, be hyperaware of your ground fall potential when you get runout beyond the crux, and beware of loose rock when you come out of the dihedral at the top of the triangular slab above the cave. I carefully tested my holds there, and still took a 25-30 foot fall when I blew out a rock. I sprained both of my wrists and gouged my helmet, but if either my top piece (#3 tricam) or my belayer's anchor had failed, I probably would have decked onto the trail.

Protection

Standard Eldo rack. Small cams, small to medium tricams, medium cams.

Photos

Rodger Raubach
  5.8+ PG13
Rodger Raubach  
  5.8+ PG13
I did this climb sometime in the early '60s, and had a confrontation with Bill Fowler at the base. He was screaming about his 25 cents, while the leader was getting ready to deck out on the trail. I drew his attention to the guy who was getting ready to fall on his head, and he took off running, saying that he'd collect later! Sep 14, 2014
Steven Lucarelli
Moab, UT
  5.8+
Steven Lucarelli   Moab, UT
  5.8+
Yeah, it's not the best climb in Eldo, but what the hell it's still worth a try if you think you're up to it. Definitely heed the warnings above though. Mar 22, 2007
Stich Stich
Colorado Springs, Colorado
  5.8+
Stich Stich   Colorado Springs, Colorado
  5.8+
Alex and I did this route for the first and last time on the 18th of October. I took the first lead and got sketched by the weird hands and slopy feet and came down. Then Alex does a similar retreat and we are left with gear removal options. Not wanting to go for that, I sucked it up and continued the lead and finished it, bird shit, bad pro and all. Many of my pieces were marginal at best, Alex told me. Got all scratched up in the belly crawl through the cave. Yuck! Clementine was a super nice finish to this lousy line, though. Oct 19, 2003
As if the slick rock and awkward pro weren't enough, climbing this route also requires wallowing through piles of pigeon guano and breathing poo dust. I would only recommend this route if you have climbed every other route in the canyon and simply need to get that last tick. Oct 19, 2003