Type: Trad, 120 ft
FA: unknown
Page Views: 2,436 total · 17/month
Shared By: saxfiend on Sep 4, 2007
Admins: Aaron Parlier, Steve Lineberry

You & This Route

22 Opinions

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This obscure route doesn't get a lot of attention but is well worth seeking out. See if you think the namesake feature really looks like a dolphin's head.

Climb the face following crack systems and easy jugs, then angle up and left to the "head." Pull this roof move and finish at a ledge.

The old Kelly guide lists this route at 5.6, a bit of a sandbag.


Starts about 100' left of Welcome to Moore's on a clearing above the cliff trail. Scramble climber's left to a rap station (webbing and rap rings slung on a big chockstone).


Small to medium cams and passive gear; build a gear anchor at the top.


This route is totally 5.6. To make it 5.7 is taking it out of context with the rest of Moore's Wall. Mar 7, 2009
Excellent route. The start and the finish are fantastic and well worth it. The middle section is lackluster 4th class/easy 5th and covered in lichen, but the beginning and end of the climb make up for it. Jul 19, 2009
dave Hause
carrboro, nc
dave Hause   carrboro, nc
Are we talking a dolphin head or a porpoise head? I don't see anything up there resembling either. Walk off the top out. Nov 28, 2015
Matt Westlake
Durham, NC
Matt Westlake   Durham, NC
Look at the topo photo with the lines drawn to see the dolphin head. Find where the it says "dolphin head". Where the line breaks it's kind a like the dolphin beak is laying over it pointing right. Once you see it'll be obvious. Nov 28, 2015
Winston-Salem, NC
Benandstuff   Winston-Salem, NC
The new Lineberry guide makes mention of two rap stations, one on either side, but we were able to find neither, and were forced to make a crappy second pitch to the top, where we had to bushwhack way too much to get back to Sentinel buttress. May 16, 2016
Russ Keane
Asheville, NC
Russ Keane   Asheville, NC
Decent climb. Never saw the dolphin head. In fact, I had no clue where I was supposed to go, but now looking closely at the drawn topo I may have been correctly on route. You go up the little finger crack from the ground, follow the depression up and left and get underneath the huge roof, keep going left.... then you get underneath this cool looking "pull" to get over the bulge. Gear belay here, as you are going to have stupid rope drag and bad communication all around if you don't stop here. Decent comfy belay, bring your partner up, then set up for the fun move over the lip. Looks way harder than it is. Cruise your way up to the very top (long, boring, but beautiful) and find a tree. Scramble left across the gully, then down, to the rap station which is multi-colored ribbons around a chockstone on the other side of the gulley.

The climb felt 5.5 to me. I've been exploring all the Moore's 5.6's and this one felt easier. Good movement though, and a somewhat alpine/adventurous feel to the line. Jul 4, 2016
Jordan Angus Gay   NC
Pretty cool route, wish it were easier to get down. A nice corner start and some low angle wandering deposits you under a small roof (the Dolphin Head). I've always climbed this in one pitch, but the drag can get pretty bad if you don't place gear strategically and runout the easy slab traverse. I've never been able to find the rap station though, and have always done the bushwhack to the top. I think I know where the station is that Russ described, so I'll have my eyes peeled next time.

Russ, the bulge you built your anchor under is most likely the Dolphin Head. From the ground you can see what looks like a profile of a dolphin head with it's nose pointed climber's right. I believe you either use it for a hold or as a gear placement for pulling the roof, I can't remember exactly. Oct 9, 2017
Matt Westlake
Durham, NC
Matt Westlake   Durham, NC
For the best experience and idea of how to find the rap station I recommend climbing Southern Exposure first. It ends at the rap station that is climber's left of Dolphin Head. You can't reach it without downclimbing and moving left a bit after pulling the actual bulge/the Dolphin's Head. Look at the Topo photo, it's marked there unless someone has chopped it since last time I was up that way - it's been a while.

And by the way, take care pulling the bulge move. If you don't find the good hold and try to pull through the gear, when slung long, is far enough below that you can hit the ledge below. At least one party broke an ankle here so climb smart! Oct 11, 2017
Jordan Angus Gay   NC
Thanks for the beta Matt! Oct 16, 2017