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Routes in Whale's Tail

Jason's Argonaut S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Pockets a' Plenty S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Rose, The S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
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Type: Sport, 100 ft
FA: Mark Tjaden, Brian Shelton
Page Views: 2,563 total · 19/month
Shared By: Brian Collins on Jan 22, 2008
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Reopened after flood damage! Details


This line has an interesting combination of face climbing, pockets, and ledges. Climb up and past first bolt using the flare/flake. The move up and past 2nd and 3rd bolts can be direct using pockets and good footwork or by climbing on left side which is easier. Once you reach the first ledge, climb is straightforward to final ledge below two huge pockets under the anchor.


This is the rightmost climb of three at the Whale's Tail.


8 bolts to a 2-bolt anchor.


Pockets a' Plenty is a great climb, but watch out for Poison Ivy at the belay station. Jan 23, 2008
Dave Franklyn
Colorado Springs, CO
Dave Franklyn   Colorado Springs, CO
Watch out on the ledge at the top. There's a lone cactus defending the area. Jan 24, 2008
Brother Numsie   Nepal
Nice route, the crux pockets are fun. The cactus is positioned right where you make a blind reach, it got me. The 2 nostril pockets for your feet while you thread the anchor are an added bonus. Mar 1, 2008
Phil Lauffen
Innsbruck, AT
Phil Lauffen   Innsbruck, AT  
Cactus nearly got my buddy who TRed it, but somehow I missed it. Don't even remember it....musta been in the zone. I'd say the first two bolts are crux. Use the crack to your advantage by starting between a juniper tree and a patch of what we suspected was poison ivy mixed with scrub oak. Jun 25, 2008
Steve Knapp
Highlands Ranch, CO
Steve Knapp   Highlands Ranch, CO
This route is the most fun of the three on the Whale's Tail. We weren't even sure what we were climbing until later. Crux is tricky and the finger pockets are fun. Long route! The two big holes below the anchors are interesting and make for a good stance while clipping the anchors. Oh yeah, poison ivy right on the route below and right of the first bolt. Sep 17, 2008
Lakewood, CO
beehler   Lakewood, CO
Terrible rock, it just turns to sand under foot and hand. Jul 30, 2009
Ben Burnett
Ben Burnett   Colorado
Of 2 days at RRCOS this was probably our least favorite climb. It seemed contrived with some odd bolt placements. It has some bad rock too - I broke the hold that looked best to me above the sand ledge. The day we did it, it had tons of sand, leaf pieces, and pine needles on it. On the plus side, you can often climb left or right of the bolts and vary the route. Look out for poison ivy growing *on the rock* next to the starting corner and at the base. Oct 3, 2009
Colorado Springs
mountainmicah83   Colorado Springs
Plain 'ol good 5.9 climbing all of the way up. If you belay from the left of the tree, beware that you will use up an entire 60m rope. Interesting start if you don't use the flake on the right of the tree to the first bolt. Climbing the last bolt and the anchors is pretty much free soloing (if you are leading), because if you slip, you will deck on the 4' wide shelf and your partner won't be able to stop you. Fun anyhow. May 4, 2010
Hans Hoffman
D'iberville, MS
Hans Hoffman   D'iberville, MS
I thoroughly enjoyed the crux on this route. The name says it all. Definitely a must do route for The Whale's Tail. Nov 8, 2010
Michael Neuder
Colorado Springs, Co
Michael Neuder   Colorado Springs, Co
Really nice climb. It's the leftmost line on The Whale's Tail. I'd say the first to bolts felt cruxy. Be careful up top, because there is a ledge and you have to climb up a couple feet to the next bolt. Apr 17, 2011
Ralph Kolva
Pine, CO
Ralph Kolva   Pine, CO
Leftmost? I'd say rightmost, anyhow, the pics give you a good idea of the start of this climb. Not a bad climb, but a couple of the bolts could have been better place, or at least another bolt, to avoid hitting some ledges in case you messed up in the wrong place. Feb 25, 2012
Highlands Ranch, CO
teece303   Highlands Ranch, CO
I like this route, but be solid at this grade, and understand RRCOS climbing.

I suppose this is technically a bit easier than Jason's Argonaut to the left, but it is a bit more sustained at the bottom; however, this is a more challenging lead than that route, head-wise and consequence wise.

It spit me off just before bolt three, and I came down to about bolt one. At the first ledge, I was a bit jittery from that fall, and as I set off into the pockets after the first ledge and I was trying to gett to that PG-13 runout to the bolt, my nerves almost spit me off. That would have probably been an ankle buster.

The second ledge also has ledge-fall potential, but it is less serious, and it uses all of a 60 meter rope, especially if you belay left of the tree. Apr 27, 2013
Cyril Multhauf
Fort Collins, CO
Cyril Multhauf   Fort Collins, CO
I tore off a pretty big pinch flake at the top just below the anchors... it got a little harder after that.

This whole thing just felt chossy and ready to fall apart. You have three distinct sections that make this a fun route:

1. An offwidth at the bottom that wants to shoot you left... stay to the right.
2. The pockets which are fun!
3. Very top slab which felt pinchy/crimpy and required decent feet. Oct 19, 2015

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