Type: Trad, 5 pitches
FA: Peter Noebels & Doug Davis (1982)
Page Views: 1,481 total · 31/month
Shared By: Luis Cisneros on Feb 8, 2015
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Greg Opland

You & This Route

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Quoting Bob Kerry: "This dramatic line goes up the vertical east face of the Whale"... the money pitch is an awesome flake above a large ledge on the east side of the dome.

There are multiple ways to get to this ledge, including traversing right after the first pitch of Dem Bones (DB), or climbing the 5.9 "approach pitch" that goes up the gully under to DB roof. A very nice way to do it is to climb the nice arette further to the right of said gully:

1- Traverse from the base of DB for about 30 meters to a ledge with a tree (5.6).

2- Follow a diagonal seam-crack that goes up and left towards the arette. The moves to get in the crack are balancey and kind of insecure (~5.10-) over questionable pro, but it gets easy and well protected as soon as the crack opens up. Move up chickenheads and fun face/arette climbing (5.9) passing two bolts to a large ledge.

3- Move up into a right facing corner. You can climb the corner up to a horizontal wide crack under a roof or traverse directly right over a blank face doing a long reach to a "doorknob chickenhead" (recommended, ~5.10 move). If you do this traverse, follow chickenheads up to the wide horizontal crack and follow it traversing further right (5.8) to an obvious cave under an OW and a small tree. Belay there.

At this point you are straight under the Blood Brother ledge. You can crawl into the cave to come out in the chimney in the back side of the ledge, climb the OW and follow wide cracks to the top the the ledge or traverse further right to reach the start of Call Me Ishmael.

4- From the Blood Brother ledge, a short 5.10- move (protected by a bolt) will put you at the base of the thin flake (the rest of the pith is 5.9). This fantastic pitch takes some large cams and sundry small pro on the right side. Belay at the base of a short chimney with a #2 and #3.

5- A short chimney and more chickenheads (5.8) take you to the summit about 30 meters to the right of the end of DB.


East face of Whale Dome. Approach is the same as for Dem Bones


Single rack up to BD #5 and a set of medium nuts should suffice. Lots of runners to sling chickenheads.


Dj telle
Tucson, AZ
Dj telle   Tucson, AZ
This climb is awesome! We did the arete variation and it was great. We scrambled 100 ft to get under the arete then followed the challenging layback seam. I then linked BB flake with the chimney pitch to the top with a 70 m. just another classic.. Mar 8, 2015
If I'm not mistake I led that arete minus bolts in 93'. When did it get bolted? I would have loved them!!! It was a life changing experience. It seemed such an obvious line. Jun 18, 2015
Here's a link to download a draft PDF topo with Dem Bones, Blood Brother, and Call Me Ishmael on it. Enjoy!

toofasttopos.com/free/whale… Jan 16, 2017
Ryan Petronella
Denver, CO
Ryan Petronella   Denver, CO
This route needs more traffic! First off, take a look at Geir's topo. We somehow ended up doing almost the exact first two pitches of his beta without knowing where we were going. These two pitches are DIFFERENT than the described first three pitches in the MP beta above. We arrived at the top of the second pitch in this insane "tunnel" if you will, where you need to full on army crawl through. From there, short pitch up and north to the BB flake. The rest of the route is p.4 and p.5 as MP describes. We placed a #5 on every pitch of this route. Nov 13, 2017
Big Bear City, CA
beantown   Big Bear City, CA
Awesome route we followed the topo from Geir. Looking up the chimney looked henois but it was actually way fun! I’d recommend belaying at the first tree then a short pitch to under the crack to offwidth pitch. Also the guide and MP app says 10-/10a but the moves at the bolt are 10c, not what we expected! If you get that move go to warpaint next, we did! Nov 22, 2018