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The Whale's Tail
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Martindale T 
Monument, The S 
NED (Nothing Except Dynamics) T 
New Cambria T,TR 
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Northeast Arete T 
Second Coming S,TR 
Spoof T 
Spoof Roof T 
West Crack T,TR 
West Dihedral T,TR 
West Face [Whale's Tail] T,TR 
Yorkshire Ripper, The T 


YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch
Original:  YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: unknown
Fixed Hardware: 4 Lead Pins, 1 Lead Bolt [details]
Page Views: 85
Submitted By: Mark J. Nelson on Sep 16, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (8)
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  • 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.


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

    Comments on Spoof Add Comment
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    By Alex Chiang
    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.
    By Stich
    From: Colorado Springs, Colorado
    Oct 19, 2003
    rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    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.
    By Steven Lucarelli
    From: Moab, UT
    Mar 22, 2007
    rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    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.
    By Rodger Raubach
    Sep 14, 2014
    rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c 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!

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