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Whale Dome

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Blood Brother T 
Call Me Ishmael T 
Dem Bones T,S 
Harpoon Direct T 
Moby Dick T 
South Face T 
South Face Direct Finish // Mobius Strip T 
Trojan, The T 

Whale Dome Rock Climbing 

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Location: 31.93969, -109.99315 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 20,011
Administrators: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: James DeRoussel on Oct 14, 2002
This Afternoon

82° | 58°

77° | 55°

74° | 49°

74° | 48°

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Whale Dome is a singular, towering formation in the West Stronghold. It lies just northwest across the drainage from Westworld Dome. The south and east face of Whale Dome are home to a handful of high quality routes. The most well-known route, Moby Dick, may be one of the most climbed routes in the Stronghold.

The rock quality on Whale Dome is very good on established routes. The climbing is extremely fun, with varying terrain and awesome views of the surrounding area. Relatively speaking, routefinding here is not too difficult. There are fixed rap anchors off the west side of the dome.

Getting There 

From the parking area at the end of the road (Fores Road 687), find the trailhead that leads to the East Stronghold. Do not take the trail, instead take the left of two drainages heading northward.

Hike for about 40 minutes, following this drainage upstream. There is good trail much of the way and the route is marked with cairns. Whale Dome will eventually be visible to your left. When you are almost under the dome, approach up a steep vague drainiage to its base.

Climbing Season

Weather station 6.9 miles from here

8 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Whale Dome

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Whale Dome:
South Face   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b X     Trad, 5 pitches, 800'   
Moby Dick   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 6 pitches, 700'   
Blood Brother   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 5 pitches   
Dem Bones   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R     Trad, Sport, 5 pitches, 660'   
Call Me Ishmael   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 2 pitches, 265'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Whale Dome

Featured Route For Whale Dome
Rock Climbing Photo: The route follows the obvious flake system, finish...

Moby Dick 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c  Arizona : Cochise Stronghold : ... : Whale Dome
From the main drainage below Whale Dome, take a steep side drainage west toward the south face of the dome. Some scrambling will get you to the base of the rock, under a giant flake and crack system. Moby Dick starts left of the flake at a double-crack. Five pitches of fun climbing. Pitch lengths are estimated.Pitch 1: Climb right of two thin cracks until it splits. Follow left fork up to cruxy face moves past one bolt. Continue up easier face climbing to two-bolt belay. (120')Pitch 2: S...[more]   Browse More Classics in Arizona

Photos of Whale Dome Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Whale Dome
BETA PHOTO: Whale Dome
Rock Climbing Photo: "Admiral, there be whales here!"
"Admiral, there be whales here!"
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking across from Warpaint.
Looking across from Warpaint.
Rock Climbing Photo: Whale Dome bathed in the light of a clearing Decem...
Whale Dome bathed in the light of a clearing Decem...
Rock Climbing Photo: The hike to Whale Dome.
The hike to Whale Dome.

Comments on Whale Dome Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 8, 2016
By Jordan Ramey
From: Calgary, Alberta
Mar 25, 2008
Rapping off Whale Dome.
By Jerry Cagle
From: Tucson, AZ
Apr 2, 2008
Who left the snarl of ropes on the rap station?
By Sasquach Broom
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Oct 26, 2010
Is this big beautiful looking flake up the right side of Whale Dome "Blood Brother" from Bob Kerry's guide?
Anyone have any beta on this?

Rock Climbing Photo: Whale Dome as seen from Westworld Dome
Whale Dome as seen from Westworld Dome
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Oct 26, 2010
I'm almost positive that's Blood Brother-we tried to pick it out (using Kerry's guide) when doing Dem Bones and that's the only feature that makes sense. Looks really cool. Great photo by the way.
By Jimbo
Oct 27, 2010
That is Blood Brother Flake. Great route, but spicy by today's standards.
Their is a two pitch 5.11 that climbs the face close to the right sky line called Call Me Ishmael. A 5.9 approach pitch climbs the slabby face up to the blood brother ledge. Then you drop down behind the ledge, walk right to it's end to a large flat ledge. Look for a bolt that leads to some crack features.
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Dec 25, 2013
Here is an approach map I've been working on. You can rotate/tilt/zoom the map using your arrow keys and the [Ctrl] key. When you are done looking at it simply close the page or click the back button to return to this page.

You can launch the page by clicking this link:

Rock Climbing Photo: Thumbnail view of the page
Thumbnail view of the page
By Hendrixson
From: Tucson, AZ
Dec 28, 2013
Geir, you're totally nerding out and it is awesome.
By Andrew Megas-Russell
From: Tucson, AZ
Mar 20, 2014
Rumor has it, the newer rap anchor on the whale has been chopped! HA! Back to the old rusty, fun-fest.
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Mar 21, 2014
I heard that too. I am going to replace the rusty bolts this spring.
By Syasorus
From: Tucson, AZ
Apr 15, 2014
We climbed Moby Dick this weekend, the rap anchors that are there are in seriously bad condition. One bolt is bent pretty badly and backed up with a new bolt and cordelette. Both old bolts have about a quarter to a third of an inch of play along the bolt, along with significant rust on them. It made for a spicy rapel. We talked to someone during Beanfest and he said he had rapped off a new set of bolts but they were no longer there.

Rock Climbing Photo: Photo of the rap anchors. Should have gotten close...
Photo of the rap anchors. Should have gotten closer for a better pic.
By AnnaPigott
Mar 8, 2016
We had a great climb - although a bit of a culture shock from the limestone we are more used too! We rapped off much better bolts than the previous poster reported, they must have been replaced fairly recently I guess. A 70m rope wasn't quite long enough to rap all the way - you finish on top of a pinnacle about five meters from the ground and can get lowered by your partner/down climb from there. The only mishap was that after we rapped off, just at the base of the pinnacle where you finish, a nice yellow screw gate and sling somehow fell off one of our harnesses! We didn't realize at the time, but it must have gone down between the some of the small boulders you stand on there - so if you are there any time soon, have a look, finders keepers! Would rather they went to a good home than stay there getting lonely for a few hundred years ;-). Cheers!

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