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Left Book
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Beelzebub T 
Cottontail T 
Dog, The T 
Hiatus T 
Left Out (aka Lost Crack) T 
Manifest Destiny T 
Well Hung T 
Whale Rider T 
White Whale T 
Zingando T 
Unsorted Routes:

White Whale 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, 600', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Dan Hare & Randy McGregor, 1972
Page Views: 36,685
Submitted By: Charles Vernon on Jan 1, 2001

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Just another day in the hood....

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To approach the Left Book, you take the Book trail, but actually then leave it to the left on the trail to the Bookmark. Hike around west of the Bookmark, and then, follow the "trail" (i.e. bushwhack) up past the chimneyish recess separating the Bookmark from the Book, to the base of the slabby cliff, which will be on the right. Unfortunately it is somewhat difficult to distinguish between routes here.

P1. The first pitch of White Whale is a crack that leads up to a tree about 10 feet above a rectangular roof. The correct crack intersects the very left edge of the roof band and is very easy at the start; similar cracks lie to the left of this one.

P2. The cracks on pitch two lie flush on the slab and angle up and somewhat left from the belay; fantastic 5.7. Belay on the left side of a large concave roof/bulge/alcove after a full ropelength.

P3. The third pitch goes up a crack around the left edge of this feature, and then wanders up a steeper wall to the walk-off ledge and a tree belay (a little run-out; be sure to avoid a black water groove on the right which is 5.8 and totally unprotected). One can avoid the final wall by traversing left to the walk-off ledge after the initial crack on P3.

P4. Addendum: Wide, right-angling crack above walkoff ledge.


Bring a standard rack, emphasizing finger-sized gear. Like many Lumpy climbs, it is flared but gobbles up stoppers.

Kid Friendliness 

It has enough features and short-enough traverses to allow a shorter (7-8 year old) to ascend without excessive difficulty.

Photos of White Whale Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climbers on the second pitch. Photo taken ...
Unknown climbers on the second pitch. Photo taken ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Me coming up the thin, flaring crack on p2 of Whit...
Me coming up the thin, flaring crack on p2 of Whit...
Rock Climbing Photo: Taken from the first belay - the crack on the left...
Taken from the first belay - the crack on the left...
Rock Climbing Photo: Ben leading P3 (a bit run out).  He'll head-up dia...
BETA PHOTO: Ben leading P3 (a bit run out). He'll head-up dia...
Rock Climbing Photo: The third pitch, taken from Cottontail.
BETA PHOTO: The third pitch, taken from Cottontail.
Rock Climbing Photo: Belayer, Ben, at the top of P1, with the climber, ...
BETA PHOTO: Belayer, Ben, at the top of P1, with the climber, ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Belay anchor at the top of P2, with Kate heading u...
BETA PHOTO: Belay anchor at the top of P2, with Kate heading u...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down on a nice flake from the top of pitch...
BETA PHOTO: Looking down on a nice flake from the top of pitch...
Rock Climbing Photo: Gabe leading the second glorious pitch of White Wh...
Gabe leading the second glorious pitch of White Wh...
Rock Climbing Photo: Rich about halfway up P2.
Rich about halfway up P2.
Rock Climbing Photo: First pitch (supposed to go around the left side o...
First pitch (supposed to go around the left side o...
Rock Climbing Photo: You know you've harpooned the white whale when you...
You know you've harpooned the white whale when you...
Rock Climbing Photo: Moby Dick--gyar!!!
Moby Dick--gyar!!!
Rock Climbing Photo: Paul cruising up the 1st pitch of White Whale.
Paul cruising up the 1st pitch of White Whale.
Rock Climbing Photo: Andy Mcguire on the first pitch very cold rock, I ...
Andy Mcguire on the first pitch very cold rock, I ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jaclyn, 8, enjoying P1.  This climb is reasonable ...
Jaclyn, 8, enjoying P1. This climb is reasonable ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Great belay in that triangular alcove.
Great belay in that triangular alcove.
Rock Climbing Photo: Tanya following p2 of White Whale. Climber to her ...
BETA PHOTO: Tanya following p2 of White Whale. Climber to her ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Having fun on the White Whale.
Having fun on the White Whale.
Rock Climbing Photo: The super fun 1st pitch.
The super fun 1st pitch.

Comments on White Whale Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 23, 2016
By Chris Fisher
Jul 23, 2001

We started early and had the climb to ourselves. The climb had good protection and would make a great starter trad lead. I set the second belay on a dirty, vegetated ledge. We finished up and right from here with a short face section. This section had some long reaches but bomber holds.
By jeff mcnair
Apr 9, 2002

Bomber! Great route. Great pro. Definitely deserves three stars. Lots of other great multi-pitch moderates in the area, too.
By Joe Keyser
From: Scottsdale, AZ
Apr 11, 2002

I'd say that this is one of my favorite routes of its grade that I've done anywhere... I 2nd, 3rd, 4th or whatever, the 3-star rating!
By Warren Teissier
Jun 14, 2002

I felt this was a really nice and comfortable 5.7.

Not necesarily comparable to other Lumpy Ridge 5.7. Perhaps it was the relatively low angle or the readily available amount of pro.

Great fun climb.

By Gabe Anderson
Apr 27, 2003

Great fun. 2nd pitch is a full rope length if you use a 50 meter rope. Be sure to save some hand/fist pro for the 2nd belay in the small nook left of the roof. The entire route is very well protected. A definite must do.
By Tonya Clement
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 4, 2003

Great 4th of July climb if you are the first one on the route. We pulled into the parking lot at 5:30 am (first car). By the time we came off the route, the entire rock was filled with climbers. On this super hot day, we were in the shade all morning. This route is fabulous. I am trying to do more leads without first following someone. This is the perfect route to just jump on. It protects well (make sure you are comfortable with hanging belays - one is needed at the top of P2). P1 gives you ample opportunity to use your hexes if you carry them. The travers ng under the little roof at the top of P1 tests your isn't just requires you to do a little undercling. As you come around the left edge the crack to grab is quite the feet as they stick. P2 has a super fun crack to climb. You can foot jam it all the way or use the features on each side. It does angle up and left to the big roof. This climb is one I will do again and again.
By Anthony Lopez
Jan 19, 2004
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Great climb, deserves every star. Don't hesitate to do this climb, it's worth the hike.
By Dustin Bauer
Jun 19, 2004

A much more moderate route it definitely put a smile on my face. Until the walk off in my rock shoes. All in all unless you ware your shoes like sunday slippers. I recommend bringin a pair to hike down with. Enjoy... for the alpine bunch this would be a fun route to do with mountaineering boots for practice. Peace, Love, and Chicken Grease !!!
By Billy Danger
From: Asheville, NC
Apr 20, 2005

The crack on the 2nd pitch is about as good as it gets! The 3rd pitch is a little run out.
By Gary Schmidt
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 19, 2005

The second pitch is as good a lead as you will find at this grade. Keeps going and going, tons of fun. However, imho, this climb is much easier than its neighboring climb, Haitus which is also rated 5.7. Don't be fooled.
By craggin carl
Aug 2, 2005

Good moves at the crux, slabby and exciting, I hardly had to jam the crack. Good route.
By Charles Danforth
From: L'ville, CO
Aug 16, 2005
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

My first time at Lumpy and my first bonafide 5.7 trad lead. Blindly following the crack/seam at the upper end of P2, I found myself under the large roof, on wet rock, 20' above my last (marginal) gear, and desperately wanting something better. If you head left a little earlier up a face, you get to a nice set of shallow cracks which take gear. From there, you can extend P2 around to the left of the large roof into a chimney where it's a little easier to set a belay. The moves out of this chimney (beginning of P3) were a little spicy and committing, but over quickly.

Great route and a real confidence-builder for my trad leading skills.
By Mark Hyams
From: Albuquerque
Apr 13, 2006
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I think the only real 5.7 part of this climb is the thin, shallow corner 20 feet below the first belay tree. The rest is 5.6, IMO, including the second pitch, hence it feeling easier than its neighbor, Hiatus which is significantly harder and more sustatined at 5.7+.
By Jim Matt
From: Indianapolis, IN
Jun 11, 2006

This is a great route, however, please heed the warning to avoid the water groove on the right near the top of the third pitch. I did not, and paid the price by taking a ~40' whipper (fortunately, my gear and belayer held). I made the mistake of not checking the guidebook before hand. That water groove IMHO is more like polished 5.9+ R/X. Otherwise...very cool and well protected route...I'll be back in August to do it ON ROUTE! :)
By DavidHH
From: Parker, Colorado
Jun 26, 2006
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

FWIW, I found Tricams to be very useful on this route. I would not recommend this for new 5.7 leaders, the climbing is easy but you have a couple places with a decent run that may spook fledgling leaders at the grade. IMHO.
By climber73
From: Fort Collins, CO
Apr 23, 2007

Fun route! It is possible to do this route in 2 pitches if you go past the tree at the usual P1 belay and keep running to the crack systems at the diagonal about 1/2 way from the tree up to the roof. If I recall correctly the belay took a hand size cam upside down under a flake (#1 or #2 Camalot) and a couple of nuts. We did this with a 60 meter rope, and there was snow on the ground so our starting point was maybe 3 or 4 meters above the ground proper. 1 belay instead of 2 = faster and more fun!! I did this as a 5.10+ trad climber on a 5.7 route with lots of hanging belays under my belt. If you're climbing close to your limit, stick with the standard belays.
By kevinnlong
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 21, 2008
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Excellent! I would highly recommend carrying a set of DMM double tapered nuts (are these called Wallnuts?). In any event, they are suitable nuts for flared cracks, and there are plenty of locations on this climb where they protected MUCH better than my standard set of Metolius nuts.
By Steve Knapp
From: Highlands Ranch, CO
Sep 7, 2008
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

We did all four pitches on this, our first ever at Lumpy. Awesome route! P1 is mostly easy with the toughest move at the flake below the belay tree. Nice finger crack there. P2 is totally sweet with a nice hand crack most of the way. Lots of places for nuts and cams. Slightly runout below the alcove at the end of the pitch. There is a fixed nut up there which I clipped. P3 is also fun but much more run out. You can walk off from the top of P2 if you don't want to do P3. P4 is also optional and surprised us all. It's an interesting off-width that narrows and steepens. After the crux it's easy until a roof move, and then 4th class to the top. I think most people probably skip P4.
By Sarge
Nov 1, 2008

Great route. Can be done in two pitches.
By Scott McMahon
From: Boulder, CO
May 27, 2009

Fun route. I must have lead the second pitch differently as it seemed to be more run out and balancy, putting me about 15' above gear (or at least it seemed that way). I don't remember a classic crack, just slabby moves. The pro didn't seem to be as good either, and I was glad to get to the fixed nut and underclings at the roof right before the 2nd belay. Watch out for parties behind you on Hiatus as they'll climb right through your 2nd pitch belay gully.
By Wade Frank
From: Littleton, CO
Aug 24, 2009

Very fun climb, easy 5.7 for Lumpy!!!
By Paul Szymanski
From: Park Ridge, Illinois
Sep 26, 2010
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

This is well protected route for someone who wants to learn how to lead. It is also one of my favorite routes on the Lumpy Ridge. The last section of the second pitch is great. This is a pure joy climb.
By Michael Foy
From: Denver, CO
Jun 21, 2011

Great fun, people were moving slow on the thin to flared section (about 15 feet long) on pitch 2. Weather was great, saw a bunch of people doing laps.
By Simon Thompson
From: New Paltz, NY
Jul 26, 2012
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

The first two pitches were fun. The flared finger crack on p2 was harder to protect than I expected... great toe jams though. Pitch 3 (last pitch of Hiatus, I believe?) was an on-sight route-finding challenge and made for a stressful lead.
By Dom R
From: Estes Park, Colorado
Jun 27, 2014

I went into this route expecting to have a perfect hand-crack up the second pitch. So when I got there and discovered it was flaring and you only got to use it for feet (no real hands anywhere), I was a little bummed. So that may have turned me off this route a touch. The second pitch is the most memorable to me though. I agree that the second pitch was a little harder to protect than expected. I laced it with nuts for most of the pitch, small TCUs would've been helpful, but if you know how to slot nuts well, it shouldn't be a huge issue. The first pitch roof move isn't as bad as people make it out to be either, just press your feet good, the holds are all there. Found the climbing to be pretty fun and well worth doing, but it's a little overhyped.
By Ketchup
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 18, 2014

The third pitch of this route deserves an R. Once you turn the small roof an commit to the flakes, there is a long section where no gear would hold a fall. There are plenty of nice edges and solution pockets but no reliable gear. A #1 or 2 Camalot might hold in the flaring pocket mid-slab but probably not. A fall in the middle of this section would be nasty. Nonetheless a great final pitch. Avoid the lefthand escape ramp. It's lame.
By Russ Keane
Sep 17, 2014

Worthy of its popularity. A great fun climb with a consistent grade throughout (5.7-).

Such high quality!
By Jim Fox
From: Westminster, CO
Jun 22, 2015
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Climbed this about 20 yrs ago & again yesterday as a Father's Day climb with my son.
We got there early and were 1st ones at the crag, but there were 4 parties on or waiting by the time we finished & walked off.
I really enjoyed p2 & found it reasonable to protect (read many comments about this issue). I put in more pro than I usually would, because I had brand new shoes, and they kept slipping which made me a little nervous.
Still a really fun climb in a beautiful place. The approach is pretty long but worth it.
By aikibujin
From: Castle Rock, CO
Jul 3, 2015
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

The route description said " emphasizing small gear", so I brought a bunch of small cams and micro nuts but ended up never place any small gear. A standard rack is enough, no need for really small gear. The smallest cam I used was a #0.75 BD C4. The flaring crack on P2 protected well with medium to large stoppers. P3 was very hard to protect. The moves were not hard, but definitely don't fall.
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Jul 3, 2015

Changed it to "finger-sized gear" to be more accurate. Thanks.
By percious
From: Bear Creek, CO
Jul 17, 2015
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

I thought the crux was p4, a short section of 5.8 climbing.
By Dom R
From: Estes Park, Colorado
Aug 5, 2015

Did the water groove finish on this the other day, and it's not too bad. Obviously it's quite run out, so a good head is in order, but the climbing itself is quite positive and goes at probably 5.7+. Really fun movement and cool position.
By Ben
Oct 23, 2016

Got a BD #4 stuck on the roof under the first belay on 10/23/16. A six pack and good vibes to the kind awesome human that retrieves it. Thanks!

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