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Against the Grain 
Bikini Beach 
Bikini Whale 

Bikini Whale 

YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ British: E5 6b

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.12 French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: VIII+ British: E6 6b [details]
FA: (TR) Antoine & Marc LeMenestrel 1984, FL: Kurt Smith, December 1987
Page Views: 2,863
Submitted By: Randy on Jan 1, 2002
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You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (12)
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Kurt Smith on the first lead of Bikini Whale (5.12...


This justifiably popular climb lies about 25 feet from the very end of the narrow corridor on the right. It and Railer, Bikini Beach, and G-String all start at the same spot (and share the 1st 2 bolts).

This 5 bolt, overhanging face route heads straight up face and seam. Many shorter climbers will want to stick-clip the 1st bolt as the move getting to it is a bit reachy.

The powerful "lock-off" crux is past the 1st bolt, though the pump factor makes the moves past the last (5th) bolt seem pretty hard too. This climb is easily (and often) top roped (bring slings to extend rope over the edge).


5 bolts, 2 bolt anchor (extension sling needed to lower or TR)

Photos of Bikini Whale Slideshow Add Photo
Bikini Whale 3,  <br /> <br />Photo posted with consent from Charles Leggett
Bikini Whale 3,

Photo posted with consent from C...
Bikini Whale start.   <br /> <br />Photo posted with consent from Charles Leggett
Bikini Whale start.

Photo posted with consent f...
Bikini Whale
BETA PHOTO: Bikini Whale
The upper section of Bikini Whale <br /> <br />Photo posted with consent from Charles Leggett
The upper section of Bikini Whale

Photo posted wi...
Bikini Whale 2,  <br /> <br />Photo posted with consent from Charles Leggett
Bikini Whale 2,

Photo posted with consent from C...
Comments on Bikini Whale Add Comment
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By C Miller
Nov 11, 2003
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ E5 6b

Originally bolted on lead with only three bolts by Kurt Smith (two more bolts were later added with his permission).

This excellent route has a powerful boulder problem crux passing the first bolt, an easier middle section and another crux (5.11+) sequence at the last bolt. The route finishes in a hand crack after the last bolt (though listed as a sport route a single piece of pro may be desired if leading). Easily four stars out of five.

By Tyler Logan
From: Bishop, CA
Apr 2, 2008

Anybody with a recent send of this route want to comment on its grade compared to other Josh .12a routes?

By C Miller
Apr 4, 2008
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ E5 6b

Consensus on this site is 5.12b and the route features a powerful crux, which is out-of-character for the average JT route of the same grade.

By Eli Stein
From: Soulthern Caliswag
Feb 12, 2009

when does this route get sun (in feb)?
thanks for the beta!

By Murf
Feb 13, 2009

It gets sun for a time in the early-mid morning. The base doesn't see much sun at all.

Feb 16, 2009
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ E5 6b

When I did this route (back when murf was sporting purple spandex and a 3ft pony tail), the lower crux was a dyno to a rail and the upper crux was the business. Now the rail is lying on the floor, and the lower crux seems like the hardest part. I think it could be .12b or harder now.

By Muff
Jun 2, 2011
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ E5 6b

Short or not you might want to stick clip the first bolt. Its either a deadpoint for tall people or a all points off dyno for vertically challenged people such as myself. Awesome route with crazy moves. From what I understand holds have broken off and made this route harder than the original rating of 12a. I would recommend 12b. Going from the deck to bolt two comprises the crux and boy howdy what an interesting set of powerful movements that thing is!

By Will S
From: Joshua Tree
Nov 30, 2012
rating: 5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- E6 6b

The tech/power crux low on this route is significantly harder than something like Satanic Mechanic. I'd call the crux alone on the hard side of V5 and the route overall 12b/c. Maybe easier for tall folks. Second what Muff said about the stickclip...getting to the first bolt is a thin slab move to all out huck for people sub-5'10 or so. Fantastic climbing, exciting in the upper half with widely spaced bolts and pump inducing moves.

By Joe Terravecchia
Dec 18, 2012
rating: 5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- E6 6b

For me, the redpoint crux was the bit above the last horizontal. With a pump, its powerful and difficult to read onsight. The little toss at the start didn't feel bad ( I'm 5' 10") and can be safely spotted. Nice lead with 3 bolts Kurt!