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The Whale

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Aborigine S 
Among the Stars S 
Aphrodite S 
Arapiles S 
Arnold’s Demise S 
Big E S 
Blow Tube Envy S 
Bound in Blood S 
Captain, The S 
Dreamtime S 
Esse Curve S 
Finnacle S 
First Mate S 
Gomers in Blue Shirts S 
Good Stuff, The S 
Happy Ending (formerly Top-Rope) T,TR 
Honeymoon Down Under S 
Just Happens S 
Mister MIA S 
Never Ever Slab, The TR 
Plunge, The S 
Red Venus S 
Route to the left of The Thin Line S 
Tempest Toast S 
Thin Line, The S 
Undulating Dingo S 
Virgin Bolters S 
Whale Rider S 

The Whale Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 6,600'
Location: 38.8461, -104.8824 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 25,689
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Anna Moore on Jul 15, 2006


52° | 24°
Thanksgiving Day

29° | 13°

24° | 11°

34° | 16°

40° | 17°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Reopened after flood damage! MORE INFO >>>


The Whale is the long, humped fin on the west side of Red Rock Canyon between upper lake and the north side of the Quarry.

The trail from the south end (Quarry Wall) meets the crag just north of Big E.

This crag faces East, so it drops into the shade by 3pm or so.

Getting There 

Two trails access the wall. The first takes off from the west canyon trail and climbs to a notch with steps and a dirt bank and then up left and back right through scrub oak to the northern part of the face. The rail reaches the face just south of Aphrodite. The second ascends a bushy ramp system left (south) of Solar Slab to the right of Never Ever Slab, walk left along the top of the slab to reach the cliff-base trail. A path along the cliff base connects the two trails. Avoid bushwhacking and scrambling off the trails, so new social trails or not created. Also, watch for poison ivy. (All information is from Red Rock Canyon Open Space book by Stewart M. Green.)


Never Ever Slab (down and left of the bulk of The Whale)
A. Happy Ending (formerly Top-Rope), 9, 1p, 70', bolts.
B-C. The Never Ever Slab, 0-4, 1p, 90', TR.

The Whale
D. Dreamtime, 6, 1p, 50', bolts.
ED. Aborigine, 7, 1p, 55', bolts.

F. Honeymoon Down Under, 7+ PG-13, 1p, 85', bolts.
G. Undulating Dingo, 8, 1p, 80', bolts.
H. Arapiles, 9 or 10, 1p, 80', bolts.
I. Big E, 5 PG-13, 1p, 80', bolts.
JI. Bound in Blood, 8, 1p, 80', bolts.
K. The Good Stuff, 7, 1p, bolts.
L. Esse Curve, 7, 1p, bolts.

M. Route to the left of The Thin Line, 10-, 1p, 65', bolts.
N. The Thin Line, 9, 1p, 60', bolts.
O. The Plunge, 10-, 1p, 70', bolts.
P. Just Happens, 9-, 1p, 60', bolts.
Q. Virgin Bolters, 9-, 1p, 70', bolts.

R. Tempest Toast, 7, 1p, 110', bolts.
S. Whale Rider, 6, 1p, 110', bolts.
T. Finnacle, 8-, 1p, 80', bolts.
U. The Captain, 9-, 1p, 75', bolts.
V. First Mate, 9, 1p, 50', bolts.

W? Gomers in Blue Shirts, 10-, 1p, 85', bolts.

X. Aphrodite, 9, 1p, 100', bolts.
Y. Arnold’s Demise, 10, 1p, 105', bolts.
Z. Among the Stars, 10-, 1p, 110', bolts.
AA. Mister MIA, 9+, 1p, 100', bolts.
BBAA. Blow Tube Envy, 7+ PG-13, 1p, 105', bolts & gear.
BB1. HMS, 9+, 1p, 100', bolts.
BB2. Red Venus, 6 PG-13, 1p, 100', bolts.

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.4 miles from here

29 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',23],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Whale

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Whale:
Whale Rider   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 110'   
Blow Tube Envy   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 105'   
The Good Stuff   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch   
Esse Curve   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch   
Aborigine   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   
Honeymoon Down Under   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   
Undulating Dingo   5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Bound in Blood   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch   
Finnacle   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 115'   
Virgin Bolters   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
Just Happens   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
The Captain   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   
The Thin Line   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Mister MIA   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   
First Mate   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Aphrodite   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   
Gomers in Blue Shirts   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   
Among the Stars   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 110'   
The Plunge   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
Arnold’s Demise   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 105'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Whale

Featured Route For The Whale
Rock Climbing Photo: Randy emerging from the big hole on Aphrodite.

Aphrodite 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  CO : Colorado Springs : ... : The Whale
Very continous for the grade. The whole bottom half feels like the crux with even a couple moves up top that are hard. If the top half was like the bottom half, it would definitely be four stars. Small crimps, small feet, and balancy is the name of the game. With all the crimps though, definitely stay away from it if a recent storm has come through, as it's likely some of the small holds will blow on you....[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of The Whale Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Quarry Wall, The Whale, Whale's Tail, Never End Sl...
BETA PHOTO: Quarry Wall, The Whale, Whale's Tail, Never End Sl...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Whale, Whale's Tail, Solar Slab, and Quarry Wa...
BETA PHOTO: The Whale, Whale's Tail, Solar Slab, and Quarry Wa...
Rock Climbing Photo: Gabby starts her first ever rappel.
Gabby starts her first ever rappel.
Rock Climbing Photo: View from the top of the Whale, looking south past...
View from the top of the Whale, looking south past...
Rock Climbing Photo: Another gorgeous day on the Whale.
Another gorgeous day on the Whale.
Rock Climbing Photo: Every other route getting sent. A wonderful day at...
Every other route getting sent. A wonderful day at...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Whale, Solar Slab, and Quarry (far left).
The Whale, Solar Slab, and Quarry (far left).
Rock Climbing Photo: Late afternoon on the Whale.
Late afternoon on the Whale.

Comments on The Whale Add Comment
Show which comments
By Nathan Hoobler
May 21, 2009
While exploring the Whale last night, we climbed a route between The Thin Line and Esse Curve. Four bolts and felt 5.9+ ish. It doesn't seem to be in the RRCOS climbing book (at least not my first edition).

Is this a new route or am I directionally challenged? FWIW, the route was fun. A challenge for me, though probably easy for most.
By Stewart M. Green
May 26, 2009
Yep. It's sort of a new route. We put that one up back in January. Unnamed and unrated. Look around for the other new ones. We've been keeping them off the radar for now because there will still be a few more to go up...trying to get a little more adventure at ole Red Rock Canyon.
By Ryan Sanders
From: C Springs
May 26, 2009
And we appreciate it, Stewart.

Our favorite so far is what Tom is calling Outer Reach (to keep the nautical theme).
By Andrew Keet
Jun 17, 2009
Great Post! Very informative and a great read. I saw this site during my browsing and think it may be relevant .Keep up the great posts!
By Nathan Hoobler
Jul 7, 2009
I think we might have climbed Outer Reach tonight. It was a touch loose down low, but had some cool moves up a double overlap toward the top. Seven bolts, I believe. Always fun to discover a new route where there wasn't one before.
By Dan Petty
From: Wheat Ridge, CO
Nov 11, 2010
Lat/long: 38.846075, -104.88238.
By Mark Derham
From: Lakewood, CO
Dec 4, 2013
We hiked around for 45 minutes looking for this place not realizing we were on the opposite side the climbs are on. Park in the far SE lot and hike up the Red Rock trail for about 10 minutes. The Whale will be on the right shortly after the pond.
By infiniteforests
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Aug 25, 2014
Most of the climbs around here really benefit from using long slings or a long cordalette for an anchor to reduce rope drag at the top.
By infiniteforests
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Jul 31, 2015
Here's a nice challenge: lead all of the routes on The Whale in a day. I did all of them except three, which were occupied by other parties (I also don't really count the top rope on Never Ever Slab), but I made up for it by climbing the three routes on The Whale's Tail.
By Stewart M. Green
Aug 1, 2015
Climbing all the routes on The Whale is called a Whale Cap Day, since the vertical gain is about the same as climbing the Nose of El Cap in Yosemite or about 3,000 feet. Every route has to be led, and every pitch has to be seconded, so it's good to either swing leads or do them in blocks. We've always done it starting at the Whale's Tail at the north end and working south to Happy Ending. Brian Shelton and I did it in 3 hours and 45 minutes a few years back. Logan Berndt has also done it in sub-4 hours.

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