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Whale Dome

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

Whale Dome  

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Administrators: Greg Opland, James DeRoussel, JJ Schlick, Hendrixson, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: James DeRoussel on Oct 14, 2002
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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 7.6 miles from here

7 Total Routes

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

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated 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'   
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 Classics in Whale Dome

Featured Route For Whale Dome
Jeff M. moving through the crux 1st pitch.

Dem Bones 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b AZ : Cochise Stronghold : ... : Whale Dome
Fun route. I think the line we climbed is Dem Bones.Approach: Take a side trail marked by a cairn heading directly north from the end of the approach road. Follow the drainage. At the first fork, go left and then out of the wash. Drop back in and follow the drainage to Moby Dick. When you are almost at Moby Dick, take a steep drainage left that takes you to the base of Moby Dick. Go left for Moby Dick. Go right for Dem Bones. You will recognize Dem Bones by two bolts side by side.Pitch ...[more]   Browse More Classics in AZ

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

Comments on Whale Dome Add Comment
Show which comments
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
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?

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:


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
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.

Photo of the rap anchors. Should have gotten close...
Photo of the rap anchors. Should have gotten closer for a better pic.
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