After a couple of chilly days of hiking around East Cochise and West Cochise, we decide to make a dash for it and climb the classic route Moby Dick on Whale Dome. We woke up to -5C weather and as we drove towards West Cochise the temperature dropped to -9C. Lucky for us, the sun came out just in time to warm us up for the enchanting hike in along the Stronghold Canyon.
Within an hour we arrive at the base of the route and by now the rock is well into the sun. We rope up and start climbing at 10 am. We marvel at having the entire canyon to ourselves on a weekend day.
The route is pure fun! We start the first pitch in the wide crack/offwidth that leads directly to the tree and slung the tree for our first piece of protection. Better gear (#3 and #4) is found immediately above and the layback move above the bolt is quite positive.
|Pitch 1: Start below tree, then move right into middle crack|
Good gear is available throughout most of the climb since it follows a giant rounded left facing corner. My #4 camalot came in handy in a couple of occasions.
|Pitch 3: Looking up at it from the Pitch 2 anchor station|
|Pitch 3 Anchor: Two cams equalized with a slung chickenhead|
|Pitch 4 Bolted anchor on ledge|
|Pitch 5 Fun face climbing up chickenheads|
|Bill on summit of Moby Dick|
|Renee on summit of Moby Dick|
Moby Dick is a great route! We had super fun day out on rock and were utterly pleased to be back in Arizona with the opportunity to continue our adventures!