The mega-classic route of West Cochise Stronghold. Considered a sport route by some, but truly suited more to the classic trad climber's abilities as the entire route is steep sustained friction slab with few to no holds most of the way. This requires commitment on the majority of moves. Climbers with no footwork technique should avoid this route. Edging shoes are not helpful here. New and retro-fitted bolts as of 2005.
Westworld Dome is located across the ravine from Whale Dome; follow a faint trail that goes into the woods off the left side of the road BEFORE the main trail starts at the end of the turnaround. This will take you directly into the dry wash/bouldery ravine that is the trail to Westworld and Whale Domes. Cairns are few and far between in the wash, but trail wanders into and out of the wash for about 20-30 minutes with some boulder hopping required. As Whale Dome approaches on your left, look to the right and you will see Westworld rising up slightly closer in distance. It is not too difficult to then locate the area where the trail deviates out of the wash up the hillside to the bottom of Westworld. Eventually you will come to a point where the trail appears to stop and split left and right; take the right traversing fork. Within 50-100 ft you will see a tree with very red bark (Madrone) growing next to the wall--WarPaint starts directly left of this tree on the slab.
Most of the route is well protected, although a few very thin, cruxy areas did not seem so well protected to me, requiring an extra dicey, uncomfortable move to reach the clipping stance (I am a 5'6" climber). Bolt placement often seems suited mainly for tall climbers; otherwise, I would call certain moves on this route PG13 at times.
P1: 10c, 160 ft. Crux of the route, no warm up allowed! Exceptionally thin, requiring mainly pure friction footwork with nothing to hold whatsoever on most of the pitch. Certain sections become fairly steep and nearly vertical as well; luckily, this means lead falls on this type of "slab" are usually airborne and non-injury inducing!
P2: 5.8, ~40 ft. From the P1 anchors on the top of the large ledge, walk over to where the short, vertical crack starts to belay for P2. Confident, strong trad climbers may only need one #3 to protect here; less seasoned leaders may like having a #4 as well for the wider section up higher.
P3: 10a/b, ~170 ft. The only real runout occurs on this pitch right after first 2 bolts. A lower angle slab runs out about 30-40 ft to the third bolt along a weakness of shallow, oval pockets in the face. Past the 4th bolt the route becomes thin, sustained, and thought-provoking again with some rather steep sections, but at least there are few more dime edges here and there to utilize than on P1. Uncomfortable belay at the top.
P4: 10c, ~100-120 ft. Nearly as hard as P1 with many moves that are similarly dicey, thin, and holdless. At one point near the bottom of the pitch, the route starts to ramp up steeply against a wall and comes to a corner; at this point it becomes dead vertical and actually has a large flake on the lip of the wall to the right.
P5: 60 ft. Winds can be very strong and unrelenting on the last 3 pitches, so if climbing in the winter, bring warmer layers/shells accordingly to put on.
Four double rope raps. Once you have rapped to the start of P3, you need only make one more rap straight down the face to the ground (instead of two more back over the route). This should put you slightly up and left of the start of WarPaint.
Submitted by: aerili on 2002-08-09
Last Modified: 2009-11-26
Route ID: 16065
That is the proper way to describe the pitch 1 crux. Anyway, nice route. We did the steep right variation at the top--probably 11 B at most places. TAKE CARE--the huge block at the top and left moves when touched!!