ApproachWhiskey Peak is probably not distinct enough to be considered a mountain in its own right. It is more of a subsummit of the much larger Black Velvet Peak.
Follow the directions on the main page to reach the trailhead. One additional side note is that it takes about 45minutes to reach this trailhead from the Thirteenmile Campground in a low clearance vehicle. This is largely due to the fact that the dirt road leading to the trailhead is very rough in places - though definitely passable in a sedan (we did it in a rented Chevy compact with no issues).
From the trailhead, take the roadbed towards the mouth of Black Velvet Canyon. After about 400 yards, the roadbed veers sharply to the left while a well beaten trail heads straight. Take the trail towards the canyon. After about 15-20 minutes, the trail splits. The right fork heads downhill toward the wash at the mouth of the canyon, while the left fork begins climbing vigorously eventually reaching a red dirt "ridge" (transverse to the canyon). The trail then follows the ridge up and left and gains the top of the cliff band at the base of Whiskey Peak. Once atop the cliffband, traverse right along the base of the main wall using many social trails. The start of Frogland is marked by a narrow white flake (c. 20 feet tall) leaning against the main wall (brown) about 15 above ground. The route starts with a 10 - 15 foot finger crack in a very shallow dihedral (this brings you to the base of the white flake). Total approach time from parking lot is about 30 minutes.
Note that the route is visible from the parking lot. Look for a prominent roof in white rock about halfway up the face of Whiskey Peak. Frogland bypasses this roof just to its right.
This photo shows most of the approach trails to the base of the route:
Route DescriptionThe route reaches the top of Whiskey Peak in 6 pitches (+4th class pitch). The climbing is sustained at 5.6-5.7 with a few, "soft" 5.8 sections. We climbed this route as it is described in the Supertopo which we think is better from the point of view of rope drag (Swain's book breaks up the route a bit differently above P1). This is how the route will be described here.
Pitch 1: 5.8, 150 feet. Climb the short finger crack in a shallow dihedral for about 10 feet to reach the base of the narrow white flake sitting at the base of a prominent left-facing dihedral. Climb the flake using face holds and nice edges on both of its sides (the flake seems pretty flimsy and sounds hollow). Clip the bolt on the right side of the dihedral. Continue climbing using face moves, some jams, and stemming. Natural pro opportunities abound. There are also 2 more bolts. The pitch ends atop a large, comfy ledge with bushes on it.
Pitch 2: 5.7, 90 feet. From the belay ledges, move right and up a short groove to reach the base of a nice crack. Follow this crack up (at this point, you should see slings on the bolts atop this pitch) as it steepens. The last 20-30 feet involve an easy lieback as the face features diminish. Belay from double bolts on the right side of a nice ledge (at this point you're just below and to the right of the prominent white roof you saw from the parking lot).
Pitch 3: 5.8, 170 feet. Though the Supertopo rates this pitch as 5.8, most of it is not harder than 5.6. In fact the 5.8 move is probably over-rated. From the belay, move left 20 feet to reach the base of a well-featured slab with a single bolt on it. Moving left then down 5 feet makes this much easier. Climb the slab angling to its left edge. Eventually you reach a decent ledge (slings around a boulder) . Move right along the ledge and overcome a bulge (5.6-5.7) on its right side. Move back left and climb face and cracks to another bulge. Move back right and go over the bulge via a groove. This move is rated 5.8 by Supertopo but felt much much easier (and you can protect it very well with a #4 Friend). Belay just above the bulge in a decent stance (supplement your natural belay anchor by clipping the rap slings around the boulder). Note that this is the last place on the route you can back off of relatively easily.
Pitch 4: 5.8, 150 feet. Move up the face traversing left on nice dishes. Pro consists of cams in cracks under large flakes (on the right and above you). Don't miss the bolt. Once you clip it, move down a foot or two and traverse left 20 feet along the low-angle slab with a small roof 15-20 feet above you. Excellent pro in cracks. The lower you are on the traverse, the easier it is. In fact, the variation passing high, directly below the roof is rated .10a. Once you reach the arete on the left side of the slab, move up. If you're short, this can be the crux of the route as you need to friction up while pulling on a pocket to get above the arete (5.8). If you're tall, you won't even notice this move. Climb up cracks until you find a good belay stance (no more than 30 more feet). Note that the Supertopo shows you belaying from same level as the "bushes". In reality, the bushes are nothing more than 12 inch weeds and at this level, I could not find a good crack to anchor to. I suggest looking for a belay station BELOW the bushes. My belay was level with the bushes and to their right.
Pitch 5: 5.8, 80 feet. This is probably the most fun pitch of the route. It's a bit unnerving as you have to face climb above a possibly crappy belay anchor (no/little pro) about 25 feet to clip a bolt. Face is rated 5.8 but feels easier. Once past the bolt, make a few more face moves aiming up and left. Your goal for this pitch is to top out on the huge (12 foot) chockstone. There's a thin crack for pro on the left side of the slab. The crack widens as you enter the chimney below the chockstone eventually allowing you to slot in some larger cams (1-2 inches). Move up the chimney stemming or chimneying (if you're chimnneying, make sure your feet are on the right wall to make the exit easier). The crux of this pitch is to pull yourself thru. the opening on the left side below the chockstone. Belay from top of the chockstone.
Pitch 6: 5.7, 170 feet. From top of chockstone, move right and up the corner. Pull over the bulge (5.7) and go up the groove eventually reaching the base of a low angle slab. The Supertopo claims that if you stay on the left side of the slab it's 5.6 but no "R" rating; while if you climb the slab it's 5.4R....reality seems to be that even if you DO stay on the left side of the slab there's little reliable pro and if you do take the slab it's more like 5.6 and not 5.4. This is the least fun pitch of the route. Pro in the slab is sparse and consits of micro cams in sporadic cracks. At the top of the slab, go over a low angle bulge (some smearing action required....bit scary as your last piece is 20 feet below). Once over the bulge, belay where convenient.
Scramble (class 4) 60 feet up and right to the top of Whiskey Peak.
Descent: It's a relatively simple walk off from the top. Once on top, move left following some nice cairns down low angle slabs and some easy 3rd class terrain. Eventually you enter a bushy gully. Hike down the gully. Once at the bottom, move left following the base of Whiskey Peak (above the cliff band you climbed up to reach the start of the climb) back to the base.
Essential GearStandard rack. Good assortment of cams and some nuts. Helmets.
Internet Links(1) Frogland TR. An excellent climb report with great route photos by ericandlucie.com.
(2) Also see a pitch-by-pitch description of route (with a few photos) here - provided by climbingredrocks.com.