For those who live on the east side of the Stronghold, Entrance Dome gives as grand a view as the Rockfellow Group. Its broad southeast face fills the right side of the skyline. There is a ton of climbing up this canyon, starting with Entrance Dome which offers several popular long routes (by Cochise standards) along with its iconic single pitch trad route named Crack Man, 5.10, located at its far west end. Exit Dome essentially lays against Entrance Dome and in reality, is the same feature as far as I am concerned, but has been given a separate name. Exit has a plethora of high-quality moderates littered on its south face. Wasteland Dome is located just to the west of Entrance and is separated by a large gully. Its namesake route is one of the easier and more popular objectives in all of the Stronghold. Out of Towners Dome is the next dome to the west and is home to more challenging, mostly bolted, routes than the other domes in this canyon.
Follow a climber’s trail on the south side of a typically dry creek bed into the canyon that is home to Entrance, Exit, Wasteland and Out of Towners domes. The trail crosses the creek bed to the west as the creek bends south. Continue for a short distance keeping an eye out for cairns on the right side. Follow these cairns up the loose hill through vegetation and boulders to almost the base of the southeast face of Entrance Dome. Traverse left following cairns up to a gully where you will spot the bolt line for Full Circle. Crack Man, located at the far west end of the dome, is going to require you to climb any one of many Exit Dome routes to reach it.
Second Wind- 3 Pitches- 5.8PG/
Second Guess- 3 Pitches- 5.10-PG/
Silhouettes- 3 Pitches- 5.7/
Balkan Queen- 5.9R/
Falconlore- 3 Pitches- 5.10+PG/
Birthday Boogie- 5.9PG/
Big Sleep- 4 Pitches- 5.9+PG/
Full Circle- 5 Pitches- 5.10**/ The local guide calls this route “PG”. MP.com calls it 5.10+. It felt more 5.10a by Cochise standards with no PG that I felt. Many solid gear placement opportunities were actually bolted over. The local guide had a gear call for doubles to #2 + a #3. The only pitch that would come close to using a single rack was the 4th-5th pitch combination. You definitely do not need a double rack. The #3 is not mandatory for any crux but does fit nicely in a pod between bolts on the 3rd pitch and can be used on the 5th pitch. The route has plenty of bolts. Any run out that exists is on easy ground. All belays offer relatively comfortable stances or ledges. The first pitch is a junk pitch to get you started out of the steep gully below. Follow the bolts on low angled ground. The 2nd pitch offers a short section of steep face climbing. The 3rd pitch, where the rock improves, offers the best climbing of the day, following a left leaning crack/corner bypassing a small roof on your right and then traversing right above it on steep and exposed but positive ground where the grade eases off considerably to a comfortable gear belay just beyond a fixed rap. The 4th and 5th pitches can be combined for a long pitch. A short, steep and fun face on good rock through three bolts leads to finger and hand jams for just a second, then a ledge. Traverse out right and around to the right side of an arete to continue up fun, steep and positive climbing via plenty of gear. Belay off of a large tree atop the wall. Dow
Instant Karma- 5.10+/
Echoes- 4 Pitches- 5.10-PG***/ Although nothing special, the route “Echoes” does offer up one of the few pure multi-pitch trad routes on the east side. The first pitch does harbor a single bolt. Entrance Dome’s obvious left to right leaning crack on its prominent upper southeast face is the 2nd pitch of Echoes and is one of the more engaging 5.9 trad pitches in the Stronghold as you traverse its entire length. The 3rd pitch involves an airy traverse back left. The 4th pitch harbors the crux moves at the grade but is much easier and less work than the 2nd pitch. Mostly hero holds up softer rock on the fourth pitch. The approach is heinous and you would be better served climbing the first three pitches of Full Circle vs scrambling up what the book references as the approach gully and then making the “grand traverse” right to the base of the route on the upper headwall. Dow
Whores of Babylon- 4 Pitches- 5.10PG/
Crack Man, 5.10***/ Crack Man is a single pitch route that leads to the true summit of Entrance Dome via climbing lower routes on Exit Dome. It offers the best pitch of trad climbing on either Dome albeit it still includes two bolts. MP.com rates it at 5.10 and I concur. Mark’s Arete, 5.9, 2 pitches, is the best route on Exit Dome to use to reach Crack Man as they are in line with each other. Mark’s Arete can easily be reached from the rope up spot for Wasteland Dome. However, you can climb any of the routes on Exit Dome, from Iron Man to the Big Chill, to reach Crack Man. This route reaches the true summit of Entrance Dome and provides amazing views in all directions. You are looking down on Wasteland Dome to the west. There is a fixed rap climbers right near the top of the route that takes you back down to the broad ledge between Exit and Entrance Dome where you would then scramble down to the top of Sole Man, but the scrambling off the north takes you to a cool corridor that reaches the top of the Wasteland Dome gully in short order.
From the broad ledges between the summit of Entrance Dome and the top of Exit Dome, head up to the towering southwestern face of Entrance Dome. There is a short distance of 4th class scrambling needed to reach a small ledge at a fixed belay anchor.
1st Pitch- 170’-5.10/ Traverse up and right on steep, slightly overhanging features to clip a bolt. The crux climbing is through the next few meters. Climb steep ground, trying to avoid the chossy larger crack to the left. I did some wide stemming here so I could place solid gear left, but climb right. Several solid moves at the grade. Trend up and left as the angle eases through another bolt and much easier face climbing on large features to the summit shoulder. Continue up to a comfortable belay where you can sling a block. The true summit is just meters further east.
You can make one double rope rap off the route and then rap Sole Man, but my preferred descent is to scramble 5th class down to the northeast. Then take a cool corridor filled with tall pines back west to the top of the Wasteland Dome gully. Bushwhack down the gully to a slung large tree where one 100’ rap down the gully is necessary. Good cord on a tree is in place as of 2023. Do not use the existing hand line as of 2023. Continue down the gully to the gear up spot for Wasteland Dome (large shade tree) and traverse back left to retrieve your packs from the base of Mark’s Arete if you climbed that route or continue descending the well-traveled Wasteland Dome gully back to the trail below.
Single 60m rope for the Wasteland Dome gully rap if walking off the back side. Double ropes if rapping the route back to the broad ledge and eventually rapping Sole Man. Single rack from micro to #2. Offset cams or wires. Mix of draws and slings. The local guide references doubles to #4 but the guide book author has obviously not climbed the route.