For those who live on the east side of the Stronghold, Entrance and Exit Domes give as grand a view from the east as the Rockfellow Group does. Their broad southeast faces fill 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 including Ladies Man, 5.10+, Sole Man, 5.9+, Jeneric Stain, 5.9PG, Caveman, 5.9PG, and Mark’s Arete, 5.9. 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.
There are conflicting opinions on the best approach option to Exit Dome routes in the guide and on MP.com. The best way to approach all of the Exit Dome routes is simply to head into the canyon as you would for Entrance Dome, which means you will be leaving the wash early to start following cairns up and right as though you were heading for the SE facing Entrance Dome routes, i.e., Full Circle. Approximately 100’ before you reach Full Circle (the base of Entrance Dome’s SE face) traverse left at the top of a gully and follow intermittent cairns (2023) west as you circumvent Entrance Dome. The trick is not to be sucked to high as you traverse through brush, but also not to lose any elevation. Eventually several small fins of rock start to protrude. Gain the top of these slick rock opportunities to avoid brush and make it to a cave like atmosphere created by a very large fin of rock laying at the center of the south face of Exit Dome. Iron Man, Ladies Man and Sole Man all start here. There is one bolt line to the east that is Maintenance Man, which is not a worthy route. Iron Man and Ladies Man share the same fixed rap stations. When climbing Sole Man, which is a three-pitch route, you can rap west into a gully formed by the massive fin below and climb Grain Surgery, JenEric Stain, Trigger Happy and Cave Man which all share the same top rap station with Sole Man. To reach Mark's Arete, circumvent the large fin of rock that forms a steep gully with Exit Dome, to the south. Bushwhack and scramble along Exit Dome keeping an eye out for a pair of bolts on a clean arete above a horizonal dike, approximately 50’ up. This is Mark’s Arete. This route can very easily be reached from the base of Wasteland Dome as well, maybe in five minutes.
Maintenance Man- 5.10PG/
Iron Man- 2 Pitches- 5.8+/ Iron Man is my least favorite route that I have climbed on the south face of Exit Dome, but still worth doing if you are there. It felt contrived from the first pitch climbing Ladies Man’s first four bolts, bowing out right on boring face and then crossing Ladies Man at the top of its first pitch anchor and then finishing on Ladies Man’s 2nd pitch corner to the fixed rap. The corner climbing up from the anchor plus a fun roof pull, does make the 2nd pitch worth climbing. Fixed rap hangers are at the top of the wall. All of the routes on this wall are multi pitch. Both MP.com and the local guide, as of 2023, reference you need double ropes to rap these routes. However, a competent team can get down all of these routes more efficiently with a 70m rope which would also assist with combining upper pitches on the three pitch routes. Dow
Ladies Man- 2 Pitches- 5.10+/ MP.Com has Ladies Man rated at 5.10+ and I concur. However, on lead I broke a foot hold at the crux which required a reach dependent move on the 2nd pitch, that my 2nd said made a better hold for him as a result. In any regard, the climbing through the water streak of the 2nd pitch offers sustained climbing in the 5.10 range. Ladies Man and Sole Man, 5.9, are the two best routes on the south face of Exit Dome. The first pitch follows bolts up easy ground to a sustained short face, 5.10-, made up of edges and side pulls. You end up at comfortable long narrow ledge below a brownish water streak where the features have obviously been polished a bit. The first move off the deck to reach the first clip of the 2nd pitch gets your attention at the grade. The crux of the route is a few meters higher where I broke a foot hold. The rock quality in the water streak is a bit suspect despite its dark color. Sustained edging and side pulling leads through bolts to a fun joint finish with Iron Man on lighter colored rock featuring large features to pull on. One bolt, a small and medium gear piece and one solid horn slung protect this finish well. The climbing on this section is well below grade, but fun and steep. Fixed rap hangers are at the top of the wall. Dow
Sole Man- 3 Pitches- 5.9+/ Sole Man is not near challenging as Ladies Man, but the top two pitches can be combined for a stellar lead on good and varied rock. The sequential stemming moves through the first ten meters of the 2nd pitch are full on for the grade and more challenging than several 5.10- pitches on this wall. I combined these top two pitches on lead with double 60m’s along with one meter of simul climbing by my 2nd. This whole wall is better served with a single 70 rope than doubles as the book and MP.com suggest. The 1st pitch is nothing overly interesting, just another bolted face climb necessary to reach the better climbing up high on this wall, which is typical for most of the routes on Exit Dome. The local guide discusses double #4’s along with a #5 for the 5.4 3rd pitch, but most leading at this grade in Cochise will be fine just clipping the 2nd pitch anchor and running it out to the 3rd pitch anchor with a slung feature here or there. The 3rd pitch is basically a scramble. Dow
Grain Surgery- 2 Pitches- 5.8+PG/
JenEric Stain- 2 Pitches- 5.9PG/ This is yet another water streak route on Exit Dome. MP.com mentions that the first pitch of JenEric is more challenging that the first 5.10 pitch on Trigger Happy. Seems fairly accurate to me, therefore this is not the best lead for the budding 5.9 sport climber. It is bolted conservatively but more than the five clips listed in the local guide. This first pitch is long and the bolting is spacious via sustained face climbing. On top of that this is also the “crunchiest” route on Exit Dome with half of the edges shedding some rock as I weighted them. This is almost exclusively an edge and side pull climb. The rock is darker than the routes further east, but less trafficked for sure. The 2nd pitch is adventurous as well for its grade, 5.7+PG. Dow
Caveman- 2 Pitches- 5.9PG/ Caveman, the furthest west of this central group of Exit Dome routes, is the most unique of the group. The first pitch climbs right leaning cracks that are right of an obvious weakness that leads through a hole. It is a crusty pitch, with nothing extraordinary about it. Near the top, it trends left to a comfortable fixed chain belay directly beneath the cool tunnel hole. The 2nd pitch is wildly cool fun. Stem up through the hole via two bolts. The crux of the pitch, in light rain anyway, is the exit moves out top as you start to trend right and aim for the shared top rap with Sole Man. Once you reach these chains, you can squeeze under the arch to continue to Crack Man, 5.10, the best pitch on Exit Dome or rap Sole Man with a single 70m. Dow
Leftist Tendencies- 2 Pitches- 5.11+/
Slow Bolt to China- 2 Pitches- 5.9PG/
Mark’s Arete- 2 Pitches- 5.9/ The local guide mentions this route but does not provide any beta on it as of 2023. Mark’s Arete is the perfect route to combine with Crack Man, connecting Exit Dome to the true summit of Entrance Dome. They are right in line with each other. If climbing at Exit Dome, circumvent the large fin of rock that forms a gully with Exit Dome to the south. Bushwhack and scramble west and stop when you locate an arete with two bolts spaced relatively close on a sharp part of the arete, about 50’ up, above a wide horizontal dike. Climb through broken blocks to reach that section of the arete, climb through the bolts and pull a small roof via slab and continue up to a fixed anchor at a comfortable stance. The 2nd pitch climbs directly up and then takes the right leaning cracks up and left. MP.com thought this pitch was 5.9 and I suppose I concur but maybe just for a move. After the fun steep right leaning crack, the angle eases as you deal with rope drag to the broad ledge between Exit Dome and Entrance Dome. Dow
Big Chill- 2 Pitches- 5.8/