|Kettle Valley (Curlew)
The Kettle Valley is a lovely rural area with a series of granite (with some granodiorite and gneiss) cliffs along both sides of the Kettle River just a few miles West of Curlew. It is a very scenic valley with great hiking and swimming opportunities to compliment a day of climbing (but be careful not to go onto private lands, as there is a lot of it surrounding the public crags).
Climbing started here in the late 70's with a few adventurous crack climbs, but it was the 90's and the combination of bolts and the Curlew Job Corps climbing program that really spurred route development. The valley has a variety of face and crack climbs, and although many of the routes have bolts, many are mixed and require at least a piece or two of gear. There are now over 250 routes (ranging from 25 to 300' long) along both sides of the valley on a mix of public and private land. Unfortunately some of the best routes are on private land, and since these now have access issues they will not be listed in this guide. Instead the following are the areas with open access (Listed from east to west);
Morning Rock - 40 routes, sport, mixed and trad up to 3 pitches, 5.2 to 5.12c
Viper Head - 12 routes, sport, mixed and trad up to 2 pitches, 5.7 to 5.10d
Roadside - 3 sport climbs, 60' long 5.10a to 5.11a
Canine Cliff - 3 mixed and trad routes in a remote setting, 160' long 5.9 to 5.10a
The Bookstore - 45 routes, sport, mixed and trad up to 160' long, 5.3 to 5.12a
Riverside - 6 routes, sport and mixed up to 85' long, 5.7 to 5.11d
Ridgeback - 4 routes, mostly trad 130' long, 5.10a to 5.11b
All Star Slabs - 8 routes, sport and mixed, up to 90' long, 5.2 to 5.8
Tonata Creek Wall - 12 routes, sport and mixed, up to 2 pitches, 5.6 to 5.11b
Shangri-La - 14 routes, sport, mixed and trad, up to 85' long, 5.6 to 5.11d
The Shield - 4 sport routes in a remote setting, 40 to 160' long, 5.8 to 5.11a
The route grading tends to follow old school standards, rather than newer and softer trends.
Drive west from Curlew until it is possible to see the cliffs. The most popular climbing is on the north side of the river (gravel road side).
82 Total Routes
['4 Stars',7],['3 Stars',7],['2 Stars',35],['1 Star',32],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For Kettle Valley (Curlew)
Tag Team 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a WA
: ... : Ridgeback
TAG TEAM 5.10a ** (130') GThe right side diagonal cracks beginning in the shallow corner at the clump of choke cherries. Climb the corner and intermittent cracks on the right, through committing cruxes to the cold shut anchors on top....[more] Browse More Classics in WA
Latest Regional Forum Messages
Shangri La from the east
BETA PHOTO: Kettle Valley - map of various crags.
Viper Head from the south
Morning Rock from the south
The BookStore from the east
Tonata Creek Wall (Wall of Early Morning Light) fr...
Tonata Creek Wall from the NE
From: Tonasket, WA
Mar 11, 2014
The Kettle Valley is listed in the Okanogan Region here, although it is the only area in this region not in Okanogan County. It is in Ferry County, and is located about an hour's drive east of Tonasket (or half an hour north of Republic). Unlike the rest of the Okanogan region, the rock here is granite, and tends to be of high quality.