|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).
80 Total Routes
['4 Stars',7],['3 Stars',7],['2 Stars',34],['1 Star',31],['Bomb',0]
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Kettle Valley (Curlew):
Featured Route For Kettle Valley (Curlew)
Baby Snakes 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a WA
: ... : Viper Head
BABY SNAKES 5.10a * (2 pitches) GThis is a good trad route that follows the cracks and corners right of the open Viper's mouth to the large pine on top. P1 (120', 5.8) - From the lower edge (directly above "Snake Pit"), climb the steep left facing corner and belay in the alcove.P2 (50', 5.10a) - Follow the overhanging corner left (#3 camalot needed here) and pull around the roof to belay above at the huge pine.Note; it is possible to walk off to the east from the top of the 1st p...[more] Browse More Classics in WA
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Viper Head from the south
Morning Rock from the south
Tonata Creek Wall (Wall of Early Morning Light) fr...
Shangri La from the east
The BookStore from the east
BETA PHOTO: Kettle Valley - map of various crags.
Tonata Creek Wall from the NE
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