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Kettle Valley (Curlew)

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Bookstore, The 
Canine Cliff 
Morning Rock 
Shangri La 
Shield, The 
Tonata Creek Wall - Lower Wall 
Tonata Creek Wall - Wall of Early Morning Light 
Viper Head 

Kettle Valley (Curlew) 

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Elevation: 1,850'
Location: 48.905, -118.7255 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 3,722
Administrators: Peter Franzen, Jon Nelson, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: applewood on Jun 18, 2013
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Kettle Valley (west end)


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.

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 (be respectful and careful not to go onto private lands, as there is a lot of it surrounding the public crags). 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 - some of the best!
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 - 6 sport and TR routes in a remote setting with the best rock around, 55 to 160' long, 5.7 to 5.11a

The route grading tends to follow old school standards, rather than newer and softer trends.

Note to all climbers this is a rural residential area with public lands interspersed with private property, please do your best to minimize your impact and presence; pack it in-pack it out, and leave no trace. Potential route developers, please respect local etiquette and avoid placing bolts where gear will do, make any bolts or top anchors camouflaged, use stainless steel hardware as much as possible and don't mix your metals. Any comments and input on existing or new routes is much appreciated.

Getting There 

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).

Climbing Season

87 Total Routes

['4 Stars',7],['3 Stars',7],['2 Stars',38],['1 Star',34],['Bomb',0]

Featured Route For Kettle Valley (Curlew)
The Shield Direct - topo

The Shield Direct 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  WA : Okanogan : ... : The Shield
THE SHIELD DIRECT 5.10a ** (160') F (8b)A great long slab climb. Begin at the left end of the lower face (by the aspen tree), climbing friction and small nubbin moves to the big ledge (5.11a if the crack is seeping). Continue up the easier upper face on excellent rock to the 2 bolt anchor. 30' of 4th class leads to the top which is easy to walk off of to the south.Upper slab can be climbed alone (possible then to lower from top anchors with a 60m rope) - 5.9 ** 100' F(5b)....[more]   Browse More Classics in WA

Photos of Kettle Valley (Curlew) Slideshow Add Photo
The BookStore from the east
The BookStore from the east
Viper Head from the south
Viper Head from the south
The Bookstore from the south
The Bookstore from the south
Morning Rock from the south
Morning Rock from the south
Tonata Creek Wall (Wall of Early Morning Light) from the east
Tonata Creek Wall (Wall of Early Morning Light) fr...
Kettle Valley - map of various crags.
BETA PHOTO: Kettle Valley - map of various crags.
Shangri La from the east
Shangri La from the east
The Shield from the NE
The Shield from the NE
Comments on Kettle Valley (Curlew) Add Comment
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By applewood
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.