Mount Hull - Lower SW Face (Oroville) Rock Climbing
|GPS:||48.879, -119.409 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
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|Shared By:||applewood on Jun 20, 2013|
|Admins:||Scott Coldiron, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick, Nate Ball|
DescriptionThe SW face of Mt Hull, along the east side of the northern Okanogan Valley, is a huge open area with many distinct cliffs and potential for thousands of routes.
Most of these cliffs are on public lands (BLM and Forest Service), yet all the access is via private lands (except for the public Whistler Canyon trailhead and the county gravel pit to the north). There are several possible access points - the shorter more direct ones are by permission of landowner, on an individual basis only. Currently the only recommended public access is from the north from Whistler Canyon Trailhead (turn right off of trail #100 after about 3/4 mile and head through the South Canyon for about a mile), or from the County Gravel pit about a 1/2 south of Whistler Canyon Trailhead.
These cliffs are dry and open (extensively burned in the early part of the century), and range in elevation from 1300 to 2600'. There is abundant wildlife in the area, but watch out for rattle snakes from mid April to mid October!
Currently there are about 100 routes (mostly sport, some mixed, and a few trad), on fine quality gneiss, ranging from 5.2 to 5.11+, between 50' and 2 pitches long. Generally the bolting ethic calls for using gear when available and safe, but there are some exceptions... The route grading (especially in the lower grades) tends to follow old school standards, rather than newer and softer trends. There is also an abundance of loose rock around the existing routes so helmets are advisable.
- Note to all climbers even though this is a somewhat remote area and off the beaten path, 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 don't place bolts next to possible gear placements. Ideally 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.
- Note - a key to route descriptions;
The established areas include (listed from the south to north);
High and Away Crag - Due east of The Far East on the Upper Bench (below the huge upper East Wall) (undeveloped)
The Far East - Remote wall east of Big Butte with great rock and the best route at Hull ("Lost World").
The Middle East - On the way to the Far East from Big Butte (undeveloped)
Big Butte - A wide variety of easy to moderate routes, sport, mixed and trad.
Lower Wall - A short pleasant crag with a few great routes on uniquely featured rock.
Bonsai Crag - Easy access, short and a bit crumbly but steep and fun.
West Wall - Moderate sport and mixed climbing, in a great location
The Nose - Easy to moderate climbing, sport, mixed and trad, with a short approach.
OTID Rock - "Oroville Tonasket Irrigation District" parcel just beside and north of the main orchard parking area. Close and fun, but also not public land....
5.13/Weeping Wall - The shortest approach and the hardest routes (mostly sport).
Boundary Wall - (undeveloped)
Hidden Valley - Isolated with great rock and mostly hard sport climbs
Flying Pig Wall - Easy climbs next to Turtle Island. A good shaded beginner crag.
Turtle Island - Beautiful location mostly moderate climbs, sport, mixed and trad.
Tortuga - The west end of Turtle Island.
Far Tortuga - Oldest routes on Hull (pre-fire development)
Gravel Pit Wall - The lower west facing wall just east of the gravel pit. Easy access.
climbing is on public land, parking and access is not Details
All the orchard land at the base of the cliffs is private. The only public access is from the north (via Whistler Canyon Trailhead).
Getting ThereLocated about 12 miles North of Tonasket on Hwy 97.
There are several possible access points - the shorter more direct ones are by permission of landowner, on an individual basis only - the only public access is from the north (from Whistler Canyon Trailhead, turning right off of trail #100 after about 3/4 mile and heading through the South Canyon for about a mile to the north end of the SW face ("Far Tortuga"), or from the County Gravel pit about a mile south of Whistler Canyon Trailhead, which reduces the approach by about two miles);
The first area developed after the fire, and one of the most prominent cliffs as you drive from Tonasket, is BIG BUTTE (aka BIG BUTT) The large S and W facing cliff at mid level (just west of the unburned fir and pine valley), prominently visible NE of the fruit stand (just north of the new native smoke shack/gas station). Approach time about 20 minute. TURTLE ISLAND is a further 10 minute hike N, about 1/2 mile from the base of BIG BUTTE W face. It has a variety of rock in a lovely unburned forest. FAR TORTUGA is located another couple of minutes walk north around the west face. BOUNDARY WALL is the long W facing cliff between TURTLE ISLAND and BIG BUTTE, with HIDDEN VALLEY is on its East side, while BENCH ROCK (the higher large west-facing cliff) is about ¼ mile further East.
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