Mountain Project Logo
To save paper & ink, use the [Hide] controls next to photos and comments so you only print what you need.

Illusion Wall

Washington > Northwest Region > Darrington > Squire Creek Walls

Description

At the southern end of Squire creek wall is a steep face low on the wall. At about 1000 ft. tall it has some great multi pitch routes.

Getting There

Approach via squire creek trail up to where the old road ends, about 1.5 miles. Right after a gravel wash there a couple large logs along the trail, turn right here down through the valley along a climbers trail. Follow the trail down to the creek and cross at a very large log the starts out 100' or so back from the stream.  Half way across the creek, the main log is joined by another log branching left - take that left branch.  After the logs head up stream for about 100 feet then head right and uphill up a rocky streambed. Follow the streambed uphill for about 400 feet then turn of right on a faint trail through the woods. Follow this trail up to the base of the wall. You should reach a small flat spot, descent bivy, next to a very large tree right before you start heading up the slabs. From here continue onto slabs then up and left aiming for a small gulley with a tattered fixed line, usually wet through here. Continue up the gully and slabs aiming for the wall above. Eventually head up and left to reach the base of the wall and the start of the routes.

Routes from Left to Right

5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 8
The Page
Trad, Sport 9 pitches
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 25
Excalibur
Trad 10 pitches
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 5
The Epic Tail of Sir Norbert
Trad 10 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Page
 8
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad, Sport 9 pitches
Excalibur
 25
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad 10 pitches
The Epic Tail of Sir Norbert
 5
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad 10 pitches

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Illusion Wall Overlay by the late great Chris Greyell
[Hide Photo] Illusion Wall Overlay by the late great Chris Greyell
Squire creek walls in all their glory.
<br>
Waterfall Basin is left, further south and up the valley, nearer base of Three Fingers.
[Hide Photo] Squire creek walls in all their glory. Waterfall Basin is left, further south and up the valley, nearer base of Three Fingers.
Illusion Wall routes: 
<br>

<br>
Red: The Page
<br>
Yellow: Excalibur
<br>
Green: Holy Greyell
<br>
Blue: Schizophrenic
<br>
Purple: Sir Norbert. 
<br>

<br>
Route lines are approximate--navigation is easy once on route. All routes begin off of the bivy platform.
[Hide Photo] Illusion Wall routes: Red: The Page Yellow: Excalibur Green: Holy Greyell Blue: Schizophrenic Purple: Sir Norbert. Route lines are approximate--navigation is easy once on route. All rou…
The Base of Illusion Wall. Great place to Bivy
[Hide Photo] The Base of Illusion Wall. Great place to Bivy

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Tess Wendel
Seattle, WA
[Hide Comment] Just a note on the approach. The Squire Creek road (now trail) goes through a cute little deciduous forest on top of some washout debris before hitting 3 wash areas. The third washout area is where you'll find the little trail down to the river crossing. If you follow the creek/ 2nd washout down to the main river you'll see there is a log down that will get you across but it doesn't connect to anything. The tree crossing the river on the third washout leads to more of a gravel sandbed that allows you to travel upstream to the left to find the old streambed leading up into the woods. I'd call the trail from the streambed to be well established (it was a pleasure to hike on) until you hit the first bivy spot. It took us a little more time than expected to get from the bivy from the base of the climb so factor that in. Jun 28, 2016
Jon Nelson
Redmond, WA
[Hide Comment] I'm drawn now to this 'cute little deciduous forest'.

Nice description, thanks - Jun 28, 2016
BrokenChairs 88
Denver, CO
[Hide Comment] Tess's directions are spot on. The climbers trail (to your right) starts immediately after crossing the 3rd major wash. If you get to the large sign a couple hundred feet after the wash you've gone too far. Turn around and look for a faint trail within 10' of the third wash. After the enjoyable portion of the trail (similar to the Upper Town Wall Trail at Index) you come to a bivy spot with a large tree. From there the wall will come into view (and you'll realize why it's called illusion wall). Expect sustained B1 bushwhacking with some B2 cruxes thrown in for good measure. There were three hand lines through this portion of the approach. Like Tess said plan on this approach taking LONGER than you might have anticipated from other approach directions.

There was no water running anywhere after the river so make sure to fill up before starting up the stream bed and into the woods. 9/3/17 Sep 5, 2017
Snah Ntrm
Seattle
[Hide Comment] The directions to Illusion Wall, as of May 2019, are the same mentioned by Tess & BrokenChains: On the 3rd washout follow a trail/creek to Squire Creek. At Squire Creek, travel upstream to a large downed tree and cross. Find the old stream bed and follow it until you reach a "trail". Be prepared for a bushwack and some trail finding. Expect this approach to take at least a couple of hours. As far as climbing goes - the granite is clean and there is a ton of potential. We tried Schizophrenic, which can be found in Brette's Guide. It was a stellar climb and well-worth the effort. May 31, 2019
Dan Bookless
Portland, OR
[Hide Comment] In regard to the B2 bushwacking; I would probably only grade the approach as B1+. My partner and I were both able to onsight it. However, we did misstep and blow our send on the way back to the car. Honestly if you follow your nose and look for signs of foot traffic you'll figure it out. Furthermore, the illusion wall is spectacular. Beautiful setting, perfect rock (albeit slabby), no crowds, just you and nature. It took us 2 hours and 20 minutes to hike from the car to the base of the climbs, had enough daylight to climb Excalibur and 3 pitches of the page and still make it back to the care at 7pm. Jun 4, 2019
Serge Smirnov
Seattle, WA
[Hide Comment] One can find bushwhacking of unlimited difficulty on the approach (I did), but it's all avoidable. The ideal path involves grabbing vegetation for only 2 reasons: (1) clear the view of the foot path below it; (2) as a hand line along some short featurless slab sections.

1) To find the turn off from the hikers trail, the most fool-proof way is to take the hikers trail (2 miles) all the way to the old wooden bulletin board "Squire Ck. #654", then backtrack 120 feet.

2) The trail down to Squire Creek stays mostly parallel to a wash. A couple hundred feet before the creek, it joins the wash. But then, within 50 feet, it leaves the wash and turns back left into the woods. This gets you to the intended beginning of the crossing log ("100' or so back from the stream"). If you miss the turn back into the woods and follow the wash all the way to the creek, you'll have to mantle onto the crossing log about chest high.

3) Traveling up the wash away from Squire Creek, don't take the first forest trail visible on the right - that goes nowhere useful. Stay in the wash for another 1-2 minutes and take the 2nd trail (marked by a cairn). The correct trail should immediately ascend and start crossing logs with human-carved steps within a couple of minutes.

4) ~1 minute past the flat dirt bivy spot with a large tree, you come to a slab. Get on it and walk up. Half way up the slab is a 2-bolt anchor. Keep going to the top of the slab, eventually up an optional hand line and into a wet gully. There is a spinning foot-long piece of 2x4 screwed to the rock in the gully. May have to use vegetation as hand lines.

5) Although the path up the slabs mostly trends left, there is one section where the best option briefly goes right to avoid a densely wooded section. Seems many push straight up through the woods, but a diagonal slab ledge up and right (with another hand line) avoids that. Aug 16, 2020