Part of the North Walls all lit up...
The North Side is the stunning spread of columns and corners on the typically sunny side of the canyon. Being south facing, the climbing season is a bit shorter due to the heat of the summer, though spring and fall temperatures are excellent.
Currently most of the routes are in the moderate to 5.11 range, with many long 5.10s that are often regarded as heroic climbs. Some recommended routes would be the tried and true, Tralfamador (5.9), the long and proud Bertilak (5.11), or the exposed Lost Highway (5.10). One excellent 5.12 exists, Edge of an Age, a striking finger crack system on an arete.
The majority of the North Side has been separated into five main walls. Not included yet is the long stretch of the tiered shorter cliffs west of the Hobel Wall. From one wall to the next is generally short sections of very poor quality and loose rock that most likely will never have climbing routes.
From east to west (as one would approach from FR527) or Right to Left as viewed from the South Side:
- People's Court - short wall just as the canyon starts.
- Tralfamadore Buttress - holds some of the longest and cleanest of moderates at Volunteer, including Beautiful Day (5.8) and its namesake. Identifying landmark of the area is the Tralfamador roof, which you get a glimpse of when walking the rim.
- The Middle Ages - the stretch of routes that reside in the middle of the North Side. One identifying landmark when viewed from the South Side is the furthest west dark brown and black stains between Bertilak and Green Knight.
- Cwm Laude Wall - Unfairly dwarfed by the height of the rest of the wall, this wall currently holds high quality routes in the 60-80ft range (taller than Paradise Forks' Pillow Wall for perspective). This is the bright yellow, columnar basalt your eyes would be drawn to when viewed from the South Side. One identifying feature for the start of the wall, frankly, is the large white bird poo stain near the lip, under an A-frame.
- The Hobel Wall - just past the dubious super marios type columnar step stones from the Cwm Laude Wall is a wall more reminiscent of Paradise Forks, which currently only has a couple of documented routes.
The descriptions for individual areas identify landmarks on the rim to help you locate them and the tops of the routes. With either side of the canyon, if its your first time, one method to identify routes is to send your partner on the other side and guide them to the tops, using the overview pictures.
You can park off the main road, or park on the South Side and it is a short walk around.
Climbing Season For the Volunteer Canyon area.
Weather station 9.7 miles from here
26 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',5],['3 Stars',9],['2 Stars',11],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in North Side
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in North Side
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for North Side:
Featured Route For North Side
Edge of an Age 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Arizona
: Northern Arizona
: ... : Tralfamadore Buttress
At the heart of the North side is one of its proudest sectors, having the longest continuous stone. A prow is formed to the left of the Book of Wasps where a striking finger crack system wanders on both sides and almost the whole length of its arete.Edge of an Age features exposed position, locker finger jams, and sporty movement. Begin with moderate corner and splitter fingers above the airy belay stance. Traverse onto the "tooth" and up to the fin with tricky pro. Power through the steep crux,...[more] Browse More Classics in Arizona
The Shield, 5.10 as referenced in Toula's, Cheap W...
BETA PHOTO: the Cwm Laude Wall, west end of the North Side of ...
BETA PHOTO: Cwm Laude Wall, arrow marks a landmark, the 'Truff...
BETA PHOTO: North side overview showing some new and previousl...
on another unnamed, classic route