Marley Bassett prepares to clean Son of a Birch.

Polished Wall Rock Guide Updates

Polished Wall is located at Kinnaird Bluffs in Castlegar, British Columbia. Follow the trail up and to the left (North) from Open Book Wall (page 29 of the West Kootenay Rock Guide). It’s an excellent wall for beginner sport and trad climbers although it’s important to note that the anchors are not easily accessible from above.

In order to fit most of the routes on the main wall into one topo image, a fish-eye lens was used so you’ll notice some of the distances appear skewed. The two-pitch routes Reflections, Via Escondida and Lazy River all require two rappels as they top out around the 37m mark.

For route and access descriptions please download the West Kootenay Rock Guide updates.

Marley Bassett prepares to clean Son of a Birch.

Marley Bassett prepares to toprope Son of a Birch.

RFW Wall Rock Guide Updates

RFW Wall is located just past Scottie’s Marina on Broadwater Road. It features five of the best moderate trad/mixed routes in the area. However, please note there is poison ivy in this area. Steps have been taken to eradicate it but it’s wise to be wary of any plant with “leaves of three.”

For route and access descriptions please see page 21 of the West Kootenay Rock Guide. For a written description of La Femme Fromage, download the West Kootenay Rock Guide updates.

RFW Wall Rock Guide Updates: This is the 12th in a regular series showcasing the new rock climbing routes in the West Kootenay Region of south-central British Columbia. For written descriptions of these and other routes, download the West Kootenay Rock Guide updates.

Wapiti Wall Rock Guide Updates

For further descriptions about climbs in the Arrow Lakes area near the community of Castlegar in south-central British Columbia, Canada, refer to page 19 of the West Kootenay Rock Guide. Access: This wall has, arguably, the easiest access in the Kootenays. (The name comes from the Cree word for “elk.”) It is located 650m south of Scottie’s Marina. You can’t miss it as you drive towards Scottie’s because the wall is so close to the road it’s practically on it. For parking, the best option is to do a U-Turn at Scottie’s, drive back to the wall and use the narrow pullout on the lake side of the road. There are three separate walls here with 14 climbs on them. Please note, Parting Gift has been overrun with poison ivy lately. Directors of TAWKROC will be dealing with it soon but in the meantime, please avoid any plants with “leaves of three.”

The Wapiti Wall Rock Guide Updates: This is the tenth in a regular series showcasing the new rock climbing routes in the West Kootenay Region of south-central British Columbia. For written descriptions of these and other routes, download the West Kootenay Rock Guide updates.

The Ant Hill Rock Guide Updates

For further descriptions about climbs at the CIC Slabs area in the city of Nelson in south-central British Columbia, Canada, refer to page 61 of the West Kootenay Rock Guide. Access: The Ant Hill is located just below the Sunnyside Crag near the West side of the Svoboda parking lot. (See page 67 of the West Kootenay Rock Guide for a description on how to reach the Sunnyside Crag). This is a good wall to take your young kids to because it’s easy to walk to (it’s only 40 feet away from the parking lot), the anchors are easy to reach from above and it offers the only documented 5.2 in the area.

 

The Ant Hill Rock Guide Updates: This is the ninth in a regular series showcasing the new rock climbing routes in the West Kootenay Region of south-central British Columbia. For written descriptions of these and other routes, download the 2014 West Kootenay Rock Guide updates.

This shows where you can find the Svoboda parking lot in Nelson and where Sunnyside and Ant Hill are located in relation to it.

Yellow Sling Wall Rock Guide Updates

For further descriptions about climbs at the Kinnaird Bluffs area in the community of Castlegar in south-central British Columbia, Canada, refer to page 27 of the West Kootenay Rock Guide.

Access: See page 35 of the West Kootenay Rock Guide for a description on how to reach the Yellow Sling Wall and Red Rocks Wall from the Kinnaird parking area. This wall is an excellent early/late season one but tends to be a solar oven in the height of the summer. It offers everything from 5.4 trad to 5.12+ sport and the four pack of Extended Vacation, Yellow Sling, Glory Hole and Bakers Day Off are definite must-dos. However, note that the last two are 28m long and you’ll need 14 quickdraws for Glory Hole.

As with all climbing at Kinnaird, please be respectful of the nearby neighbours – these walls act like natural amphitheaters and every word you utter can be heard with surprising clarity by nearby residents. Also, do not cut through anyone’s yard or property to access the crags.

Yellow Sling Wall Rock Guide Updates: This is the eight in a regular series showcasing the new rock climbing routes in the West Kootenay Region of south-central British Columbia. For written descriptions of these and other routes, download the West Kootenay Rock Guide updates.

This overview of Kinnaird Bluffs shows Yellow Sling Wall and Red Rocks wall in relation to the seven other walls at this area.

Zebra Wall Rock Guide Updates

For further descriptions about climbs in the Arrow Lakes region between the community of Robson and Syringa Provincial Park in south-central British Columbia, refer to page 19 of the West Kootenay Rock Guide. Access: Zebra Wall is located on Broadwater Rd. just north of Scottie’s Marina and around the first corner. There are five sport climbs there ranging from 5.10a to 5.11b and the tallest is 28m long. (You’ll need 14 quickdraws.)

Zebra Wall Rock Guide Updates: This is the seventh in a regular series showcasing the new rock climbing routes in the West Kootenay Region of south-central British Columbia. For written descriptions of these and other routes, download the West Kootenay Rock Guide updates.

Hall Siding Rock Guide Updates

For further descriptions about the climbs at Hall Siding between Nelson and Salmo, British Columbia, refer to page 76 of the West Kootenay Rock Guide. Access: Hall Siding is located 20km south of Nelson towards Salmo. (Note: The WKRG erroneously stated the crag’s position in relation to Hall Siding Road – it is, in fact, 1.5km south of the road.)

Hall Siding Rock Guide Updates: This is the sixth in a regular series showcasing the new rock climbing routes in the West Kootenay Region of south-central British Columbia. For written descriptions of these and other routes, download the 2014 West Kootenay Rock Guide updates.

World Exclusive: Onion Creek Rock Guide Updates

Jesse Brown on the classic “Visiting Mom”

Onion River is located just over the border from Rossland and boasts a number of excellent granite crack climbs. In fact, it’s one of the only nearby areas where you can practice your finger, hand and fist jams and is highly worth the trip. It was developed by Rossland resident Keith Robine and a few of his friends. To get there, take Hwy 22 through Rossland to the Frontier/Paterson border crossing. (Remember to bring your passport.) Follow Hwy 25 south for 24km (you’ll drive through Northport) and then turn left onto Clugston Creek-Onion Creek Road. Follow this for 16.4km to a high point where you’ll notice a large, light-coloured rock on the right side of the road. (See photo below.)

Park just past here, off the pavement. Across the road (east) you’ll see a faint path leading up a small embankment which takes you to the base of Middle Wall. Approach is 100m. It’s possible to walk to the top of all these walls (with care) so you can top-rope. There are four walls here including an Upper Wall with a 5.12 line on it called “Better Than Sex.” (It has yet to go free. To access that climb, hike to the top of Middle Wall, veer northeast and bushwalk until you come to a long, short face with a prominent horizontal crack. The route starts on the left and follows this crack to the right above the route. Approach is only 7 minutes from the base of Middle Wall (if you don’t get lost). All other walls are shown below in the topos.

For written descriptions of these and other routes, download the West Kootenay Rock Guide updates.

 

 

 

Ymir Swimming Hole Rock Guide Updates

To reach Ymir Swimming Hole’s Southern Bluffs, continue past the Lower Bluffs on the path towards the swimming hole for about 30m. On the right take the faint trail (it’s opposite the path to the river.) There are a few small faces tucked in this area:

Ymir Swimming Hole: This is the fifth in a regular series showcasing the new rock climbing routes in the West Kootenay Region of south-central British Columbia. For written descriptions of these and other routes, download the West Kootenay Rock Guide updates.

Riverside Crag Rock Guide Updates

This east-facing crag boasts a great view of the Salmo River in a tranquil setting away from traffic. It is located in the woods across the highway from the Hall Siding climbing area. (See page 76 of the West Kootenay Rock Guide.) To access it, though, you must take an earlier turn-off. About 800 metres south of Hall Siding Road there is a dirt road by a Forest Fire Sign to your left. (If you’re approaching from Nelson, you’ll only see the back of the sign.) Turn onto this good-quality road and after 300m turn right at the fork and after 400m turn right again down a narrow track through the trees. In another 200m you’ll come to a grassy parking area. You’re now across the highway from the Hall Siding climbing area. Walk east into an opening in the forest and pick up a flagged trail that takes you to the old railroad line (it’s a five-minute walk). Turn right and walk 10m to see the 15-metre-high crag on your right. There is a short trail on the left to access the base of the routes. For detailed route descriptions please download the West Kootenay Rock Guide updates.


Riverside Crag Rock Guide Updates: This is the 14th in a regular series showcasing the new rock climbing routes in the West Kootenay Region of south-central British Columbia. For written descriptions of these and other routes, download the West Kootenay Rock Guide updates.

Breaking News: A good samaritan has done a lot of work at the base of Riverside Crag. They’ve built two retaining walls and flattened an area so it’s now a decent spot to bring your kids. There’s also a large flat stone at the base of Orange Crush now that a belayer can stand on comfortably.