coastal british columbia
Climbing Eldred Valley, British Columbia by Colin Dionne
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Powell Rivers Eldred valley contains a very extensive array of granite big walls that easily rival Yosemite. The area is easily accessed via two wheel drive vehicle (high clearance) and should appeal to any climber with an exploratory bent. Several routes have been put up ranging in difficulty from III/5.9 toVI/5.11/A4+.
new route completed in 2002
Schizophrenia (III 5.10) A modern classic, skits follows a stunning combination of steep slabs and discontinuous features. Each of the routes twelve pitches are remarkable. definitely a route that delivers. Fixed rap anchors allow easy descent. F.A. CAD, Christie Lepitre Schizophrenia beta from unknown source
new route completed in 2002
Solstice (lll 5.10) solstice provides a four pitch 5.10 alternative to the first four pitches of schizophrenia. F.A. CAD, Christie Lepitre
new route completed in 2002
Seretonin Reuptake Inhibitor (lll 5.10) Seretonin climbs mixed ground to the left of Sanitarium. Fun. First ascent: Brian Pickles, Luke Clark, Neil Ives.
Delusional Reality (III 5.9+) This route is an enjoyable outing involving 12 pitches of moderate cracks and slabs on the right-hand buttress of the formation psyche slab. As a party from Courtney discovered the hard way, bring two ropes! Pitches 1-6 were first climbed by Michelle Thibeault and Colin Dionne in 1996. The final 6 pitches being climbed by Christie Lepitre and Colin Dionne in 1999. The 1999 addition to the route is known as the infectious grooves. Big Fun!
Sanitarium (III 5.9+) Michelle Thibeault and Colin Dionne put up this ten pitch Trad slab route in 1995 to facilitate rapping off of Psyche slab. Ten full rope raps will get you to the ground after summiting on any of the Psyche slab routes. This route is excellent to familiarize yourself with the valley.
Psychopath (III 5.10) The first route in the valley put up by Rob and Casey Richards, Lisa Padgett, and John Hagen in 1988 on psyche slab. This ten-pitch mega-classic is known for its traditional aesthetic appeal. It has no bolts, fixed anchors or other blemishes. If you plan on retreating I hope you're rich.
Funk Soul Brother Wall (VI 5.7/A4+) Matt Maddaloni and John Millar put up this twelve pitch aid route over eight days on the formation Carag-Dur. Carag-Dur, although it is among the smaller walls in the valley, easily rivals the chief. Any party attempting this route should remember to bring at least 40 heads and 25 bird beaks. Good Luck.
On the Virg. (IV 5.9+) Aaron Black, Victor Ting, Kris Wild, And Colin Dionne plucked this late season gem in October. Ten pitches of exceptionally clean rock lead to the alpine summit of the isolated dome Amon Rudh. A three hour deactivated road hike is the walls greatest defense. If you want an exceptional wilderness experience this walls for you. check out a drawing
Mainline (VI 5.11/A4+) The classic first ascent of the formation The West Main Wall. This 18 pitch mixed aid/free project was completed capsule style by Rob Richards and Colin Dionne in 1993, following an epic retreat in 1992. The epitome of good style this hard core route still awaits a repeat. Only eighteen bolts were used many of them quarter inchers. Definitely not a route for the faint of heart! check out a drawing
In addition some bouldering has begun to develop along the road in the vicinity of the Eldred walls. Some exploration should reveal many boulders to the astute explorer. Also several trails lead to many alpine objectives. It should be noted that a virtually limitless supply of rock climbing opportunity lies in the granite peaks surrounding the Eldred. To reach the Eldred, travel via B.C. ferries to Powell River, then go to Lang Bay Approximately 15 km south of the Westveiw ferry terminal, or if landing at Saltery bay 10 km north. From Lang bay store head about 1km north to the goat lake main logging road. Follow the goat main for 34 miles (logging rd signage is in miles in P.R.) after this pleasant two- hour drive you canít miss the walls. Access to Psyche Slab is from the pullout at mp. 34 the West Main Wall trail starts at 35.5. The logging road is closed to the public from 6a.m. Until 6p.m. Monday until Friday. Generally speaking traveling when the road is active should be avoided as 100 tonne logging trucks pose a serious objective hazard. Traveling up in early morning (before 6) or down in the evening (after 6) is OK, however use extreme caution at all times on the logging road.
For more recent information, please check out http://powellriverrock.wixsite.com/cadmc Climbing in Powell River by Christie Dionne
Powell Riverís Eldred Valley access descriptions:
Psyche Slab: Follow the goat lake mainline to the pullout at mp. 34. Two trails lead to the slab from the vicinity of the pullout. To approach the left side of the wall walk about 75m up the road to where a faint trail leads across the ditch on the right hand side of the road. This trail is just before a left hand curve in the road. The trail heads very directly to the wall staying to the left of a small gully. It arrives at the base of Sanitarium. To approach the right side of the wall, walk approximately 100m down the road from the pullout at 34 mile to a trail just before the bridge across b-branch creek. This trail leads up to the center-right area of psyche slab in the vicinity of the Falkland crisis and psychopath. To reach Delusional reality, head into the gully to the east of the wall. Delusional starts at the bottom of the gully. A well worn bear trail traverses below the wall from the sanitarium trail across the base of the wall intersecting the psychopath trail, and heads up the gully to Delusional. Approach should take 15minutes. To descend from the summit of psyche slab rap sanitarium (two 55m ropes) or take the gorilla-snot trail which follows the gully immediately behind and to the west of the summit area. Descending the gorilla-snot trail may take as long as three hours.
Carag-Dur: Park at mp.34.25 (not signed). You will know you are there because the road curves to the right and Carag-Dur is very prominent across the river. An old overgrown road heads down to the river at this location allowing a crossing of the Eldred with the help of a 30-foot extension ladder. Once across the river locate a seldom used, flagged trail, that leads up to the base of the wall below the Funk soul brother wall. Some exploration for the trail will pay off, as some of the terrain below Carag-Dur is very gnarly. Approach takes about 1Ĺ hours from the West Side of the river. To descend, follow the summit ridge down to the north until you reach the top of a prominent gully heading back to the south along the base of the wall. Thrash across the base of the wall until you reach the approach trail. West Main Wall: At mile 35.5 a rough road leads down to a large clearing by the river. From the end of the clearing a faint trail leads about 100feet into the bush, revealing a cable crossing the Eldred. From the opposite bank head down stream about 200-feet until you come out on an old road. This road forks after a short distance, go right. After about 300m the road forks again this time take the left (uphill fork). After some time you will come to another fork to the left, this fork can be difficult to spot, it is below the extreme right margin of the Mainer, if you walk past it the road will peter out quickly. The road should now be traversing below the wall from right to left. About 100m before the end of the road you will find tent-platforms amidst some large alder trees. A flagged route heads up through the logging slash and slide debris from this point dumping you at the base of the wall about 100m to the left of the Mainline. Approach takes about 2 Ĺ hours from the West Side of the river. To descend follow slabs and gully south from the summit, enter the forest on the south side of the drainage when practical. Continue down until it is possible to traverse the creek and logging slash back north to the road end landing on the approach. Allow a full day for the descent.
Amon Rudh: Follow the goat main to mile 40.2 then turn right on the D-branch turnoff. Follow D-branch to a major fork about a mile up from the mainline. Take the left fork, which leads across the bridge to the north side of the D-branch valley, continue up a long water-barred grade until a major gully stops further vehicular access. From your truck begin hiking up the road, after about Ĺ mile the road forks back to the west. Follow this deactivated spur to its terminus close to the east-end of Amon Rudh. Head up and left through the slash into the old growth forest, continue up and left until it is possible to traverse across to some large boulders in the forest, descend into the gully below the wall. A faint trail leads from the top of the major waterfall through the forest to the start of on the Virg. Approach takes about three hours from the truck. To descend rap. On the Virg.