Scout Hill Park

  • Our new routing today was horizontal, rather than vertical.

    Backstory is that while our little city is surrounded by rock that makes Yosemite look small, it's not easy to get to. The Eldred River Valley, with the equivalent of 5 Squamish Chiefs, is just 25 miles away. The Daniels River Valley, with walls up to almost 5,000 ft, is only 35 miles away.

    But while you can get to the Eldred in about two hours on bad roads (weekends only or you'll die being hit by a logging truck), the Daniels is a full two days by water and trail.

    There are a few decent small climbing areas more accessible, but...

    So finding good rock 2 minutes from our house... What can I say?

    Okay, it's not El Cap. But in a little local park (that we can walk to in 15 minutes) Mari discovered a beautiful little crag that offers a 75-foot bouldering traverse. We scrubbed it today.

    Given the distance to roped climbing, plus the sudden outbreak of teenage boulderers following the opening of our little local gym a year ago, I expect that this will soon become the most frequented piece of rock on the entire peninsula within a couple of months.

    Probably hard to tell much from the photo, but it's impeccable rock, and goes on and on and on.


  • Scrubbing is done, and climbing has begun.

    Traverse is now 100 ft (with vast scope for extension) and Mari and I have dropped our wirebrushes and put on our sticky rubber boots to play on it. There are sections too hard for either of us, but when the kids arrive it will all go.

    Today I took our young friend Erica up for a look. I think her expression in these two photos tells the story...



  • @David-Harris Surely there is a "The Color Purple" FA in the lurking, eh?

    Rock on. 🎸

  • We finally went public with our new crag. I posted a bit about it, and directions, on the local climbing FB page (5.9+ if you're interested). Also posted a bunch of photos -- see below. But first, a bit of history.

    As I've mentioned here before, our little city of Powell River is surrounded by some of the biggest granite walls you'll ever see. The problem is: You'll never see them. Even the most easily accessible are inaccessible to all but the hardest of the hard core. There is a really nice small crag about 40 minutes south of town, and a nice sea cliff with 30-foot climbs about the same 40 minutes away.

    The only thing close is a dismal little crag on the edge of town. You can get a few pitches in there, but it's not great climbing and not the most pleasant place.

    But two days ago, we announced a new climbing area in Powell River. And no, not in the Powell River region, but right in the city. Here's the story:

    Mari was out for a bike ride a while back, and on the way back to our home in the Cranberry neighborhood caught a glimpse of something through the trees in a small wooded area beside Cranberry Lake. Something that looked like rock. When she got home, she dragged me out of the house and onto my bike, and, two minutes later we were parking the bikes and heading into the forest.

    What we found was amazing. Okay, it’s not El Cap, but we’ve now cleaned thirty or forty meters of beautiful rock as high as we could reach, plus a bit of higher cleaning on ropes from above, and there is scope for much, much more.

    All in a public park and within ten minutes of wherever anyone lives in the city.

    Bouldering Nirvana!

    We’ve taken a few friends in for tours, and, so far, all of them have been just as amazed as we were. I think Jason summed it up best when he said “I thought you’d probably found some boulder in the trees that might offer a couple of problems. But this…”

    Here are a few photos:

    The approach (30 seconds from the street)
    Scout Hill Park.jpg

    The rock
    Scout Hill rock low res.jpg

    The scrubbing (close-uo):
    Scout Hill scrubbing 01.jpg

    More scrubbing
    Scout Hill scrubbing 02.jpg

    Scrubbing from above:
    Scout Hill scrubbing 03.jpg

    And finally, a few climbing photos:
    Andrew at Scout Hill low res.jpg

    Erica at Scout HIll.jpg

    James at Scout HIll.jpg

    Jason at Scout Hill low res.jpg

    Zoe at Scout Hill 01.jpg

  • Looks Great! I often have dreams about discovering amazeing cliffs right around the corner but when i check the places out the cliffs are nothing like the dreams....

  • I suspect you killed a lot of moss & lichen for those short routes.

    That's good!

  • Fun, David! Great memories of the little bit of adventuring I did with you and Mari on a couple of spots you were developing. Sweet find!! (Say hey to Mari for me!)

  • @Moose I will pass on your greetings.

    But the big news is that, while the traverse we uncovered in a local park will be a great addition to climbing here, Mari just came back from a more in-depth recce of a cliff we checked out two days ago (i.e. she actually rappelled over the edge) and said "Two pitches high, and easy access!"

  • @David-Harris - looks fun!
    I like the traversing stuff

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