Venables Valley Boulders
Cleaned and climbed by G.Cornell, Aug. 2016
Venables Valley is a desert sun trap best left for early or later in the day and your best bets for cool air is either under a tree or under the route Bill Miner’s Love Shack which is a psuedo cave. The problems are short but are fun for a small break from driving with a very short approach, like 5 minutes max.
From Cache Creek/Ashcroft, drive south passing Ashcroft Manor historic site(where the “Gobbler garbage can” is located) and continue to Hat Creek Road which is the turnoff west to Oregon Jack climbing area. It should be noted that Cache Creek has at least a half dozen inexpensive motels to choose from, I personally recommend the Tumbleweed Motel as you enter town. Furthermore, Ashcroft has a wonderful museum and makes some big city museums look sad, pay via donation. The town and surrounding area have some nice old buildings like the Opera House and the neat Grad signs when you cross over the bridge.
From here, continue south down Highway #1for 8.8km, passing RedHill Rest Area- bathroom break- and when you begin to descend a hill watch for the shady cliff to the west and a gravel pit to the east. Turn onto Venables Valley Road and park to properly to the side. Walk north onto a flat area and pick up a small trail that passes a boulder cracked in three pieces, and follow it to a lone tree/boulder low down upon the slope. This is Truckee Boulder with a west route and Xmas Tree problem on the north side. The small trail continues north into the trees and mini-valley.From this boulder, head straight up into the main small clump of boulders below the main cliff face above. Explore around to find the climbing. All the problems here have easy peasy descents.
If you drive up Venables Valley Road u will pass a few boulders off the ditch about .9km up the road. One is about 20m from the road, the other is about 50m from the road and has been attempted only a short way. About 200m from the highway turnoff and up the Valley Road is a low long rock wall that may produce good bouldering, please let us know what ya find!
My dad drove a propane semi truck past this area for the entire 1980s and took us kids on overnight work trips to Cache Creek, Lilloet, Lytton and east to Logan Lake and back home to Kamloops. Somewhere along one of these roads my father lost control of the semi on a icy stretch and it slid backwards and even jumped out to save his skin and it slammed into a snow bank!
1) Truckee Boulder V0 – first boulder you come to along the small dirt trail. Climb the west face near the little overhang.
2) Xmas Tree V3 – on the north side of the Truckee Boulder. Start low near the tree and link the little incut holds to the green face and go up.
3)VB Alley VB – an alley split by two boulders. Climb around on either face. Unclimbed SE face behind a tree may make a good prob?
4) Bill Miner’s Love Shack V3 - a cool aired cave. Stand start from below a finger crack and make moves right and up to a great jug. Mantle off.
5) Valley Local Boulder V1 – a very fun problem up behind BM Love Shack. Start from a low footpod and go left along a jug rail. Rach around far to stick a crimpy sidepull and follow it up to the top.
6) Red Hot Slab V0 - short but fun little red slab, accent versions to be had.
7) Animal Trap V0/R – on the east side from Red Hot Slab. Step down onto a ledge and walk around. Look down, don’t fall into what’s below! Climb the grey slab using small holds and edge if need be.
8)Sunning Rock VB/0 – Downslope from last few boulders is a small rock with two fun quick lines on the east face and arete.
9)Roadpop VB/0 – low angle rock with a crack across the bottom. Explore around, make it hard. North side unclimbed.
10) MeadowFace V0 – head back SE across a small meadow to a pleasant area to relax and get shelter under a rock overhang. Climb the left side of a large flat face. Bit crumbly but fun moves up to a large top jug.
11) Pine Way VB – left of the overhang behind the tree is a leftward ramp, Follow it up to the top.