Revelstoke Rock Climbing

Columbia Buttress

The Columbia Buttress is definitely for climbers in search of adventure and long routes. Climbing in the lower part of this 450 vertical meter face will likely make you feel enclosed by the big face. As you reach the upper part of the routes exposure, it will drive your ambition. The amazing scenery of the beautiful Columbia Valley, the Selkirk Mountains and of course Mt.Begbie will let you understand why you just climbed one of the many routes on this large face.

The Columbia Buttress and the Victor Lake Wall offer more of a serious alpine-rock flavour than what you can find on all other Revelstoke sport climbing crags. If I have to compare rock climbing and its seriousness on the Columbia Buttress with any cliff of western Canada then I would quickly decide on the Yamnuska.

The Columbia Buttress has 5 routes of up to 16 pitches. Two of these routes, Convicted and The Hanging Judge, 6 / 5 pitches, can be approached from the top of the Columbia Buttress with an 11 km drive up the Boulder Mountain logging road, followed by a 4 minute downhill approach walk and finally rappelling 5 pitches (longest rappel 33 meters) down an independent rappelling route. Both routes start at the upper part of the high cliff.

The Last Tango and The Noose, each 16 pitches and Eternity 15 pitches, start at the base of the Columbia Buttress. A 20 minute walk from the Trans Canada Highway will get you there. Eternity and The Last Tango are the most popular routes on the wall. For these three routes, an early start is recommended.

The best time to climb on the Columbia Buttress is from mid May until late October. Often when it is too cold to climb on any other crag in Revelstoke, the Columbia Buttress gets warmed by the late fall sun radiation and is perfect to climb. These routes also dry very fast after any rainstorm. It is not recommended to climb any of these routes if there is snow in the upper face or directly after a long-lasting heavy rainstorm, as such conditions increase the likelihood of rockfall.

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Approach to base of Columbia Buttress

The Last Tango, The Noose and Eternity

From the intersection Hwy 1 and Hwy 23 S drive for 3.1 km along the Trans Canada Highway (Hwy 1) towards west, across the Columbia River Bridge and past the traffic light of Hwy 1 and Hwy 23 South as far as the Canada West Campground. There is a small parking area on the north side of the highway. Park your car there.

From the parking area walk 50 meters towards north to a Columbia Buttress sign. There leave the road to the left (west), follow the well marked approach trail to a narrow rock gully. Now walk for the final few minutes up this rock gully to the base of the climbs. All routes start at the same base bolt. 20 minutes from highway.

Approach to top of Columbia Buttress

The Hanging Judge and Convicted

Drive: From Revelstoke drive along the Trans Canada Highway (Hwy 1) towards west, across the Columbia River Bridge to the traffic light at Hwy 1 and Hwy 23 South, 900 meters from western access to Revelstoke. From the Hwy 1 and Hwy 23 South traffic light turn right and follow the Westside Road for 3.8 km. There turn left and drive along the Boulder Mountain Logging Road for 10.6 km (check topo). This brings you to a road pullout and a turn-off leading to the left. Park your car there.

Trail: From the road pull-out and turnoff follow the narrow turn-off road leading to the left (south) for 400 meters, to a small parking area with a great view over Revelstoke and the Columbia Valley. From there walk along a well marked trail in southerly direction, downhill to the tree line. There keep following the trail downhill for 50 meters where you will find a cedar tree with two clothing hooks. Leave your pack there, as The Hanging Judge and Convicted are topping out at this point. Now keep descending the trail to the rappel route for The Hanging Judge and Convicted. 10 minutes from the parking area.

Rappel Route:

  1. 30 meters straight down.
  2. 30 meters slightly to the right (east).
  3. 25 meters diagonally to the left (west).
  4. 20 meters slightly to the left (west)
  5. 33 meters down a large dihedral (to belay 0/8 XX on photos)
Columbia Buttress: Crags & new routes, Revelstoke rock climbing
  1. Trail from top of Columbia Buttress to Hwy 1 W
  2. Trail to start of Eternity, The Last Tango, The Noose
  3. Descent trail from The Noose, The Last Tango
  4. Descent trail from Eternity, The Hanging Judge, Convicted
  5. Trail to rappel route
  6. Gravel road
  7. Boulder Mtn. Road with parking area km 11
  8. Park at side of highway 3.1 km west of junction Hwy 23 S and Hwy 1 W, Canada West Campground
Columbia Buttress: Crags & new routes, Revelstoke rock climbing
Columbia Buttress: Crags & new routes, Revelstoke rock climbing
  1. The Noose
  2. The Last Tango
  3. Eternity
  4. The Hanging Judge
  5. Convicted
44. The Noose ** 11c MIXED 16 p
Established: Dean Flick and many friends.
FFA: Dean Flick, Ruedi Beglinger.
Important: There might be climbers lower on the route... do not drop rocks!!!
Gear: Pro to 1½ inch, 16 quickdraws, several shoulder-size slings.
Approach: From Canada West Campground.
Start: At the upper end of the creek gully (bolts). Same start as for The Last Tango and Eternity.

Route: Great route with hard and exposed climbing at the upper part. Pitch 14 makes you feel as you are way out there.

Pitch 1 to 4: Follow the many bolts up easier terrain up to 5.7 to the lower edge of a large ledge. 35 to 60 meter pitches.

Pitch 5: Climb onto the ledge and walk diagonally to the left across this large ledge to the base of a large slab. From this point climb diagonally up to the left, past a little roof to the belay at a sloping ledge, 50 meters.

Pitch 6 to 9: Climb straight up over slabs and steep corners, up to 5.10a. 45 to 60 meter pitches.

Pitch 10: Climb diagonally up to the right and follow the right side of a long right-facing corner, 5.8, to a sloping ledge above, belay 45 meters.

Pitch 11: Traverse on easy terrain to the right into a left-facing corner system. Climb this corner system, 5.7, to sloping ledges above. Now scramble diagonally up to the right to the next belay, 45 meters.

Pitch 12 to 16: Follow the many bolts to the top of the climb, amazing climbing with great exposure, 5.9 to 5.11c, up to 27 to 55 meter pitches.

Descent: Walk down the trail back to the Canada West Gampground, 1 hour. From the top of the climb walk down the trail towards the rappel route of the Hanging Judge. Near the top of the Hanging Judge and Convicted you will find a large tree with two clothing hooks. From this tree walk an additional 30 meters downhill. There turn off to the left and follow the marked trail down to the power-line, 40 minutes. At the power-line walk for 150 meters along a small road towards east, then branch off to the right and follow a second small road to a larger gravel road. Now follow this larger gravel road to the Canada West Campground, 1 hour from the top of the Columbia Buttress.

Columbia Buttress: Crags & new routes, Revelstoke rock climbing
45. The Last Tango *** 10a MIXED 16 p
Established up to pitch 11: Ruedi Beglinger, Cam Molder on Sept. 18, 2008.
Established rest of route and FFA: Ruedi Beglinger, Urs Kallen, Dean Flick, Sept. 19, 2008.
Important: There might be climbers lower on the route... do not drop rocks!!!
Gear: Pro 0.3 to 3 inches, 14 quickdraws, five shoulder-size slings.
Approach: From Canada West Campground.
Start: At the upper end of the creek gully (bolts). Same start as for The Noose and Eternity.

Route: Amazing climbing with great exposure in upper part of the route.

Pitch 1 to 4: Follow the many bolts up easier terrain up to 5.7 to the lower edge of a large ledge. 35 to 60 meter pitches.

Pitch 5: Climb onto the ledge and diagonally to the left walk across this large ledge to the base of a large slab. There climb diagonally up to the right, past a little roof to the belay above, 50 meters.

Pitch 6: Do not follow the bolts leading diagonally up to the left, instead follow the bolts leading straight up easy slabs, 5.6, to the belay at a ledge above, 60 meters.

Pitch 7: Climb diagonally up to the left, 5.8, across slabs to the next belay at a small ledge, 45 meters.

Pitch 8 to 10: Climb straight up, following the many bolts to a large ledge, 5.9 to 5.10a, 40 meter pitches.

Pitch 11: Climb straight up to the upper end of the large ledge, there make a few steps to the right and follow several bolts, 5.8, as you climb the right side of an overhanging cliff to a ledge above, 35 meters.

Pitch 12 to 16: Climb straight up to the top of the climb, 5.7 to 5.10a, following the many bolts, 35 to 40 meter pitches.

Descent: Walk down the trail back to the Canada West Campground, 1 hour. From the top of the climb walk down the trail towards the rappel route of the Hanging Judge. Near the top of the Hanging Judge and Convicted you will find a large tree with two clothing hooks. From this tree walk an additional 30 meters downhill. There turn off to the left and follow the marked trail down to the power-line, 40 minutes. At the power-line walk along a small road past a power-line mast, then walk down a steep bench to the road below. Now follow the road to the Canada West Campground, 1 hour from the top of the Columbia Buttress.

Columbia Buttress: Crags & new routes, Revelstoke rock climbing
46. Eternity *** Adventure and amazing climbing with great exposure… what are you waiting for. Eternity is a link-up of the lower part of the wall with the Hanging Judge at the upper end of the wall. The climb gets increasingly better and more impressive as you get higher on the route. 10b MIXED 13 p
Established, FFA: Ruedi Beglinger, Nicoline Beglinger, June 2009.
Important: There might be climbers lower on the route... do not drop rocks!!!
Gear: Pro 0.5 to 2 inches, 16 quick draws, six shoulder-size slings.
Approach: From Canada West Campground.
Start: At the upper end of the creek gully (bolts). Same start as for The Noose and The Last Tango.

Route: This is a classic route combining the lower pitches of The Last Tango and the high exposure of The Hanging Judge.

Pitch 1 to 4: Follow the many bolts up easier terrain up to 5.7 to the lower edge of a large ledge. 35 to 60 meter pitches.

Pitch 5: Climb onto the ledge and diagonally to the left walk across this large ledge to the base of a large slab. There climb diagonally up to the right, past a little roof to the belay of The Last Tango. From this belay do not follow the bolts leading straight up, instead follow the bolts leading diagonally up to the right, 10 more meters to the belay of Eternity, 55 meters.

Pitch 6 to 8: Climb diagonally up to the right. This will lead you over slabs, and up shallow corners to the base of a steep slab with a small roof, which is located between a shallow buttress and a large and prominent left-facing corner to the right, 5.7 to 5.10a, up to 60 meter pitches.

Pitch 9: From the belay climb the shallow buttress to its upper end, 5.9. Then step to the left into a deep corner and onto a long slab. Climb this slab diagonally up to the left, 5.9, to the belay at the lower end of a long left-facing corner, 55 meters.

Pitch 10: Climb straight up to above a small roof, 5.9. From there climb diagonally up to the left into a deep right-facing corner with a roof, 5.10a. Now step to the right and climb a large flake to ledges above, keep going straight up to the belay, located below a ledge, 45 meters.

Pitch 11: Climb onto the ledge above the belay and then follow the bolts level to the left, to the belay, which is located directly below and slightly to the right of a large left-facing corner, 25 meters. At the ledge do not take the bolts leading straight up into a deep overhang.

Pitch 12 and 13: Climb the left face of the deep left-facing corner, following the many bolts to the top of this amazing climb, 5.9 to 5.10b, 45 to 50 meter pitches.

Descent: Walk down the easy trail back to the Canada West Campground, 1 hour. From the top of the climb walk a few meters up-hill to the main trail where you will find a large tree with two clothing hooks. From this tree walk an additional 30 meters downhill. There turn off to the left and follow the marked trail down to the power-line, 40 minutes. At the power-line walk along a small road past a power-line mast, then walk down a steep bench to the road below. Now follow the road to the Canada West Campground, 1 hour from the top of the Columbia Buttress.

Columbia Buttress: Crags & new routes, Revelstoke rock climbing
Columbia Buttress: Crags & new routes, Revelstoke rock climbing
  1. Eternity
  2. The Hanging Judge
  3. Convicted
47. The Hanging Judge *** 10b MIXED 5 p
Established, FFA: Ruedi Beglinger, Nicoline Beglinger, June 25, 2008.
Important: There might be climbers lower on the route... do not drop rocks!!!
Gear: Pro to 2 inches, 16 quickdraws, several shoulder-size slings, one 70 meter rope or double 60 meter.
Approach: From top of the Columbia Buttress, 11 km parking at Boulder Mountain logging road, page 53 and 54.
Start: Start at the base of a steep slab with a small roof and a shallow buttress to the left (west) and the large rappelling dihedral to the right (east), two bolts with rings. Same start as for Convicted.

Route:
Pitch 1: From the belay at the base of the steep slab just left (west) of the large rappelling dihedral climb a shallow buttress to its upper end, 5.9. Then step to the left into a deep corner and onto a long slab. Climb this slab diagonally up to the left, 5.8, to the belay at the lower end of a long left-facing corner, 60 meters.

Pitch 2: Climb straight up to above a small roof, 5.9. From there climb diagonally up to the left into a deep right-facing corner with a roof, 5.10a. Now step to the right and climb a large flake to ledges above, keep going straight up to the belay, located below a ledge, 50 meters.

Pitch 3: Climb onto the ledge above the belay and then follow the bolts level to the left, to the belay, which is located directly below and slightly to the right of a large left-facing corner, 30 meters. At the ledge do not take the bolts leading straight up into a deep overhang.

Pitch 4 and 5: Climb the left face of the deep left-facing corner, following the many bolts, to the top of the climb, 5.9 to 5.10b, 40 to 45 meter pitches.

Descent: Walk along the trail back up to the 11 km parking area at the Boulder Mountain logging road, 3 minutes from the top of the climb.


48. Convicted *** 11b MIXED 6 p
Established, FFA: Ruedi Beglinger, Dean Flick, September 10, 2008.
Important: There might be climbers lower on the route... do not drop rocks!!!
Gear: Pro to 2 inches, 16 quickdraws, several shoulder-size slings, one 70 meter rope or double 60 meter.
Approach: From top of the Columbia Buttress, 11 km parking at Boulder Mountain logging-road, page 53 and 54.
Start: At the base of a steep slab with a small roof and a shallow buttress to the left (west) and the large rappelling dihedral to the right (east), two bolts with rings. Same start as for The Hanging Judge.

Route: Amazing exposure as you pull the roof and climb the above face on pitch 5.

Pitch 1: From the belay at the base of the steep slab just left (west) of the large rappelling dihedral climb a shallow buttress to its upper end, 5.9. Then step to the left into a deep corner and onto a long slab. Climb this slab diagonally up to the left, 5.8, to the belay at the lower end of a long left-facing corner, 60 meters.

Pitch 2: Climb straight up to above a small roof, 5.9. From there climb diagonally up to the left into a deep right-facing corner with a roof, 5.10a. Now step to the right and climb a large flake to ledges above, keep going straight up to the belay, located below a ledge, 50 meters.

Pitch 3: Climb onto the ledge above the belay and then follow the bolts leading straight up, 5.6, to a deep overhang with the next belay, 20 meters. Do not traverse along the bolts to the left (west).

Pitch 4 and 5: Follow the many bolts straight up to a small ledge above an exposed roof, 30 meter pitches, 5.11a to 5.11b.

Pitch 6: Traverse to the right (east), 5.8, and follow the many bolts to the top of the route, 30 meters. Superb exposure over the Columbia Valley.

Descent: Walk along the trail back up to the 11 km parking area at the Boulder Mountain logging road, 3 minutes from the top of the climb.


Columbia Buttress: Crags & new routes, Revelstoke rock climbing