Mt Hull Climbing Guide
(copyright 2012, James Moore; 509-486-1429, applewood@hotmail.com)

Mount Hull overview.

The SW face of Mt Hull is a huge area with many distinct cliffs and potential for thousands of routes. Most of these cliffs are on public lands (BLM and Forest Service), yet all the access is via private lands (except for the public Whistler Canyon trailhead to the north). There are several possible access points (by permission of landowner, on an individual basis); Watch out for rattle snakes (from mid April to October).

1 – From Farm Boy Favorites fruit stand. Park at fruit stand and hike SE up gravel road, cross through the orchard fence at a hole NE of a orchard worker house, and continue hiking due N up the west slope, until it is possible to wind E towards BIG BUTTE (passing Lower Wall and the W face en route). Total approach time 20 minutes.

2 – From the orchard parking area directly west of and below 5.13 Wall. There is no fence there and it makes for a shorter hike to the Turtle Island area. Hike to Big Butte is about the same as for the southern route, but a bit steeper.

3 – From the Thorndike farm due west of Turtle Island. No fence there either and permission can be obtained from the land owner. The trail is very nice and the route direct (about 25 minutes in to Turtle Island), but heads through some snakey areas.

  1. HULL OVERVIEW

MT HULL SOUTH – OVERVIEW

(Crag and Route Descriptions – From South to North)

BIG BUTTE (aka BIG BUTT) – The large S and W facing cliff at mid level (just west of the unburned fir and pine valley), prominently visible NE of Farm Boy Favorites fruit stand. Approach time about 20 minute. TURTLE ISLAND is a further 10 minute hike N, about 1/2 mile from the base of BIG BUTTE W face. It has a variety of rock in a lovely unburned forest. FAR TORTUGA is located another couple of minutes walk north around the west face. BOUNDARY WALL is the long W facing cliff between TURTLE ISLAND and BIG BUTTE, with HIDDEN VALLEY is on it’s East side, while BENCH ROCK (the higher large west-facing cliff) is about ¼ mile further East.

THE FAR EAST
The plateau east of the Middle East

THE MIDDLE EAST
The corners and arêtes East and across the valley from Big Butte…more potential.

BIG BUTTE – East Face
An excellent place for beginners or warm ups early in the season (Routes listed rt. to lt.)

BIG BUTTE – South “Main Face”

1 – EAST OF ECHO 5.9 * 100’ M (7b)
Start low and 5’ right of the small right facing corner, keep right of the corner to climb the initial overhang and the easier middle section. A few small to large cams or nuts are needed. Cold shuts on the top lip. Interesting, varied climbing on good rock, but a bit inconsistent and contrived (easy to avoid strenuous start and higher crux by going left).

2 – SAY WHAT? G 120’
Climb the corner cracks to the chain anchors. A bit crumbly, but a gear route…

3 – WHAT 5.9 * 110’ F (9b)
The right edge of the Echo face, to the chain anchors. Begin at the bottom of the arête – scramble up the lower half to the challenging upper half.

4 – ECHO 5.8 ** 100’ F (9b)
Starting at the base of the arête (beside the Elderberry tree), climb the face left of the arête to the chain anchors (and extra belay anchor bolt).

(The next 5 routes are all on the far right end of the South Face of Big Butte. They are easy yet fun sport routes, and a great place for practicing gear placements while on a bolt protected lead.)

5 –RETURN OF THE MIGHTY M.O.G.’S 5.2 ** 80’ F (6b)
Climb the face right of A Mighty Wind to the same anchors. Sustained and fun, especially for “men of girth”.

6 – A MIGHTY WIND 5.3 *** 75’ F (7b)
From the lowest point on the buttress (right of the alcove with the Service Berry and Poison Ivy) climb up and slightly left to the 2 short chain anchors over the top. This and Tootie Fruity would make for a great practice gear lead (a range of cams can be placed near the bolts), with sustained very nice climbing on mostly excellent, clean rock.

7 – TOOTIE FRUITY 5.2 ** 75’ F (6b)
Sustained and surprisingly fun climbing up the face directly below the chain anchors. About 25’ left of A Mighty Wind, begin up the edge of the broken arete left of the alcove.

8 –SE BUTTRESS RIGHT SIDE 5.3 ** 80’ F (7b)
Begin a few feet left of  “Tootie Fruity” and climb directly up, traversing left to the cold shuts at the top bolt.

9 – SE BUTTRESS LEFT SIDE 5.4 ** 70’ F (6b)
Begin in the corner on the far left of the SE Buttress. After a few feet stem off the corner and head up the wall to the cold shuts on top.

10 – SBD (Silent But Deadly) 5.6 **  85’ F (8b)
Climbs the clean line up the right end of the main face, beginning in a shallow groove just left of the lower big corner (up broken rock), at the top traverse left to the cold shuts.

11- BREAK LIKE THE WIND   5.4 ** 90’ M (5b)
Begin at the thin gear protected crack just right of the prominent vertical crack, and climb the face to the cold shuts on top. Upper third is gear protected in pockets (range of medium cams/tricams needed, as well as a small nut before the first bolt).

12 – NATURAL GAS 5.3 * 90’ G
The main vertical crack. Medium cam or hex needed for top anchors at the lip.

13 – OLD FARTS 5.5 * 90’ M (5b)
The face left of the vertical crack to the cold shuts on top. A bouldery start 10’ left of the crack leads to a series of short seams (dark flaky rock). (A range of cams is needed for the easier upper face).

14 – GLUTEOUS MAX 5.8 ** 95’ F (10b)
The middle of the face to the chain rap anchors, (with an extra belay anchor at cairn). Begin just right of the obvious crack – watch out for poison ivy in the crack and on the first ledge – (10’ left of OLD FARTS), cross left at first bolt and continue directly up.

15 – YEAH, BUT… 110’ G (proposed)
Begin in the crack 5’ right of BUTTE-EOUS MAX, and climb the diagonal line from left to right across the main face, ending at OLD FARTS anchors..

16 – BUTTE-EOUS MAXIMUS  5.7 *** 95’ M (5b)
The steeper left side of the main S face, directly below the cold shuts on top, beginning 10’ right of Why Raincoats Are Yellow crack. A range of cams is needed for the easier upper face. Consistent climbing on wonderful rock.

17 – WHY RAINCOATS ARE YELLOW 5.7 *** 90’ G
Begin with the short left facing corner at the left end of the S face, directly up the cracks and ledges above to the cold shuts on top. Excellent rock, gear and climbing!

BIG BUTTE – West Face

18 – SHEEP THRILLS 5.8 * 50-70’ TR
Short arête on the upper SW Face.  Mostly easy face climbing except the move through the upper overhang. Can climb arête or S face. Cold shut anchors on top.

19 – WATER BEARER G (proposed)
The intermittent cracks on the south side of the lower SW arête. 2 ring anchors at the top.

20 – WATER OF LIFE F (proposed)
Climb the face west of arête with the small aspen grove at the base. Shares 2 ring anchors at the top with Water Bearer.

21 – WHISKEY NEAT TR (proposed)
Climbs the left side of the face to share the anchors with Water Bearer.

22 – WHEN DOVES CRY 5.10d ** (2 pitch) M
An adventure – big exposure, some questionable rock, but also great pro and climbing.
P1 – 5.10 * 85’ M (4b) Begin low on the right end of the big West face, climb diagonally left through the crumbling offwidth/corner/roof. Belay at mid-face at the 2 ring anchors.
P2 – 5.10d ** 70’ M (5b) – Climb directly up to the 2 bolt anchor/belay at the top of the arête. Sustained and interesting climbing needs a wide range of cams to protect.

23 – WHEN DOVES COO 5.8 ** (2 pitch) M
P1 – 5.6 * 70’ G – Start as for Watermark but traverse right along the main horizontal crack above the roof to the two ring anchor (semi-hanging belay).
P2 – 5.8 ** 60’ M (4b) – Traverse right past the main crack and then climb up to the right arête to belay at the single bolt anchor (with gear) right of the current bush. Very interesting climbing with nice exposure.

24 – WATERMARK (proposed)
Takes a direct line up the thin crack on face right of the dark (green/black) water streak. Traverse right near the top to the other small crack then up to the 2 bolt anchor over top.

25 – THE NIGHT WATCH 5.6 ** 90’ F/M (7b)
Begin at the base of the corner/chimney and climb the right side of the East-face to the chains. Pretty fun, consistent climbing. May want a #1 cam before the midpoint crux.

26 – WEST WITH THE NIGHT 5.9 * 100’ M (5b)
Climbs the left side of the East face of the main corner to the chain anchors at the top. Start low and follow the arête through the two small roofs (upper one the crux). The rest of the climbing is easy, and enjoyable, a range of cams and nuts are needed.

27 – PIGEON ARETE 5.3( PG)  120’ G
The west side of the prominent arête, looks better (and harder) than it actually is. Starting in the corner below the big overhang, climb up and left along the arête to the 2 bolt anchor on top. Not recommended, with poor rock and protection.

28 – PIGEON POST 130’ (proposed)
Climbs the outer West face to the 2 bolt anchor atop Pigeon Arête.


WEST WALL
This west facing cliff 100’ north of the main West Face of Big Butte, looks broken and dirty but actually is quite nice with great views and sustained, interesting climbing.

1 – TUESDAY’S JUST AS BAD 5.8 * 50’ G
On the short south face at the right (south) end of West Wall, begin 10’ right of the pedestal atop the lower arête. A boulder start leads to progressively harder moves up the shallow right facing corner to the chain anchors on top. Well protectable with cams.

2 – STORMY MONDAY 5.8 ** 60’ F (6b)
From the top of the pedestal at the left side of the south face step up and right to follow the bolts to the 2 chain anchors (atop Tuesday’s). Take a couple of long slings to extend the chains for top-roping.

3 –SUNDAY’S CHILD 5.6 ** 50’ M (2b)
Climbs the left side of the short south face. Start at the pedestal atop the lower  arête below the lower roof, step onto the face from the top of the pedestal and climb directly up to the 2 chain anchors below the top blocks. Several medium cams needed to protect middle part.

4 – BOOK OF SATURDAY 5.7** 60’ G
Climb the crack up the first inside corner at the right end of the West Wall. Excellent gear  protects the lower lieback (crux) half leading to an exciting finish stemming through the top blocks. Single bolt over the top, long sling also needed for top anchor.

5 – FRONTERA 5.8 ** 95’ M (5b)
Begin 40’ right of Buena Vista, just left of the large overhanging shorter face. Climb directly up to the chain anchors on top. Mostly a gear route (a wide range of cams are needed for the horizontal cracks and pockets), offering sustained and interesting climbing

6 – BUENA VISTA 5.9+ ** 120’ F (12b)
A prominent clean line up the right side of the West Wall. Begin left of the short cliff section with the low roof, climb just right of the large vertical crack system. 2 bolt anchors just below the top. Sustained.

7 – SOL CALIENTE 5.9 ** 100’ M (10b)
Climb the broken face 20’ left of Buena Vista, starting at the short vertical wall, to mantle onto the large ledge 15’ up, continue right and up (using the vertical crack and horizontal slots for gear protection).  Sustained moderate climbing leads to the high crux. 2 chain anchors are on the top lip for toproping. (2 bolt anchors are set back 30’ at the right of the top ledge.)

8 – QUIET SUN 5.9 * 100’ M (7b)
Begin 15’ left of Sol Caliente and climb the crack at the right side of the face below the semi-detached pillar until it is possible to traverse right to climb past the large ledges to the thin upper bolt protected crux and the 2 chain anchors on the lip (ends about 10’ left of Sol Caliente). A wide range of cams are needed to protect the bottom, middle and top.

9– RIP’S RAP 5.9 **  100’ M (8b)
Begin 5’ right of the pillar in the middle of the face and climb directly up the broken face (through the two overhangs half way up). A mix of bolts and cams protect this sustain route with enjoyable climbing, This is also the best rap route for the face (2 chain anchors plus one bolt), located just south of the bonsai pine on top

10 – LADYTRON 5.7 ** 100’ M (6b)
Begin a few feet right of Wind Cries Mary, just left of the detached pillar. Climb the sharp crack up the face then up and diagonally right to end below the top ledge just left of the bonsai pine. Needs a wide range of cams to protect. Very nice sustained climbing.

11 – AND THE WIND CRIES MARY 5.7 *** 105’ F (10b)
This is a fantastic route up the left side of the West Wall that starts at the bottom of a slight inverted triangle, 15’ left of the large pillar at the base. Climb directly up the fractured yet solid face, up sustained, ever more difficult moves (wonderful pockets and in-cut edges). The low angled upper 25’ is much easier. Belay at the 2 bolt anchors over the top on the big ledge, or lower from the 2 ring anchors below the top (just possible with a 60m rope).

12 – RITE OF SPRING 5.6 ** 110’ F (10b)
On the face right of the big crack/chimney by Sea Breezes, climb up and right to the 2 bolt anchors on top. Sustained and varied (and somewhat hard for the grade).

13 – A FULL MOON IN MARCH 5.10a ** 100’ F/M (9b)
Begin at the bottom of the chimney (right of Sea Breezes) and climb directly up through the two small roofs, following the left edge of the right face. Consistent and interesting climbing all the way to the chain anchors (shares with Sea Breezes), may want a cam to place after 2nd bolt.

14 – SEA BREEZES 5.7 ** 90’ M/F (8b)
Yet another interesting sustained West Wall route… Begin about 15’ left of Wind Cries Mary and climb directly up the fractured face to the anchors on top (makes for a good safe rap route for the cliff; 2 chains plus single bolt anchor). Can be led with just the bolts, but also can take several cams and nuts to make it safer.

LOWER WALL
This is the short south facing wall 100 meters down and west of Big Butte. (Routes listed right to left). Interesting rock and a lovely spot to hang out make it one of Hull’s best.

1 – ROCKET IN MY POCKET 5.10c *** 55’ F (6b)
Begin about 5’ up the ramp on the right and climb directly up to the chain anchors. Excellent climbing with some tricky route finding at the midpoint crux, and the exciting finish!

2 – THREE OF A PERFECT PAIR 5.10b/5.9 ** 60’ M (6b)
Begin just right of the lowest point of the face, right of the piled pillar of boulders. A bouldery start leads up and right to the chain anchors (shares anchors and last 2 bolts with Rocket in My Pocket). Several cams are needed for the horizontal cracks. Only 5.9 if you clip the top chains without pulling over the top.

3 – POCKET POOL 5.6 * 40’ G
A fun route beginning at the lowest point on the right face, to the short chain anchors at the top lip. A wide range of cams are needed.

Lower wall.

4 – DIVINE INTERVENTION 5.10a ** 45’ F (4b)
Climb the crack/seam/edges in the middle of the left face (begin behind the pine) to the ring anchors on the lip (east of the small pine on the big ledge). Sustained and fantastic.

BONSAI CRAG
Located around to the northwest from the base of Lower Wall, a short steep wall with a prominent bonsai pine on top.

1 – SINISTER MIDGET 5.10c ** 60’ F (5b)
The steep face below and east of the bonsai tree. Begin (awkwardly) in the corner behind the large Elderberry tree, and climb from the corner to the face – sustained and pumpy – to the 2 chain anchors on the lip..

2 – THE OBSCENE DWARF – 60’TR (unbolted project)
Follow the shallow left facing flaring seam on the right (S) side of the crag to the chain anchor on top.


THE NOSE
This is the nose-like formation along the ridge between West Wall and Weeping Wall.

1 – ORGASMITRON 5.3 *** 70’ G
Gear crack on South side. Climb the pocketed face to join the crack. Chain anchors.

2 – SLEEPER 5.8 ** 75’ M (4b)
The S face beginning about 5’ left of the crack route. Easy start leads to a high crux. Some cams needed for the pockets. Great climbing, but a bit contrived to stay on route.

3 – THE NOSE DIRECT 5.7 * 85’ F (7b)
The W face beginning at the left side of the chossy lower overhang to the easier solid upper slab. Shares the chain anchors with Sleeper and Orgasmitron. Good.

5.13 and Weeping Wall from the south.

4 – TEAR STAINED LETTER 5.10a ** 90’ M (5b)
On the south side of the face/arête north of The Nose, begin on the lower ramp and climb the arête to the face right of the arête. Progressively harder to the cold shuts on top.

5.13 WALL/WEEPING WALL
This is a sprawling lower west facing wall that has a very good parking site at the edge of the orchard directly below it. It has the closest approach on Hull, and has potential for some moderate to hard routes. The right and left ends look much easier, although more fractured. Weeping Wall is the semi-detached right end of the main face with the water stains.

MYSTERY MEET HISTORY… ? (project)

Due west of the large pine on top, at the left end of the Weeping Wall is a set of anchors above the dark intermittent cracks. May be a future project or a bold gear route…no beta available yet.


Leave It Better Than You Found It: This should be every outdoor user’s goal. Pick up trash left by others, pull some noxious weeds along your route, throw branches over unwanted spur trails, don’t ride or walk wet trails when you’re leaving ruts/footprints deeper than ¼ inch…

Disclaimer. Treat this information as recommendations, not gospel. Conditions change and those contributing these reports are volunteers–they may make mistakes or not know all the issues affecting a route. You are responsible for yourself, your actions, and your safety. If you won’t accept that responsibility, you are prohibited from using our information.

This post was originally published on 8/7/14.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Like WenOut? Subscribe Now!

Get hand-picked trail guide posts, events, and more delivered to your inbox.