Redditt

This area includes cliffs that lie between Minaki to the west and ELA to the east. Access to these cliffs begins from the Trans-Canada Highway bypass(17A) that goes to the north of Kenora. The Redditt Airport Cliff was the first to be developed; unfortunately, it is located on private land and gaining permission to climb here has been a problem in recent years. The Redditt Quarry Cliff is a good practice area.

Redditt Airport Cliff

Redditt is a small town located on the C.N.R. line 50 km north of Kenora. It May be reached by taking the Redditt/Black Sturgeon Lake Road which intersects the Trans-Canada Highway bypass north of Kenora.

This excellent granite cliff is situated within the Redditt township, just north of the C.N. tracks alongside the airport runway. A private road runs along the base of the cliff. One house has a garden fenced all the way to the cliff. Vehicles must be left near the large warehouse. Permission for climbing should be obtained from Mr. Cranston who lives in a house near the end of the road running along the base of the cliff.

The cliff offers good crack and corner routes up to 40m high. Due to the highly fractured nature of the rock, the cliff takes on a very blocky formation with many horizontal lines. Therefore, most climbs are broken up by ledges into a series of short hard sections followed by good resting places. Consequently there is little sustained hard climbing. The presence of many ledges means that extra caution must be used by leaders because the clean fall, characteristic of most other cliffs in the region, is rare here. The various jamming techniques are particularly useful.

There has been little activity here and many attractive lines still await development. The unique horizontal fracturing offers the possibility of some interesting girdle traverses. Unfortunately, in later years it has been difficult to obtain permission to climb here.

Several prominent features serve as landmarks dividing the cliff into three major sections. The Western (left) end of the cliff finishes at the obvious slab or wall that bisects the cliff just behind the large house. The Middle section extends from here to the large rectangular-shaped block perched on a ledge at about half cliff height and situated directly above the small house and huge boulders. The Eastern (right) end of the cliff comprises the more broken and shorter routes to the right of the landmark block. The climbs are described left to right. Refer to photographs for further route identification.

Western Section

Initiate 5.5, 18m

The upper part is the obvious wide crack near the left end of the cliffs. The lower part is a series of ledges.
Robert France, Jim Cushon – 1979 July

Short Ledge 5.5, 34m

One of a number of interesting crack and corner lines at the left end of the cliffs. Start 10m left of the outside corner left of the house, at a small corner below a chimney. Pitch 1. 21m. Climb the corner to a ledge below the chimney. Pitch 2. 12m. Climb the chimney.
Richard Tilley, Anil Shukla, Peter Aitchison – 1976

Double Finish 5.7/A1, 40m *

The upper pitch ascends the prominent wall left of the large dihedral corner directly behind the house. Start below the left end of the ledge at the base of the dihedral, at an overhang. Pitch 1. 12m. Climb straight up the cracks, traverse left under the overhang, and then climb up to the big ledge. Two aid moves were used. Pitch 2. 27m. Climb a jagged crack on the wall to the left of the corner (unclimbed but very attractive).
Peter Aitchison, Richard Tilley – 1976 Oct 10

Middle Section

Inclination 5.7, 30m

Behind the large house at the right-hand end of the garden, take a right-trending crack. Pitch 1. 15m. Start at the slab, traverse into the crack, then up to a ledge. Pitch 2. 15m. Follow corners and cracks to the top (variable finish).
Peter Aitchison, Allan Benoit, Dorland Brown – 1979 May 19

Split Crack 5.7, 24m

Behind the sheds adjacent to the large house, take the rightmost of two parallel cracks. Pitch 1. 9m. Climb up to a tree belay. Pitch 2. 18m. Move left and up a tricky corner and cracks above (variable finish).
Richard Tilley, Peter Aitchison – 1979 May 27

Oblique Corner 5.7, 24m *

A good route starting at a prominent corner some way to the left of the broken middle portion of the cliffs. Climb the corner and continuation cracks and corners above.
Peter Aitchison, Peter Gough – 1978 July 23

Broken Crack 5.7, 27m *

An obvious crack, trending right, at the left side of the broken middle portion of the cliffs. Pitch 1. 12m. Climb the crack moving right of the bushes. Pitch 2. 24m. Move up to the left to finish (variable).
Peter Aitchison, Allan Benoit, Dorland Brown – 1979 May 20

Crack and Corner 5.5, 27m

At the right-hand side of the broken middle portion of the cliff, climb up a series of corners and cracks trending left below a chimney-like crack just left of the overhanging section. Pitch 1. 12m. Climb up through the tricky chimney to a ledge. Pitch 2. 12m. Continue up to the top (variable finish).

Nazgul 5.9, 37m **

A straight and direct line that is easily recognized on this cliff where many of the longer climbs require horizontal traverses. This route follows a series of cracks and corners behind the huge granite boulder just left of the first house reached from town. Pitch 1. 24m. Begin with either of two starting variations and climb straight up, breaking the climb at the ledge with the large spruce tree. Pitch 2. 12m. Continue up the corner crack (crux) to the top.
Peter Aitchison, Ken Lertzman 1976 June 5, Alternate start, 12m left: Douglas Leonard, Robert France – 1981 June

Gwaihir 5.7, 34m **

This interesting route starts behind the huge boulders and the first (small) house reached from town. It follows an obvious crack system through an overhang 12m left of the landmark block. Pitch 1. 18m. Climb up the cracks, going left of the overhang and belay. Pitch 2. 15m. Move up the corner a few meters, then traverse left onto the slab and around the outside corner, and finish on a short inside corner.
Peter Aitchison, Ken Lertzman – 1976 June 5

Tree Beard 5.8/A1, 40m *

Start 7m right of Gwaihir, below a vertical crack. Pitch 1. 18m. Make a hard mantleshelf, ascend the crack, and move left to the belay ledge mentioned in Gwaihir. Pitch 2. 21m. Crossing the route of Gwaihir, make a low traverse left, rounding the outside corner with an aid move. Then climb up to the left of Gwaihir to finish.
Peter Aitchison, Richard Tilley – 1976

Redditt Crack 5.8/A1, 37m *

A crack and corner route of sustained difficulty and exposure. Start behind the first (small) house reached from town, below a prominent split in the upper part of the cliff formed by two immense flakes immediately left of the landmark block. Pitch 1. 18m. Climb up a few meters, traverse left and then back right to avoid the smooth section. Continue up and over the bulge to a belay ledge. Pitch 2. 18m. Climb the corner with one aid move 3m from the ledge. Continue up the flaring chimney to the top; an easier alternative follows the hole at the back of the chimney.
Peter Aitchison, Richard Tilley – 1977 May 1

Eastern Section

Bregalad 5.6, 27m

An interesting crack and corner route starting 7m right of Redditt Crack, immediately right of the landmark block. Pitch 1. 15m. Climb the prominent left-trending crack, move left then up to a ledge and belay. Pitch 2. 12m. Climb up the crack at the back to finish.
Peter Aitchison, Richard Tilley – 1976

Piece of Mind 5.4, 24m

A nice crack route. Start at the deeply incised crack, 3m right of Bregalad. Watch out for loose rock at the crux. Climb straight up the crack and ledges to finish (variable).
Peter Aitchison, Richard Tilley – 1977 May 1

Nice 5.7, 14m

A fine crack climb just right of Piece of Mind. Go straight up the crack.
Peter Aitchison, Peter Gough – 1978 July 23

Elrohir 5.8, 15m *

This is the leftmost of the three cracks up the nearly vertical wall just right of Bregalad. Climb the crack using jamming techniques.
Peter Aitchison, Ken Lertzman – 1976 June 5

New Horizons 5.5, 30m

A nice route following the large straight crack to the right of Elrohir. There is a rock overhanging part of the crack. Pitch 1. 15m. Climb the ledges and crack, past the overhanging rock, to a ledge. Pitch 2. 15m. Climb a series of cracks and corners to the top (variable finish).
Peter Aitchison, Peter Gough, Janet Gough – 1978 July 23

Electric Arc 5.6, 15m

Climb up between the two flakes just right of New Horizons, and move right and up to finish (variable).
Peter Aitchison, Craig Parfait – 1979 May 27, Alternate finish: Richard Tilley, Gerhard Dehls – 1979 May 27

Flakey 5.6, 24m *

A very fine crack and corner climb. Start below a jagged flakey-edged crack in the steep wall towards the right end of the cliff, 7m right of Electric Arc. Pitch 1. 9m. Climb the crack for 5m to a ledge, traverse left and climb the left-trending flake to a ledge below a corner (beware of the red-colored piece at the crux). Pitch 2. 9m. Climb the corner and cracks above (variable finish).
Peter Aitchison, Richard Tilley – 1977 May 1

Challenge 5.7, 18m

A mantleshelf and crack route starting below an obvious corner at the right-hand end of the cliff, where it extends further down the hillside.
Peter Gough, Janet Gough, Peter Aitchison – 1978 July 23


Redditt Quarry Cliff

Located 2.5 km south of the town of Redditt just on the west (left) side of Road 666 is another fine small granite cliff. During 1978-79 a dozen or so routes ranging in difficulty from 5.4 to 5.9 were established by Peter Gough, Janet Gough and Peter Aitchison. In 1981 a new 5.10 route by Everett Fee and Casey Shaw was added. Climbs are short (7-10 m), unnamed, and usually top-roped, although practice leading is certainly possible. Refer to map for route identification. Due to the number of climbs over 5.7 in grade, this cliff is recommended as a practice area for advanced rather than novice climbers (the reverse of the situation at The Lily Pond).