BETA PHOTO: Taken from uphill to the northwest, September, 200...
Valley Massif has a collection of good multi-pitch traditional crack climbs. The guidebook for this area declares Valley Massif as one of the loveliest areas in Vedauwoo. I have to agree. This area is made up primarily of two faces--the Northwest face and the Southeast face. The Northwest face stays shaded most of the day and the opposite is true for the Southeast face. The Southeast face has some nesting birds of prey so check for closures. The walk off for most of the routes is to the Northeast.
To get to this area follow the Turtle Rock trail that starts in the parking area near the base of Walt's Wall. The trailhead is on the left side of the parking area when facing Walt's. Follow this trail around until you see the Valley Massif rock outcroppings across the valley. You will have to cross some beaver dams to get there.
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Valley Massif:
Zipper starts about 40ft. right of Screw. Midway up the climb, you will a group of 3 parallel cracks. You can use this feature to help you find the start.P1 - go up pretty easy ground(20ft)and then enter the off-width. In my opinion, entering the off-width is the crux. Grunt your way up to a ledge (another 20ft) and belay.P2 - there are 3 variations to P2, each given a its own name in Harper's guidebook. Zipper follows the right-most crack (more off-width). The Snap variation which we took go...[more]Browse More Classics in WY
Just a note on approaches for those using Heel & Toe. Things have changed a little bit in the Valley Massif area (and the Reynolds area, for that matter)since the publication of H & T, probably for the better if you go to Vedauwoo seeking solitude.
Viable approaches include: (1) as described above, take the Turtle Rock trail from the parking lot below Walt's Wall and past Holy Saturday; (2) take the Turtle Rock Trail from the east trailhead near the beaver ponds, around the Turtle Rock massif, and across any convenient beaver dam; (3) hike in from the Reynolds Road closure point (old #700D); and last but not least (4) take a good trail that drops down to Valley Massif from the SE corner of Poland Hill. The latter option probably involves the least "swamp-whacking", but is uphill all the way out.
Right now is a great time to hit Valley Massif if you're in the area. As of 9/23, the approach was bug-free and mostly dry, the aspens had turned, and there was nobody around except for the elk.
Approach we used: Take the Turtle rock trail past the beaver ponds. Continue on the excellent trail passing a few ponds and swampy areas. Meet up with a well defined trail going left (marked with a cairn)This will skirt a pond. Follow this to the base of Valley Massif. Pretty much dry the whole way. To approach the actual climbs it is easist to go in from the far left of the formation, finding your way through the inevitable Veduawoo boulders. It is also possible to get to the climbs from the right but you will have to do some canyoneering type moves through a very narrow slot. This is fun as well, and is also required to get back to the base if you top out on routes and walk off.