Great Canadian Climbing Destinations - pt. 1
By now you’ve probably heard the news - Porta-Hang Canada is open for business! We launched our Canadian website this week so we can bring you all the Porta-Hang goodness without all of the shipping and duty hassles that come with cross-border purchases.
So, to go along with our Canadian launch, we thought we’d talk about some of the best Canadian climbing destinations! These gems are well-loved areas that stretch coast-to-coast.
Located on the West Coast in BC’s Lower Mainland, Squamish is one of the best known climbing destinations in Canada for a reason. With its enormous granite apron, The Chief towers over the town of Squamish and is as characteristic to Squamish as El Cap is to Yosemite.
In Squamish you’ll find a diverse climbing community; with trad, sport, and bouldering areas, there’s something for everyone.
Best Known Routes: Apron Strings, Laughing Crack, Squamish Buttress
Skaha Provincial Park is tucked into an interesting microclimate in the interior of British Columbia. A day trip east of Squamish with it’s lush ferns and rainforest vibes, Skaha is desert! The rock is largely quartzite and gneiss (pronounced “nice”), and the surrounding landscape is unlike the rest of Canada.
Mainly sport and two or three pitch multis, the park itself does not have an abundance of bouldering, but it isn’t far from the Kelowna boulder fields.
Best Known Routes: Wings Of Desire, Piled Higher and Steeper, Plum Line
Bow Valley/ Banff
If you’ve never climbed in Canada before and you’re looking for an iconic spot, you found it! The Bow Valley begins at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta and leads into Banff National Park, one of Canada’s most well-known destinations.
There are areas that see more traffic in climbing season (generally May-October), but there is so much available that if you’re motivated to find something off the beaten path, you definitely can.
Best Known Routes: Joy, Forbidden Corner, Rundlehorn
As you head farther east across Canada, leaving Alberta the climbing gets scarce for a while. But once you’re past the prairies, it's back into an abundance of rock. From Kenora, Ontario, to Dover Island, Nova Scotia, you can find a plethora of hidden gems and epic sends.
Orient Bay/Thunder Bay Region
The Thunder Bay Region boasts the largest amount of climbing in Northern Ontario, and offers development opportunities that you just won’t find farther south in the province.
Feeling some sandstone? Head for Pass Lake for some solid sport climbing action..
Itching to plug some gear on a tower? Ouiment Canyon has you covered.
Need a 4-season climbing location that offers a little bit of everything? Look no further than Orient Bay for all of your Ice Climbing, Multi-pitch, sport, trad and bouldering needs!
Best Known Routes: Dorion Tower, Black Stallion Arete, Reflection Wall
Venturing to the far south of Ontario, along the banks of the Niagara River lies the mecca of Ontario Bouldering in the Niagara Glen Nature Reserve.
This classic Canadian destination has seen a recent boom in traffic in the past year, leading the way to an abundance of new problem development, and some notable hard sends on old classics.
The Glen offers something for everyone - a broad range of moderates for beginners and warmups, to some very stiff FAs waiting to be had. Be ready for some polished rock though when visiting the Glen.
Notable Problems: Albatross, Contact, Vilified
The Bouldering jewel of Canada’s east coast. If ocean-side granite boulders are your jam, this is where it's at. A short boat ride from local Norm Stone, takes you from Peggy’s Cove to the island, where you will find amazing short cliff bands, and free-standing boulders.
Every July, climbers from around the world gather for the annual Dover Island Bouldering Festival. Camping is permitted on the island.
Notable Problems: Orangutan, Exciter, Bulldog.
Which of these Great Canadian Climbing destinations have you been to? Which are on your “to-do” list?