Beechey Head

Gripped - - NATIVE STONES - Ju­lia Bobak is a top Van­cou­ver Is­land Climber.

While The Coli­seum and Mirk­wood are both for­est crags, Beechey Head is a clas­sic sea cliff blessed with cool ocean breezes and spec­tac­u­lar views. Be sure to spend a sec­ond tak­ing it all in as you pull over the top of the routes. Beechey Head lines are pri­mar­ily tra­di­tion­ally pro­tected with Abbey Road 5.9 be­ing one of the most pop­u­lar. Be very wary of any bolts and hang­ers you in­tend to clip as salt spray from crash­ing waves has­tens the for­ma­tion of rust.

These same waves also make com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween climber and be­layer dif­fi­cult, so be sure to have a plan in place be­fore leav­ing the ground. The top an­chor bolts are set well back from the edge and re­main in good con­di­tion so it may be worth set­ting up a top rope or rap­pelling down to in­spect any bolts be­low be­fore at­tempt­ing a ground-up lead.

Climb­ing in East Sooke Park may not be as well-de­vel­oped or pop­u­lar as many B.C. des­ti­na­tions, but this is part of its ap­peal. If you are look­ing for a cool place on a hot day for a re­lax­ing ses­sion away from the crowds, it f its the bill per­fectly. And be sure not to con­fine your day to climb­ing alone – take ad­van­tage of the stun­ning West Coast scenery and well-marked trails to en­joy a pic­nic lunch or a chal­leng­ing hike. Get­ting there from Vic­to­ria Take the Trans-Canada High­way 1 north out of town then take Exit 14 to­ward Lang­ford/Sooke. Turn right onto Sooke Road/High­way 14, then left onto Gille­spie Road, left onto East Sooke Road and fi­nally right onto Becher Bay Road to find your­self at the East Sooke Re­gional Park Ay­lard Farm Park­ing Lot. From here, con­sult the guide­book to lo­cate the in­di­vid­ual bluffs as some of the ap­proaches are quite in­volved.

Guide­book South Is­land Select by Al Agop­sow­icz. The lat­est edi­tion was pub­lished in 2015 and is avail­able at MEC and other lo­cal re­tail­ers.

Sea­son Sum­mer/fall

Mark Ri­ley climbs Abbey Road 5.9

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