Gripped - - THE GYM -

Que­bec and On­tario have many things in com­mon for rock climbers, from easyto-reach routes to great cul­ture and lo­cal food. While most climbers think about head­ing to Western Canada dur­ing the sum­mer months, many de­cide to head east and climb at the well-known walls around Toronto and Mon­treal.

Rock climb­ing be­gan in Canada around the same time in many places. Out East, it was in the moun­tain­ous area around Val David and along the Ni­a­gara Es­carp­ment. The first routes climbed the ob­vi­ous cracks, chim­neys and weak­nesses. As climb­ing pro­gressed around the world and the use of bolts al­lowed for more dif­fi­cult climb­ing, On­tario climbers were not far be­hind. In the 1980s, hard sport routes were added to many of the orig­i­nal walls.

Since then, new crags have been dis­cov­ered while old ones have stayed the cen­tre of at­ten­tion for young and old climbers alike. The fol­low­ing 10 ar­eas are a few of the most pop­u­lar crags to hit on a sum­mer road trip. We sug­gest tak­ing two weeks off, load­ing the car up with gear, food and bev­er­ages and hit­ting the road. The trip is de­scribed from Toronto and Mon­treal and meet in the mid­dle. If you start from the other, just re­verse the or­der once you cross prov­ince bor­ders.

Start­ing in Kamouraska, east of Que­bec City, head south­east to Val David, Mon­tagne d’Ar­gent, Weir and Mont Ri­gaud. Then cross into On­tario and stop at the pop­u­lar Kingston Mills be­fore driv­ing east of Toronto to Mount Nemo and Buf­falo Crag then go north to Old Baldy and fi­nally Lion’s Head. From Toronto, do that list of ar­eas in re­verse start­ing at Lion’s Head and end­ing at Kamouraska. You will climb a num­ber of rock types, from lime­stone to gran­ite, on slabs, ver­ti­cal walls and over­hangs.

1/ One of the best sport climb­ing ar­eas east of Lion’s Head. The gneiss rock pro­vides fea­tured crimps, jugs and pro­vide fun climb­ing. The cliff is above the St. Lawrence River in a small farm town by the same name. You must stop in the camp­ground se­bka to pay to ac­cess the area. The park­ing is up the road in a gravel pull­out. From there, it will take about an hour to hike to the horse­shoe shaped wall that has over 100 climbs, but has room for more. Climbers travel from all over to visit the great climbs. The camp­ing nearby, the quaint vil­lage and de­li­cious lo­cal food make it a must visit. Some of the best routes are Ho­cus Pocus 5.6, Bon­sai 5.8, Tintin au Ti­bet 5.9, Moby Dick 5.11 and Pierre Volante.

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