MUST-VISIT ROCK CLIMBING CRAGS
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.