The Route

Snakelet 5.7, Met­calfe Rock, Ont.

Gripped - - CONTENTS -

Met­calfe Rock is one of the old­est crags in south­ern On­tario with the first climbs done back in the early 1960s. At that time, the crag was called Ko­la­pore Crag be­cause it was found in the Ko­la­pore Up­lands.

There’s a cabin in the woods at the base of the crag owned by the Univer­sity of

Toronto. It’s one of the most pop­u­lar crags in the prov­ince.

The Ni­a­gara Es­carp­ment lime­stone is fea­tured with pock­ets, slop­ers, arêtes and jugs mixed with cracks and ledges. Some of the most pop­u­lar routes are quite pol­ished and of­fer hard climb­ing at the stated grades. There are walls that face ev­ery as­pect, which makes it per­fect for es­cap­ing or chas­ing the sun.

Snakelet is one of many routes that climb

The Anvil, a tower at the north end of Met­calfe. You have to walk past a lot of fun routes to get to it, but it’s worth the trek. Most of the best routes are dif­fi­cult climbs, in­clud­ing Ser­pen­tine, a clas­sic 5.11d first climbed in 1997 by Randy Kiel­basiewicz and Ti­bor Har­gi­tai. Kiel­basiewicz re­turned over a decade af­ter the first as­cent to make the first as­cent of Snakelet, a very fun two-pitch 5.7. It’s one of only a few routes that bring you to the top of the wild pin­na­cle. De­scent re­quires an airy and fun rap­pel.

On­tario has a num­ber of out­stand­ing multi-pitch routes, but most are found around Thun­der Bay, near Mon­treal River or Bon Echo, so this is a great route to prac­tice skills and to ex­pe­ri­ence hang­ing be­lays mid-route. While the grade isn’t very ap­peal­ing for se­ri­ous sport climbers, it’s a great way to cool down at the end of a long day work­ing on projects. No mat­ter what brought you to Met­calfe, don’t leave be­fore do­ing a lap on Snakelet.—gripped


Park at the Bruce Trail park­ing on 10th Line south of Collingwoo­d. Ap­proach the crag and head left along the base past a num­ber of walls to the base of The Anvil. Easy to spot with the large gully to the left of a steep prow. Snakelet starts right of a white scar.


P1: Climb the slab 5.7 first pitch of Ser­pen­tine to the an­chor mid-wall (5.7 15 m).

P2: Move up and right up eas­ier rock with good holds to an an­chor on top (5.5 15 m).


Walk north to rap rings and a free-hang­ing rap­pel.


A stan­dard sport climb­ing rack with at least 10 quick­draws. One 60 m rope. Wear a hel­met.

Other Climbs

Met­calfe Rock has a num­ber of clas­sic one pitch routes, in­clud­ing: Fig Jam 5.10b, Pump it Hot­tie Pump It 5.10b, wh­mis 5.10d, White of Spring 5.9, It’s Not Ev­ery Day 5.9, Don’t Look, Just Climb 5.7 and Re­venge of the Fires 5.9.


On­tario Climb­ing Vol­ume Two, the North­ern Es­carp­ment by Gus Alexan­dropou­los and Justin Dwyer in 2016.

Top: Two views of Jesse Wong on Snakelet at Met­calfe Rock Right: Climbers on the first pitch of Snakelet

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