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By Curtles
From Alabama
Aug 14, 2014
Hey ya'll. Wife and I are headed up to Ottawa for a few days to look around. Anyone know if there is any climbing near by? Looking for outside rock or if not any gyms?
Thanks, Curt

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By Luc
Administrator
From Montreal
Aug 14, 2014
Mastigouche
Look at the ottawa and outaouais sections of the Alpine Club of Canada cac-outaouais.org/.
There's a gym, some climbing in the Gatineau park and a bit further you find Bon Echo.
Check with jfaub here, he's been helping out on the routes for the area.

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By Jfaub
From Ottawa, On
Aug 14, 2014
Eastern Bloc slab.
Hi there!

Established climbing near Ottawa :

The Eardley Escapement would be the closest, and best thing close to Ottawa. You can see how much rock there is just by driving westbound on the 148. Hundreds upon hundreds of routes, and new routing potential. Unfortunately the National Capital Commission (NCC) which administers the area, closed about 85% of all cliffs in about 2010-2011 for (most think) bogus/political reasons, but I won't get into that debate.

Fortunately, some good stuff is still open.

Luskville area : (30 minutes from downtown)
-Eastern Bloc (Slab climbing from 5.6 to 5.11b, nice granite)
-Down Under (Steep, bouldery sport routes from 5.10c to 5.13b, super nice, featured granite. One of my favorites.)
-Copacabana (Steep sport and mixed routes from 5.9 to 5.13+, some nice roofcracks. Very imposing cave-like wall.)
-Western Cwm (Comprises Cave Wall, Spindrift Wall, Reaper Wall, North Wall, Baby Pneu) - Trad, sport and mixed routes from 5.4 to 5.13c. Great variety, good rock.)
-Shrine Boulders (Small amount of quality bouldering, but long hike in. I have never been there)

Lac Boisseau : (20-30 minutes from downtown)
-Long bands of low cliffs composed of a really weird sandstone like (?) rock. Not an aesthetic area in any sense of the word, but if you look past that, there are many interesing boulder problems from V0 to V5/6. A bit chossy in places. Still fun if you go with an open mind.

Hog's back park : (Central Ottawa)
-A few boulders (?) with several problems between V0 to V5. I have not been there yet.

Calabogie : (1h-1h30min west of downtown)
-Main cliff (Long, very long granite cliff with mostly sport and mixed routes with some trad from 5.6 to 5.13+, lots of redtagged projects. Lots of cool routes. New routing is constantly going on since the Eardley closures. Also one of my favorite areas.)
-Lake cliff (Adventure trad and hard sport from 5.7 to 5.13+, some aid. I have not been yet.)
-Calabogie boulders (Great bouldering downhill from the main cliff. 75-100 problems in the V0 to V8 range. Lots of potential for new development. Great rock and good friction that dosen't destroy your skin.)

Gyms :
-Vertical reality (Downtown, next to the war museum. Unfortunately, currently closed until October for roof repair. The building is an old factory and is designated as a historic building. Lead walls up the ~60 feet high, lots of overhangs, bulges, even a bit of slab. 3 bouldering caves + training areas. My gym of choice.

-Coyote rock gym (Situated east of downtown, on St, Laurent boulevard. Go there for the bouldering -very good setting- but not for leading or toproping, as the walls are pitifully short.)

-Altitude gym (Boulevard St-Joseph on the Gatineau side. The newest and nicest looking gym of all three. Lots of bouldering, Very high lead walls (similar to VR). Just a bit far for me (I live way out in the east end).

There is ALOT more climbing is you are willing to drive a bit north to the laurentians. That would involve about 1h to 3hrs of driving from downtown.

Highlights : Montagne d'argent (sport, trad, mixed. 200-300 routes) Val-David (amazing bouldering + lots and lots of trad / good crack climbing), Lac Boisseau (sport) Cap-des-Peres (sport), Julien Labedan (mostly trad). I'm forgetting many, but this is just so you have an idea. The laurentians have soooo much climbing and most of it is not very well documented.

If you drive east, you could also sample the rock at Mont Rigaud, roughly 1h30min/hours from downtown. Routes from 5.5 to 5.13. Short routes, but pretty good when you want variety.

  • Don't judge the area by what you see posted online, there is ALOT more climbing in the Ottawa region than it may look like from an online search. It's hard to document all of it, but i'm trying when I have time (I want to send my projects too!).*

Don't hesitate to message me for more info! Or on what classics to get on! :)

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By David Gibbs
From Ottawa, ON
Aug 14, 2014
Curtles wrote:
Hey ya'll. Wife and I are headed up to Ottawa for a few days to look around. Anyone know if there is any climbing near by? Looking for outside rock or if not any gyms? Thanks, Curt


Jfaub supplied a lot of useful details.

A couple notes:

From my understanding, Baby Pneu (in the western Cwm), Luskville. is also closed. As are, I think, the Shrine boulders.

From the open climbing in Luskville, he missed Home Cliff. About 20 open climbs, mix of trad & sport, ranges 5.3 - 5.11.

Where he mentions "Lac Boisseau : (20-30 minutes from downtown) " - I think he actually means Lac Beauchamp, which is a park on the Quebec side with a bunch of bouldering being developed. (Lac Boisseau also has climbing, but it is out in the Laurentians, and he mentions it in that section.)

Another highlight for the Laurentians would be The Weir -- one of the steepest large cliffs in the area -- about 90m of vertical to over-hanging rock. A few moderate trad lines, and a bunch of steep, long, hard sport and trad lines.

He also says:
"Don't judge the area by what you see posted online, there is ALOT more climbing in the Ottawa region than it may look like from an online search. It's hard to document all of it, but i'm trying when I have time (I want to send my projects too!).*"

Actually, much of the climbing in the area is documented online -- just not on here. The best site for climbing around Ottawa is the crag - thecrag.com. In particular some links:

Eastern Ontario: thecrag.com/climbing/canada/on...
Outaouais, Quebec: thecrag.com/climbing/canada/qu...
Laurentians, Quebec: thecrag.com/climbing/canada/qu...

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By David Gibbs
From Ottawa, ON
Aug 14, 2014
Also, feel free to drop me a line: gibbs_da at yahoo dot ca . I'm usually headed out climbing most weekend days if the weather is any good, usually with a group of varying size, and happy to take others along.

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By Jfaub
From Ottawa, On
Aug 14, 2014
Eastern Bloc slab.
Thanks for filling in the blanks David. How could I forget Home cliff? And yes, by Lac Boisseau I meant Lac Beauchamp. Also, the not "well documented" comment was directed more at the stuff on Mountain project. The links provided have quite good quality info. (Especially for Home cliff and Calabogie, which don't have a lot of entries on here.)

Cheers!

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By Curtles
From Alabama
Aug 14, 2014
Thanks for all the info. We will bring shoes and harnesses. May rent car. Would love to take ya'll up on the offers. Will be in touch.
From deep in the heart of Dixie.
Curt

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