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British Columbia

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British Columbia  

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Snowpatch Spire at sunrise.


Canada's westernmost province is very fortunate to have some of the mildest climates in the country combined with some of the best rock and mountains around. Marquee areas like Squamish, Skaha and the Bugaboos are only the tip of the iceberg.

Getting There 

Vancouver is easily accessed by air from anywhere and is about three or four hours drive from Seattle. Vancouver puts you within two hours drive of vast amounts of climbing, centered on but not limited to Squamish.

Penticton, in the interior, is about a five hour drive from Vancouver and can be accessed by air either directly or by flying to nearby Kelowna. Skaha is main destination here, but there are other quality locations in the area.

The coastal range is accessed, with difficulty from Vancouver, or by boat or plane.

Vancouver Island, which is home to some good climbing, fine mountaineering, and great trails (like the West Coast Trail) can be reached by ferry from Vancouver, or by flying to the Victoria International Airport.

The more recently developed areas on the Sunshine Coast such as the Eldred Valley are accessed by ferry from Vancouver. There appears to be a lot of potential in this area for huge first ascents.

For the Rockies, which are closer to the border with Alberta, access for out-of-towners is often via Calgary, although the drive can be done from from Vancouver in seven to ten hours depending on your destination.

Climbing Season

Weather station 1.0 miles from here

2,315 Total Routes

['4 Stars',294],['3 Stars',886],['2 Stars',840],['1 Star',237],['Bomb',23]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for British Columbia:
Northwest Ridge   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c X     Trad, Alpine, 2400'   Selkirk Mountains : Mount Sir Donald
West Ridge   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, Alpine, 1500'   The Bugaboos : Pigeon Spire
Klahanie Crack   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   Squamish : Shannon Falls
North East Ridge   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 10 pitches, 1500'   The Bugaboos : Bugaboo Spire
Diedre   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 6 pitches   The Chief : The Apron
Skywalker   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 5 pitches, 300'   Squamish : Shannon Falls
Northeast Buttress   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 25 pitches   Western Chilliwack Range : Mt. Slesse
Penny Lane   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   The Smoke Bluffs : Penny Lane
Snake   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 5 pitches   The Chief : The Apron
Flying Circus   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   The Smoke Bluffs : Neat and Cool
Rock On   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 5 pitches, 400'   The Chief : The Apron
McTech Arete   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 500'   The Bugaboos : Crescent Spire
Seasoned in the Sun   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 95'   The Chief : Grand Wall Base Area
Angel's Crest   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 13 pitches   The Chief : The Sheriff's Badge
Beckey-Chouinard   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 15 pitches, 2000'   Howser Towers : South Howser Tower
Exasperator   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 2 pitches, 150'   The Chief : Grand Wall Base Area
The Grand Wall   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c A0     Trad, Aid, 9 pitches, 1000'   The Chief : Grand Wall Area
Sunshine Crack   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Alpine, 11 pitches, 900'   The Bugaboos : Snowpatch Spire
Crime Of The Century   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   The Smoke Bluffs : Penny Lane
Freeway   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, 11 pitches   The Chief : The Dihedrals
Browse More Classics in British Columbia

Featured Route For British Columbia
Climbing the last gargoyle before the summit

Emperor Ridge 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b AI3 Steep Snow  North America : Canada : ... : Mount Robson
This historic route was nearly climbed in 1930 by Underhill and O'Brien before the successful 1961 scent.You would be crazy to get your information on this route from a website. This is a serious route that requires significant commitment. I'll share my story but the difficulty depends greatly on conditions and my experience may not be typical.My full experience is at iki.western.edu/mcis/index.php... - take this for what it's worth. The difficulty of...[more]   Browse More Classics in International

Photos of British Columbia Slideshow Add Photo
The Emperor Face and North Face of Mt. Robson, jus...
BETA PHOTO: The Emperor Face and North Face of Mt. Robson, jus...
The South Face of Mt Waddington, June 2000.
The South Face of Mt Waddington, June 2000.
Looking up at the Joffre formation from the Joffre...
BETA PHOTO: Looking up at the Joffre formation from the Joffre...
Garibaldi Mountain from the Chief.
Garibaldi Mountain from the Chief.
The Sky Pilot Group from the Chief.  Can someone c...
The Sky Pilot Group from the Chief. Can someone c...
Joffre Formation looking mighty fine. Beautiful hi...
Joffre Formation looking mighty fine. Beautiful hi...

Comments on British Columbia Add Comment
Show which comments
By Peter Winter
Feb 18, 2010
Climbers' Access Society of B.C. www.access-society.ca
By Ken Trout
From: Golden, CO
Sep 23, 2011
BC's MOUNTAIN RANGES  red box - Skaha red dash - C...
red box - Skaha
red dash - Coast Range
black - Interior Plateau
orange - Cariboo Range
yellow - Monashee Range
green - Selkirk Range
blue - Purcell Range
violet - Canadian Rockies
white - BC/Alberta
lite blue - Cascade Range

For nearly a century, the Canadian Alpine Journal, American Alpine Journal, and geographic scientists have divided British Columbia's complicated mountains into three big ranges; the west side of the Canadian Rockies (Assinniboine, Robson), the Columbia Mountains/Interior Ranges (Bugaboos, Sir Donald), and the Coast Range (Waddington). South of Highway 1, about a tenth of the North Cascades range (Slesse, Steinbok,Yak). The Interior Plateau of BC has tons of climbing too (Skaha).
By Benjamin Chapman
From: Small Town, USA
Jul 23, 2013
Not to contradict Peter Spindloe (who, as you may note, lives NORTH of Vancouver) regarding flying into Vancouver and exploring British Columbia from there, but save yourself a lot headache and bother by avoiding Vancouver, BC altogether. Fly into Bellingham, WA, fill up your gas tank at Costco, and take Hwy. 1 east around Vancover. Vancouver is congested, there are "red light" cameras everywhere, and the citizens are rude (sorry, not all, just too many). We loved BC and everyone outside of Vancouver was helpful and friendly. Join the Access Society of BC and the Squamish Access Society. These great organizations help to keep our crags open to climbers!