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Agawa Canyon 
Bancroft Cottage Boulders 
Bellevue Tower 
Berlin Wall 
Big Bend in Gravenhurst, The 
Bon Echo 
Claghorn - Outward Bound Area 
Devil Rock 
Devil's Glen 
Eagles Nest Bancroft (ICE) 
Golden Horseshoe 
Gull Lake Cliffs 
Halfway Log Dump (Bruce Peninsula National Park) 
Ice Station Superior 
Jones Road Cliff (aka Jones Rhode) 
Kama Bay, L. Superior (Mixed) 
Kama Bay, Lake Superior (Ice) 
Lake of Bays, Ontario, Canada 
Lion's Head 
Metcalfe Rock 
Mile 38 
Montreal River Harbour / Batchawana Bay 
Mowatt's landing 
Muskoka Lakes 
Old Baldy  
Orient Bay (Ice) 
Orient Bay (Mixed) 
Red Rock Ridge 
Robertson Ridge 
Sawpit Bay 
Skeleton Bay, Lake Rosseau 
Sleeping Giant 
Thunder Bay (Ice) 
Thunder Bay, Ontario 
White Bluff 


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Entering the crux of Nimbus (5.10b) at Lion's Head...


It would appear at first glance that Ontario lost in the glaciation lottery. Somehow nearby Quebec and New York State were spared total bulldozing, but Ontario really got it in the last however number of ice ages.

Despite that, there is some fine climbing to be had in Ontario, even some great climbing. The local communities are large and strong.

In southern Ontario, the limestone and dolostone of the 700km long Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, provides fifty or more crags from Niagara Falls up to Tobermory on the Bruce Pennisula. Recent decades have added a number of high quality sport crags to the trad areas established in the sixties. Lion's Head is a true gem of an area; pictures from there look like Thailand.

Further north and also to the east, the granite and quartzite of the Canadian Shield formation provide some excellent trad cragging and multi-pitch routes.

The relatively long winters have pushed people to hunt out every ice smear around, and if you're up to winter camping and lots of tromping across frozen lakes and in the bush, there's solid ice climbing to be had.

In the more populated areas of Ontario, especially southern and south-western Ontario (within a few hours drive of Toronto) access is often complicated, with many cliffs closed to climbing. The Ontario Access Coalition (OAC) monitors this, and negotiates for access to cliffs, or to avoid closures. They maintain a crag status list at: ontarioaccesscoalition.com/cra...

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry also maintains an online crown land use policy atlas. This can often be used to determine the ownership status of the land on which a cliff is located in Ontario. It can be found at: giscoeapp.lrc.gov.on.ca/web/MN...

Getting There 

The southern parts of the Niagara Escarpment are easily accessible from Toronto, Buffalo or Detroit. For most other areas you're looking at a lot of driving.

Climbing Season

Weather station 4.7 miles from here

453 Total Routes

['4 Stars',58],['3 Stars',144],['2 Stars',129],['1 Star',94],['Bomb',5]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Ontario:
Tempest   WI2+     Ice, 1 pitch, 200'   Orient Bay (Ice)
Andromeda Weeps   WI4     Ice, 2 pitches, 200'   Orient Bay (Ice)
Getting Oriented   WI4+     Ice, 1 pitch, 150'   Kama Bay, Lake Superior (Ic...
Hully Gully   WI2+     Ice, 2 pitches, 140'   Orient Bay (Ice)
Gomar Falls   WI3     Trad, Ice, 2 pitches, 260'   Orient Bay (Ice)
Evil Des Seins   WI4     Trad, Ice, 1 pitch, 55'   Orient Bay (Ice)
Tears of Joy   WI3+     Ice, 2 pitches, 250'   Orient Bay (Ice)
Ranxerox Tangent   WI4     Ice, 1 pitch, 150'   Orient Bay (Ice)
Cascade Falls   WI3-4     Ice, 1 pitch, 130'   Orient Bay (Ice)
Obsession   WI4     Ice, 2 pitches, 180'   Orient Bay (Ice)
Mellow Yellow   WI3+     Trad, Ice, 1 pitch, 200'   Orient Bay (Ice)
Sycho Icycho   WI2+     Ice, 1 pitch, 190'   Orient Bay (Ice)
10% Real   WI5     Trad, Ice, 2 pitches, 150'   Orient Bay (Ice)
The Orbital Traverse   V3 6A     Boulder, 10'   Calabogie : Calabogie Bouldering
The Bullfighter's Friend   V3-4 6A+     Boulder, 12'   Calabogie : Calabogie Bouldering
Ken's Super Slab   V5 6C     Boulder, 15'   Calabogie : Calabogie Bouldering
Front of the Pinnacle   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   Bon Echo
Kiss of the Spider Woman   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport   Lion's Head : American Bucks / Spider Wom...
Maneline   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport   Lion's Head : Maneline Wall
The Fin   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport   Lion's Head : The Fin Wall
Browse More Classics in Ontario

Featured Route For Ontario
Icebreakers area from the Domtar road.  Icebreaker...

Kama Bay Cakewalk WI6-  North America : Canada : ... : Kama Bay, Lake Superior (Ic...
This beautiful line forms up only in the best of years. Moderate climbing leads to the base of the ice streak on the upper wall. The upper half of the route is very steep and sustained, and on the FA brittle as well (temp well below zero F). ...[more]   Browse More Classics in International

Photos of Ontario Slideshow Add Photo
Thomas seconding Nimbus.
Thomas seconding Nimbus.
Mother of Pearl
Mother of Pearl
Cat's Tail (5.9), a long, sustained and high quali...
Cat's Tail (5.9), a long, sustained and high quali...
Leading Elzingas Corner
Leading Elzingas Corner
Starting up "I Wonder Where the Lions Are&quo...
Starting up "I Wonder Where the Lions Are&quo...
Me on Caramel Coatings (Kushog Lake, ON, Canada)
Me on Caramel Coatings (Kushog Lake, ON, Canada)
Entering the crux of "I Wonder Where the Lion...
Entering the crux of "I Wonder Where the Lion...
Agawa Canyon
Agawa Canyon
non climbing - throwing rocks into Lake Superior d...
non climbing - throwing rocks into Lake Superior d...
Ontario ice
Ontario ice

Comments on Ontario Add Comment
Show which comments
By jaysquared
From: Madison, WI
Aug 17, 2008
Last week I drove from Toronto to Sudbury and was amazed by the amount of rock up there. Does anyone know about established climbing up there? I didn't see many obviously climbable faces from the road, but I'm assuming there's got to be something.

Anyone familiar with the area?
By nodin
From: Duluth, MN
Oct 15, 2008
Check www.acctbay.ca for more info on the Thunder Bay area...
By Peter Spindloe
From: North Vancouver, BC
Jan 20, 2009
jaysquared, there are some well established climbs in Killarney Provincial Park. Some are documented in David Smart's book Ontario's Finest Rock Climbs. Beyond that, I'm sure there are tons of other areas, although the information is probably sparse.
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