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.
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.
Weather station 4.7 miles from here
415 Total Routes
['4 Stars',57],['3 Stars',126],['2 Stars',117],['1 Star',90],['Bomb',5]
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Ontario:
Featured Route For Ontario
WI5 North America
: ... : Orient Bay (Ice)
An impressive curtain of yellowish ice - true ice wall. It is very close to Highway 11, so it impossible to miss (unless you're looking east the entire time). Looks dead vertical from the distance but from up close it is actually well featured, three-dimensional, and with quite a few options. Reflection Wall faces east so it gets baked and can be chandeliered and reportedly dangerous in late spring. Eric Landmann in his "Superior Ice" (currently out of prin...[more] Browse More Classics in International
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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?
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.