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Areas in Ontario

Agawa Canyon 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 12 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 12
Al Qaeda Area 2 / 9 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 12
Bancroft 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Bancroft Cottage Boulders 0 / 0 / 0 / 21 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 21
Bellevue Tower 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Berlin Wall 4 / 11 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 15
Big Bend in Gravenhurst, The 0 / 2 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Bon Echo 28 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 28
Calabogie 0 / 0 / 0 / 43 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 43
Cape Croker 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Claghorn - Outward Bound Area 0 / 2 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Claghorn Long Wall 2 / 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8
Cumberland 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Devil Rock 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Devil's Glen 9 / 47 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 56
Echo Crag 3 / 10 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 13
Golden Horseshoe 98 / 37 / 48 / 8 / 5 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 150
Gull Lake Cliffs 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Halfway Log Dump (Bruce Peninsula National Park) 0 / 0 / 0 / 11 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 11
Haliburton Highlands (ICE) 0 / 0 / 4 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 4
Ice Station Superior 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Kama Bay Rock Climbing 7 / 2 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 10
Kama Bay, Lake Superior, Ice and Mixed 6 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 8 / 0 / 5 / 0 / 12
Kenora 3 / 7 / 5 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 14
Kingston Mills 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Lac de Mille Lacs Granite Face 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Lake McCrae 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Lake of Bays, Ontario, Canada 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Lion's Head 45 / 172 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 217
Madawaska Valley (ICE) 0 / 0 / 15 / 0 / 26 / 0 / 8 / 0 / 32
Manitoulin Island 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Metcalfe Rock 63 / 74 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 137
Mile 38 2 / 1 / 2 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 2
Montreal River Harbour / Batchawana Bay 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 2 / 1 / 2
Mowatt's landing 0 / 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Muskoka (ICE) 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 6
Muskoka Lakes 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Near North (ICE) 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Old Baldy 1 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Orient Bay Ice and Mixed 19 / 4 / 1 / 1 / 34 / 1 / 11 / 0 / 42
Red Rock Ridge 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Robertson Ridge 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Sawpit Bay 0 / 0 / 2 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Skeleton Bay, Lake Rosseau 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Swamp, The 12 / 80 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 92
TV Tower 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Thunder Bay Region Ice and Mixed 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 6
Thunder Bay Region Rock 5 / 0 / 9 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 12
White Bluff 3 / 23 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 26

Description

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: http://www.ontarioaccesscoalition.com/crag-status/

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: http://www.giscoeapp.lrc.gov.on.ca/web/MNR/NHLUPS/CLUPA/Viewer/Viewer.html

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.

1,023 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Ontario

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
WI4
Obsession
Ice 2 pitches
WI3+
Tears of Joy
Ice 2 pitches
WI3-4
Cascade Falls
Ice
WI2+
Tempest
Ice
WI2+
Sycho Icycho
Ice
WI4
Ranxerox Tangent
Ice
WI5
10% Real
Trad, Ice 2 pitches
WI3+
Mellow Yellow
Trad, Ice
WI4
Evil Des Sens
Trad, Ice
WI4+
Getting Oriented
Ice
WI5+
Pukasahib (Child's Play)
Ice 2 pitches
WI5
Starquake
Trad, Ice 2 pitches
WI4+ M3-4 PG13
Aurora Borealis
Mixed, Ice, Alpine
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Kiss of the Spider Woman
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
The Fin
Sport
Obsession Orient Bay Ice an… > 5. Cascade Falls/Obsession Area WI4 Ice 2 pitches
Tears of Joy Orient Bay Ice an… > 6. N End WI3+ Ice 2 pitches
Cascade Falls Orient Bay Ice an… > 5. Cascade Falls/Obsession Area WI3-4 Ice
Tempest Orient Bay Ice an… > 5. Cascade Falls/Obsession Area WI2+ Ice
Sycho Icycho Orient Bay Ice an… > 5. Cascade Falls/Obsession Area WI2+ Ice
Ranxerox Tangent Orient Bay Ice an… > 3. Ice Palace WI4 Ice
10% Real Orient Bay Ice an… > 3. Ice Palace WI5 Trad, Ice 2 pitches
Mellow Yellow Orient Bay Ice an… > 1. S End WI3+ Trad, Ice
Evil Des Sens Orient Bay Ice an… > 3. Ice Palace WI4 Trad, Ice
Getting Oriented Kama Bay, Lake Su… > Getting Oriented Area WI4+ Ice
Pukasahib (Child's Play) Thunder Bay Regio… > Mount McRae Ice and Mixed WI5+ Ice 2 pitches
Starquake Orient Bay Ice an… > 6. N End WI5 Trad, Ice 2 pitches
Aurora Borealis Montreal River Ha… > Montreal River WI4+ M3-4 PG13 Mixed, Ice, Alpine
Kiss of the Spider Woman Lion's Head > American Bucks / Spider Woman Wall 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
The Fin Lion's Head > Fin Wall 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Ontario »

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Peter Spindloe
North Vancouver, BC
Peter Spindloe   North Vancouver, BC
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. Jan 20, 2009
nodin
Duluth, MN
nodin   Duluth, MN
Check acctbay.ca for more info on the Thunder Bay area... Oct 15, 2008
jaysquared
Madison, WI
jaysquared   Madison, WI
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? Aug 17, 2008

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