Quadra Island Rock Climbing
|GPS:||50.14, -125.264 Google Map · Climbing Map|
|Shared By:||WildIsle on Aug 26, 2015|
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DescriptionQuadra Island is part of the Discovery Islands archipelago located just off Campbell River on the east side of Vancouver Island. Like most of the terrain in the central and north island, Quadra is a rugged, hilly island and has a good collection of clean, south-facing rock outcrops that have some outstanding developed sport climbing routes. At present (summer 2017) there are over 200 listed climbing routes on Quadra, most of them high-quality, 1, 2 and 3 pitch sport routes making it one of the best developed cragging areas in the region.
The rock is a volcanic basalt called Andesite, it differs from the typical Karmutzen basalts found at Crest Creek and Comox Lake and has arguably a more user-friendly texture and character than any of the neighbouring crag areas. Routes are generally steep with positive holds, superb friction from numerous pea-sized pyroclastic crystals and quite clean due to the open exposure.
What really makes Quadra Island an exceptional place to climb is the atmosphere and ambiance at the crags. The bluffs are mostly perched high up on a south-facing hillside with sweeping views of the southern part of the island, the shimmering Salish Sea and two ranges of snow-capped mountains running into the distance. From many of the crags the Vancouver Island Alps are in plain site all the way from Mt Arrowsmith to Mt Cain!
The Quadra Island community really makes this a perfect climbing destination too with great accommodation options from tent camping by the beach, family-run B&Bs, luxury resorts and everything in between. There are lots of other outdoor activities too including a superb network of mountain bike trails, wonderful hiking trails, world-class diving, wildlife viewing and pretty much any sort of marine or mountain activity you can imagine.
A detailed guidebook is available here: http://www.wildisle.ca/quadrarockclimbs/
Getting ThereIt is surprisingly quick to get to Quadra Island. From points south on Vancouver Island drive north on the Inland Island Highway 19 to Campbell River. 3 hours from Victoria, 1.5 hours from Nanaimo and just 45 minutes from the Comox Valley.
From downtown Campbell River take the hourly ferry across to Quathiaski Cove (10 minutes) and that's it. If you're a west coast climber who plans to visit Quadra and/or any of the other Discovery/Gulf Islands it is worth putting down the money for an 'Experience' card from BC Ferries. This card gives a significant discount on the minor routes (almost half) and can be used at face value like cash on the major routes to the mainland. It's a good investment for Islanders.
Be sure to make accommodation plans in advance especially during the busy tourist season in July and August. Please DO NOT camp or park overnight at the trailheads. There are no toilet facilities or running water here and there are just way too many inexpensive campgrounds with proper facilities to justify lurking at the trailhead. If you really have to dirt bag it then drive a ways away and find one of the logging roads out of the way to spend the night.
In general please remember that climbing is a new activity on Quadra Island, many locals have put thousands of volunteer hours into building, maintaining and regularly using the hiking trails the climbers rely on. This is a very close-knit community and if you want to be welcome be courteous and do the right thing.
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