Where to go climbing this summer?

June 18, 2020 / By yann

Read time : 5 minutes

Photo : Jonathan Ouimet

With the pandemic, some people climbed on their kitchen counter and others just kept hoping for a quick reopening of the gyms. No that it is impossible to travel to Rocklands or Yosemite and because local tourism is on the program for everyone, we thought it would be useful to make a short list of the best climbing spots in the belle province since it has so much to offer. So if anyone asks : « Where should we go climbing this weekend » or « Where are the best climbing spots in Quebec », send them this article :

Special thanks to the knowledgable recommandation made by ALLEZ UP’s Antoine Séguin for the inspiration.

All the sites recommended below are affiliated with the FQME so you can find more details about each of them on their website.

Val-David & Val-morin / Photo ; @stmicheljerome

1. Val-David/Val-Morin – Boulder and routes

The regional parc of Val-David/Val-Morin is the most popular and very well known site in Quebec and there are good reasons for that. There is a little something for everyone and every level of climbers whetther you are looking for boulder or for routes. There approximately 600 routes on five different walls and more than 400 boulder problems. To make it even better, there are lakes to swim and camping spots closeby. Access to the park is 12$ if you are not a member of the FQME.

2. Kanata – Boulder and routes

This site has more than 50 boulders and two dozens of routes but it is definitely a spot for bouldering. This is a well kept secret that more people should look into because of the recent developments. Although it is a bit far from Montreal, the access to the site does not require that you walk. Park and climb as they say. Just like Val-David/Val-Morin, there are lakes all around to go swim and camping sites close by. The site is located on a private property and at the center of an ecovillage. For this reason, it is strongly recommended to be aware of the rules and recommendation specific to this site.

Baldy / Photo; @stmicheljerome

3. Mont Baldy- Routes

This one is not for the beginners nor the first timers on rocks. You will find more than forty challenging sports routes on this hill. This the perfect place to put yourself to the test and reach the next level. Guess what. You can swim and camp nearby. Nothing better after a challenging day.

Weir / Photo ; @stmicheljerome

4. Mont Larose / Weir – Routes

There are approximately 150 routes of all kinds so this site has a lot to offer. After walking for 10 minutes on the new trail, you will reach the spot where the real fun starts.  The walls are facing west so it is ideal for cold days at the beginning or the end of the season. The routes are steep and high and offer a surreal ambiance with the antennas at the top. Take note that a few routes are close in order to protect the nesting area of the peregrine falcons. Bring your binoculars if you want to do bird watching too.

5. Pic-aux-corbeaux / Orford – Boulder and routes

The region of the Laurentides has a lot to offer but this site is still one of the greatest in Quebec with its 50 routes and 100 of boulders problems. There are numerous oververtical routes that are all sports. All the boulders are on the way to the walls so you cannot miss the fun. Once again, peregrine falcons are nesting in the area so the site is close at the beginning of the summer. Since the region is famous for the amazing landscape in automn, maybe a visit late in the season is the best option.

Kamouraska / Photo: Marie-Pier Fortier

Bonus : St-André de Kamouraska

This spot is not a well kept secret and the amazing view on the St-Lawrence river made it famous but the great quality of the rock is also a great aspect of this site. That explains the popularity of it but also because there are routes for every level as well as many boulders. There is a camping sites located on the shore of the river that is affiliated with the climbing site. This camping and the walls are managed by the SEBKA and that is where you will be able to get a topo and a parking sticker.

Take only picture, leave only footprints

As the great naturalist John Muir said : «  Take only picture, leave only footprints and kill nothing but time. » If every climber had that in mind life would be great. With the growing popularity of the discipline, there are more people on the sites. For that reason, it is important to respect the site in order to honor the work of volunteers, to respect the environment and maintain the good reputation of the climbing community. Everyone is welcome in the evergrowing climbers community as long as there is a decent level of respect for the sites and the people.

To conclude, we want to give a special shout out to Antoine Segin and ALLEZ UP. Go visit them now that they will be open starting june 22th for climbing inside as well as outside. Go on their facebook page for more details on the reopening.