Where to go climbing this summer?
June 18, 2020 / By yann
With the pandemic, some people climbed on their kitchen counter and others just kept hoping for a quick reopening of the gyms. Not that it’s 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 knowledgeable recommendation 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 whether you are looking for boulder or for routes.
There are 600 routes on five cliffs and it is the largest block concentration in the Laurentians with more than 400 problems.To make it even better, there are lakes and camping spots close by. 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 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 swimming 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 follow the rules and recommendation specific to this site.
Baldy / Photo; @stmicheljerome
3. Mont Baldy- Routes
This one is not for 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
This site has a lot to offer with approximately 150 routes. After walking for 10 minutes on the new trail, you will reach the spot where the real fun begins. 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 boulders problems. There are numerous over vertical routes that are all sports. All the boulders are on the way to the walls so you can’t 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 autumn, 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 because there are routes for every level as well as many boulders. There are 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 nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints
As the great naturalist John Muir said : « Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. ill 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 honour the work of volunteers, to respect the environment and maintain the good reputation of the climbing community. Everyone is welcome in the ever growing 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 opening as of June 22nd for indoor climbing as well as outside. Go on their facebook page for more details on the reopening.