Rock Climbing Canada
So I ended up rock climbing Canada today with Brian Piper. He’s another avid skydiver at the WNY drop zone. He picked me up from the Akron Airport at about 9 AM. We drove past the border patrol and into Canada fairly easy despite my lack of a passport. Apparently a license and birth certificate suffice if you don’t have an EDL or passport. The French border patrol officer inquired if I had proper authorization from both of my parents to enter the country. My brows cringed in a confused manner and I responded, “I’m 25?” He reiterated his question again. I spoke a bit louder this time, “Ummm? I’m 25…”
He apologized after reading the documentation for a second time to verify my birthday. Maybe, he confused me for a 15 year old boy and Piper, well he just kidnapped me. We joked back and forth about that as the day progressed. After a three hour drive and horrible directions from Piper’s old climbing guide, “The Escarpment”, we ended up at Rattlesnake Point. GPS died once crossing the border since neither of us planned accordingly for international voice and data services. We ended up making a few U-turns and filled the long ride bullshitting different stories back and forth.
The map lead us to Rattlesnake Point wall instead of our original destination of Buffalo Crag wall. Noon loomed upon us before we even realized it so we decided to set up some routes on Buckingham Palace and another 5.8 climb.
My last climb happened about two to three months prior in Summersville and New River Gorge. I died then from being out of climbing shape. Today appeared worse. My arms flailed in a tiresome fashion as I tried clenching onto polished hand holds with a death grip pinch and crimp. My calves shook and tingled as I attempted to pit my toes in any crack, or crevice on the face of the cliffs. After several failed attempts my feet slid off the glassy surface of the wall. I spent much time up there, but never made it past the last pitch of any route due to the conditions.
Piper attempted to trad the route right of Buckingham Palace, but it ended in a down climb. He showed me the basics of trad climbing with the different nuts and camps. I top roped the last route of the day cleaning any trad gear from the wall. After climbing the crack and almost reaching the top with an overhung tree I slipped and fell about ten feet. We made three climbs for the day by 4 PM before heading back to the US.
Neither of us experienced the blood rushing forearm pump where your veins pop out and arms throb from strenuous activity, but for a one day climb we utilized our time wisely.
Rock Climbing Canada
If you’re interested in checking out Rattlesnake Point and rock climbing in Canada I’d highly recommend checking out the following – Rock Climbing Rattlesnake Point
They have a list of the different routes and difficulty for east and west cliffs, along with the longitude and latitude of the conservation area so you can easily input this into your GPS for directions. I will make a note saying that a lot of the routes are polished as this is one of the more popular walls at Rattlesnake Point, however, they also have other walls you can hike to that are a little further away and less polished.
Most of the area is designed for trad or top rope. You can anchor into the top cruxes with your gear and walk down the stairs to top rope or you can simply set gear as you go using your trad rack depending on your experience. The view of the area is pretty amazing so even if you aren’t a climber I’d highly recommend just visiting the park for hiking and/or camping. I am not positive about the costs of camping, but a day pass runs about $12 to park and gives you access to anywhere in the park. It’s a year round climbing area and the cruxes have all been tested by engineers to determine their structural capacity. The ones that have silver tags on them have been tested and are verified to hold you…so you can sit back and relax. As a rule of thumb, I would always use redundancy whenever possible just in case something goes wrong you have a backup anchor to hold you.
Below is a trail map of the Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area with trails for rock climbing Canada
This gives directions to the other climbing wall – Buffalo Crag, which we did not have time to climb, however, you can access Rattlesnake Point climbing wall via Bruce Trail. It also lists the other trails on the map if you are interested in checking out the rest of the park for some hiking. Thanks and enjoy.