Climbing in Sudbury, ON
With the opening of ARC, Sudbury’s first indoor climbing and bouldering facility it seems that climbing is becoming more and more popularized in this large northern city. Sudbury offers multiple options for outdoor rock & ice climbing, however, this article focuses solely on the rock conditions.
Within the Greater Sudbury Area there are 4 major outdoor climbing spots (not including bouldering): Bethel Lake, Timberwolf, Harvey’s, and Mt. Doom – in that particular order!) While each certainly has their attractive nuances, in my opinion there is just some rock that’s just simply more enjoyable. Factors that affect this are the site; hike in, parking area, and overall condition, and just general enjoyment of the climbs.
I feel fairly confident in saying that Bethel Lake or Timberwolf clearly are the leading sites in Sudbury, and I’ll explain why.
#1) Bethel Lake
Bethel Lake, which can be found near the Laurentian University Campus, is easily the most aesthetically pleasing climbing site in Sudbury. This piece of rock is located right on the waters edge and even features a few 5.11s that hover over top the water. The rock gets the afternoon sun and the breeze from the lake keeps the mosquitos and blackflies at bay. Its worth bring a towel to take a few dives off the cliff face and cool off after a hot day of climbing.
In comparison of what Sudbury has to offer, this small piece of rock that reaches at its peak 15m has some wicked climbs into the 5.9 – 5.11 range that feature small crimps, slopers, and even the odd heal hook. For sport routes in Sudbury this is easily one of the best spots.
Show up, soak up the sun, bag a few on-sight’s then take a dip in the lake…anything better?
For information on driving directions, and illustrated route guides visit http://www.sudburyclimbing.com/BethelLake.pdf
Timberwolf is located on the 17th hole of Timberwolf Golf Course. With a good dirt road for parking and a relatively simple hike in Timberwolf is a solid wall, especially is you’re living in Garson. Timberwolf is Sudbury’s largest selection of pitches ranging from 5.5 – 5.11, with a potential 5.12? Not to sure about that one.
Again for Sudbury size doesn’t matter and this wall reaches it’s summit at about 18m. However, there are about 11 climbs that can be completely using the bolts at the top of the route, accessed by and easy climb to the left of the face. This is definitely the best spot in Sudbury for beginners and first-time outdoor climbing since there is a large variety and the beta is fairly easy to figure out. Definitely bring some longer webbing, potentially 240cm as some of the top rope D-rings are bolted a few feet back form the face and can create fairly heavy rope drag.
As for sport climbing, there are 4 main pitches bolted for spot. However, the 2nd from the left is missing the first bolt and is going to make you sweat if you try and shoot for the 2nd bolt. The far left and farthest right route are by far the most enjoyable leads at Timberwolf. For the far left route, make 2 moves to reach the large left-hand jug before clipping the 3rd bolt if possible.
For more information visit: http://www.sudburyclimbing.com/Timberwolf.pdf
#3) Mt. Doom
While I definitely dig the Lord of the Rings theme, this slabby rock has some pros and cons. If you’re into slab, then this is the place in Sudbury for you. Mt. Doom has about 7 top-rope routes with anchors placed at the top of the route, and one sport route that sits at a 5.11. This sport route would be incredibly difficult to attempt without first trying top rope. Secondly, it doesn’t really have a parking area, you literally leave you vehicle about 4 feet off the shoulder of a major highway, and the hike in is through a bit of a marsh.
This being said, Mt. Doom still provides some challenging slab, and like always with slab, trust in your footholds!
For more information visit: http://www.sudburyclimbing.com/MtDoom.pdf
#4) Harvey’s (To Be Continued)