Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Beaverlodge, Alberta!

We've completed our move to Beaverlodge, Alberta. Whereas Christchurch (New Zealand) was near one of the greatest bouldering areas on earth (the Castle Hill Basin), Beaverlodge isn't really close to any climbing, as far as I can tell. It isn't bereft of climbing opportunity, though. I've compiled a list of all the climbing (both real and artificial) in the area.

1) The Boulder Gardens (Near Tumbler Ridge). Years ago, Shelley, Curtis S., and I were among the first to put up problems here. The BG is about a 1.5 hour drive from Beaverlodge, and holds potential for hundreds of problems on coarse-to-fine grained sandstone in an awesome alpine setting. One of the best moderate problems I've ever done is there (Sen-Sen, V4). Downsides? 10 km up a gravel road and a short season (probably June to October).

2) Hasler Bluffs (near Chetwynd). This is by far the biggest climbing area in the Peace Country, and holds dozens of routes on bullet-proof sandstone. Lots of room for development, both in terms of sport routes and moderate gear lines. It's also a sun trap, so the season is surprisingly long. Camping is close and free. Downsides? A long drive (2.5 hours) and ants (apparently).

3) Jasper National Park. TONS of sport routes, up to .13+. Downside? Its far away - probably a 4 hour drive.

4) The GPRC Climbing gym. This is a surprisingly good gym, but seems to be pretty sleepy. I hope that it gets busier when the school year starts and the students start back.

5) My Garage. OK, this isn't a reality yet, but I've drawn up plans for a decent wall in my garage. I'm hoping its not TOO cold to climb on it in the winter. I have to start collecting holds, though - it's going to be a real task to get enough holds to make the climbing interesting.

I'm hoping to get to the Boulder Gardens (Mount Babcock) this weekend. If I do, expect more pictures soon!

(A) The GPRC climbing gym. This picture was copied off their website.

(B) The Boulder Gardens near Tumbler Ridge (again, not my photo...)

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