This spring, the Ontario Access Coalition helped organize and run three separate events in support of sustainable climbing. Thank you to the many volunteers who took time out of their lives and put in some work to give back to the climbing areas we love. Thank you Niagara Parks, Conservation Halton, the Ministry of Natural Resources, Friends of the Glen, Free Spirit Tours, Blue Mountain Landscaping, True North Climbing, Patagonia, and of course Mountain Equipment Co-op for working with climbers to make these events a success.
Saturday April 21 Niagara Glen Earth Day with “Friends of the Glen”, The Niagara Parks Commission, the Niagara Parks Police, the Niagara Falls Nature Club, and Leave No Trace, the second annual “Earth Day at the Glen” took place under less then ideal conditions. Volunteers planted new trees and helped educate boulderers and other visitors about sustainable bouldering practices. The Niagara Glen is an undeniable treasure trove of natural beauty. The rugged terrain masks a much more sensitive side that needs our help. Approximately 490 species of vulnerable plants and animals call the Glen home and an unprecedented number of them are listed as either “at risk” or “rare” in the province, one of the largest concentrations anywhere in Ontario.
Sunday May 6, Conservation Halton Invasive Species Removal “Garlic Pull – For the second year in a row climbers pulled hard to make another dent into the spread of the invasive plant “Garlic Mustard” at Rattlesnake Point. A free BBQ courtesy of the OAC followed along with a prize draw of tonnes of great gear courtesy of the always amazing MEC. Mark Smith won a fierce silent auction bidding war for a Nano Puff jacket courtesy of Patagonia. Afternoon conditions were perfect and volunteers were treated to a great day at the crag
Sunday May 27 Metcalfe Rock “Clean and Climb” with Free Spirit Tours – For the second year in a row the OAC has been fortunate enough to participate in Free Spirit Tours “Clean and Climb” event at Metcalfe rock in the Kolopore Uplands. The event saw a simply massive trailer full of cedar mulch transported to the cliff base and trails to help protect the roots of trees. Volunteers, fueled by hot coffee and donuts courtesy of True North Climbing Gym managed to spread the entire contents of the trailer along the muddy trails, which are prone to erosion. The event finished with a prize draw for items donated by local businesses and the always amazing MEC. After refueling (with more coffee of course) some great times at the cliff and on the trails followed.
If you didn’t get a chance to make it to one of these events you can do your part by being a good steward for sustainable climbing, following these “Leave No Trace” practices and encouraging other climbers to do the same.