Skip to main content

Comprehensive guidebooks and closed crags

By April 15, 2016No Comments

We’ve received questions about the OAC Approved program and the new Ontario Climbing: Volume 1, Southern Escarpment guidebook’s inclusion of closed areas.

credit: Gus Alexandropoulos

credit: Gus Alexandropoulos

Gus Alexandropoulos and Justin Dwyer have produced an well-researched and comprehensive guidebook. This guidebook furthers the goals of the OAC by including accurate access information, educating climbers about best practices at the crag, and advocating that climbers follow these practices. We’re pleased to endorse this guidebook as being OAC Approved.

Some climbers have asked about the guidebook’s inclusion of closed crags. Our position is that the closed crags are clearly identified as such and that the guidebook authors are in no way advocating that climbers visit these crags. Of course these crags exist. We even list the fact that they exist on our crag status document. In the guidebook, the authors argue that describing closed crags has two positive effects: 1) it documents historic practices (climbing has long been practiced in Ontario); and 2) it encourages climbers to work towards getting these areas re-opened. Closed crags can re-open, and when they do, having them in the guidebook is helpful. A recent example is Roadside at the Red River Gorge. The OAC Board of Directors agrees with this reasoning.

We’d be happy to discuss this at greater length. Feel free to send us an email at or find an OAC Board member at one of our upcoming events!