Ontario Parks Survey — Fill it out now!

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We want your help! From now until November 25, 2019, the Province of Ontario is collecting public feedback on how they can improve access to and raise awareness of nature’s health benefits.

As someone who visits our provincial parks, the province wants your feedback. Let them know what rock and ice climbing means to you, in your own words. Let them know if you’d like to see more Ontario Parks opened up for climbing activities. We would be pleased to work together with Ontario Parks to open up climbing access at more of our Provincial Parks.

Please go and fill out the survey, and pass it on to all your friends!
https://www.ontario.ca/form/survey-healthy-parks-healthy-people

Submit your photos for the 2020 Ontario Crags Calendar!

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Dear amateur and professional photographers, have you ever wanted to see your work published and hung on walls? We are putting together our annual Ontario Crags calendar and we need your help! Please consider donating a photo to help raise awareness and funds in support of the Ontario Access Coalition.

Mark Masley at Lions Head by Jessica Best

The Ontario Crags calendar aims to celebrate and highlight the wide variety of climbing that Ontario has to offer. We want to showcase everything from as many different crags and seasons as possible — ICE, SPORT, TRAD and BOULDERING are all honoured here. Valid photo submissions must have LANDSCAPE orientation (i.e. horizontal), and be of climbers at Ontario crags only (of course!).

Andriy Kolos on Triple S by Pete Hoang

Please send your best shots to submissions@ontarioaccesscoalition.com by SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6th for a chance to have your photo featured and credited in the calendar! Chosen entrants will get a free copy of the 2020 calendar as well as a credit complete with your name and website.

Please see additional rules of submission here:

Thanks in advance for your efforts to support the OAC!

Collingwood Community Discussion Summary & Announcement of Next Community Discussion

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We’d like to send out a big THANK YOU to everyone who came out to our first community discussion at Climber’s Corner last week.  We had great turnout and a productive conversation, with proof that the Ontario climbing community is dedicated to ensuring we’re following best practices and building a strong reputation as climbers. 

Meeting minutes can be found at here for those of you who could not make it:

We are also announcing our second community discussion to be held at Grand River Rocks next Wednesday, July 24 at 7pm!  Come on out to learn about local access issues and make your voice heard!

Access Threats at Devil’s Glen: A Community Discussion

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Rock climbing access at Devil’s Glen (DG) is facing steep environmental, social, and logistical challenges.

In response, the Ontario Alliance of Climbers would like to invite you to a community discussion about the important issues that are facing our beloved crag. Thursday, July 11th, we’ll be meeting at Climbers Corner in Collingwood from 7-9pm

The topics we’ll be discussing include:

1. The history and current state of rock climbing access at DG
2. DG’s primary access threats
3. What climbers are seeing when they visit DG
4. What we can do, as a community, to improve access
5. The formation of the Beaver Valley Climber’s Collective

So, come out for a few pitches and some productive conversation about the important issues that are facing our beloved Devil’s Glen!

We look forward to chatting with you!

Lions Head and Devil’s Glen Climbing Access – AT RISK

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Lions Head and Devil’s Glen climbing access is AT RISK. 

The OAC is currently in talks with Ontario Parks to address their concerns regarding the impact of climbers in these areas. 
As these sensitive discussions progress, please continue to be great ambassadors for our sport by minimizing your impact at all Ontario crags. Steps you can take include:

  • Avoid visiting these crags in large groups.
  • Please visit other areas when possible. Ontario is home to many great climbing areas. Please do your part by spreading the love to other, less traveled areas! 
  • Continue to practice good crag etiquette and leave no trace ethics. This also applies to human waste. 
  • Be proactive in communicating best practices to other climbers.
  • Do not visit these crags without the appropriate level of skill. 
  • Reminder: Lions Head is an advanced crag and it is not suitable for new climbers.

For more information, read our Gym-to-Crag best practices.

We’ll provide updates as conversations with Ontario Parks progress.

Q&A from the 2019 OAC Annual General Meeting

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Every year, the Ontario Alliance of Climbers holds an Annual General Meeting. We appreciate Conservation Halton’s support in hosting us at Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area this past June 1st, 2019. The short formal portion of the meeting allows OAC members to elect Directors for the coming year (as legally mandated). Afterwards, the AGM gives us the opportunity to connect with the membership in a loosely structured Q&A discussion session.

Discussions during this year’s Q&A included:
* Why were glue-in bolts chosen for the Rattlesnake project?
* Does the OAC need help with (other) bolting projects?
* When is the OAC going to start buying crags?
* What are the different ways volunteers can support the OAC?
* Why does the OAC not provide funding to individuals engaged in retro-bolting?
* Does the OAC have policies in place about who can bolt?
* Are records being kept of hardware specs when bolting/retro-bolting is being done?
* Will more 2019 OAC calendars be available?

Thanks to those who came out to the meeting!

2019 AGM materials (Q&A, minutes, access sends)

Rattlesnake Spring Fling

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Announcing the Rattlesnake Spring Fling!  We’ve been doing our best to keep things under wraps, but it’s time we spill the beans.  What we had been previously advertising as a Rattlesnake Crag Stewardship Day is actually going to be the OAC’s first Rattlesnake Spring Fling — our kick off to the start of the climbing season! 

Come join us on Saturday June 1st. This event is open for all climbers, and clinics are offered for anyone who’s never climbed outside before.  If you want to learn how to transition from the gym to the crag, this is the perfect opportunity for you! 

Come meet us, your advocates for access to all climbing in Ontario, and partake in our Annual General Meeting

We’ll also be unveiling a fresh makeover to the Rattlesnake area with several freshly bolted routes from 5.5 – 5.10!

It’ll be a day of climbing, learning, fun, and celebrating all Ontario has to offer.  

Available Clinics:

Rock Talk Mentorship Series Clinic: Communicating to Encourage Lasting Change FREE

You probably care about Ontario climbing. More and more people are leaving the gym and going to the crags. This is an incredible opportunity for us to pass along our values and traditions to the next generation. We have power to shape the behaviour of new climbers so that they respect the space and climb safely. 

From discouraging guitars and boomboxes to encouraging safe anchor setups, we will discuss and practice communication styles that have been shown to be helpful in changing people’s behaviour. There is a good chance you already have a good array of tools and techniques that work well for you. This is a chance to hear about one more and then you can decide if you want to use it. The clinic is based in behaviour change science and represents some of the most cutting-edge approaches to encouraging behaviour change.

Clinic time: noon – 1pm (before the AGM)

Intro to Rock $40/person

Open to all ages and abilities, this is a great opportunity to experience real rock climbing on the Niagara Escarpment. Certified guides and all necessary climbing equipment will be provided, no experience necessary.

All On the Rocks Climbing Guides clinics taught by professional climber Leslie Timms (owner of On the Rocks) and PCGI certified guides Adam Mitchell and Julie Weisz.

Clinic time: 9:00am – 12:30pm & 1:30pm – 4:30pm
Space is limited.
To register, email info@ontherocksclimbing.com or call 705 888 8723  

Fall Safe  $40/person HST included

Face your fear of falling on lead, become a better lead belayer and more efficient climber in this course catered to current lead climbers. Learn about outdoor lead fall hazards and proper lead belay methods in a variety of scenarios. Learn about fear management and how to overcome the mental hurdles of lead climbing. This course will offer a variety of tips to help you become a more confident and safe sport climber, so you can take your climbing to the next level.

All On the Rocks Climbing Guides clinics taught by professional climber, Leslie Timms (owner of On the Rocks) and PCGI certified guides Adam Mitchell and Julie Weisz.

Clinic Time: 1:30pm – 4:30pm

Space is limited.
To register, email info@ontherocksclimbing.com or call 705 888 8723  

Sport Climbing – Gym to Rock Clinic $99+HST

This 1/2 day clinic is being offered by ONE AXE Pursuits.  The clinic will review the skills needed to make a safe transition from sport climbing in the gym to sport climbing outdoors, including: how to safely lower off a climb; stick clipping the fist bolt; stick clipping past a crux on the climb; outdoor safety hazards; and the outdoor climbers code of conduct.  Clinic participants must be indoor lead climbing certified.

Clinic times:  8:30am – 12:30pm &  1:30pm – 5:30pm 
Spots Available: 8 people per clinic
To register, email info@oneaxepursuits.com

Save the Date: SOIce Fest 2019!

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The OAC is pleased to be presenting the Southern Ontario Ice Climbing Festival! If you’re an avid ice climber or someone who’s never tried it before but think kicking crampons and swinging ice axes into frozen water could be your climbing destiny, then this fest’s for you!

We’ve also got all the really good stuff like cool prizes, hot meals, and icy cold drinks in the small town of Maynooth, Ontario. Only a hop, skip, and a three hour jump from Toronto, you’ll definitely want to bring your friends because this is a weekend to remember (and carpool karaoke is better with a friend). More of the lone wolf ice climbing type? We’ll have tons of clinics and belay buddies ready for you.

Mark your calendars for February 8 – 10, 2019 and keep an eye out for registration opening in a couple weeks. Clinic spots fill up fast, so you want to stay glued to @soicefest or the SOIce Facebook page for all the latest and be ready to pounce when the big announcement comes.

Register for the 2018 Beaver Valley Climbing Festival Now!

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The 2018 Beaver Valley Climbing Festival is THIS weekend!  We’re excited to celebrate Ontario climbing with you in the year’s biggest party.  We have a great line up of clinics, vendors, and raffle prizes in store — all capped off with a night of live entertainment from the lovely Ariana Gillis.  What more could you ask for?

Monika Wii on Bear on a Wire by Will Tam

Monika Wii on Bear on a Wire by Will Tam

Last year we came close to our 300 person max capacity, and we recommend registering now to secure your spot.  Climbers from all over Ontario — and even outside the province — will be arriving to partake in the festivities.  Your $44 registration fee covers camping, food, and live entertainment, plus all proceeds go directly toward maintaining open climbing access in Ontario.  Help protect the lands you climb on WHILE enjoying them!

Don’t hesitate, get your name on the list now — Sign ups after noon on Friday must be done on-site and the price will be raised to $45.

See https://www.ontarioallianceofclimbers.ca/bvcf-2018/ for more details and to sign up.

Beaver Valley Volunteer Coordinator Wanted!

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Are you interested in helping us run the Beaver Valley Climbing Festival? We’re in need of a volunteer coordinator who can help manage our efforts. If you’re great at directing, have good organizational skills, and are enthusiastic about climbing, we want to hear from you!

Please contact info@ontarioaccesscoalition.com by June 9th if you’re interested in taking on this task — we’re looking for someone who is excited about seeing BVCF continue to be the number one climbing celebration Ontario has to offer.