Submit your photos for the 2020 Ontario Crags Calendar!

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

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!

Swamp incident

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

This past Sunday, August 18, emergency services and nearby climbers successfully evacuated a climber from the far end of the Swamp, following a ground fall. The climber sustained non-life threatening injuries.

Please take this opportunity to refresh and update your safety systems while climbing. Some safety tips: Remember, the most important safety tool you have is your awareness and attention. Consider bringing a headlamp when you go to the crag, as well as wearing helmets. Renew your wilderness first-aid training—not all of our crags have cell phone service, and the furthest point of the Swamp is more than an hour from definitive care.

The OAC communicates on your behalf with emergency services about evacuations from our local crags. As always, thanks to our emergency responders for their excellent work!

Collingwood Community Discussion Summary & Announcement of Next Community Discussion

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

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

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

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

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

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

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

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

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

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

OAC Annual General Meeting: June 1st, 2019

By | Uncategorized | One Comment

The OAC invites all members to partake in our 2019 Annual General Meeting on June 1, 2019. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions about the organization and our on-going projects, in addition to sharing your input on the future direction of the OAC.  We’ll be holding the election for board membership, talking about the past year’s accomplishments, and discussing what’s on the horizon.

The meeting will be held at Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area (7200 Appleby Line, Milton, ON L9E 0M9 — Upper Pavilion) on Saturday June 1st at 1:00 PM. There will be a discounted park entrance day pass for all attendees!  OAC membership is required for the discount. Come out to participate in the OAC Rattlesnake Point Stewardship Day activities.

To be eligible to vote at the AGM, one is required to be a member of the Ontario Alliance of Climbers. To allow for the processing of new members, please ensure applications are submitted prior to May 15th. Please visit our membership page at https://www.ontarioallianceofclimbers.ca/supporters/individual-membership/ for further details.

The OAC is very interested in increasing its capacity by attracting new ideas, leadership, and energy. At this meeting, we will elect three members to the Board of Directors (for a two-year term each). As always, we are also looking for portfolio managers and general volunteers. While members can be nominated to the Board at the AGM, any nominations submitted by May 15th will have their profiles distributed to the membership in advance. This will facilitate a structured voting process. Interested members are encouraged to contact the OAC in advance.

Potential board members should have:

  • An interest in (learning about) outdoor climbing access issues in Ontario
  • A varied skill set with a self-starter attitude
  • A positive, proactive team-based approach to problem solving

As a board member the individual will:

  • Attend monthly board meetings
  • Lead projects and/or access portfolios
  • Participate in developing and executing the OAC’s strategic goals

Further details will be provided to members 14 days prior to the AGM. If you do not receive notification by email, please send us a note (info@ontarioallianceofclimbers.ca).

Save the Date: SOIce Fest 2019!

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

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.

New name: Ontario Alliance of Climbers!

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

The Ontario Access Coalition has been proudly serving the Ontario climbing community for the past 9 years.  We have worked closely with landowners to ensure continuing access to beloved areas, advocated for proper crag etiquette amongst climbers, and promoted mentorship as the climbing population is booming.  We’ve helped establish bouldering as a celebrated activity at the Niagara Glen, held yearly crag stewardship days, and purchased land to keep climbing open at Old Baldy.

Our mission has always been to keep climbing and bouldering areas open.  The issue of access is at the forefront of our existence, and has been squarely incorporated into our name.  Today, we are eager to announce that we have a new name to go by: The Ontario Alliance of Climbers.  Our goals are the same as always — we are an organization of climbers dedicated to keeping this sport alive and thriving in Ontario.  Our name change does not signal a change in direction; rather, it prioritizes the fact that we are a climbing community, and that we strive to represent all climbers, of all disciplines, in Ontario.  With this new name, our identity as a climbing-focused entity is solidified, and we are better recognized by landowners and other organizations we work with.

Conveniently, you can still refer to us as the OAC.  We have been working hard to serve the climbing community for years, and we are excited to continue doing so under our new name.  You’ll notice that our social media accounts are already being updated, and you can find our new website at https://www.ontarioallianceofclimbers.ca/.

Keep an eye out for new communications coming from the Ontario Alliance of Climbers in the future!