OAC 2021 AGM Announcement

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Save the Date: The OAC Annual General Meeting will be held Tuesday, September 14, at 7PM!  We will once again be holding our AGM virtually.

This is a great opportunity to ask questions about our organization and to share input on our future direction.   We’ll also be holding the election for board membership, talking about recent developments, and speaking about what’s on the horizon.

If you would like to run as a candidate for the board of directors, please submit your bio to info@ontarioallianceofclimbers.ca by August 29.  Details for the virtual meeting will be announced August 31 via official email to all OAC members.  Hope to see you all there!

Devil’s Glen Access Update

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Yesterday, climbers at Devil’s Glen were approached by Ontario Parks wardens and advised that climbing is no longer tolerated on the cliffside areas located on Ontario Parks property. (This applies to all routes east of, or to the climber’s right of, the Nutcracker area. Routes farther west are located on Crown Land, which Ontario Parks has no authority over.)

The OAC has contacted Ontario Parks to obtain an official statement on these new enforcement measures. Until we receive a formal statement, we will not acknowledge a change in access status to this public land. Climbing at Devil’s Glen is considered Tolerated and climbers have long been great ambassadors for this beautiful area.

Climbers are encouraged to continue climbing at Devil’s Glen in the meantime. If you encounter park staff and are asked to move, please obtain the contact information of the staff member and provide them with the OAC’s email address (info@ontarioallianceofclimbers.ca). If you are threatened with a ticket, please ask them to clarify what the exact offence is and the amount of the fine. If you encounter park staff or local homeowners, please be respectful and provide details of your encounter to the OAC as soon as possible.

Thank you for your support as we work towards resolution.

Attention: Devil’s Glen Climbers

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We have been in recent discussions with local homeowners concerning climber behaviour at Devil’s Glen. While the local homeowners are supportive of climbers, there has been an increase in issues related to parking, trespassing & garbage.

Park along Concession Road 10.  Do not park on Highway 124 between the trailhead at the pedestrian side and Concession Road 10.
  • Parking – Do not park near homeowner driveways. This can create a frustrating and dangerous situation for homeowners getting in and out of their driveways. Park on Concession Road 10 whenever possible.
  • Trespassing – Do not trespass through homeowner land to access the park. The police will be called if anyone is found trespassing.
  • Dogs – If you MUST bring your dog, it must remain leashed and you must carry out dog waste. Even left behind in a biodegradable bag, your dog waste remains an eye sore for over a year and is disruptive for other park users who frequent the trails near the water, along the cliff base and above. The OAC recommends against bringing your dog to parks where climbing access is only listed as “Tolerated”.  Devil’s Glen is a crag at which climbing is only “Tolerated”.
  • Human Waste & Toilet Paper – If you are caught in an emergency and need to poop and/or use toilet paper at the crag, the OAC recommends packing out all your waste.  If you are unable to pack it out, you must bury your waste at least 6-8 inches deep and 200 feet away from the nearby river and trails. Toilet paper can take up to 3 years to decompose, and poop can take up to a year.
  • Drones – Recreational drones are not permitted in Provincial parks. Under no circumstance should you bring a drone to Devil’s Glen or any other Ontario Park. Not only are they illegal but they are extremely disruptive to fellow climbers.

Virtual Town Hall Recap – January 18, 2021

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Thank you to everyone who tuned into our latest Virtual Town Hall! We had over 160 attendees tune in throughout the night, with great discussion about access issues at some key Ontario crags.

Campden, Rockwood, and the Turtle (all of which are currently closed to climbing) were discussed in depth, as well as lockdown restrictions and some much needed talk about our mandate as an organization.

A complete recording of the meeting is available below. We look forward to seeing you out and about soon! 🤞

QUICK LINKS:

0:03:55 – Who we are
0:05:38 – What we do
0:11:46 – Covid update
0:24:25 – Rockwood
0:35:10 – Turtle
0:37:53 – Campden
0:51:17 – Ice climbing updates
0:56:05 – Other updates (education initiatives, access negotiations, Conservation Halton & the Turtle)
1:00:01 – Community Questions via email (Beaver Valley hunting season, Devil’s Glen and Metcalfe parking, Lion’s Head, drones, bouldering development enquiries)
1:18:44 – Live Community Questions (Crag X, winter Kolapore access is ski only, OAC fundraising model)

Virtual Town Hall Announcement: Jan 18th @7pm

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The OAC is excited to announce our next Virtual Town Hall to be held Monday, January 18th, at 7pm.

In this Town Hall, the volunteers of the OAC will discuss current access concerns that affect your favourite crags across Ontario. We’ll share the actions we’re taking to address key access issues and our priorities for the Spring 2021 climbing season.

If you’ve been feeling a bit out of the loop, this is a great opportunity to learn about the work our volunteers do on behalf of our community. We’ll open the floor to questions, and we encourage you to email us with specific topics you’d like to see addressed ahead of time. Please send any inquiries to info@ontarioallianceofclimbers.ca.

Register for the Town Hall in advance! We hope to see you there.

2021 Calendar Sales are Live!

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Jacob Bell on ‘Shot Across the Bow’ at Old Baldy. Photo by Connor Drummond.

The 2021 Ontario Crags Calendar has arrived! Featuring local climbers shot by local photographers, the OAC calendar is a tribute to everything Ontario climbing has to offer.  With a mix of climbers, crags, and disciplines featured, this is the milestone 10th anniversary of the OAC Calendar published, and we think it’s our best one yet!

We’ve adapted sales this year to be conducted online, as well as at a selection of gyms volunteering to assist with this fundraiser.  Calendars are $20, plus $5 for shipping via Canada Post.  All proceeds from calendar sales go toward promoting, advocating for, and maintaining open access all across the province.

You can also find copies for sale at the following Ontario locations:
Alt.Rock
Boulderz – both Etobicoke and Junction locations
The Core
Grand River Rocks – both Waterloo and Kitchener locations
Junction Climbing
Ontario Resoles
Toprock Climbing

2019 OAC Climbers’ Survey Results

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Thanks to all 368 of you who responded to our survey (once again, a record). With some hard work from Brittany Schaefer and survey design from Laura Duncan and Patrick Lam, we’re pleased to release the full survey results. Here are two tidbits:

Q4: In 2019, which Ontario crag did you climb at most often? In 2020, which Ontario crag do you aspire to climb at the most?

Mount Nemo was the most popular crag in 2019; The Swamp and Lion's Head are aspirational crags for 2020.

Q12: When you climbed outside in 2019, how many other people did you typically go with?

2021 Calendar Photo Submissions are Open!

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It’s that time of year again — we’re opening up submissions for next year’s Ontario Crags Calendar!  The 2021 Calendar isn’t going to be just any calendar either… this is going to be our special 10th edition!  Help celebrate this milestone by seeing your work published and hanging on all your friends’ walls ❤

Cynthia Chung on Jetstream, by Kevin Chan

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, seasons, and climbers as possible — ICE, SPORT, TRAD and BOULDERING are all honoured here.  We want to celebrate the diversity of our province and our community!  Valid photo submissions must have LANDSCAPE orientation (i.e. horizontal), and be of climbers at Ontario crags only (of course!).  

Wayne Truong on Fear and Loathing, by Shawn Tron

2020 hasn’t been your typical climbing year, and that’s okay.  Submissions do not need to be dated from this year, but they DO need to showcase your love for Ontario climbing.  So make the most of this tail end of the season, or take some time to venture down memory lane and rediscover some forgotten gems!

Dustin Johnston-Jewell on Super Sharp Shooter, by Will Tam

The Crags Calendar helps us raise awareness and funds in support of Ontario access.  Please consider donating a photo!  Send your best shots to submissions@ontarioallianceofclimbers.ca by SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4TH for a chance to be featured.  Chosen entrants will receive a free copy of the calendar, credit complete with name and website, and a little slice of local fame 😉

Please see additional rules of submission:

OAC 2020 AGM Recap

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Thank you to everyone who tuned in for our AGM last Monday!  We had great turnout, with at least 71 members tuning in.  Congratulations to Randy Kielbasiewicz, Patrick Lam, and Mike Makischuk, who have all been re-elected to the Board for another two-year term.  Randy and Mike Penney will also continue to serve as Co-Chairs of the Board.

Our meeting minutes and a summary of our Access Sends for the 2019-2020 year can be found below:

A complete recording of the meeting is available below:

Thanks everyone, we’ll see you soon!

OAC Service Award: Tony Berlier

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We’d like to present Tony Berlier with the 2020 Ontario Alliance of Climbers Service Award. As you enjoy expanded access to Ontario crags, be sure to thank Tony for his essential contributions!

Tony has been the man holding together the OAC from before its inception, serving as co-chair from 2009 through 2019. He took on a ton of unglamourous behind-the-scenes administrative work to make sure the OAC continues to exist and to advocate for access for Ontario climbers. For a long time, he welcomed us to Board meetings in his backyard and organized the meetings (which is a ton of work). Tony chaired AGMs, maintained the membership database, and emailed all members with AGM notices. He did the day-to-day financial transactions to keep the OAC running — all of the boring, but necessary, tasks. 

The final test of one’s success at a task is being able to hand it off to one’s successors, and Tony has managed to pass on essentially all of his tasks to the next generation of OAC volunteers, while giving us occasional advice. Thanks for everything Tony!