Climbing at Cape Croker, which is private land, has traditionally been tolerated, and climbers have enjoyed visiting the surrounding area and the campground. We recently learned that climbing at Cape Croker is closed this year. We are in negotiations with the landowners—the Chippewas of the Nawash Unceded First Nation. For now, please respect the closure. Do not climb at Cape Croker until further notice. Disrespect of closures during negotiations hinders the OAC’s efforts.
On Saturday May 2, a few OAC members, the Friends of the Niagara Glen, and local Niagara community members got a chance to directly support the Niagara Glen community in a local reforestation project and learn about the benefits of trees, shade, and green urban spaces. As a result of its strong partnership with Forests Ontario, the Niagara Parks Commission has greatly expanded its tree planting program. In 2014, over 30,000 new trees were planted in the Park, including the restoration of over nine hectares (24 acres) at the Legends on the Niagara Golf Course Complex. In 2015, NPC intends to plant an additional 40,000 new trees and seedlings on the over 1,300 hectares of property it is entrusted to protect.
As a bonus, the OAC got to talk with those interested in learning more about the amazing bouldering opportunities within the Niagara Glen. Overall, it was beautiful sunny day that showcases how teamwork between the NPC and other area stakeholders can benefit the natural environment.
Forests Ontario is the voice for our forests. Working to promote a future of healthy forests sustaining healthy people, Forests Ontario is committed to the re-greening of Ontario through tree planting efforts on rural lands and in urban areas, as well as the renewal and stewardship of Ontario’s forests through restoration, education and awareness. Visit www.forestsontario.ca or follow @Forests_Ontario.
About the Friends of the Niagara Glen Group:
The mission of the Friends of the Niagara Glen is to be a self-sustaining and motivated not-for-profit community initiative that promotes land stewardship ethics, educational experiences and sustainable outdoor recreation practices along the Niagara River corridor reserve, in concert with the mandate, mission and vision of The Niagara Parks Commission.
The group envisions an ecologically sensitive Park area kept for future generations by increasing environmental awareness and stewardship practices through community involvement. New members are always welcome to join. For more information, please visit www.niagaraparks.com/friends-of-the-glen.
We are happy to answer your questions to the best of our abilities. Today we’d like to share answers to couple of questions that were posted on a climbing forum. Got more questions? Use the Contact tab (on your left) to ask. We’ll answer.
1) The $6000 that was handed over from the Beaver Valley Climbing Festival in 2014 was earmarked for a parking lot at Devil’s Glen. What’s the status?
The parking lot project at Devil’s Glen is a long term project. As with much of the Escarpment, change generally involves several different management groups coming together to agree on a particular item. Generally projects of this nature take time and resources. The OAC will continue to champion this project with park management.
2) The Swamp Study. The MNR undertook a major study last year to look at environmental impact. What’s the status? How was the money we donated used?
The data collection portion of the Environmental Study was completed last year. Thank you to those who donated their money and time to help collect data. Initial feedback looks positive. The MNR and OAC are waiting for the study’s completion and will work together to create an appropriate management plan at that time.
3) Old Baldy: Last post indicated that OAC had raised $130,000 to purchase land at Old Baldy. Has the rest been raised? (the sale price was listed at $290,000) What’s the status? What about permits?
The transaction has completed and has been announced on our Facebook page, our website, Gripped’s website, ontarioclimbing.com and print media. The OAC and the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority are working towards the next steps which will include installing proper signage, etc. Information regarding permits will be released very shortly.
4) 2015 Beaver Valley Climbing Festival: Dates have been announced, looks like at least $5000 has been pledged so far, with proceeds to the OAC. What’s the money going toward? Who is covering the insurance? (it sounds like Free Spirit Tours isn’t covering it this year…)
The OAC will be running the BVCF this year with significant help from On the Rocks. Details will be forthcoming. Discussions regarding insurance are not relevant given the change in this year’s format. This will be an exciting year with a new format and use of the Beaver Valley’s four big crags. We encourage everyone to attend the climbing festival and meet your neighbours.
On May 2nd, local climbers worked with Conservation Halton to make the OAC’s annual Crag Stewardship Day happen. Over 60 eager stewards gathered under beautiful sunny skies at Rattlesnake Point Conversation Area to help eradicate the invasive alien species garlic mustard, and to help clean up the area.
Brenda, Conservation Halton ecologist, helped participants learn to identify the vile weed and understand its nefarious effects. She described its invasion tactics in great detail: its roots emit a chemical that inhibits the growth of other species, like trilliums. Climbers can help by picking garlic mustard before it drops its seeds. Conservation Halton staff have been pleased to observe that our continued efforts have made an impact on the garlic mustard problem. This was further reinforced by one participant, who commented on the noticeable reduction in the area we have been working on, after not having participated in last year’s event.
After a few hours of work, filling the back of a truck with bags of garlic mustard, the participants gathered for a free barbecue courtesy of the OAC. Everyone ate their fill of hamburgers, hotdogs and fresh salads. While lunch digested, the OAC presented our past successes (Old Baldy purchase) and ongoing projects (the upcoming Beaver Valley Climbing Festival). As further thanks to the participants, we raffled a pile of great prizes. Prize sponsors included Mountain Equipment Co-op, The Toronto Section of the Alpine Club of Canada, Conservation Halton, The Rock Oasis, Columbia Sportswear, Outland Adventure Gear, and Ice Climbing Team Canada. Some lucky winners even walked away with OAC T-shirts!
Conversation Halton has been a decades-long supporter of rock climbing and of the OAC since its inception. Other land managers and conservation authorities in the province look at the model of our great relationship in crafting their own management plans. This annual event is a great way for climbers to give back, and say thank you to Conservation Halton for their continued support. Once again, thanks to climbers for helping out, and we look forward to the 2016 Crag Stewardship Day!
The OAC and Bruce Peninsula National Park are looking for help from the climbing community in the form of volunteer weekend Site Hosts. Site Hosts, like a Camp host, act as stewards or Caretakers for the area during their time volunteering. The Site Host program has been a huge success since the launch in 2010, so the OAC and the Park are looking again for volunteers for 2015. If you want to help access efforts and become a Site Host for a weekend, click HERE to fill in the volunteer application.
New this year: We are also looking for a volunteer to coordinate the site host program. Your responsibility as site host coordinator would be to maintain a roster of site hosts, to follow up with them and make sure everything is going well, and to communicate with the Park. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in helping out!
The guide for Halfway Log Dump is available for free from the OAC. If you download this guide we hope that you will take the time to become an OAC member, or make a donation if you are already a member. Click HERE to download the “HWLD Interpretive Bouldering guidebook”.
What does a Site Host do?
Site hosts act as ambassadors for Halfway Log Dump while they volunteer. They ensure everyone is having a good time, communicate the rules that are in place, point out the endangered Lakeside Daisy, explain bouldering to curious tourists and, of course, know all the beta on every problem. These honoured volunteers will receive free camping!!! (as available), luxurious pre-paid parking ($11.70 per day), and free volunteer apparel. This is all courtesy of Bruce Peninsula National Park. A thanks to those of you who volunteer from your fellow climbers for stepping up to help out the sport you love!
I would like to help, but I have never been to Halfway Log Dump. Can I still volunteer as a site host?
It might be your first visit or your hundred and first visit to Halfway Log Dump. This honour is still open to you. We can tell you what you need to know. It’s not hard. You can put it on your resume and land that promotion you’ve been after.
Yeah, but, if I go there I want to focus on climbing
The time commitment of site host at the boulders is minimal and can easily be incorporated into a regular day at the crag. You will be walking by other boulderers and they will be walking by you. In talking to other boulderers, you may discover that they know something you don’t about the latest lines, new beta, local weather, best dining, local plants, or a shortcut home.
Let’s welcome back the spring climbing season once again with the OAC’s annual Crag Stewardship Day held in conjunction with Conservation Halton!
Saturday, May 2, 9AM
Rattlesnake Point, Upper Pavilion
Please fill out this form to RSVP:
Crag Stewardship Day Signup Form
All volunteers receive:
- FREE entry to Rattlesnake Point
- BBQ lunch
- Entry for epic prize giveaways
- Cliffs available all afternoon
Bring gardening gloves!
On Saturday, May 2, we will help preserve the environment at one of Ontario’s most popular crags, Rattlesnake Point.
As in previous years, climbers of all abilities have a chance to give back to one of our biggest supporters, Conservation Halton, by helping remove the invasive (yet edible) species garlic mustard. Bring gardening gloves!
Please join us for one of the OAC’s signature outdoor events at 9AM at the Upper Pavilion on May 2, rain or shine.
Conservation Halton will provide free parking permits to Rattlesnake Point for volunteers. The OAC will provide a BBQ lunch and prize draws. Following the lunch, you’re encouraged to hop on the cliffs at Rattlesnake Point, Buffalo Crag, Mount Kelso and Mount Nemo.
Now that it’s 2015, we would love to hear about your climbing experiences from last year. This year, we are offering a draw for a $50 MEC gift certificate to a randomly-drawn survey participant. Thanks for your help!
By completing the survey you are helping climbing access in the province. The information you provide is used in aggregate to assist the OAC in representing climbers when asking Land Managers to consider how to balance preservation and recreation. Survey data collected from this survey will be kept strictly confidential and the entire survey should take you about five minutes to complete. Your participation is greatly appreciated. Climb safe and tread lightly.
The OAC’s ‘Ontario Crags’ calendar for 2015 is now available at Mountain Equipment Coop in Toronto, Barrie, Burlington, aaaaand Ottawa! Highlighting the amazing beauty and variety of climbing in Ontario throughout the seasons, the calendar makes a great gift for any climber on your list or for yourself, and helps support the OAC in the process! Thanks to all the talented and generous photographers & climbers who donated to this annual project, and to you for your purchase!
Above: January photo of Peter Hoang on ‘Naked Soul’ at Papineau Lake, by Bojan Uzicanin
Two year fundraising campaign thrusts OAC into land conservancy movement in partnership with Grey Sauble Conservation Authority.
Kimberley, ON – On October 8, 2014, the Ontario Access Coalition (OAC) presented the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority (GSCA) with a cheque for $130,000 to be used towards the purchase of a land parcel located at the base of Old Baldy Conservation Area in Kimberley, Ontario. This action initiates the OAC as stewards of the land conservancy movement and marks the culmination of a two year fundraising campaign to purchase the land. The partnership between the OAC and the GSCA addresses climbing access to Old Baldy and ensures its protection for future generations of recreational land use.
Old Baldy, the birthplace of the modern style of bolt-protected sport climbing in Ontario, is a historically significant climbing area for climbers. With over 100 rock climbs from beginner to expert, the area has been enjoyed by climbers for over 40 years. It affords expansive views for climbers and hikers over the lands of the Beaver Valley.
Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC), The Alpine Club of Canada – Toronto Section, OntarioClimbing.com and The Alpine Club of Canada – National demonstrated significant leadership in the community by supporting the OAC regarding this project. Their funding, with the additional support of numerous individual donors from the climbing community, were crucial in raising the necessary funds to make this OAC initiative a reality.
Major funding was provided by:
- MEC — $100,000
- The Alpine Club of Canada Toronto Section — $10,000 (plus $1,410 from members)
- Ontarioclimbing.com — $6,000
- The Alpine Club of Canada National — $5,000
The OAC especially recognizes the MEC contribution. MEC has been a partner of the OAC since 2009. With this donation, MEC continues to demonstrate support for access to recreational lands across Canada, particularly climbing access. The Ontario climbing community owes a special thanks to MEC for stepping forward early to kick start this initiative with their generous donation.
Additional Partners with the OAC and GSCA who supplied critical funds to finalize this initiative are as follows:
- The Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC) donated $25,000. The BTC is a consistent champion of protecting the Niagara Escarpment and has been instrumental in working towards its environmental protection. Only fifty percent of the 890km Bruce Trail is safe from development; year after year, the BTC raises millions towards conservation.
- The Nature League donated $2,000. Several years ago the Nature League funded the current parking area for Old Baldy Conservation Area and continues to show its support through their donation.
The OAC plans to maintain partnerships with the BTC and the Nature League in a continued effort to preserve Escarpment lands from development.
The Old Baldy purchase demonstrates that climber-led groups are capable of raising significant capital to preserve access to Ontario climbing areas; a model that the OAC will continue to adopt. This community-led approach is consistent with an evolving access strategy model that sees access groups purchasing property to preserve lands and make them available for public recreation.
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ABOUT THE OAC
The Ontario Access Coalition is an independent volunteer nonprofit organization working to preserve access to climbing and bouldering areas. The OAC helps to conserve the climbing environment by resolving Ontario climbing access issues by engaging with and educating the climbing community. Our team is committed to and passionate about working with the community, land owners, conservation authorities, and other property managers to educate, mediate and negotiate on behalf of climbers, in order to bring all parties together in a manner that is mutually respectful of one another’s needs. www.ontarioaccesscoalition.com
For images and more information contact email@example.com
ABOUT OLD BALDY
Old Baldy Conservation Area, located near Kimberley, Ontario, is frequented by many outdoor lovers thanks to its trail system and stunning position overlooking the Beaver Valley. Rock climbers can sample over 100 routes from beginner to expert on the beautiful dolostone of the Niagara Escarpment. Old Baldy is a historically significant climbing area for Ontario climbers, who have enjoyed the cliff for over 40 years.
Read more about Old Baldy here: http://www.ontarioaccesscoalition.com/2014/10/20/old-baldy