The OAC has been receiving inquiries from the climbing community asking for an update on climbing access to “The Swamp”. The popularity of “The Swamp” rose very sharply after news of its existence spread in the community during the 2010 climbing season. The area features both sport and traditional climbing on cliff lines and detached pinnacles in a pleasant forested setting.
The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) manages the area and currently tolerates climbing thanks to the efforts of the OAC. In 2010, the OAC met with the MNR in a successful effort to prevent the closure of the area. The MNR is currently conducting an assessment of the environmental Natural Heritage of the larger area which includes “The Swamp” climbing area. The OAC is in regular contact with the MNR regarding “The Swamp” and is working hard on behalf of the climbing community to ensure sustainable access to the area.
Rumour has spread that climbers should steer clear of the area while the Natural Heritage Assessment occurs. In an effort to update the climbing community with correct information Shawn Carey, Area Manager (and an ex-climber himself) with the MNR has issued this statement:
“MNR and OAC have been in regular contact regarding climbing activities at the Kolapore Uplands. OAC is aware that MNR is currently conducting a natural heritage and trail inventory in an attempt to better understand the ecological features and functions in the area and also to assess the potential impacts of various recreational uses on those features. Our goal is to ensure that recreational opportunities continue to exist but are managed in a way that ensures adequate protection of the unique features in Kolapore. OAC has been very helpful in providing advice and recommendations with respect to assessing the climbing routes and looking at various management options for the future. MNR continues to encourage climbers to follow “leave no trace” practices and understands that their actions during this process will impact the outcome. MNR looks forward to continuing to work with OAC and appreciate their efforts to date. “
As always, please follow the OAC’s “Code of Ethics” when climbing at “The Swamp” and other Ontario crags.