Lion’s Head Best Practices

An important message from a community member, Mike Penney. Please read before visiting Lion’s Head this long weekend.

Climber Friends,

If you’re thinking of visiting Lion’s Head this long weekend, please follow the Lion’s Head Best Practices below. Let’s pull together and collectively work to save this precious resource.

Lion’s Head Best Practices:
– Please do not tailgate on Moore Street or in the Bruce parking lot.
– Please arrive at the trailhead organized. Grab your stuff, fist bump your friends and quietly head in for an awesome day of climbing.
– SMILE and say hello to anyone walking, running or biking on Moore Street. Chances are they are local cottagers unsure about climbers.
– Slow down when driving on Moore Street… You’ll get there… I promise.
– Do not bushwhack. Use only the main trail.
– When speaking to locals in town, if climbing comes up, stress that climbing is very safe when performed properly and responsibly. As a group we look out for each other and our #1 priority is taking care of our community and staying safe.
– Pick up any garbage along the trail – both at the top and bottom of the cliff
– Learn how to go to the bathroom in the woods. Bury your waste and leave no trace (or, better yet, go before you get there!).
– If you’re going to sleep in your car/van, do your research. There are plenty of areas to park minutes OUTSIDE the town on Crown land.
– If you arrive in a large group, split up and swap partners periodically. You’ll get more done in pairs anyway.
– Stay Safe. Accidents happen, but not at LH! Be diligent, help others and leave your ego at the trailhead.
– If you see anyone conducting destructive behavior, please speak up and let them know they are endangering future climbing access
– If you see anyone from MNR, NEC or the Park, please let the OAC know ( and in turn refer them to the OAC should they have any questions.
– Have fun!

Lion’s Head access campaign

Access to climbing at Lion’s Head has been threatened for several years. Recently the MNR has begun recording cliff face data using drone flights to assess climber impact. Additionally, the OAC was made aware that camping in inappropriate areas has increased, further threatening an already tenuous position.

On July 23, 2016 we tried a new approach to make climbers aware of the potential increase of this threat. We posted a meme and heard from many passionate climbers who felt the post was inappropriate. We now realize that it was out of line for the OAC, and we sincerely apologize. For future posts, we will strive to act as champions of the Ontario climbing community in a more respectful and less contentious way.

During the next few weeks the OAC will continue its meme campaign to educate local climbers as well as local citizens. The challenges presented to the Lion’s Head climbing community are significant. The OAC cannot achieve its goal of securing access to one of North America’s most beautiful climbing areas without your support. It is our hope and belief that we can move forward together to attain this goal.

Lion’s Head – Dirtbagger Wanted Fined and Alive


Climber with their vehicle/tent in the Bruce Trail parking lot/farmer’s field charged with jeopardizing access. This individual can’t take the time to help maintain access to the crag they are visiting.

What he doesn’t know is that “dirtbagging” on the Bruce is actually called something else by the locals – trespassing. It’s illegal. When the OPP visit him at 3am, fines him, and he finds himself driving back home, he will remember this post. He will say to himself, “Why didn’t I just visit and book a place? I would have been helping access by bringing in tourism dollars instead of being selfish and cheap.”

If you see a dirtbagger around Lion’s Head kindly remind them that their actions actually affect you and the greater climbing community. Tell them to check out and find a real place to stay.

P.S. Don’t sneak rocks in their backpack either.

Arrange accommodations ahead of time before coming to the Bruce Peninsula. This is a busy tourist area in the summer and dirtbagging is not welcome here. Get a campsite, dirtbag, this isn’t the Valley.

Note: this post has been edited for tone, and we have removed the picture at the request of the person featured in it.

Bon Echo climbing suspended

We are passing along the following message from the Alpine Club of Canada, Toronto Section.

The Superintendent of Bon Echo Provincial Park has informed the Alpine Club of Canada Toronto Section that starting immediately all climbing has been suspended until further notice.

The suspension was a result of a recent incident, and no one was hurt. The board of the Alpine Club of Canada Toronto Section and the Bon Echo Committee are collaborating closely with the Park to open access as soon as possible.

Weekends at the Bon Echo hut are subsequently canceled until further notice.

Until the matter is resolved please respect the wishes of the Park and refrain from climbing at Bon Echo. We will let you know as soon as the suspension is lifted.

We appreciate your cooperation and we look forward to climbing at Bon Echo again soon. If you have any questions please contact either the Board of Directors ( or the Bon Echo committee (

The Alpine Club of Canada Toronto Section Board of Directors

Second Grey/Bruce Rock Climbing and Bouldering Forum

The second Grey/Bruce Rock Climbing and Bouldering Forum took place on May 20 in Walkerton, Ontario. The forum aims to promote a coordinated approach to rock climbing and bouldering as recreational activities, where appropriate, in the Grey/Bruce region. Participating agencies at the second meeting included the Alpine Club of Canada, County of Bruce, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (Owen Sound, Midhurst District, Peterborough), the Ontario Access Coalition, Ontario Parks, Parks Canada, and Regional Tourism Organization 7.

Building off the momentum of the first meeting, the second meeting focused on the following discussion points:

  1. The way access to climbing areas is being framed in current/forthcoming Ontario rock climbing guides.
  2. The thriving climbing gym culture in the GTA and southern Ontario and how it will likely increase climber visits to Grey/Bruce.
  3. Climbing activity management plan discussions for areas that will be developing new/revised management plans over the next several years (eg. Lion’s Head, Devils Glen).
  4. Bolt usage and replacement at Ontario climbing areas.
  5. Adding signage at selected Grey/Bruce climbing areas to promote environmental stewardship.
  6. Putting into action a sustainable parking plan for Devils Glen.
  7. Promotion of Grey/Bruce communities at this year’s Beaver Valley Climbing Festival.
  8. Ontario Parks Lion’s Head cliff-face analysis to begin this summer with the use of drones.

There was also ample time for informal Q & A between managers and OAC representatives. The continued relationship-building between all agencies is positive. The OAC views the second meeting as a success and looks forward to continued collaboration and meetings with members of all of the participating agencies.

As always, stay vigilant about being great stewards of the climbing environment. If you or someone you know needs a Leave No Trace refresher see our post from the fall.

Beaver Valley Climbing Festival 2016: Clinics

The 2016 Beaver Valley Climbing Festival is coming soon. Here is our list of clinics, which are included with the festival price: a great deal! There are clinics for both new and less-new climbers, so look through the list, see if you are interested in any of them, and sign up with the clinic providers.

Cape Croker: Official Re-Opening

June 17th marked the official re-opening of Cape Croker to climbing and bouldering after a year of closure. The First Nationas Band Council and the Cape Croker section of the Bruce Trail Conservancy, rebuilding the Sydney Bay Boardwalk, were present for the re-opening.

Bruce Trail Conservancy, Croker Section

Cape Croker section of the Bruce Trail Conservancy

Cape Croker boasts on-site camping, showers, and a store, and serves as a convenient stop for climbers on the way to Lion’s Head or Halfway Log Dump (Bruce Peninsula National Park). With its short approach and numerous trad and sport lines, Croker is an excellent crag on the Escarpment situated in a beautiful location. Non-climbing activities include nearby international-level mountain biking in Purple Valley as well as paddleboard and kayak rentals.

Nik Hoediono, first lead at re-opened Croker, "Ivy League"

Nik Hoediono, first lead at re-opened Croker, "Ivy League"

Cape Croker has been operated by the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation since its inception as a park in 1967, protecting its intrinsic beauty and generating on-Reserve employment. The Ontario Access Coalition, through portfolio managers Drs. Harry Hoediono and Patrick Lam, spent most of 2015 negotiating with Park officials and the Band Council, and reached an agreement about re-opening the Park to climbing this spring. Gus Alexandropoulos provided invaluable support in the form of guidebook recognition and advertising donations.

The Cape Croker re-opening illustrates how eco-friendly citizens (the OAC, BTC and First Nations Band Council) can work together to promote eco-tourism and eco-sport on the Bruce Peninsula.

Josiah Keeshig (office),  Nathan Keeshig (Park Superintendent), Harry Hoediono

Josiah Keeshig (office), Nathan Keeshig (Park Superintendent), Harry Hoediono

After the official re-opening, Dr. Hoediono met with new Park Superintendent Nathan Keeshig and discussed steps forward: signage, waivers to measure climber usage, and cliff cleanups. They also agreed to hold future meetings on promoting rock climbing as one of the Park’s eco-friendly adventure sports. Dr. Hoediono and helpers also carried out the thankless tasks needed to maintain a climbing site, including trimming vegetation and inspecting in-situ gear.

Please enjoy climbing at Cape Croker, heed all posted signs, climb with care, and be respectful of the privilege of climbing in such a beautiful area.

Sign up for the 2016 Beaver Valley Climbing Festival!

The 4th Annual Beaver Valley Climbing Festival is coming soon! Join hundreds of other climbers on July 15-17th, enjoy the festivities on Saturday night as well as Beaver Valley climbing on Saturday and Sunday, all while supporting the Ontario Access Coalition. The price of $44 includes Saturday dinner, camping, clinics, and Sunday breakfast. We hope to see you there!

Beaver Valley Climbing Festival - logo

The BVCF web page is at, and you can sign up there.

PS: The Ontario Access Coalition Annual General Meeting is June 27 at The Rock Oasis Toronto, 7:30PM. There may be highly desirable door prizes.

OAC Annual General Meeting: June 27, 2016

The OAC invites all members to partake in our 2016 annual general meeting on June 27, 2016. 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.

The meeting will be held at The Rock Oasis – Toronto (388 Carlaw Ave Suite 204, Toronto, ON) on Monday June 27th at 7:30 PM. Half price climbing for all attendees!

To be eligible to vote at the AGM, one is required to be a member of the Ontario Access Coalition. To allow for the processing of new members, please ensure applications are submitted prior to June 10th. Please visit our membership page at 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 (all for a two-year term). 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 June 10th 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 bi-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 ( ).

Volunteer at Halfway Log Dump this summer!

Are you a boulderer, looking for a way to help the OAC keep Ontario bouldering areas open? This is your chance to help! Enjoy time at one of Ontario’s premier bouldering crags while giving back to the community by becoming a site host at Halfway Log Dump!

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 Camp Hosts, 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 2016. If you want to help access efforts and become a Site Host for a weekend, click HERE to fill in the volunteer application.


Iman Thabit climbing in Bruce Peninsula National Park, ON. Photo by Dennis Ng.

What does a Site Host do?

Site hosts act as ambassadors for Halfway Log Dump. They ensure everyone is having a good time, communicate the rules that are in place, point out the endangered Lakeside Daisy (see it right over there?), explain bouldering to curious tourists and, of course, know all the beta on every problem ;). These honoured volunteers will receive free camping!!! (as available), and pre-paid parking ($11.70 per day) at the park. This is all courtesy of Bruce Peninsula National Park as a thanks to volunteers.

Who makes a good site host?

If you like to boulder outside, can get yourself to the Bruce Peninsula, and are interested in helping maintain climbing access in Ontario, you will be a great site host!

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 101 visit to Halfway Lakeside-Daisy-Closeup_Guide-4-Final_ 2Log 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.

A 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”.

A beautiful new, updated guidebook is currently in the works by Author (and Site Host!) Joe Ho. For further details on Joe’s new guide, Click HERE

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.

A big thanks to those of you who apply!