New name: Ontario Alliance of Climbers!

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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!

Turtle Crag Information Session — Sat. Sept. 29th

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We will be holding a Turtle Crag Information Session at Black Rock Coffee & Bar this Saturday, September 29th, at 6pm. We’ll be discussing the recent land access issues which have come to light concerning Turtle Crag, what we’re doing to help, and how you as climbers can affect the future of climbing in Ontario.
Patrick Lam will be leading the discussion, but come prepared with any questions you may have about climbing in Ontario and Turtle Crag in particular.
See our Facebook event for more details.

Submit your photos for the 2019 OAC Crags Calendar!

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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

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

Andriy Kolos on Triple S by Pete Hoang

Please send your best shots to submissions@ontarioaccesscoalition.com by TUESDAY, OCTOBER 9th for a chance to have your photo featured and credited in the calendar! Chosen entrants will get a free copy of the 2019 calendar as well as a credit complete with your name and website.
Thanks in advance for your efforts to support the OAC!

Access Sends for 2017-2018 and Survey Results

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The Ontario Access Coalition 2018 Annual General Meeting was held on June 28, 2018. Thanks to Joe Rockhead’s for hosting.
Read about the OAC’s access sends for 2017-2018 and the survey results here:
2017-2018 Access Sends and 2017 Survey Results [pdf]
Here are the highlights from the access sends:

CLIMBING AREAS

  • New Niagara Glen portfolio manager
  • Halfway Log Dump partnership continues

CLIMBING COMMUNITY

  • Organized climber events:
    • Beaver Valley Climbing Festival
    • Southern Ontario Ice Fest
    • screening of​ “Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey”
  • Deployed new OAC website
  • Growing the OAC Facebook page
  • Hiring a Fundraising and Outreach Coordinator

CONNECTING WITH OTHERS

  • Organized community events:
    • Niagara Glen Earth day
    • Crag Stewardship Day (Conservation Halton)
  • Participated in:
    • Ontario Trails Coordinating Committee>
    • Building the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve
    • Centre for Applied Science in Protected Areas Conference Presentation and Tour of the Swamp

We welcome new board member Mike Makischuk and returning board members Randy Kielbasiewicz and Patrick Lam, and look forward to a productive 2018-2019 year continuing to advocate for climbing access in Ontario!

Spring 2018 Newsletter

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In the first episode of the OAC newsletter for 2018 we cover:

Recruiting a Fundraising & Outreach Coordinator (paid contract position)

For the first time in the OAC’s history, and with the support of MEC, we are looking to hire someone to help us advocate for climbing access in Ontario. Our Fundraising & Outreach Coordinator will primarily develop sponsorship and business relationships with OAC stakeholders and participate in community outreach. The OAC has always been a volunteer-based organization, but as our role in the climbing community has grown and we’ve become more established, we have recognized the need to have a member dedicated to ensuring our continued success.  The ideal candidate is proactive, organized, and detail-oriented with an entrepreneurial mindset. This is a contract position. For more information, see the job posting at https://www.ontarioallianceofclimbers.ca/climbers/careers/. For full consideration, apply by May 11. We look forward to working with the successful candidate!

Successful Movie Night: Dirtbag

A sold-out crowd enjoyed our April 11 screening of Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey. Thanks to everyone for coming, Mike Makischuk for organizing the event, and our sponsors (MEC, Arc’teryx, Patagonia, Boulderz, Gripped Magazine, and DMM) for supporting the event. Together, we raised over $3000 to support Ontario climbing access. We hope to see you at similar events for future climbing films.

Beaver Valley Climbing Festival & Logo Competition

Mark your calendars now: this year’s Beaver Valley Festival is going down July 20-22nd!  Join us up at the Rob Roy Dogsled Farm again as we celebrate climbing in Ontario with the year’s biggest party, headlined once again by Ariana Gillis.  Food, raffles, clinics, and an all around good time are to be had—in addition to some fantastic climbing of course!

We’re also holding a contest to redesign the Beaver Valley Festival logo. The winner will receive free admission to the festival for TWO—so you can bring your belayer!  The submission deadline will be May 21st. More details to come soon.

Crag Stewardship Event at Rattlesnake Point

Coming this Saturday, May 5: our annual Crag Stewardship Event at Rattlesnake Point. This is your chance to give back to the climbing community and help keep Ontario free of invasive species. Climbers’ past efforts have greatly reduced the amount of garlic mustard, an invasive species, around this climbing area. We hope you can join us to celebrate Earth Day. We’ll be providing a BBQ lunch, and the cliffs will be available all afternoon for climbing. For more information: https://ontarioaccesscoalition.com/climbers/events/garlic-mustard-pull-2018/

Upcoming Events

May 5: Crag Stewardship Event with Conservation Halton at Rattlesnake Point

June 21: OAC Annual General Meeting, location to be determined

July 20-22: Beaver Valley Climbing Festival

 

No New Routing at Mount Nemo

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On April 19, 2018, the OAC met with the Halton Region Conservation Authority (Conservation Halton) to discuss mutually beneficial opportunities. We plan to share more details of this meeting soon.

The recent new route activity at Mount Nemo is a concern. Please respect the existing policy on the development of new climbing routes at Mount Nemo:

No New Routes may be developed at Mount Nemo Conservation Area.

This includes both traditional and bolted sport climbs. No cleaning or removal of cliff face foliage will be tolerated under any circumstances. Please limit erosion at the base of the cliff by climbing in small parties and keeping as close to the cliff face as reasonable in talus-free areas. Climbing on Conservation Halton land is a privilege and not a right. By working with Conservation Halton and acting as stewards of these fantastic areas, we can maintain our climbing access to them.

We encourage climbers to respect the OAC code of ethics: https://www.ontarioallianceofclimbers.ca/our-story/code-of-ethics/

Seeking Halfway Log Dump site hosts for 2018!

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Are you an Ontario boulderer who enjoys getting on real rock? We need volunteers to act as site hosts at Halfway Log Dump this summer!

As site host, you’ll act as a crag steward for climbers visiting the area, and be there to explain the joys of climbing to curious tourists. This role is vital to maintaining a strong, positive presence at HWLD, and ensures that we can keep sending there for years to come.

For more details and to apply for the position, see our full Site Host page:

https://www.ontarioallianceofclimbers.ca/volunteers/halfway-log-dump-site-host/

or just go directly to the form at:

Halfway Log Dump 2018 Site Host Application

Bow Lake Access Update

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Recently, climbers at Bow Lake have reported possible access issues. No Trespassing signs have been popping up around popular access points and at the base of the cliff. One group of climbers was also left an anonymous letter on the windshield of their parked car, informing them that they had parked in a spot they shouldn’t have.

We’d like to remind everyone that parking should be done off of Hwy 28 on Lower Faraday Road. Parking is also permitted in the Faraday Township Fire Station parking lot, but be sure not to obstruct emergency vehicle access.

The OAC is in the process of contacting the land owners and confirming public access to the crag. A public update will be made once we have clarified the situation.

We exist to help iron out any wrinkles that arise between climbers and land owners. If you are ever approached by someone who objects to your presence at a crag, please respond politely and appropriately. Gather the name and contact information of the individuals in question, and assure them that the OAC will be in contact with them. We want to maintain strong, positive relationships with our land owners to ensure that climbing access remains open for everyone. If there are ever any questions about crag status, we will work with the suitable bodies to determine what the boundaries are. Please contact us first before posting to social media. This will allow us to build solid connections with the community and verify that the correct information gets passed around.

Thank you, and happy climbing!

New website!

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This new website is the culmination of many months of work by our website team. We hope you will find it to be a useful resource. We intend it to be much easier to navigate and for it to contain useful information for our stakeholders—climbers, land managers, and the community in general.

While upgrading to the new website, we seem to have inadvertently sent out notification emails about each of the changes that went into the website. We apologize for this unfortunate glitch.