Climbing On Vancouver Island

Areas, New route info, Access issues etc

"Witchcraft Lake Guide" - A newly developed area in Nanaimo with some very worthwhile climbing!  A printable guide is available to download "HERE"


"Sutton Creek Boulders"

This granite bouldering area is located 41km west of Port Alberni on Hwy 4 towards Tofino. Follow this LINK to download a guide to the area.

***Note*** This is not the NEWLY developed SUTTON PASS area.  A guide for Sutton Pass will be available ASAP


There is a newly developed wall beside the highway, approximately 20km past "The Sutton Creek Boulders" This is called "Las Olas" ( The waves)

"Las Olas" is made up of some sort of very solid rock with incredible friction on positive flakes and edges. There are also many beautiful pockets. The climbing is steep yet slabby with many bulges. During the cleaning of the routes there was very little loose rock that came off. The wall is about 40m high and requires 2 ropes to lower off with. All routes are equipped with "bomber" rap stations located on the face below the trees on top. These routes were designed to be lead climbed as walking around to top rope is almost impossible. All routes have mixed protection with a few of bolts and the rest protected by nuts and cams up to 1.5". Protection is excellent and bolts were only placed in when there was no natural pro to be found!

From left to right, the routes are:

"Something about Natalie" 5.10- 35m FFA Rob Grant, Aaron Hamilton (Aug 2003)

This route starts just to the left of an old bolt and follows a couple of new bolts up to the left past a bulge and gains a prominent crack line. The route then veers to the right of the crack as the vegetation grows too dense. It then finishes up a nice face with a couple more bolts to the top. Has ring anchors.

"Walking the Fine Line" 5.11- 35m FFA. Aaron Hamilton, Rob Grant (Aug 2003)

Route starting 10 feet to the right of "Something" It starts up a slabby face with good pockets and flakes and heads straight up through a bulge past a couple of bolts to a nice rest. Do not forget your small nuts and cams for the top half.

"Always Wanted to" 5.10+ 35M FFA. Rob Grant, Aaron Hamilton (Aug 2003)

About 30 feet or so farther to the right of "Walking the Fine Line" is a weakness marked by the first bolt which is about 12-15ft up. The first part of this climb is blocky and somewhat overhanging. Trend left and follow the natural pro found in the cracks and seams (to 1 1/4"). Climbing gets more difficult about halfway up for a short crux near the fourth bolt then gets easier before getting a bit tricky on the next wave of steepness and some nice jams, over that wave and to the rap anchors. Bring gear to 11/4" and 9 draws.


Nomash Vally - Wapiti Vally - Greyback Peak

This amazing climbing area located near Zebballos, on northern Vancouver Island, boasts several large and clean granite slabs with climbing up to 13 pitches. The rock is solid granodiorite and quartz diorite. Natural protection possibilities are few and most routes are completely bolt protected.

To get to the Wapiti Vally, follow highway 19 north heading towards Port Hardy. You will pass the turn off to Sayward and then Woss. Take a left turn off highway 19 onto the Zeballos road. There are signs on the highway for the turnoff. Once you turn off the highway, follow signs towards Zeballos. At around 32km from the highway, turn left onto the Nomash main. This turn off can be confusing as there are no posted signs. You will know you are getting close when you come down a long hill and you see large piles of rock on the left side of the road. Once on the Nomash main, you will cross a bridge immediately. At the first intersection continue to the left. You will cross another bridge and then turn right, continuing on the Nomash main. A few more kilometers up the road, you will cross over a new bridge that was just put in. After 5km or so, the road becomes very overgrown and seems to just disapear. Keep going even if you think you are going the wrong way! The "car-bush-whacking" seems to go on forever, but you will eventualy come out into a small clearing with a spur road heading up left. This is the N20 spur and is access to the Haihte range and Rugged mountain. Continue past the N20 and over two old bridges. After the second bridge turn right off the Nomash main and onto N35 (Unmarked). You will see a large dirty slab on your left. Continue on "car-bush -whacking" till there is another split in the road. You will see the campsite on the left. Park off the road here and either camp or start walking! This drive can be done in easily in a small 2wd car. To get to the climbing, walk through the campsite and up the old de-activated loging road. This old road switchbacks up into the Wapiti Vally and to the base of the climbs on the south east face of Greyback Peak. The hike takes less than an hour to get to the base of the slab. The trail is getting overgrown but there has been some recent machete work done to clear some of the alders. Just follow the snapped off alders. You will cross many streams and pass by a large boulder with a couple cracks. You will gain good views of the slabs along the way. At the end of the "road" there is a waterfall. The water is fine to drink! From the waterfall, there is a good trail that leads up to a small aproach slab. Head up to a nice ledge refered to as the "stage" The climbs are described from left to right. The first climb you will get to is the "Wapiti Mainline"

"Wapiti Mainline" 5.10b A0 - 13 Pitches - Sport
FA. Dave Lepard, Carla Bortoletto - 2003

The Wapiti Mainline is 13 pitches of fun slab climbing on solid rock. The first 7 pitches are 5.6 and easier. The next 3 pitches are super fun 5.8 climbing on cool features. The 11th pitch is a classic 5.10b and the 12th pitch is supposedly 5.11 but it seems harder than most Squamish 5.11 slabs. This section is usually aided through by pulling up and mantling on the bolts to reach the easier climbing. The last pitch is 5.6 From the top of the last pitch, you can scramble up 4th class slabs to the trees. A short bushwhack will put you on top of the dome. It is a great view from the top and worth the scramble. All the belay stations are equipped with rap chains. Descend by rappelling with 2 ropes. All you need are 12 quick draws for gear!

The next route you will come to is a project of Aaron Hamilton and Rob Grant.  There are 8 pitches completed so far with probably 3 more to get to the top.  This route starts 100ft to the climbers right of "Wapitti Mainline" The piches so far are 5.8, 5.9, 5.6, 5.8, 5.7, 5.7, 5.9, 5.10-  You can rap from every pitch with 2 60m ropes.  From the top of the 8th pitch, you can rap directly down to the top of the 6th pitch.

Talladega Highbanks

Full Throttle

I will update this information, as soon as possible. Please email if you want more detailed beta!


Mackenzie Range
Red Wall North Face 425m (II) 5.9
John Waters & Aaron Hamilton, Sept 21, 2003

The approach is a grueling 4hr + hike up the steep trail. We didn't see the "climbers trail" sign, but the trail was well flagged in the upper section. We camped at some small ponds at 1200m on the south side of Mackenzie Peak. There is good water on the north side of red wall, down at the ice field.

Start up the lowest toe of rock on the north face. Easy scrambling (~100m) to the steeper face with a chossy chimney and large snow patch to your right (west)
P1 50m, Climb straight up to past a left facing corner and some bushes to a treed ledge and an obvious crack.
P2 50m, Stem good crack, moving left then right to finish over a small buldge (5.9). Best pitch on route.
P3 50m, Go straight up to bushy ledge. Great climbing on a steep blocky jugs.(5.8)
P4 50m, traverse right 20ft, and climb straight past bushes to a large ledge.
P5 25m, Start at right side of ledge at a small block corner and tree. Climb up to the far right side of a large left slanting roof gully.
P6 40m, traverse right 20ft, up mini aretes and bushes to a right facing corner. Wet in spots.
P7 40m, Up short corner to easy face above. Belay from tree.
P8 20m, climb right and up past sub alpine fir trees to summit.


Rob Grant and Greg Killops also completed a new climb in the Mackenzie range the same day John Waters and myself (Aaron Hamilton) climbed the North Face of red wall. They got to the top just minuets before we did. We met up on the decent.

"Turtle Heads and Gophers" 150m (II) 5.10
Greg Killopsand Rob Grant, Sept 21, 2003

On the west side of the NW ridge route of Redwall in the Mackenzie Range, are two obvious weaknesses in the form of crack/grooves as viewed from the saddle to the west. approach these by scrambling up a ramp to some small yellow cedar trees just before a small draw. We belayed from this point, traversing across the draw and up some blocks to the next (awkward) belay at another yellow cedar (fifth class). From here climb the right of two crack systems, we did one 55 meter pitch to a small ledge and a relatively good natural belay (5.10). Continue for one more pitch of easy fifth class to the summit of Redwall. Our descent was down the ridge between Redwall and Mackenzie Peak. A few rappels and a small walk off.