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A Toronto-Area Crag with Amazing Moderate Routes Reopens

The Turtle at Mount Nemo was closed in 2018, but reopens with new rules and a reservation system

Photo by: (of) Mount Nemo

The Turtle is an easy-to-access crag south of Toronto that was developed and opened in 2018. The landowner asked for the crag to close later that year due to inappropriate behaviour and excessive noise by climbers.

The Ontario Alliance of Climbers (OAC) has announced that the pocket-riddled Turtle area is reopening with a reservation system. For more information and to make a reservation visit here.

A 5.10 at Corner Wall at The Turtle.  Photo Brandon Pullan

To limit the number of people at the crag, there are 12 passes available each day. If climbers are loud, litter, stay longer than their reservation time allows, or are inappropriate, access will again be at risk.

The Turtle was developed by Gus Alexandropoulos, Gerry Banning, Mike Sheehan, Dave Smart, and Reg Smart. The routes are well-bolted, clean of loose rock, and are some of the most fun moderate sport routes in the area.

The climbs have fun pockets like Grassi Lakes in the Canadian Rockies, tufa-like holds, jugs, and sharp crimps.

To get to The Turtle, park at the corner of Walkers Line and #2 Side Road, which is part of the Mount Nemo Conservation Area. You’ll have to pay to park. Follow the trail up. When you reach the rock and the short step ladder, head left along the base of the rock for about 50 metres.

The Turtle Code of Conduct via the OAC

– Access to the Turtle Area is limited to individuals with proof of authorized access in the form of submission confirmation of the Release Agreement. Climbers should bring a copy of their Turtle reservation with them to the crag.
– Access to the Turtle Area is permitted from 9:00 a.m. to dusk only. No person may access the Turtle Area outside these times.
– Defecating in the Turtle Area is absolutely forbidden.
– No music or excessive noise of any form, including but not limited to, instructions and/or encouragement, are permitted in the Turtle Area.
– No dogs or any other pets are permitted into the Turtle Area.
– No smoking is permitted in the Turtle Area.
– No fires or burning of any material is permitted in the Turtle Area.
– No drugs or alcoholic beverages are permitted into the Turtle Area.
– No animals, plants, or any natural objects may be removed, defaced, harmed or destroyed in the Turtle Area.
– No commercial activity, including but not limited to, guiding, may be carried on in the Turtle Area.
– No new routes may be established without the written consent of the Land Owner.
– Climbing or hiking climber’s left of the Turtle Area is not permitted.

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Lead photo: (of) Mount Nemo