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New Six-Pitch 5.11a Sport Climb in Ontario

Long May You Run is one of many outstanding multi-pitch bolted routes on Riverside Wall

Long May You Run is a new six-pitch 5.11a sport climb that follows excellent rock on the east-facing Riverside Wall in Ontario.

From Sudbury to Wawa, dozens of crags and big walls have been getting a lot more attention over the past few years. New single-pitch routes up to 5.12 and five-pitch adventures up to 5.11 have been developed.

David Smart belayed by Reg Smart on the 5.10d fourth pitch. Photo Brandon Pullan

Along the road to the Eyeball next to the Little White River north of Iron Bridge is Riverside, a 150-metre wall that had no known full-length routes prior to 2020. David Smart, along with his brother Reg Smart and Ontario legend John Kaandorp, climbed Bullets Before Breakfast, the first major climb up the wall. The five-pitch 5.10a follows a few short walls to the North Channel Ledge and on to the upper wall. It’s become one of Ontario’s most popular multi-pitches.

Randy Kielbasiewicz and Rafael Kolodziejczyk then added The Stars at Night, a stellar six-pitch 5.10c up one of the central walls, and the nearby Full Moon. Since then, several other climbs have been established including The Devil’s Work, six pitches with juggy overhangs and exposed face climbing at the accessible grade of 5.10b, and The Witch, a five-pitch 5.11b.

In fall 2020, David Smart and Brandon Pullan began work on Long May You Run, a fully bolted six-pitch 5.11a up the tallest part of Riverside. In 2021, they returned with Reg Smart for the first free ascent, but the first two pitches left much to be desired.

David Smart on the crux 5.11a section on pitch-five. Photo Brandon Pullan

This spring, the Smart brothers ATV’d in on the road that was still closed to regular traffic for the winter and re-routed the first two pitches up solid edgy rock at 5.10. Long May You Run is now one of Ontario’s longest sport climbs. The descent for all routes is by the cliff-top trail that heads to the right side of the wall, and not by rappelling. Long May You Run is the name of a Neil Young song, which includes lyrics about Blind River; a town close to Riverside Wall.

The area is on Crown Land, but you need to pay to access the road via a private residence, unless you have an ATV. Once in the backcountry, you can camp almost anywhere, except on a handful of private hunt camps, fish the river and have big wall-style adventures. Find more information on Riverside here. Note: Long May You Run is a new route with few ascents, expect some lichen, dirt and rocks on ledges. Wear a helmet.

Long May You Run 5.11a 6p

Approach: From the small pull-out below Riverside, hike up and to the base. Start right of a bushy ramp.
Pitch one: Short gully to a small crux (5.10a)
Pitch two: Good incuts to a steep face (5.10b)
Pitch three: Wandering features to a small roof (5.10b)
Pitch four: Good crimps left into awkward wall (5.10d)
Pitch five: Fun and featured, left around roof with tricky jam (5.11a)
Pitch six: Short but tricky corner to the top (5.9)
Gear: 18 quickdraws, 60-metre rope, helmets.

Long May You Run topo by David Smart
Long May You Run 5.11a 6p