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Routes decommissioned at B.C. crag to preserve cultural site

"We are asking for the climbing community's cooperation in this matter"

Lakit Lake pictographs Photo by: East Kootenay Climbing Association of protected pictographs

Lakit Lake in B.C. is a popular crag near the town of Cranbrook. There are fun moderate routes and steep climbs up to 5.13. The East Kootenay Climbing Association (EKCA) has issued a notice that some routes have been decommissioned to protect areas of archeological importance.

Two routes above the famous pictographs on the Command Central Wall, Air Strike 5.12d and Mission Impossible 5.13c, were taken down. The hangers, bolts and anchors were removed. Lakit Lake climbing area is on a Registered Archaeological Site. The climbs had already been removed from the 2021 edition of the East Kootenay Rock guidebook.

“After lengthy discussions over the past couple years, in a show of good faith to the local First Nations and in order to hopefully preserve access to this climbing area, we have taken the measures to remove these routes,” noted EKCA. “We understand some climbers will not agree with this decision and some have been trying to get the ‘tick’ for a long time. We are asking for the climbing community’s cooperation in this matter.”

Climbers have a big impact on the land they’re using, which is why the Access Fund published a story about what a sustainable crag looks like. “Many of the issues climbing areas are facing can be solved with proper planning and infrastructure that is designed to manage visitors and protect the climbing environment,” they say. Read the story here.

Lead photo: East Kootenay Climbing Association of protected pictographs