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Canada’s Hardest Boulders

Canadian bouldering has exploded this year. New V13s have been established all over the country. Where is Canada's first V15?

Yesterday, the Niagara Glen saw the first ascent of a new V13. The steeply angle boulder problem features over 15 moves of intense angle-pulling grips that build in difficulty before the committing top out. Vilified joins the growing list of hard problems in the Canadian bouldering scene.

Ontario boulderer Ethan Salvo worked the line with a number of strong climbers before ultimately finishing the problem. The project has become one of the Glen’s most difficult boulder problems and joins Yves Gravelle’s The Ultimate Chad as one of Ontario’s newest and hardest boulder problems.

In the past, Ontario bouldering featured only a few difficult boulder problems. Now, however, Canada’s most populated province offers an increasingly varied set of challenging boulder problems.

As development progresses across the country, boulderers have begun to wonder where Canada’s first V15 might reside. Although Squamish seems like the most obvious answer, Quebec has developed with Gravelle’s recent first ascents.

To that effect, some have said that Squamish’s The Singularity might already exist as Canada’s first V15 as the rarely repeated problem has seen only two ascents. Although it remains unclear which boulder will earn the elusive honour of Canada’s first V15, the following boulders have become Canada’s hardest to-date.

Niagara Glen, ON

Rite of Passage Low V13/14
Vilified V13
Phoenix from the Ashes V13

Calabogie, ON

The Vale of Shadows V13
The Ultimate Chad V13

Carnage V14

Morin-Heights, QC

Finnish Stylz V13
Stigmata V13
The Widowmaker V13

Kanata-Tremblant, QC

Miall’s Ahead V14
Thessalhydra V14

Snarky Puppy V14
Zatoichi V13

Gatineau, QC

The Heartbreaker V13

Squamish, BC

The Singularity V14/15
The Reckoning V14
North Ridge V14
Zazen V13 – broken, now considered possible V14
I Shot the Sheriff V13
Shelter V13
Vice Pinch Low V13
The Deep End V13
Velcro Low V13
Frodo’s Quest V13
Nightmare V13
Big Dragon V13
Hypertension Extension V13
The Proposal Plan V13

Vancouver Island, BC

Uncut Gems Sit V13
Shadow Realm V13
The Contortionist’s Perspective V13
Therapy at Large Sit V13

Okanagan Valley, BC

No More Mr Gneiss Guy V14
Where’s Wildo? V14
Men at Arms V14
Slipperier When Wet V14
Asclepius V13
Slippery When Wet V13
The Deficit V13
Old Man Power V13
Boats ‘n Toes V13
Livin’ on the Edge V13
Wiggle Direct V13
The Booch V13
Detour Direct V13

Gateway, AB

The Proving Ground V13

Hospital Hill, NS

Physical Graffiti V14
Kodiak V13/14
Full Clip Sit V13

Each of these areas, and likely several others we have not mentioned, feature projects ranging into high difficulties. Kanata-Tremblant offers the potential of extremely difficult boulder problems while, BC’s almost endless boulder fields provide a place for Canada’s elite to cut their teeth.

Did we miss a boulder or two? Message Gripped here to have it included in the list. Featured image of Where’s Wildo by Andy White