Concurrent with new routing activity in the Algoma region of northern Ontario, John Kaandorp and Artur Makos (of North Bay) climbed four routes on the superb white quartzite of the La Cloche hills bordering the North Channel of Lake Huron.
The cliff – a four-hour paddle by canoe west of Whitefish Falls – is only accessible by boat and a long hike inland. Four high quality routes were established ground up with minimal bolting on lead: La Cloche Crack, a two-pitch 5.8; Smells Like Thunderbird, a three-pitch 5.9; Samurai, a two-pitch 5.7 A2; and Bushido, a steep 5.11 A3.
Perhaps unique to Ontario climbing, this quartzite cliff is very remote and has an alpine feel – no road access, no trails, an unrivalled talus field of gargantuan boulders, and an abundance of clean crack climbing. Appropriately, the cliff was first sighted while sailing on the crystal clear waters of the North Channel. See below for route lines.