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The Niagara Glen’s Best of the Grade

From V0 to V9, the Glen offers some of the best bouldering in this part of North America

Photo by: Cameron Lawrence

The Niagara Glen is one of Canada’s most popular bouldering areas with over 800 problems listed on Sendage. Found a few hours south of Toronto, it’s a perfect spot to spend warm winter days working on projects. For tips on bouldering in winter visit here.

Before visiting, you’ll need to sign a waiver and pay for a day pass, which you can do here. Finding the best problems in the area can be difficult to pin down, so here is a list of 10 of the Glen’s best boulder problems.

V0 Walking Spanish Down the Glen

Though the glen is normally defined by steep faces and pocket-edges, Walking Spanish Down the Glen offers a clean compression up high-quality dolomite. The problem stands over 15-feet tall and is just down the stairs from the Central area. If you have never climbed it before, it is an excellent place to begin your session and is among the best for the grade.

V1 Rungs

If you have ever been on a tour through Bizarro, you have probably seen this problem. Crafted out of perfect limestone horizontals, the surprisingly dynamic Rungs, requires the climber to bear down and pull hard if they wish to get to the top. Though the problem starts on the left side, it is recommended that you start in obvious slot-like side-pull.

V2 Lichen It

This is easily the highest quality V2 in the Glen. The holds are perfect, textured, ergonomic and in-cut. The line climbs up the obvious arete and is the easiest way to the top from the starting position. It is adjacent to Real Kung Fu Massacre V5 and Real Bruce Lee V9 but is probably better than both.

V3 Albatross

There are quite a number of high-quality V3s in the Glen. No U-Turn is easily the most classic, but in terms of bang for your buck, Albatross provides the full experience. The slightly overhung highball offers a nasty fall, but the perfect climbing makes up for the less-than-secure top out.

V4 Immaculate

Though Midnight Express is radical, and Darlene is made of perfect holds, Immaculate must be considered the Glen’s best V4 for all heights. The dynamic style is reticent of Chattanooga and though it might be difficult to find at first, the two-move wonder is the precise distillation of power.

V5 Bounty Hunter

This problem has seen a lot of attention this last year. The at-odds edges and compression-style makes this problem a classic worth returning to again and again. With a V6 sit start, Bounty Hunter offers a full range of radness.

V6 Contact

This is a perfect problem. With glassy holds, this precise boulder problem starts in the same place as Life O’Reilly before splitting left with a rose move through to the no u-turn exit. Not feeling the rose? Life O’Reilly provides a nice dead-point instead. Want something harder? Try the sit start, a beautiful V7.

V7 Royale with Cheese

This categorically ugly boulder problem is on of the steepest and most powerful problems at the glen. It is featured with small in-cuts, big pinches and multiple creative solutions. If you are down by the water, this is a classic you do not want to miss.

V8 Eye Candy

V8 is an incredible grade at the Glen. Picking and choosing is difficult, so let it suffice to say that One Inch Punch and Bagging Loose Tea stand are similarly radical. Eye Candy climbs some of the most beautiful rock in the Glen. It is complete with a victory jug, a bit of height, and a bit a danger, but there is nothing like the feel that comes from its completion. It is the stand to Chain Reaction V9.

V9 Black Eagle

Though glassy, the perfect grips provide the easiest way to get to the top from the start position. Between powerful moves, delicate beta, the rare Glen-sloper and a top out that leaves a second crux for the down-climb, Black Eagle is one of the most popular boulder problems in the Glen. For those looking to do a more rarely repeated climb, Necromancer is another incredible V9.

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Lead photo: Cameron Lawrence