Canada has hundreds of quality multi-pitch rock climbs, but only a short season to take advantage of them. That’s why when the weather is right, you need to pack the bags and head to the closest tall wall for some airy adventures.
Multi-pitch climbing takes many skills that come from proper instructions and practice. Don’t try a multi-pitch unless you know how to lead, build an anchor, belay from above, lead while hanging from and anchor, manage ropes, handle a lead fall while fixed to an anchor, rappel and possibly assist your partner in lowering in the case of an accident.
Every province where there are cliffs big enough has some fun multi-pitch climbs. Below are 10 multi-pitch routes that are fully bolted or are mixed gear and bolts. Some of which you might not have heard of. Bring the appropriate layers and gear. These routes are graded up to 5.8 and can be considered “easy” but are not to be taken lightly. These are great spring multi-pitch climbs.
Frontside 180 in B.C.
5.8, 10 pitches
A modern classic, this 10-pitch 5.8 bolted route climbs to the summit of Mount Chek north of Squamish. It’s reported that there’s at least 10 parties on it a day, so show up early. For more info see here.
Baby Blanket in B.C.
5.7, 2 pitches
Blanket Creek Arete is a classic two-pitch 5.10+, but few climbers know that there’s a two pitch 5.7 bolted route to the right called Baby Blanket. Just follow the directions to Blanket Creek Buttress here and start on the bolted route two metres to the right of the arete.
Mother’s Day Buttress in Alberta
5.6, 8 pitches
As one of the oldest routes on this list, Mother’s Day Buttress climbs a striking line up a prow right of Cascade Falls near Banff in eight pitches at 5.6. With a number of modern tweaks and retro-bolting, it’s become a must-climb for a new generation of climbers. More info here.
Slabby PackSmacka in Alberta
5.7, 4 pitches
A new-for-2018 four-pitch 5.7 bolted route on the Baldy Slabs near Baldy Crag in Kananaskis Country. The upper corner is one of the best at the grade and the route will give your calves a serious burn. It’s a short approach and the walls faces southwest. Follow the beta for Slabby McSlabface here and take the bolts on the right after pitch one.
Easy Street in Alberta
5.6, 6 pitches
Yamnuska has over 120 climbs, some worthwhile and some not worthwhile. But Easy Street is a solid six-pitch 5.6 that follows a line of fun limestone features and cracks. The approach is steep, but this is a great introduction to the mountains. More info here.
Bowels in Transit in Northern Ontario
5.7, 2 pitches
Next to the Trans-Canada Highway near Nipigon is a small peak called Mount Helen with a number of two-pitch moderate routes. Bowels in Transit was established decades ago and recently retro-bolted. The end result is a two-pitch bolted 5.7 only 10 seconds from the car. Driving across Canada? Don’t miss this gem. More info here.
Snakelet in Southern Ontario
5.5, 2 pitches
Snakelet is a fun introduction to multi-pitching that climbs The Anvil, a tower at the north end of Metcalfe. Randy Kielbasiewicz made the first ascent. It’s a very fun two-pitch 5.7. It’s one of only a few routes that bring you to the top of the tower and to descend requires an airy and fun rappel. More infor here.
Jolly Roger in Southern Ontario
5.5, 2 pitches
Jolly Roger is a two-pitch 5.5 trad route close to Toronto at Kelso. While there are many multi-pitch climbs close to Toronto, Jolly Roger doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Bring a healthy rack and be prepared to climb juggy limestone with nice cracks. More info here.
L’Arête in Quebec
5.7, 4 pitches
Quebec has dozens of high-quality multi-pitch routes, many of which feature steep trad climbing. Palisades de Charlevoix is close to Quebec City and has a fun four-pitch 5.7 called L’Arête. It’s fully bolted and follows nice granite with good friction and big holds. More info here.
Magic X in New Brunswick
5.8, 2 pitches
McQuirks Mountain in New Brunswick has only recently been developed but has a number of great two-pitch trad granite routes. Magic X would be a classic anywhere and would have lineups in Squamish. You won’t believe how splitter this 70-metre route is. More info here. And if you’re looking for a hard classic, check out Fifty Mission Cap 5.10c.