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Here’s Where to go Ice Climbing Around Ottawa

For decades, Ottawa climbers have been heading to nearby cliffs for high-quality ice lines from WI2 to WI5

Ottawa is at the centre of countless crags where rock and ice climbers have been pushing local limits for decades. You can find excellent ice climbing crags within an hour drive of the city.

The best places to find ice this winter are: Eardley Escarpment and Calabogie. Other areas include Mont de la Coq, La Grande Dalle, Lac du Poisson Blanc and Mont Latuque. Below are some recommended routes and where to find them. Edelweisses Valley was once a popular spot for ice climbers, but the private property is currently closed and no access is allowed.

The Madawaska area has some of the best ice climbs in Ontario, be sure to check out the free online guidebook called Madawaska Ice Guide here.

1: Eardley / 2: Calabogie / 3: Edelweisses Valley

Eardley Escarpment: Found in Gatineau Park, Eardley Escarpment is a granite feature rising along the north shore of the Ottawa River. There are a variety of crags along the cliff with most being single-pitch climbing, however there are a few longer climbs. In the west end, you’ll find the 70-metre Heffalump WI2/3, which is one of the most popular routes. Farther east, you’ll come across Luskville Falls, a 100-metre WI2 first climbed in 1983. If you’re looking for a WI4, then check out Castle West Pillar and The Cirque. Down at Mont King you’ll find the fun Half Bake M6 WI4 and Hollow Glen WI2 30m.

Calabogie: Follow Hwy 17 from Ottawa and head south on Hwy 508 to the shore of Calabogie. The area is broken into the Lake Cliff and Main Cliff. Approach time varies from five to 30 minutes. At the Main Cliff, you’ll find a number of fun intro ice routes, like Two Tool Gully WI2 20m and Nameless Too WI2 15m. For more advanced routes, you have Green Fang WI3 20m and Buckhorn Special M5.