Over the past few years, northern Ontario, from Sudbury to Kenora, has been the focus of route developers establishing multi-pitch bolted adventure climbs. Orient Bay, long known for its bold and difficult crack lines, now has a few two- to four-pitch sport routes, with two being completed this week.
Aric Fishman, who owns the northwestern Ontario climbing guide company Outdoor Thrills and Skills, has been busy over the past few months establishing big, bolted routes. While many have been on a new wall near the town of Dorion, some have been in Orient Bay north of Nipigon at the most northern point of Lake Superior.
“I’m psyched to announce that we finally got these climbs done this past weekend,” said Fishman. “Now we can enjoy climbing to the top of two sweet multi-pitch sport routes at the Shield. It was a beautiful weekend filled with hard work and epic fun. Andy and I pushed the ultra popular Suicide Rabbit to the top, while Brent and Cody took Just About to Rock all the way up.”
The Shield is a tall feature just past the Reflection Lake Cabins that require less than a minute approach from the highway. One of the two new routes was an old multi-pitch project by Fishman that he called Suicide Rabbit, which he started in 2017 with Paul Desaulniers. This month, he completed the final two pitch, with all three now bolted and going at 5.8 28 m, 5.10+ 17 m, and 5.10+ 18 m. You can rappel the route with a 60-metre rope in three raps, or two with a 70. He made the complete FFA with Andy Noga.
Just About to Rock’s first pitch was climbed in 2019 by Fishman and Brent Clark at 5.10a over 28 metres. Clark and Cody Cook recently established the second pitch at 5.11a over 33 metres. About the pitch, Fishman said, “The true money pitch. Technical moves up from the anchor gain flaring hand crack followed by long moves on jugs. Enjoy the fluid movement on good holds and manage the pump as the wall kicks back. Moving left after the second flaring hand crack leads to a thin technical crux to a ledge. Take in the view and exposure to the anchors.”
With a few more weeks of good rock climbing weather left in northwestern Ontario, we’re sure to see even more new completed multi-pitch lines.