Rock climbing in Gatineau Park
There are eight rock faces where climbing is permitted:
- Home Cliff sector: centre
- Three faces at the Twin Ribs sector: Copacabana (left rib), Down Under (right rib) and Eastern Block
- Four faces at the Western Cwm sector, west: North Wall, Reaper Buttress, Spindrift Wall and Cave Wall
In the winter, ice climbing is permitted when there is enough snow covering the ground and ice on the climbing surfaces. In this way, climbers do not damage vegetation on the ground, the climbing surfaces or the rock itself.
Mixed climbing and dry-tooling are not allowed in winter or summer to avoid damaging the rock face.
Protect the Eardley Escarpment
The Eardley Escarpment’s geology and location make it an exceptional ecosystem. More than 70 plant and animal species at risk can be found here, including the peregrine falcon, which nests on the escarpment and is highly sensitive to human presence.
The NCC is working with The Alpine Club of Canada to limit the impact of rock climbing on this unique ecosystem. Users are asked to observe the rules to ensure that rock climbing continues to be permitted on the Eardley Escarpment. Offenders will be subject to a fine (or other penalty).
Your safety, your responsibility!
If you want to climb, you should know the following.
- Rock climbing involves risks (e.g. falling) that can cause serious injury, or even death.
- The anchors in the rock face were not installed by the NCC and are not inspected by the NCC.
- Given the remoteness of climbing locations and the type of terrain, it may be difficult to contact emergency services and may also take more time to locate help you if you need it.
- Only you can assess the risks you may be exposed to. You are responsible for your own safety, as well as for the decisions you make and the actions you take.
- The first and second anchor on some routes can be high off the ground and difficult to clip. It is a good idea to bring a stick clip to pre-clip the first anchor when in doubt, to avoid a fall on the floor.
Rock climbing code of conduct
- Only climb on official climbing routes and use official trails to get to them. Respect sector closures.
- Ensure that you have the necessary training, knowledge and experience to climb safely.
- Use proper equipment, including protective gear (e.g. helmet) and ensure that it is in good condition.
- Do not use any anchors in the rock unless you have the knowledge and experience to assess whether they are safe (i.e. in good condition, well placed and well anchored).
- Do not anchor to trees. This damages the trees and is not permitted in Gatineau Park.
- Bolting and opening new routes in Gatineau Park is prohibited.
- Choose a route that matches your technical skills.
- Ensure that you are in good health, physically fit, and that you are not impaired (e.g. fatigue, medication, alcohol or drugs).
- Check that the weather conditions are favourable for climbing.