Regions - Northern BC
The northern regions of BC, while certainly not major destination areas like Squamish or Skaha, do offer some excellent climbing for those willing to travel a bit. While development is slow because of the small size of the climbing communities, it is happening. Each year sees a new crop of routes of all styles and grades being put up. Perhaps the biggest advantage to visiting these areas is that because there are so few people crowds are relatively unheard of.
Generally, the Northern Region can be subdivided into two distinct areas, the North West and the Northern Interior. The areas differ not only in climate but also in rock type. The North West is characterized by a strong coastal climate influence while the Northern Interior is inland temperate and is much drier. The rock type in each area tends to be quite different with North West being mostly granite and gneiss. The Northern Interior is predominately limestone with smaller crags of basalt, granodiorite, and conglomerates all being present.
The areas around Hazelton, Terrace, Kitimat, and Prince Rupert are well worth a visit for any climber. There is an abundance of routes of all grades and styles on generally excellent granite and gneiss. Think Squamish quality climbing but with no people! There are also opportunities for great alpine climbing in the area. Resource: www.northernbcrock.wetpaint.com
Mt Pope Provincial Park at Ft St James offers good quality limestone climbing with a large variety of routes in all styles and grades from very hard sport to easy multipitch. There are new routes being put up every year. The setting overlooking Stuart Lake is outstanding. Resources: www.climbpg.com www.pgbrs.com
The Big Eddy is a newly developed crag situated on the Stellako River. While it is fairly small it has superb climbing and is worth a visit for those passing through the area. The crag is situated in a wonderful area right on the river which offers great swimming on hot days. Also, if you’re there in the fall the annual Sockeye run is a spectacle to behold. Resource: www.pgbrs.com
Hassler Crag near Chetwynd is one of the premier crags in the north. The rock is a conglomerate/sandstone mix that provides for excellent, and a bit different, climbing. While most of the routes are trad/mixed protected (full rack required) some newer sport routes have been developed. The Ministry of Transport occasionally quarries rock from below the crag which results in closures during those times. Resource: www.accprincegeorge.ca
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