The picturesque seaside area of Fleming Beach is a popular destination for fisherman,
horizon-gazers, dog-walkers, and…climbers. It represents the closest (and
most popular) established climbing cliff in proximity to downtown Victoria,
and is popular with boulderers and top ropers. Although the crag is actually
based in the Township of Esquimalt, it can be reached in about 10-15 minutes
from the downtown core (by bike or car), and as such is a popular sunny
afternoon playground for area climbers. Details can be found in Mark
Freeborn’s "Rockclimbs of Victoria."
Since there had been no professional reviews completed at Fleming in
several years, last fall the Esquimalt Parks and Recreation department asked
that the area be inspected by a professional climbing guide. A report
outlining the results of the inspection indicated several anchor bolts had
noticeable corrosion; unfortunately years of wet coast rain, seaside mists,
and other corrosive influences were starting to eat away at some of the
older anchors. It was determined that these bolts should be replaced.
Brian Gould (Squamish-based ACMG mountain guide) completed the review as
well as the retro-bolting. New stainless steel anchor bolts were placed
close to previous anchors points in order to maintain consistency. The
retrofitting was completed for the main bolts on 'The Overhang', and several
of the stations at the top of the 'Right Side'. Two of the anchors were
repositioned higher due to hazardous access, and/or poor placement
contributing to rope drag. It is likely that all these new anchors will
remain corrosion free for several years, however the intention is that
regular safety inspections will occur on a more regular basis to limit
degradation of the area, and continued access for all.
For climbers that use this area, please remember that you must purchase an
annual pass. The fee is only $10, and is an important part of the agreement
that keeps this area open for climbing and bouldering. Passes can be
purchased at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre, 527 Fraser Street.
Thanks to the Township of Esquimalt (Andy Katschor), Ascent Public Affairs
(Kimanda Jarzebiak), the Climbers Access Society of BC, Brian
Gould, and Mountain Equipment Co-op for donating time and resources to this