Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pub Wall - Lion's Head - Castlegar Rock

This is gotta be the shortest approach to a crag ever! And with beer nearby, this is a place you gotta go see for yourself :) It's called the Pub Wall and it's located beside the Lion's Head Pub (yes beside) in Robson (basically attached to Castlegar) and is a total sun trap. The climbing consists of technical, high quality, low angle face climbing on really good Gneiss. The cruxes tend to be down low and a bit sneaky, especially on the harder routes. Aside from the crack on the far right (great) its all generously bolted and has good fixed stations. There are two pitches on the upper wall that serve as nice 2 pitch options, or one long pitch linked with two raps to descend (about 40m) that are worth the effort. As a side note, like many other crags on Lion's Head, access is touchy so don't go treading where it looks like peoples backyards and try to keep the place clean and as you left it!!

As some added fun I present a CHALLENGE!! Climb all 9 pitches in a day, its totally do-able. Give it a shot a go celebrate with a nice BC Craft beer at the pub!

For full updates on these and many other areas in the West Kootenay. Head to

From Nelson, drive towards Castlegar, and right after the big Brilliant Dam, turn right and follow the blue signs towards 'Syringa Provincial Park' & the community of Robson. Drive down this road for a few km's, past the Pass Creek Rd. turnoff, to your next turn off on the right; this is Broadwater Rd. Follow Broadwater for 1.1km to the Lion's Head Pub right after the 'TEMPO' gas station on your right.
Park & Play :)

Lion's Head - Pub Wall:

1 - Pub Fight - 5.10d - 15m - SPORT *
The farthest route on the left. Climb up the ramp and into the steep face. Some dirty slopers and a very awkward crux lead through the bulge. Easier incut climbing ensues…

2 - Pub Crawl - 5.10b - 23m - SPORT **
Climb the ramp right off the boulder pedestal/belay to a little ledge, some non existent holds and fancy footwork lead you up into the technical, beautiful upper face. Lower here on continue on up the next pitch

3 - Walk it Off - 5.9 - 22m - SPORT *
Climb just to right of 'Pub Crawl' to the same little ledge. Continue up the balance-y slab. Lower or continue on.

3b - A beautiful corner weakness feature flows to the top of the cliff with some nice exposed moves, especially up high…..worthy!!! Second pitch of 'Pub Crawl'

4 - Bender - 5.10a - 20m - SPORT **
Climb up the ramp, undercling traverse out and to the right and pull over a fun little bulge. Easier balance-y stuff leads you to the top. Cool!

4b - Climb up this second pitch through slabs and some steeper terrain up high. Second pitch of 'Walk it Off'

5 - In Like A Lion - 5.10d - 20m -SPORT *
Climb up the tricky ramp to an in your face bulge. Watch your third clip, she's tricky pulling over. Fun techy face climbing brings you to the top.

6 - Bar Star - 5.10d - 22m - SPORT ***
Start up the steep, beautiful, right facing feature on slopers and laybacks to a sustained technical section up high. Some cool huecos finish off the route. A little different than the rest and my vote for the best route on the cliff!

7 - Deep Fried Pickles - 5.9 - TRAD - GEAR to 1" - 15m **
The nice finger crack on the far right. Climb up easy ground to a steep finger crack, look for the bomber nut placements along the way :)

Note: There are some other climbs around the right of the cliff but access is tricky here. The come in a 10b (trad) and a nice 2 pitch 5.8 (sport)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lion's Head - Castlegar Rock Climbing

Tomas climbing 'Bucket Of Bolts'
Driving into the little area called Robson near Castlegar you can't help but look up at the giant cliff looming above. This is Lion's Head. I would call the rock very high quality and made up of a type of Granitic Gneiss. Steep on almost all aspects there is only a limited amount of development that has gone on here and hopefully more to come. There is a fun wall located just behind the Lion's Head Pub (also highly recommended) that I will include in the future, but for now enjoy this little topo of the West side of the cliff. Keep in mind that access is touchy to much of this area and please do all you can to help clean and maintain this area for future climbing/use. Oh ya…. and as a plus, it was already 15 degrees and sunny here as of mid-March, so it is a sun TRAP!! and perfect for spring/fall climbing. Enjoy :)

From Nelson, drive towards Castlegar, and right after the big Brilliant Dam, turn right and follow the blue signs towards 'Syringa Provincial Park' & the community of Robson. Drive down this road for a few km's, past the Pass Creek Rd. turnoff, to your next turn off on the right; this is Broadwater Rd. Follow Broadwater for 1.6km past the Lion's Head Pub and turn right onto Horkoff Rd. You quickly go a little uphill and then through a little neighbourhood. Follow this road towards the cliff and to where the road ends. Park here at a little pull off (not in front of peoples houses) and take the trail leading into the woods. Follow the pink flagging along the base of the forest (to the left/west) to where cairns and more flagging lead you through the boulders up and around to the far left end of the cliff, 10 minutes from the car. I wouldn't recommend heading straight up to the wall, a heinous bushwhack will probably ensue.


1 - Bone Cracker - 5.10d - Mixed - 45m - Gear to 2" **
This fun route starts in the steep obvious finger crack on the first wall. Climb through tricky mixed to a bolted anchor on the ledge (10d). The second pitch tackles the steep hand crack above and to the right (10d). Bring lots of small gear. You could also continue up the left bolted line (#2) to make one nice 35m long pitch (recommended variation)

2 - Daisy's Big Day Out - 5.11a - Sport - 38m **
Start just to the right of the steep finger crack. Climb through crimpy, technical ground past bolts to the anchor at the ledge (10b). From here the route trends up and to the left of the ledge to a nice steep section of bolted climbing, the crux comes up high (11a). Both of these routes can be done/linked up together depending on what you feel like climbing. All the climbing is excellent!

3 - After School Special - 5.9 - Sport - 45m *** (2 Pitches)
Climb the arete left of the gully on the far right side of the wall. The first pitch tackles the arete proper through beautiful juggy climbing (25m). The second pitch is shorter but the first moves off the belay are fantastic! A great novice multi-pitch route with a fine position and comfy belays! Highly recommended!

4 - Columbia Corner - 5.10d - Trad - 30m - Gear to 3" ***
A fine gear battle! Shuffle over the gully from the first belay of #3 to a single bolt belay on the ledge. Climb the beautiful left facing corner to the exposed roof up high and a exciting finish. Bring everything….

5 - Bucket of Bolts - 5.10a - Sport - 65m ** (3 Pitches)
A fun multi pitch adventure with fine views and nice exposure.
You have 3 choices to start, explained left to right;  Climb up into the roof and some burly moves (tricky) and gain the climbing above (10+). The original start, climb up through the juggy little roof and into the slab above (10a). Or climb the dirty crack (which could be good if cleaned) and into the slab above (5.7).

All of these lead into some fun slab climbing and then juggy lay backing above. The second pitch is really the highlight of the route, exposed and delicate face climbing that lead to a huge ledge and comfy belay with a view. You can finish the route by climbing a short 5.6 pitch that will see you to the top of the cliff. Rappel the route.

Getting onto the beauty second pitch of "Bucket of Bolts"

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Freshened Up For 2014!

It's been a long while since I have put some real effort into updating this site. Sorry for the long delay :)

Fortunately I have updated the links/downloads page so that all the links to the downloads now work and you don't have to go through a stupid virus filled share site (the reason why none of the links worked anymore). Having said that if you find a link on the blog itself that doesn't work, just head to the 'Download It' tab bar and it should have a working updated version.

Either than that the posts will now again continue to flow! Please comment here if you have any questions and I would love to help!!!

 I hope everyone is having a great winter wherever they are and I will post a few new shots to get you stoked!

Happy skiing/climbing all!!!