Kilometre+ long cliff near Ottawa Ontario.


Near the Calabogie Peaks ski resort, there are a pair of cliffs, The Main Cliff, and the Lake Cliff. Both are granitic gneiss and decent rock, but the Main Cliff has seen most development, with a rennaissance in the last year (2010) after the NCC closed most of the climbing in the Gatineau Park.

The Main Cliff is a kilometre or longer continuous cliff generally ranging in height from 12m-25m. It runs perpinducular to the road, generally giving approach times in the 5-20 minute range along fairly easy hiking trails.

The Lake Cliff faces differently and is mostly undeveloped, with uphill bushwacking (10 minutes) required for the approach.

Access issues

Main Cliff, Calabogie Boulders, and approach are on crown land in a "General Use Area", in particular in the " "Madawaska Highlands General Use Area".

The approach to Lake Cliff appears to cross private land, and the cliff may be on private land as well.

The Hydro/High Falls section was closed in 2002 due to deaths from an unexpected opening of the Barrett Chute Dam overflow gates. The land is fenced off and owned by Ontario Hydro.


From Ottawa, take highway 17 west, then turn left onto county highway 508 (Calabogie road). Follow the 508 past Calabogie and along the shore of Calabogie lake.

Main Cliff and Boulders parking is just a big dirt shoulder. The bigger parking section is at

45°16'23.45"N 76°48'34.70"W

Which is 2.5 km past the Barrett Chute Road (last left turn before pull-off, the road that turns left just before the ski resort).

That will get you access to the top of the cliff. A 2 minute walk west on the road will reveal a slightly smaller dirt shoulder, that will get you access to the bottom of the cliff.


View historical timeline

The main cliff was first climbed in the late 70s through late 80s, then it dropped in popularity. A few routes near 2nd easy way down continued to be climbed, but the rest of the cliff was rarely visited.

Starting in 2010, when the NCC closed much of the Gatineau park to climbing, climbing at Calabogie started to revitalize, with the development of new routes, including a fair bit of bolting of anchors and the setting up of a lot of sport routes. This development has continued through, at least, 2011.

This may lead to a differentiation in grades, the old, trad, routes were graded "old school", while the newer routes seem to be being given more "modern" grades, possibly resulting in nearby routes with similar difficulty level easily varying by a couple grades.


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 Bouldering,  Trad climbing and other styles

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