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Lion's Head

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Summary

Lion's Head is a beautiful cliff band off the shores of Georgian Bay in Southern Ontario. Most routes are sport, some trad and mixed ones.

Description

Climbing season is rather short - from late June to mid-October. Lion's Head is a north-facing cliff offering shaded climbing in the hot summer months and a very cool bay to swim in.

Access issues

Access in Ontario is VERY SENSITIVE. Please climb with care and respect for the crag and other users. Practice Leave No Trace. Check with the OAC at ontarioallianceofclimbers.ca to keep updated on access issues.

Approach

Climbs are all approached from the top of the cliff from the Bruce Trail. An understanding in self-rescue and rappelling knowledge and techniques are required to safely descend to the base to access climbs. Many moderates (5.10-5.11) are hanging belay routes and require the appropriate anchor and rope management knowledge. This is not a beginner crag - Please look into other Southern Ontario crags for more beginner friendly climbing and learning grounds (such as The Swamp, Old Baldy, and Metcalfe)

Approach: * Update: As of July 30, 2020: Moore St Side Trail is CLOSED * - Access to the cliff is via the Bruce Trail from the McCurdy Drive Parkette (https://goo.gl/maps/Vx9eRF2wHVryCU7G8). Approach time is now 35-45 minutes before arriving at the Headspace area depending on hiking pace.

Parking: * Update: As of July 29, 2020: NO PARKING IS PERMITTED ON MOORE ST * Please park in the McCurdy Dr Parkette. Please consider carpooling as spaces are quite limited. Overflow parking is available in town at the arena (https://goo.gl/maps/5SgijztGLEpJben38).

* Latvian Ledge Update *

Please be advised as of June 9, 2020: The OAC has been informed of the temporary removal of all moderate Latvian Ledge routes for the purposes of rehabilitation. These routes represent the bulk of moderate routes at Lions Head. Please ensure your plans do not require these routes to be available, and remember that top roping at Lions Head is not permitted. To keep updated on Ontario rock climbing changes - please check their website at ontarioallianceofclimbers.ca.

Where to stay

There are a number of campgrounds in the vicinity of Lion's Head.

Lion's Head Beach Campground located right in town (https://visitlionshead.ca/profile/lions-head-beach-park-campground/1558/)

Lakeside Camp on the Huron shores 10 km east (https://www.lakesidecampinc.com/)

Cape Croker Park (halfway between Lion's Head and Wiarton) (https://capecrokerpark.com/) - Camping here will also give you access to climbing at the crag here which re-opened to climbing in 2016.

Cyprus Lake about 30 minutes north (https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/on/bruce)

There is a hostel in town - The Fitz Hostel (https://thefitzhostel.com/)

There is one motel in town - Lion's Head Beach motel (https://www.lionsheadbeachmotel.com/)

There are other motels available in the Wiarton area - 20 minutes south of Lion's Head

A popular option is to rent cottages and cabins in the area. Popular sites such as airbnb are helpful with this.

*Car-camping (and Van-Life) are not permitted in town or its surrounding areas. *

Ethic

Practice LEAVE NO TRACE at all times. Pack out what you pack in. Carry a plastic bag to collect garbage on the way out, if possible. There are no washroom facilities at this crag.

Be mindful of your group size and noise. Keep party numbers to a minimum - avoid playing loud music while at the cliff given that accessing climbs requires rappelling and line-fixing, other climbing parties need to be able communicate without having to contend with artificial noise.

Car-camping (and Van-Life) are not permitted in town or its surrounding areas.

This is a recommended resource in regards to local ethics https://www.rockrespect.ca/climbers-code

Want to contribute to route development? Go to the Ontario Climbing page and contribute to the Hardware Fund (or grab a printed guidebook while helping out!) https://www.ontarioclimbing.com/

History

View historical timeline

The history and development of climbing in Lion's Head is nuanced and obscure. There are a few write-ups regarding this cliff can be found in various guidebooks for the area.

You can purchase the current guidebooks here (both published in 2016) https://ontariorockclimbing.com/shop/

and

https://ontarioclimbing.com/Ontario-Climbing-Store/index.php?catalog/all/-/date/1

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Activity

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