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Calabogie

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Summary

Multiple cliffs and breakdown areas around Manitou Mountain near Calabogie Lake.

Description

Near the Calabogie Peaks ski resort, there are a multiple cliffs, The Main Cliff seeing the most traffic. The area is primarily granitic gneiss and decent rock. The Main Cliff has seen most development with a renaissance since 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 perpendicular to the road, generally giving approach times in the 5-20 minute range along fairly easy hiking trails.

The Lake Cliff faces north east. It is mostly undeveloped with a smattering of moderate to very hard sport climbs and some older trad lines.

Access issues

Fires are PROHIBITED. Under NO circumstances should you start a fire at Calabogie. Respect the new parking restrictions.

HEY CLIMBERS, YES THAT MEANS YOU! THE WAY YOU ACT AT THE CRAG CAN LEAD TO THE ACCESS BEING JEOPARDIZED! CLIFFS ARE BEING CLOSED AND THIS COULD HAPPEN HERE!

Don't play music, no one wants to hear it. Pick yours and others trash up and pack it out. Dig a hole to take a #2 in and burry it! Don't pee under boulders or overhangs because the rain can't wash it away. Fires are banned on Greater Madawaska Crown Land without permit or approved fire pit, of which there are none at any of these crags. Limit the size of your group. Brush your tick marks before you move on. Keep your dog on a leash and pick up after it. Don't smoke around people who don't want to be around it and pack out your butts. Park responsibly.

Here is a good article talking about access issues recently (Read it, it only takes a minute)

https://gripped.com/news/hey-climbers-your-behaviour-can-close-our-crags/

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

Most of Lake Cliff is entirely on Calabogie Peeks land. They accept no liability for any use of the area, use at your own risk.

Skywalk is entirely on crown land.

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.

There are two very real threats to access at this crag that have come up in COVID times. We were a hairs breadth away from having all parking shut down in 2021. Fires and Parking are the only two things the people who have the power to shut down access have every talked about in the last 5 years.

Approach

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.

There are two options for parking at Main Cliff and Boulders. At the top of the hill is large pull off and, as of spring 2021, a new larger lot has been opened at the bottom of the hill just west of the smaller lot. Parking on the shoulder of the road is now restricted. The smaller lot 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.

History

History timeline chart

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.

Areas

Add area(s) Add topo Reorder Bulk edit
Name
Style
Routes
Ticks
Height
Grades
 Bouldering,  Trad climbing and other styles
37
33
20m
21
159
5,211
15m
100
Calabogie Boulders boulder field
250
1,971
4m
82

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