Rock Climbing in Powell River, British Columbia, Canada
Much like mountain biking, the word is slowly getting out - the climbing in and around Powell River rocks.
Whether you are looking for easily accessible top-rope and sport climbing, bouldering problems by the ocean, trad routes nestled in the forest or endless multi-pitch on towering walls of granite deep in the backcountry, you'll find it all here!
A small but dedicated community of climbers have developed a number of diverse areas in and around the Upper Sunshine Coast, but the area's relative isolation and proximity to more well-known and world-class climbing destinations like Squamish has kept Powell River's potential a secret to most.
However, with Powell River emerging as a legitimate outdoor destination in its own right, as well as recent recognition amongst some high-profile climbing media, more and more people are beginning to see the potential the area has to offer ... and opportunities for development, especially in the awe-inspiring Eldred Valley, are seemingly endless.
For those looking to climb outside, Powell River has a number of distinct crags and areas with varied routes that cater to most levels of climber - from novice to advanced. Higgyland is this town's most accessed sport climbing area, located right on the shores of Powell Lake by the Shinglemill restaurant, nestled in amongst the trees adjacent to the Scout Mountain portion of the Sunshine Coast Trail.
Further sport climbing and bouldering in perhaps the most picturesque climbing location on the coast can be found down at Stillwater Bluffs, about 30 minutes drive south of Powell River itself. Follow the shoreline from north to south and discover hidden gem after gem - cliffs rising seemingly straight out of the ocean and huge boulders sitting in the cool forest just onshore.
Just across the highway from Stillwater, accessed off the service road that leads to the start of the Powell River Forest Canoe Route, the Lake Bluffs are Powell River's traditional crack climbing destination. While further afield, about 60-90 minutes up Goat Main forest service road, the legendary Eldred Valley awaits, with multiple granite walls rising sheer out of the forest with almost endless potential for development and discovery. As of now, a growing number of quality multi-pitch routes exist on crags known as Carag-Dur and Psyche Slab, while whole fields of boulders are being discovered and problems developed on both sides of the spectacular Eldred River.
For a more rounded and detailed guide, you can pick up a copy of 'Powell River Climbing' from local bookstores and the Powell River Visitor's Centre. A local climber has also created a great blog of the climbing in Powell River that gives great updates on new projects, climbing areas, and events happening in town.
There's also a couple of groups on social media that you might be able to use to connect with local climbers and get some real local knowledge. The group 5.9+ is well-used by all local adventure seekers, especially climbers, while the Powell River Climbing Co-Operative is another online community that is working to bring a co-operative bouldering gym to the Townsite district of town. Both groups can help point you in the right direction, find a climbing partner for the weekend, or catch up with someone local for a beer or a coffee and learn about the burgeoning scene here in town.