The Nelson region is abundant with great climbing opportunities. The West Kootenay Rock Guide Book (available at the Visitor Centre & local retailers) has over 400 listed routes (with another 100 routes established since), putting us clearly on the map as a destination climbing area. The weather is overall drier than Squamish and cooler than Skaha. The mild climate makes for a long season too, typically April to October. Many areas are close to water for a quick après-climb dip in the heat of summer. The climbing is mostly on good quality granite and gneiss and both traditional as well as bolted sport climbs can be found on routes ranging from 1 to 8 pitches long.
Recommended local areas include the Squatter’s Bluff, CIC, Kootenay Crag & Hall Siding, but fantastic climbing can also be found at the Waterline and Kinnaird Bluffs in Castlegar as well as the Slocan Bluffs by the lake in Slocan City. For some great multi pitch climbing try Pulpit Peak in Nelson and the Brilliant Wall in Castlegar.
For alpine rock climbing, the Valhallas are exceptional. The Gimli parking lot lies 1.5 hours from Nelson and gives access to the classic South Ridge of Gimli Peak along with many other excellent climbs on Gimli, Niselheim, Gladsheim, Asgard and others.
Stop by the Visitor Centre (91 Baker Street) or local retailers Otter Books or Valhalla Pure to purchase the West Kootenay Rock Climbers book.