Experience spectacular climbing of all levels.
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.
Mountaineering and Alpine Scrambling
Kokanee Glacier Park has some great ridge climbs like the SW Ridge of Esmeralda and the Battleship Traverse, and some fun snow & ice climbs like the North Faces of Mt. Kitchener and Grays Peak (depicted on the Kokanee beer label). The Kokanee Glacier makes for pleasant Glacier Trekking and there are several scenic scrambles like the Outlook – John Carter traverse, the Nansen – Robert Smith traverse, the Pyramids, and the Keyhole. Pristine lakes, abundant wildlife and alpine flower meadows make this area a local treasure. The east side of Kokanee Glacier Park also has excellent opportunities for alpine rock climbing, general mountaineering and scrambling out of the Silver Spray and Woodbury huts.
The stunning skyline of sharp jutting peaks drenched in Norse mythology make Valhalla Provincial Park another local favourite. Along with classic alpine rock climbs, fine scrambling awaits on scenic ridgelines with panoramic views of the Selkirk Mountains and the pristine Mulvey Lakes basin below. The biggest bonus is that you will find very little foot traffic here. It’s not uncommon to have the whole place to yourself!
The Cube Indoor Climbing Centre
This modern community funded non-profit indoor climbing gym offers a variety of climbing and bouldering programs for all levels and ages. Cube Climbing Centre is located at Mary Hall at the 10th Street campus of Selkirk College it is open seasonally from September to June.
nelson visitor centre
For more information, tips, or trip ideas come talk to our friendly staff at the Visitor Information Centre and Station Gallery.
91 Baker Street
Phone: (250) 352-3433
Toll Free: 1-877-663-5706
For even more info on things to do in the area visit the Nelson Kootenay Lake Toursim website.