New Boulder on the way up to the epic Galaxy Boulder!
Walking by this awesome bloc for 5 years, it was about time the ‘Solar’ Boulder got scrubbed. As many folks have walked by it over the years, it was often overshadowed by the epic ‘Galaxy’ Boulder up the hill. Although not as mega, this thing features 4 amazing problems and a beautiful new compression test-piece ‘POLARIZED’ V6 (see photo above). Drop the pads and get psyched up before session-ing the big guy or just walk the 5 minutes from the campground on the manicured trail and sample the awesome problems right beside the trail fork. Click the photo above for the free topo and BIG update to the Galaxy Boulder.
This massive showcase boulder at Fantasyland has seen a huge resurgence of development and traffic solidifying it as the best boulder at the ‘Trekkie’ area. With tons of variety, great landings and interesting climbing this bloc has a huge appeal. From the techy ‘DILITHIUM’ on the front side, to the outstanding prow feature on the backside of ‘DUNE’, not to mention the insane mantle of ‘BIRDS OF PREY’ and the awesome slopers of ‘SPACE FORCE’ this big guy delivers the goods. A great spot to check out this fall! Click the photo above for the free update..
There is climbing near Salmo, who knew! Only 6km from downtown is this fantastic granite bouldering zone with tons of variety and lots of fantastic problems spitting distance from the car. With a great density, 30 problems, lots of moderates and high quality stone, this area is destined to become a popular spot. Make sure you get on the epic 35 degree jug fest ‘Rutting Elk’ and mega classic squeeze box ‘Magnavox Odyssey’. Click the photo above for the free downloadable topo and enjoy the action photos below!
NOTE:We are climbing on private property here, so far we have welcomed with open arms, so PLEASE do your best to be respectful and try to leave a positive impression with the locals. Don’t contribute to the garbage strewn about, don’t have fires (of any size), no camping and please keep it low key!
Just beyond the sleepy little village of Ymir, BC lies this granite anomaly nestled near the shores of the Salmo River. With super grippy rock, soft landings, a beauty environment and lots of shade this forgotten zone is a worthy stop when in the area. Originally scrubbed in 2013-14 by Allen Rollin, Jason Barber & Blue Netherclift, this area had been left to grow back (and it wasn’t scrubbed very good in the first place). As of June 2021 the entire zone has seen a retro scrub and a bunch of new beauty lines have been unearthed. It about 25 minutes total from Nelson and 10 minutes from Salmo, the approach is on a flat rail trail and certainly do-able in sandals haha. Click the photo above for the free downloadable topo and don’t forgot to enjoy the swimming hole nearby!
With the hot temperatures making an early appearance this summer here is a list of the best places to boulder and beat the heat in the West Kootenays. It is pretty amazing that there really is something for every season. Be sure to check out the updates page as places like Riverside, Swamp Donkey, Megafauna and the Lumberjack Boulders have seen significant new development since the release of the guidebook…Have fun out there!
RIVERSIDE BOULDERS/VALHALLA – This mostly new zone at Valhalla is probably the second best place to find shade and cooler temps in the guidebook region. Cross the Norns/Ladybird Creek on the fun log crossing with a rope and chicken wire to assist (see photo above) or wade at lower water levels to the outstanding collection on the south side of the creek. There is a high density of amazing boulder problems here with a different feel from the talus above. Mostly good landings, not so tall problems, all day shade and cool air pockets from the adjacent creek make this an awesome choice.
KOKANEE LAKE BOULDERS – This alpine bouldering destination is certainly the best spot for hot weather bouldering. Only catch is that it isn’t snow free until at least July. Stellar alpine granite, steep juggy problems and a high density right on the developed provincial park trail make the hour hike well worth it. These boulders face north east, are at 2000m and offer some of the best developed alpine boulder problems in Canada.
SWAMP DONKEY/CIRCUS/MEGAFAUNA BOULDERS/LADYBIRD – The boulders in these three areas all lie amongst a thick cedar/hemlock tree canopy and feature lots of shade and much cooler temps than in the main talus areas at Ladybird. There are so many amazing granite problems, great landings and the creek is only seconds away. The High Society area requires a wade (lower water) across Ladybird Creek while the rest of the climbing is seconds from the road and is very good for families and low committal bouldering.
LUMBERJACK BOULDERS – This fantastic density of boulders gets lots of morning shade as the sun usually comes around by 12-1pm. There are also lots of super shady aspects, especially the north side of the ‘Lumberjack Boulder’. A ten minute approach across the tree planted block and mixed forest leads you to a huge amount of high quality boulder problems all right beside each other.
BEALBY IN THE MORNING & GROHMAN DURING THE EVENING – The two main bouldering areas in the vicinity of Nelson both have their shady times of day. Grohman gets lots of morning sun and Bealby gets lots of shade until 11-12pm. Both are steps away from a dip in the river.
POISON RIVER – Last but not least, the Poison River Boulders are a fine choice for a mid-summers morning session. The amazing rock should not be missed and the big Cedar canopy helps keep this place cool until early afternoon. The Slocan River is a few minutes walk away and the density and steepness of these problems make for a relatively quick pump haha. But seriously, this is an excellent choice while hanging out in the Slocan Valley.
Its been a stellar start of the season at the Ladybird Creek Boulders. Tons of visiting climbers from all over have started to figure out how good the bouldering is up the Norns! Nic Williams, Trent Brunelle and Allen Rollin have been busy scrubbing up many new classics at the Ladybird Creek area. The ‘Megafauna/Firedance’ areas now have 34 problems combined and are in spitting distance of the road and with a wide variety of styles, shade options and good landings, surely this zone will now be a favourite. Click the photo for the free download of the updated topo and info on all the new problems!
This overhanging fin is located just off of the Ladybird Creek FSR and has been hiding from plain sight on the south flank of the massive ‘Megafauna’ Boulder. Sit start with a good left edge in the cave and the furthest (wide) right hand sloper on the lip (see photo). Slap and squeeze up the impressive crescent moon shaped prow to a tricky mantle. Another unique and excellent boulder problem addition to Ladybird!
With its unique rock, shady aspect and amazing wilderness environment, it’s no wonder the Lumberjack Boulders are a shining star up the Norns/Ladybird bouldering zone. There are so many excellent problems from the V2- V6 range and a very high density (like 50m max between boulders) that this should be on your radar if it’s the grade you are looking for. Overshadowed by some of the bigger areas, this new updated topo (free for download, click the photo) should be enough to entice you to check it out! Have fun everybody..
This is a showpiece boulder. Probably one of the most impressive blocs at Arrow Lake, most of this thing is so tall it should be done with a rope but the Mothership Cave on it’s NW flanks is an amazing exception. The problems in the cave are steep, have stellar landings, great movement and are a great place to test your mettle. Included in this FREE topo (click the photo above) is also a wonderful satellite boulder called the ‘Space Station’ that has a few great moderates and can also serve as a warm-up for the cave. Enjoy!
Yet another new awesome developed zone at Arrow Lake. Combine this with the Lookout for a total of 75 problems! The Grove features many safe and approachable problems and two more massive Arrow Lake blocs and a ton of variety. There is a lot of different blends of Gneiss & Black Basalt mixed into together making for some really cool holds. This place will likely have a long season due to its aspect and green up nicely in springtime due to the predominantly deciduous forest. Click the photo above for the FREE downloadable topo and hope to see you out there!