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..
Mothership Cave @ Fantasyland
NEW BOULDERING ZONE ALERT!
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!
The Grove Boulders
NEW BOULDERING ZONE ALERT!
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!
ABRACADABRA – V2
BULLETPROOF – V3
MOLLY – V4
RICOCHET – V6
THE EXECUTIONER – V7
NEW BOULDERING ZONE ALERT!
The Lookout Boulders are a new addition to the bouldering scene above Rialto Creek FSR. With a fantastic scenic hiking trail to a fabulous lookout, 45 new epic problems and The Grove Boulders below, this is one of the best discoveries out at Arrow Lake over the last few years. There are some massive pieces of rock up there and a lot to explore. Click the photo above for the FREE download of the topo. Enjoy everybody…
Recommended problems include:
DAYDREAM BELIEVER – V2
SLEEPWALKER – V2
SEA TO SKY – V4
EVERY ROSE HAS IT’S THORN – V5
MISSISSIPPI MUDFLAP – V6
ASTRO PANTHER – V8
Bouldering Access and Ethics
With so many folks out bouldering this spring in the West Kootenays I thought I would bring to attention a few points about access around Arrow Lake and beyond as the season ramps up and the weather turns amazing. There has never been this many people bouldering in the Kootenays and though it is really great that so many people are stoked and getting out, we are a relatively new scene (especially in the Castlegar area) and it would be great to be seen as stewards to the area and not a nuisance.
Beachside – If we could park perpendicular to Broadwater Rd. so more cars could fit in the parking pullout that would be great. The last few weekends the parking has overflowed onto the road and towards Scottie’s Marina (this is private property). The lake is as low as it’s been in years, it has been such a good start to the season down there!
Keenlyside – Please use the picnic area parking (towards the Dam), having a bunch of cars parked on the drag strip (people really rip on that straight stretch) is pretty unsafe and not necessary (its a 1 minute extra walk)
The Range/Fukushima – Please don’t park in the Gun Clubs small parking area. Parking parallel to the road right at the trailhead is better as the Gun Club doesn’t have much space. This also helps maintain our great relationship we have with them. (As a reminder please stay on trail while in the area for obvious reasons)
As much as we all like having fires on cooler days there are several places that this is not cool and could definitely jeopardize our access. Fantasyland is private property and up to this point our presence there has been generally accepted, having crappy fire pits all over the place up there raises several red flags and I am almost positive this would make the landowner un stoked. Grohman is another spot that basically crosses over CP property. They have been known all over Canada for having very low tolerance, as of now we have not had any problems, lm sure they would not be stoked if they saw climbers having fires or hanging on the tracks. Lastly, Keenlyside borders private dwellings on each end and Syringa and is a Provincial Park.
Tick Marks & Garbage:
Brush off your excess chalk and tick marks, no one likes having the problems laid out for them like the gym. Although they serve as a great indication of where to grab or smack a hold, it’s much more fun figuring it out for yourself. And finally garbage, and that includes finger tape and Cliff Bar wrappers. Even if it is not yours, maybe pick it up anyways? Its always good to give a last look over before you leave anyway.
This is a great time in the West Kootenays, the climbing scene is blossoming and more people than ever are out crushing, this is just a friendly reminder to try and leave a lasting, positive impact in the region for years to come.
Houseboat Boulder – Arrow Lake
They just keep popping up! A wonderful addition to the Bouldering along the shores of Arrow Lake, the newly discovered Houseboat Boulder(s) features more amazing climbing that make for a great “High Water” circuit along with the Memorial Boulder, Plank Boulder (Washout) and the Corridor Boulders (Beachside). The rock is super clean and featured and the landings are flat and manageable for a solo session in the sun 🙂 Did I mention that most of these boulders dry within minutes and are super south (sun) facing?!!
Click the photo above for a free download link. Enjoy!~
Standout Problem #12
GREEN JUNGLE TOBACCO – V9 ***
The prow of this amazing cave has been sampled for years, but during the epic long season of 2020 the effort was put in to unearth this outstanding line. Cool features, slopers, epic lockoffs and fantastic rock make this one a must do while at Fantasyland. Not to mention that this whole boulder has so many good problems of all types and a new (easier) trail. This should be on everyone’s hit list while visiting the area. There is a fancy new ladder for the down climb and a great assortment of problems for everyones taste. Click the photo above for a free download of the update to the JURASSIC Boulder and the beta on this new classic!
Hard Bouldering in the West Kootenays.
A few years ago there were only a handful of boulder problems above V6 in the West Kootenays. The massive surge of development since 2014 has led to over 1200+ problems scattered over 17 different areas. Can you believe there are 55 problems from V8-V11 and counting!!? What an amazing season it has been in 2020 with so many of the harder projects being sent and many other stellar new lines being unearthed in the process. The “Tough Guy Ticklist’ below lays out all the climbs in the V8-V11 range that have been sent so far, as well as pointing out the projects that are left to be slain (I’m sure there are tons more). Can you complete them all? Will you accept the challenge? Haha, either way there are some classics on that list for sure. Click the list/photo before for the free download of the Ticklist…..Happy winter everyone, see you in January!
Standout Problem #11
SPEEDING UP ON ZEBRAS – V8 ****
One of the great new steep problems up at the Ladybird Boulders, this standout testpiece serves as an excellent addition to the area and really shows what still lies amongst the rock slides up at the Norns. This massive boulder has tons of other great problems and is the centerpiece of the new ‘Serengeti’ area. Click on the photo above for a free topo update.
Sit start with your right hand in a slot in the overhang and your left hand right in the corner (as far as you can get it). Powerful opposition moves lead to a big jug and a final tricky prow and a full value mantle. Outstanding stuff! Go get after it…
West Kootenay Bouldering You Tube Channel
There’s finally an avenue for watching all the amazing Bouldering Videos from the past few seasons online. The West Kootenay Bouldering You Tube channel is now live thanks to Liam Barnes. There are tons of awesome videos on here and surely there will be many more to come. Click on the LINK above to check it out and subscribe!