Why climb? Because northwest B.C. was built for it

In Terrace, B.C. rock climbing’s popularity has only increased over the years

Megan France climbs Sanctuary on Copper Mountain in Terrace

By Ray Hawkes

Why do people rock climb? The reasons are as varying as the individuals that climb. People rock climb for the sense of adventure, sense of success and personal achievement, amazing scenery, all around fitness, non-competitive fun environment – the list goes on.

In Terrace, rock climbing’s popularity has only increased over the years. A boom in the ‘80s established a few routes on Copper Mountain, which in turn boomed to a number of other areas to climb in and around Terrace. Rock climbing is a safe activity compared to other high risk activities – but it does have its inherent risks. It is important that all proper safety items be utilized, including helmet and, most of all, proper instruction.

This area is blessed with many natural resources – and that includes the surrounding rock faces. From Chist Creek to Copper Mountain and Exchamsiks, a variety of exciting opportunities await your discovery.

One reason the area has lots of great rock climbing is because of the natural formations of the area’s natural granite cliffs. Granite is one of the best types of rocks to climb due to its solid sustained cracks, holds and lack of rock fall. Some of the best climbing areas in North America – think Yosemite National Park, Squamish, Bella Coola – are composed of granite rock.

Copper Mountain is probably the most recognizable feature and climbing location in the area and has many short and longer rock climbs. The average climbing rope now is 60 metres, considered a “pitch”. Copper Mountain has a number of pitches to reach the top, with bolted stations at the end of each pitch to secure the climber.

Terrace Mountain, Chist Creek, Kitselas Crag, and a host of other locations along Hwy 16 between Terrace and Prince Rupert, range from beginner to expert depending on your abilities and climbing level. Like many other outdoor recreational activities, the more you engage in the activity the more advanced and skilled you become. And like those activities, the saying “your level of climbing was directly related to your employment status” is not too far off.

So, how to start? If you are interested in rock climbing it is a fairly inexpensive sport to get involved in. Basically, all you need is a pair of rock climbing shoes, a harness, a climbing rope and a belay device, and a climbing partner to assist with the belaying. I would also recommend proper instruction to start off with. But the best part of rock climbing is that it is free once you’re fitted up with the necessary items. Terrace and Smithers has a few locations in which you can pick up your climbing items and there is even an indoor climbing wall in Terrace at Caledonia Secondary School for those cold wet winter days, perfect to learn the basics. Smithers and Prince Rupert also have indoor climbing walls.

You don’t have to look too far to find an active climbing group. One of the best place to discover and or meet other climbers is on Facebook – search for the Terrace Rock Climbing page. It posts the latest climbing information and a good group contact site to meet up with other climbers of all abilities. Further, there is a Terrace Rock Guide book that is in the works to help assist climbers in finding some of the finest climbs in the Terrace area – but best to get started before the secret gets out.

Ray Hawkes is a local rock climbing instructor, guide for Solstice Rock Guides, and author of the upcoming Terrace Rock Climbing guide.


Just Posted

Feds approve $4M for Tahltan protected and conserved areas

Well defined stewardship will help nation reduce uncertainties for resource partners

NARA sends off rescues to cat cafe in Vancouver

Several cats and kittens from the region are now up for adoption at Catoro Cafe

BC Parks student rangers complete several northwest B.C. conservation projects

This was the first time the summer program operated out of Terrace

Coast Mountain College announces interim president

Ken Burt, current president and CEO, will say goodbye to CMNT come September

Terrace River Kings schedule released

Two new teams join CIHL in upcoming season

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

B.C. father tells judge he did not kill his young daughters

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

Rosemount cooked diced chicken linked to listeria case in B.C.

The symptoms of listeria include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches

B.C. seniors allowed more choice to stay in assisted living

Province doesn’t need to wait for a complaint to investigate care, Adrian Dix says

Retired B.C. fisherman wins record $60M Lotto Max jackpot

Joseph Katalinic won the biggest Lotto Max prize ever awarded

New ‘Matrix’ film set with Keanu Reeves and Lana Wachowski

Fourth installment to feature Reeves as Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity

Most Read