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Powell River Climbing

The climbing in Powell River rocks!

Powell River is home to accessible sport climbing, bouldering by the ocean, trad climbing in the forest & endless multi-pitch on towering granite walls deep in the backcountry

Unlimited Potential

A small but dedicated community of climbers have developed a number of diverse areas in and around the Upper Sunshine Coast. However the area’s relative isolation and proximity to more well-known and world-class climbing destinations like Squamish has kept Powell River’s potential a secret to most.

With Powell River emerging as a legitimate outdoor destination in its own right, as well as recent recognition amongst some high-profile climbing media, more and more people are beginning to see the potential the area has to offer. Opportunities for development, especially in the awe-inspiring Eldred Valley, are seemingly endless.

For those looking to climb outside, Powell River has a number of distinct crags and areas with varied routes that cater to most levels of climber. Higgyland is this town’s most accessed sport climbing area, located right on the shores of Powell Lake by the Shinglemill restaurant. This popular spot is nestled amongst the trees adjacent to the Scout Mountain portion of the Sunshine Coast Trail.

Climbing for All Abilities

Further sport climbing and bouldering in perhaps the most picturesque climbing location on the coast can be found down at Stillwater Bluffs. This beautiful location is 30 minutes drive south of Powell River. Follow the shoreline from north to south and discover hidden gem after gem. Cliffs rising seemingly straight out of the ocean and huge boulders sitting in the cool forest just onshore.

Across the highway from Stillwater, accessed off a forest service road, the Lake Bluffs are Powell River’s trad crack climbing destination. Further afield, about 60-90 minutes up Goat Main forest service road, the legendary Eldred Valley awaits. Multiple granite walls rise sheer out of the forest with almost endless potential for development and discovery.

As of now, a growing number of quality multi-pitch routes exist on crags known as Carag-Dur and Psyche Slab. Meanwhile whole fields of boulders are being discovered and problems developed on both sides of the spectacular Eldred River.

Ask the Locals

For a more rounded and detailed guide, you can pick up a copy of ‘Powell River Rocks‘ from local bookstores and MEC in Vancouver. A local climber has also created a great blog of the climbing in Powell River. The site gives great updates on new projects, climbing areas, and events happening in town.

There’s also a couple of groups on social media that you can use to connect with local climbers and get some real local knowledge. The group 5.9+ is well-used by all local adventure seekers, especially climbers. Meanwhile, the Powell River Climbing Co-Operative is a member-owned co-operative bouldering gym in the Townsite district of Powell River. Both groups can help point you in the right direction, find a climbing partner for the weekend, or catch up with someone local for a beer or a coffee and learn about the burgeoning scene here in town.