Uniting Canada's Largest Climbing Community

We Love Guidebooks!

We really love guidebooks.
Collecting.
Reading.
(occasionally writing)
And, yes, we sometimes even bring them to the crag.

By now, most climbers in Southern Ontario have had their social media feeds absolutely filled with the hype train for a series of new guidebooks being released this spring. I suppose those without social media or the internet would have still “smelled the napalm.” At first Guidebook Day, as I’m sure it will forever be known in the community, was kind of shocking. But, once the fires died down we were pretty darn stoked. We REALLY love guidebooks.
 A collection of Ontario’s many previous climbing guides.

A collection of Ontario’s many previous climbing guides.

For those that really did miss everything, here's a recap:

A smartphone/tablet guidebook app is in the works, and we understand almost done. There is a push to try and turn this into a select guide that would update the 20-year-old Sport Climber’s Guide to the Niagara Escarpment by Chris Oates and Marc Bracken. The other guidebook announced on Guidebook Day is a new bouldering guide by Joe Ho to Halfway Log Dump that includes many new problems.

And of course, there was our big announcement of Southern Ontario’s first comprehensive guidebook in almost 25 years.

That announcement was a general overview of what to expect, but we really wanted to go into more detail about what we mean when we describe our guide as comprehensive.

  • An extensively researched history of climbing on the Niagara Escarpment. Each book’s history is unique and includes just the areas and events covered in that book.
  • Numerous interviews, bios, quotes and anecdotes about the area’s most influential climbers and route developers.
  • Beautiful photos of climbers on the area classics and as well as archival photos of Ontario’s rich climbing history.
  • Every route description has been rewritten for clarity, correctness and freshness
  • Many lost and forgotten routes were recovered from the ether thanks to meticulous research.

Oh, and of course, heaps and heaps of new routes! With details direct from the developers!

Guidebooks safely stored for future reference.

One of many guidebook shelves. This is just Ontario - with a stiff bookend.

We are still on track to go to print at the end of February 2016 and we have received many requests for pre-orders. In fact, we already have the pre-order page built for this website. However, our intention is to wait for the book to go to print to ensure we can give concrete answers regarding shipping costs and release date.

We would also like to take the time to thank some of our current advertisers that have shown such enthusiastic support for the project:
Guidebook author Justin Dwyer confirming the route details.

Guidebook author Justin Dwyer confirming the route details.

Interested in advertising in the guide? Contact info@ontarioclimbing.com

Finally, there is still time if you’ve been holding out on us. Have an awesome Escarpment related photo? Have info on a new, previously forgotten or updated route? Have a great story to be told? A cool illustration? Something else even cooler? Contact info@ontarioclimbing.com
For more details about the upcoming guidebook as well as a list of retailers, keep checking back for updates at http://ontarioclimbing.com/
Justin Dwyer
Justin Dwyer is an ACMG certified climbing gym instructor and apprentice rock guide. He has been climbing and documenting routes on the Niagara Escarpment for 15 years. He takes an obsessively detailed-orientated approach to guidebook reading and collecting. Over the years, he was given the prestigious title of Captain Nemo by prolific Ontario guidebook author David Smart due to the fact Justin has climbed over 65% of the 300+ routes at that cliff. But really, his level of completionism extends far beyond to almost every crag. He is the undisputed master of the Escarpment’s weird, esoteric and obscure.