Hi! We’re Kacy, Jack, and Jesse, and we’re making a new Niagara Glen bouldering guidebook.
In the past few years, the climbing community has grown at a rapid pace and there has been a huge increase in traffic to the Glen. But, even for seasoned Glen climbers, it can be challenging to navigate and keep track of the over 800 problems!
There have been 5 different guidebooks for the Glen (thank you, previous authors!), but no single guide has covered every boulder problem from one end of the Niagara Glen to the other. This new guide will help you explore more of the great climbing the Glen has to offer.
The new guidebook will provide detailed descriptions and directions to areas, boulders and problems across the Glen as well as share some the area’s unique history. The guidebook will also help communicate guidelines to new and experienced climbers in order to help keep access to the Niagara Glen open, as it is one of the few bouldering areas we have in Southern Ontario.
About our team
Jesse Wong - Jesse wrote the Ontario Rock Climbing guidebook (successfully funded through Kickstarter) last year along the help with several awesome climbers. It was a grassroots project and many of you are to thank for bringing the project to life. The guidebook puts Ontario on the map and is on par with the best guidebooks in the world. Jesse also does a lot of climbing photography on the Ontario Rock Climbing Instagram, teaches EDM + club dance, and runs a travel vlog on learning, climbing, and facing fears (Facebook, Instagram).
Kacy Wilson - Kacy is an instructor, coach and competitive team member at Up The Bloc. She has been climbing at the Niagara Glen for nearly 15 years. She was also part of the organizing committee for the 1st Canadian Climbing Medicine Symposium.
Jack Szumilas - Jack currently works as a route-setter and has been coming to the Glen to boulder for years. He’s learned almost everything he knows about climbing at the Glen, so it's a very special place to him. Jack loves climbing in the Glen year round, and if you climb there, there's a good chance you'll find him around. It’s also rumoured that he lives under The Gunt (V11).
A history of how this project came together.
Back in 2015, Jesse started photographing the entire Niagara Glen in multiple seasons (fall and summer) as well as photograph climbers. He considered creating the Niagara Glen guidebook last year, but the other guidebook was a massive undertaking. After the project was done, he took off to Africa, volunteered a bit in Ethiopia, and filmed a climbing and travel vlog (couragerepublic.com). The Niagara Glen project was put on the shelf until…
Kacy had been prompted by a few friends to create a new guide for the Glen. She decided to gauge interest by posting about the project on Facebook and a friend (Selene, contributor/editor from the Ontario Rock Climbing guidebook!) let her know Jesse had already completed the initial steps to make it happen.
Upon seeing Kacy’s post, Jack reached out to offer help and eventually, Jack, Kacy & Jesse met to rekindle the project Jesse had started years ago. Jack was ecstatic to see that everyone wanted to create the best possible Niagara Glen guidebook.
Before we continue, we’d also like to thank the authors of the older guidebooks that have offered to contribute their work towards this project as well as several other contributors: Alex Marriott, Scott Chuback, Dave Porter, Jason Allemann, Kristal Dubois, Mark Guckert, Adrian MacNair, Dylan MacNair, Keith Mackay, David Heerema, Pat Brown, Andy Salo, and more. We apologize if we’ve missed anyone, but we’ll make sure everyone is mentioned in the guidebook.
About The New Guidebook
The new guidebook will include all the classic problems as well as lesser known problems and projects ranging in difficulty from V0 to V12. The guide will be written with new and experienced climbers in mind and will include detailed descriptions of areas, boulders, problems and pathways.
In addition, the guide will include:
- Clear, quality photography
- GPS verified maps including area and boulder locations and directions
- Updated grades based on community consensus
- Updated information for problems that have broken
- Correction of several errors
- Star ratings
Most importantly, we will make every effort to make sure you don’t get lost by using LOTS of photos, GPS coordinates, and testing of our maps.
The guidebook will be ready in about 4 months, but our Kickstarter backers will have access to our digital guidebook via the Vertical Life climbing app within 3 months (Note: we are not with rakkup anymore - read our statement).
Again, this is a grassroots community contributed project like the Ontario Rock Climbing guidebook. Our team of photographers has plenty of photos, but we want a diverse representation of climbers of all climbing abilities in the guidebook as possible, so if you have something to contribute, please contact us!
Thank you sincerely for reading and if you’re ever found yourself lost at the Glen, please support our project today!
Once again, if you back us on Kickstarter, your name will go on the Kickstarter Wall of Fame in the guidebook!
We have some great rewards for this Kickstarter too! First off, we have a Niagara Glen T-shirt with design by climbing artist extraordinaire, Michelle Ang (Instagram). Another climbing t-shirt design by Jesse Wong is also in the works, so follow/check back/look in the project updates for it.
Note: Depending on the number of people who pledge for a T-shirt, the final print may only be one colour (black). Different shirt colours, fitted or non-fitted styles, and men/women's styles will be available.
Next, we have a multi-tool designed by Jesse and machined to life in collaboration with Steve from Suluk46. It's a quickdraw-shaped multi-tool with a few features - beer bottle opener, flathead screwdriver tip, and a paracord fastener for a clothesline, etc (Note: not for climbing). It's stainless steel and comes in necklace or keychain form (about 6cm in length).
If you don't have one already, get a pair of the Ontario Rock Climbing belay glasses - they're affordable and super comfortable!
Climber's gift packs! This will include our famed crimp mugs made from Ontoro Climbing holds, an unbreakable brush, Choss Pile hand cream, and Ontoro Climbing mini-hold keychains. Deluxe gift packs include belay glasses, chalk, a gym word lock, and the quickdraw mini-tool. The brush comes comes in nylon for outdoors or steel for gyms. We also have a Sender Gear gift pack that comes with hats, shirts, hand cream, gift certificates, and plenty of swag!
Bags from Patagonia Toronto - Patagonia Toronto has generously donated gear for the Kickstarter. First, we are pleased to offer the 60L Black Hole duffel, which can also be worn as a backpack and folds up compactly when not in use. Next, we have the 32L Black Hole backpack which fully opens, and as climbers, we know how convenient that is for our gear! Multiple colours to choose from (30L backpack also available). Click here for more details about these fantastic climbing bags!
More rewards are coming, so check the project updates, but of course, if you don't have the Ontario Rock Climbing guidebook yet, get it now to support this project! It also comes with a code to unlock its digital form on the Vertical Life climbing app, which also unlocks several other areas such as Rattlesnake Point, Buffalo Crag, and more!
Risks and challenges
The Niagara Glen is a challenging terrain to make a guidebook out of. Unlike the Ontario Rock Climbing guidebook, where routes are side by side along a face, boulders are scattered randomly throughout over hilly terrain.
As even the most experienced climbers get lost, especially with several dead end trails, the biggest challenge is to make a guidebook that communicates the official trails well while ensuring that climbers can find boulder problems without getting lost.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)