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In British Columbia, places like Squamish and Skaha come to mind when people talk about superb rock climbing areas. But hiding up in the stunning north, in the depths of the Giscome bluffs are fun, challenging, and visually stunning crags of all types that make Prince George a hidden climbing gem.
It’s early spring and we have been itching to get out all winter long. There is something about this sport that becomes highly addictive, always craving harder routes and higher climbs. We head to bed, with all our gear loaded, ready for an early start. We awake at 6am on a warm March morning, prep food for our crew and head out for the first climb of the year.
We chose Giscome Crag to start our season off. The morning sun greets us on our winding drive out towards the McGregor Range, and as we approach Eaglet Lake, we see from afar that we are in luck with clear rock insight. Hiking with climbing gear has its own challenges. Approaches can require tricky maneuvering to get into that prime slab spot.
Looking at our route options, there is slab, cracks, top-rope, and sport climbing all to be had in the section we chose for the day. This spot allowed for our varying skilled climbing crew to all have an outstanding first climb. We get set up and begin the day.
After sending a few routes, each with an incredible view, we take a well-earned break, resting on the rocks, surrounded by the snow. Signs that spring has arrived and another great season has commenced, fill the air as the sun shines down on us, giving us that first terrible sunglass tan of the year. We pack up our gear and move on to the next rock slab to conquer, hiking through snow to get to the next spot in the sun. Spring climbing doesn’t get any better than this.
Camp and Climb
The bonus of the Giscome climbing area is you can set up camp on Eaglet Lake, making it a full-weekend adventure trip. Multiple rock crags in the area are within a quick hike, or a few minutes by car. Camping allows you to wake up with the sun and be only seconds away from your climbing spot.
Take a dip after your climbing day, or bring along your canoe, kayak or stand up paddleboard, and enjoy exploring this large, yet shallow lake with views of the McGregor Range. If fishing is on your wilderness hobby list, pack your rod as you will find feisty Rainbow Trout and lurking Burbot here, too.
A Family Event
Rock climbing is not just for the extreme sports junkie. Climbing is an excellent activity you can do with the whole family, and the Prince George crag scene has something for everyone. With a packed lunch and a safety talk before proceeding, there are many outdoor climbing areas you can share the love for this cardio-blasting sport and serene outdoors with every member in your crew.
Not ready for outdoor climbing yet? Overhang, Prince George’s local climbing gym has you covered. They have gear rentals, training, auto-belays, and year-round climbing to get you started or keep you in climbing shape. (We always recommend training and practice with other skilled climbers before trying out rock climbing on your own).
Update Your Crag List
The Giscome Crag area is truly a hidden climbing haven that needs to be on every climber’s list. Whether you are a northern local or just traveling through, make sure your gear is ready to rock, and check out the Prince George climbing scene. Bring along your kids for a family climb and ledge-side picnic with a view, or hang out with friends, pushing each other to send that upside-down rock staircase.
Stay up to date on our adventures by checking us out on these social channels
Facebook: 《JORD & MICH》
You can find out more about the Giscome climbing area in the guides provided by the Prince George Section of the Alpine Club of Canada.
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Whether you’re a local or a visitor, this guide has you covered. Maps, ideas, fun facts - a showcase of all Prince George has to offer. Download it below, or pick up a hard copy at the Visitor Centre.
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