Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Climbing access in Gatineau Park update

In March 2010, the National Capital Commission (NCC) released a land management plan for Gatineau Park which restricts climbing to the Western CWM west (North wall to Cave wall), Home Cliff west, Twin Ribs and Eastern Block. The NCC moved forward by installing no access signs, in late May, at the majority of the climbing sites recognized in the previous access agreement. In addition, access to the ``Shrine parkinglot`` on Chemin de la Montagne was removed.

To address the closures the Ottawa-Gatineau Climbers' Access Coalition (OGCAC) submitted a climbing management plan to the NCC. The scope of the plan was created to meet the ecological concerns raised by the NCC in an effort to maintain access to climbing on the Eardley escarpment. This plan was endorsed by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. Unfortunately, the NCC largely rejected the plan.

On August 17th, the OGCAC members gathered to vote on how to move forward. It was decided not to endorse the NCC response and that the OGCAC will maintain its position outlined in the management plan. Sadly, the limited success in securing climbing access in the park puts 60 years of Gatineau climbing at a crossroads.

All documentation regarding the management plan and the NCC response is available at http://gatineauclimbingaccess.ca/documents.html

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