The capital of Manitoba in Canada is Winnipeg, it being the largest city in the province. The Red River and Assiniboine, are the two rivers, at the confluence of which the City of Winnipeg is located. The city hosts people from around the world and is essentially multicultural. The socio-economy of the city is diverse, and it holds a number of annual festivals. Apart from the cultural diversity marked by cultural festivals, the city of Winnipeg has a very strong Sports history. Several franchises of football, hockey and baseball have found a home here in this city, along with the hosting of many related events and championships. For mountain sports lovers, rock climbing in Winnipeg is one of the great adventures sports options to look forward to. Since nearly a century, it has been quite widely known among the lovers of mountain sports, that Manitoba city offers a multitude of rock climbing activities.


Outdoor Options

If we take a look at Whiteshell Provincial Park, which lies to the eastern side of the city of Winnipeg, we can see that it offers a wonderfull opportunity for rock climbing in the Winnipeg in the form of faces of granite cliffs. Also lying on the eastern side of the city is the region of Kenora, which was explored by seasoned rock lovers in the 1970s. The main focus of these enthusiasts was near Minaki, at the Goosenecks rocks. As they further went exploring, more and more lines and routes were found for rock climbing in Winnipeg. They churned out a guidebook with their discoveries, which regularly gets updated, and now has around 350 or greater routes in number.

One of the earth’s largest and the oldest formations of crystalline rock structures is the area known as the Canadian Shield. The ranges of mountain in Canadian shield had their original formation almost a couple of billion years ago, or may be even older. With the passage of time, due to various onslaughts of weather, along with geographical plate changes etc., these rock formations got broken down into smaller rock structures. It is these rock formations that are used by the sports lovers for the adventure activities today. It is not tough to visualize that such old formations of rocks would have their own fair share of danger, hence, protective equipment in the form of helmets have been found to be extremely useful in these areas.

The region of Kenora, which is at the eastern side of the city of Winnipeg, lies to the south-western edges of the Canadian Shield. To go for rock climbing in Winnipeg in the area of Kenora, the most suitable months are from May to October. During the months of June until August, the season weather remains too hot, and it also plays host to a multitude of bugs and insects. For the sports lovers who choose this time for rock climbing, they need to make sure that close they are wearing are not tight fitting but loose. Clothing should be such that legs and arms of the climbers are thoroughly covered to avoid any potential insect bites. Inspect repellant during these months is an absolute necessity, and it is a good practice for climbers during these times to be back at their individual tents before half an hour from sunset. For the most pleasant experience of rock climbing, thus, the season of spring would be the best.

To the western side of Winnipeg, sports lovers can find more picturesque locations for rock climbing in Winnipeg. Before reaching these places, a bit of hiking is required, but the efforts are worth the result. To the western side of Lake Louise, the area known as Back of the Lake, the climbers can see a very nice lake view along with a natural gift of rare granite rocks. To the eastern side of the Exshaw, in the area of Grotto Canyon, sports lovers can find a great option for Canyon climbing! This particular location also provides an opportunity for the rock climbers to look past the native dwelling places.

The western side of the city also offers an important option for rock climbing in Winnipeg. Mount Yamnuska, which is just a forty minutes drive to the west of the city, offers breathtaking views of the prairies as well as the foothills. It offers options in the form of many routes which are multi-pitch and hence require more experienced rock climbers.

Indoor Rock Climbing Winnipeg
Indoor Rock Climbing Winnipeg

Indoor Options

One of the awesome features of the local community of Winnipeg is their having an option of an indoor gym for rock climbing. Thus, if you wan to go for rock climbing in Winnipeg, and need to brush up the basics first, then Vertical Adventures is a great place to start. This concept of indoor gym climbing is a boon for sports lovers who want to start from a safe environment, and gradually sharpen their skills before eventually taking a plunge into the deep waters of rock climbing. Also, Especially during the season of winter, indoor rock climbing is perhaps the only option left for the climbing enthusiasts!

Vertical Adventures is the city’s largest indoor facility for rock climbing and is a place which offers large varieties of options to practice with. Many cliffs, angles, turns, bends are provided so that people get acclimatized to what can be out there. There is an option to choose from a beginner level and to go up to more challenging levels, where more options of routes are provided. An orientation session is provided for new joiners, and safety guidelines and good practices are also highlighted during the sessions.

Indoor facilities which provide the options of rock climbing, also provide the options of caves and boulders. Bouldering is not an easy option in the area of rock climbing and requires more strength and maneuverability. Thus, it is taken up by more seasoned practitioners.


Climbing Equipment
Climbing Equipment


The earliest of the rock climbers were the people who used absolutely no equipment or protection. This feat can now hardly be matched by anyone in present times, if any present day rock climber were to see an old timer climb, he would literally be amazed at the speed and dexterity. On the other hand, if old timers were to see the current generation of rock climbers, they would consider everyone to be weak in nature, and cheating by using so much equipment! But as they say, things change with time, so here we are with a very brief overview of the equipment related to rock climbing.

People who are seasoned climbers, or who want to pursue this activity regularly, would be wise to invest in a good rock climbing gear. An essential element of any rock climbing equipment is a good rope! Another important piece of equipment is called the harness, and it is a mechanism by which a rock climber is actually attached to the rope. Different types of harnesses are used by climbers of different regions. If a climber is more of an alpine climber, like the one going for rock climbing in Winnipeg, then the type of harness required will be a light weight harness.

Leg loops, and waist belts which are padded in nature are preferred by climbers who climb big walls. Sports climbers hardly prefer harnesses, and usually use gear loops that are generally sewn on. In the case of children, it is important that they have a climbing gear which includes a harness that covers the full body, as their waist and below waist area may not be too strong to take the weight. A device that puts control on a rope during the process of belaying is called a belay device. Its operation is mechanical in nature, and it can have a design that is both active as well as passive.

Protective gears like helmets, and a specialized set of clothing which are tailor made for the purpose of climbing, is very essential. A protective helmet is one that performs the most critical task of protecting the head. During rock climbing, there is every chance that loose rocks or debris may fall, and a helmet saves a climber from any harm from such an incident. Also, in a case where climber falls, then a helmet also protects the head from sustaining any sort of injury. Apart from helmets, other equipment for protection includes specialized belay gloves, which are made of leather, or any of its suitable substitutes. Another piece of protection equipment that is a must are a good rock climbing shoes.

For people who wish to go for Bouldering, the only equipment that is required are good robust rock climbing shoes, and loads of strength! If bouldering is done outdoors, then it is wise to take along a helmet. In the case of indoor rock climbing, generally, the gear is provided by the indoor gym itself. Ropes are generally fastened along with the walls, and rest of the equipment like belay devices, shoes, harnesses and chalk bags are usually rented.

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I like to scale the highest peaks of the world and therefore I have started this blog to show you around and give valuable pieces of advice. I am an Ex-Rope Leader and Troup Officer with a number of prestigious mountaineering institutes including the HAI, Garhwal.