Crest Creek Rock Climbing Crags - Introduction
Map to: Crest Creek Rock Climbing Crags
Aid Climbing at Crest Creek, Strathcona Park, Vancouver Island, BC
Location/Access: Located in the heart of Stratcona Provincial Park. The Crest Creek Crags are a rock climbing area situated adjacent to highway 28 just within the western boundary of Strathcona Park, roughly 1 hour from Campbell River, or 20 minutes from the Town of Gold River to the west.
The crags are close to the road. Occupying one square kilometre of terrain..
A very small portion of the climbing area is nestled amongst old growth timber on the north side of Highway 28, and with the exception of some view-scapes.
There are three parking areas and outhouses serving the crags. One, the Crest Lake day use area, is not climbing specific and features picnic tables and an outhouse with access for those with disabilities, a bear proof trash receptacle and a launch facility for small boats. A diverse range of recreational uses of the area are evident. The regularly stocked Crest Lake is a popular location for anglers. As the season warms the lake attracts bathers and boaters, and there are some lovely spots to just sit and enjoy.
Trails at the crags are often used by mountaineers and back country hikers and skiers as a starting off point for forays into the alpine, and a flagged route begins at the “Top of The World” crag those accesses Wolf Mountain and Puzzle Mountain.
Wildlife sightings are common at Crest Creek, with a beaver colony occupying the wetlands adjacent to the lake. Bears are regularly sighted and there is the occasional cougar sighting. Birds and small mammals such as squirrels can be seen on every visit, and elk herds frequently migrate through the valley.
The crags themselves are composed of basalt, an igneous rock that formed as domes of pillow lava during undersea eruptions; which was then uplifted. Glacial advancement scraped sediments from the bedrock and then receded, revealing the hard, grayish-brown rock that provides superb climbing today. Cracks tend to be discontinuous, however, and climbing routes often require the placement of fixed protection.
The regions climate is maritime – mild temperatures with lots of rain and snow and the vegetation is thick. These characteristics make building and maintaining trails and routes at Crest Creek problematic with continual erosion and re-growth. Fortunately, the very precipitation that complicates trail and route building at the crags helps to mitigate fire hazards during most summers, and helps remove signs of human impact such as the build-up of chalk on the handholds of popular routes.
Crest Creek Crags are a fine climbing area that provides recreational opportunities for thousands of local and visiting climbers every year.
Day use: Picnic tables
Toilets: Pit toilets
Activities: Rock Climbing