With the popularity of bouldering on the upswing, the Niagara Parks Commission is taking steps to regulate the practice in the Niagara Glen.
Permits needed by enthusiasts to boulder in the Glen are now mandatory. Permits cost $20 annually and climbers are permitted to boulder in the Niagara Glen on approved boulders, in designated areas. The fee from each permit is then used to help maintain and conserve the Niagara Glen and adjacent natural areas for future generations.
The NPC began to allow bouldering enthusiasts to pursuit the activity in the Glen in 2011. Since then, the NPC said there has been “a significant increase” in the number of climbers visiting the Glen, the commission said in a news release issued Friday.
Bouldering is a form of rock climbing that is performed with little or even no equipment. While it can be done without any equipment, most climbers will make use of climbing shoes for secure footing and will use chalk to keep their hands dry. Some may use mats to prevent injuries from falls.
Working with the Ontario Access Coalition (OAC), a user group established to promote bouldering as a recreational pursuit, bouldering management guidelines have been developed and the fees are a part of the management plan.
While the past two years have been dedicated to developing the guidelines and educating users on the permitting process, bouldering permits will now be regularly inspected and enforced. Failure to comply with the terms of the permit may result in the loss of bouldering privileges.
Permits can be purchased from the Niagara Glen Nature Centre, located at 3050 Niagara Parkway, across from the Whirlpool Golf Course or at the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory. Climbing of the gorge wall/cliff face along the Niagara River, including the Niagara Glen is not permitted.