Calgary now home to Western Canada’s first-of-its-kind outdoor urban bouldering park
A new, unique, and free-to-use climbing boulder feature is opening at Millennium Park. Working with Montreal-based climbing wall manufacturer OnSite, these climbing boulders consist of three natural rocks ranging in height from 3.6m to 4.25m and weighing between 11 to 27 metric tonnes. The boulders were installed earlier this summer and are now open for public use.
Climbing has seen a dramatic rise in popularity recently and has even become an Olympic event, creating more interest in the sport. "We continuously look for ways to make our parks attractive and accessible to all, and the location of these new boulders will allow the growing community of climbers to practice their skills in a beautiful outdoor setting without needing to drive outside of the city," said Project Manager Britney Woods. "We see great value in upgrading our park features, and we’re very excited about this new amenity within one of our most central parks."
The boulders will offer routes for all skill levels as they have up to 60 established problems or climbing routes that were set by a team of talented Canadian climbers, including Sonnie Trotter who is widely regarded as one of Canada’s top rock climbers, and Calgary-based Josh Muller, who has been climbing at the sport's top level for decades. Both climbers own climbing gyms and have extensive route-setting experience indoors and outdoors.
The supplier, OnSite, offers experience in urban bouldering with the expertise to design, sculpt and transport large scale boulders, build indoor climbing walls and other products. "Most outdoor climbing structures are peppered with random holds, which often don't create particularly interesting or challenging climbing," says Francis Larose, owner of OnSite. "We wanted this park to feel more like a conventional outdoor climbing experience. That's why we felt it was important to provide established problems so that climbers could challenge themselves the way they would at traditional climbing or bouldering areas."
Climbers will have to bring their own crash pads, helmet and climbing shoes. For everyone’s safety and enjoyment, we ask the public to read the permanent safety advisories before using the bouldering area. These instructions are available on the webpage and installed at the bouldering site.
In addition to these new boulders, Millennium Park is home to North America’s largest skatepark, has basketball and beach volleyball courts, a stage and amphitheater for events, and more. For more information about this park, visit Calgary.ca/MillenniumPark.