Riverside is 110-120 m high roadside cliff in a beautiful position beside the Little White River. See Eyeball guide for detailed information on access. The cliff is made up of a combination of intrusive sedimentary rock with lots of handholds but some loose rock and Killarney granite. Towards its left side, a prominent vertical wall rises from 75 m at its highest point to a large, forested ledge known as the North Channel. The North Channel cannot be accessed, or exited, except by technical climbing or rappel. Above the North Channel, another 20-40 metres of climbing remains. (Map follows below or click the 'Drop a pin' link above.)
1 Bullets Before Breakfast | 5.10a | 115m
FFA Reg Smart, David Smart, John Kaandorp, June 20 2020
The first rock route to climb to the top of Riverside Rock. Maybe the longest sport climb in Ontario, but there is still some loose rock and descent is by rappel. Bring twenty draws and a 70 metre rope.
Flagging tape on the road, some 100-150m left of the ice route, The Thing, a giant, overhanging, wet black and white smear in the summer, marks the trail that leads steeply for 50 metres to the base, start at a bolted rib of rock.
Pitch 1, 5.8, 25m: the rib to a ledge with juniper.
Pitch 2,5.9, 15m: Cross a gully on the right and traverse a ledge until a couple of steep moves lead to the belay.
Pitch 3, 5.10a, 30m: Climb the wall above to the comfortable Lucky Ledge.
Pitch 4, 5.9, 25m: A steep groove blocked by a chockstone and an easy slab lead to bolts just below the top.
Pitch 5, Scramble a couple of metres to the top, unrope on the huge North Channel Ledge (see above), and follow flagging tape 70m to the left to a bolt belay where the ledge ends. (70-75m walking)
Pitch 6, 5.8, 20m: The Lightning Pitch. Exposed climbing leads up a wall to a ledge with two prominent trees that have been hit by lightning.
Descend by rappelling the route to the top of the second pitch, from which a 35m rappel reaches the ground.
2 Ride a Rubber Gator | 5.11 | 25m
FA Dave and Reg Smart, August 02 2020
FFA Artur Makos and Marco Foladore, August 2020
From the top of the fourth pitch of BBB walk up and right across the North Channel Ledge to the final tier. Before it turns rightwards and becomes less vertical, just left of a vegetated gully, there is a steep clean 30 m vertical wall with two splitter cracks. The crack on the right is RARG.
Bullets Before Breakfast
Ride a Rubber Gator
Note: The incredible topo and artwork above was drawn by John Kaandorp, longtime climber and one of the first ascensionists of Bullets For Breakfast .
3 What Rot | 5.7 R | 30m
FA Mike Grainger and Danylo Darewych, August 15, 2013
This line is located some 75 m left of the Crown Jewel, or 25 m left of the prows/toes of rock that come down closest to the road. It is visible through the trees from the road at a spot where the talus comes right to the road – look for a crack leading to a bushy ledge, then continuing up the widening crack/chimney to a corner groove right of some roofs, with a substantial cedar perched in the corner. Scramble up the scree slope 40 m to the base of the route – watch out for poison ivy (not that thick in this section, but a pair of shears would be useful). Head up the initial crack to the ledge with a juniper. The wider crack above is composed of loose, rotten, black, shale-type rock, so traverse right 8m on the ledge and head up more solid, slate-type rock with laser cut square holds, but sparse pro, then traverse back left to the cedar tree. Belay here. Mike and Danylo bailed at this point, because they didn’t trust the rock protection above. When they tried placing a cam in a perfectly parallel crack in the slate/ mudstone, it simply slid out as it was tugged on it – the cam couldn’t seem to get a bite on the rock at all.
4 Ancient Epic | 5.9 | 105m
FA Mike Grainger, Danylo Darewych, August 5, 2020**
FFA Mark Hurst, Cynthia Chung, May 23, 2021
The route is located about 50 m left of the Crown Jewel amphitheatre at a point where three toes of rock come down closest to the road. The route starts at the base of the middle toe. A short (unflagged) approach trail comes up from the road 7-8 metres left of the start of the route. The trail starts about 25 m left of the hunt camp driveway. There is speculation, based on the ancient slings that were found, that the first pitch might be the site of the climbing accident that happened at the cliff some 20 years ago.
Pitch 1, 5.9, 35m: Head up some lower-angled slab to a small tree, step 2-3 m left around a corner (bolt), head up past 2 bolts over slight bulges to an area of very sedimentary, shattered looking rock. Step left below a loose block (with an ancient, moldy sling on it) from one small right-facing corner to another (bolt), climb this short corner (bolt) to a vegetated ledge. Climb the crack in the corner above. The crack has two blocks in it partway up – the bottom one wiggles, but the top one is solid – pull up on it, then step on it as you layback the upper crack and exit the corner (bolt) to big ledge and a two-bolt belay partway across and a big pine tree (with two pieces of ancient, moldy webbing on it) at the far right end of the ledge.
Pitch 2, 5.7, 35m: From the belay step left to the low end of a low-angled, rightward trending ramp, traverse up it for 6 m past a bolt above the belay to a corner (left of the wider crack/off-width to the right), climb up it for 5 m (bolt) to ledge (bolt and crack). Climb up to the left around a bulge onto a stance on top of a big block at the base of another corner with two prominent cracks on the left and a third running up the face on the right. Climb the crack/face on the right (small cams) and exit onto another vegetated ledge. Traverse right to a belay tree at its far end.
Pitch 3, 5.6, 35 - 40m: From the belay tree head straight up for 6 m past two bolts to a ledge, traverse left on the ledge for 7 m to a huge (cedar?) tree, squeeze between it and the cliff around a corner, continue up past another tree and bolt, pull up into a corner occupied by a juniper, step around the corner (bolt) to the left and climb carefully up some loose/hollow flakes to a ledge. At the top, step over/around a big boulder to a belay at a big pine. This pitch wanders a lot (a more direct exit pitch might be to head straight up, but that would have meant climbing loose rock directly above the belay stance).
The top of the 3rd pitch puts you on the right end of big, treed North Channel Ledge. We descended by walking 50-60 m left along the North Channel Ledge to the top of the 4th pitch of Bullets before Breakfast and rappelled down that route. It would likely be possible to rappel directly down Ancient Epic from tree to tree in 2 or 3 rappels, but be aware of the loose rocks. Descending BBB is the better idea.
5 The Epicurean | 5.8 | 56m
FFA Mark Hurst, Cynthia Chung, May 23, 2021
This routes starts above the North Channel Ledge and serves as a pleasing extension of Ancient Epic The Ancient Epicurian.
Pitch 1, 5.7, 28m: Start behind a medium size fir/spruce about 20 m left of the right hand end of North Channel. Tree is right at base of cliff. Follow broken corner/crack behind the tree up to a smaller birch, where crack becomes wider. Then up to a ledge on the right. Clip a bolt and move left following the same line of weakness on airier moves until you reach the top of a pinnacle. Belay from tree on left.
Pitch 2, 5.8, 28m: Move back out right and reach further right for thin gear. Head straight up on slab with minimal protection until the climbing gets easier. Top out carefully over blocks to tree on the right. Mark intends to move the belay to the ledge (before the bolt), but need to install an anchor. Also, to put another bolt in the second pitch, and maybe another anchor.
6 The Stars at Night | 5.10b | 129m
FFA Randy Kielbasiewicz, Rafael Kolodziejczyk, Daunte Rezaie, September 5, 2020
Quality climbing almost the whole way. Impeccable rock except for the first 15 feet. The route is located on the far right side of the Crown Jewel Amphitheatre (the Throne Room). From the road head 100 m up across the talus to the base of the route.
Pitch 1, 5.10b, 24 m, 9 bolts: Stick clip first bolt. Poor rock/shale to start (try not to pull or clean any of the holds off). Follow bolts past a couple of roofs and grooves and exit right to a stance at base of chimney like feature on right.
Pitch 2, 5.8, 17 m, 9 bolts: From anchor follow bolts left and climb up a groove on the left side of the arete, then cross over the arete back right into the top of a chimney (beware of belayer below). Head up corner to a large ledge (easy mantle on the left). Just hangers at belay.
Pitch 3, 5.10a, 25 m, 13 bolts: Climb up the groove on the right to slab, move diagonally left across the slab, past a flake system up to a bolt, past a grassy ledge with rings (part of rappel line). Tricky face climbing leads to a rightward traverse. Follow the layback system to anchors on the left.
Pitch 4, 5.10a, 18 m, 9 bolts: This pitch is the exact opposite of the one below. Follow the flake system until blocked by a roof, move right around the roof. Climb up steep overhanging face exiting through a right-facing dihedral. Huge exposure – 75 m of air below your feet. Puts you on top of a long, narrow ledge system called the Balcony. Anchors in front of you when you top out onto the Balcony.
Pitches 3 and 4 can be linked together in one mega-pitch, if you use slings judiciously and have enough draws. Bring your second up, then traverse left across the Balcony to a much wider platform called the Terrace. Clip the protection bolts along the way, because in one spot you are traversing across stacked blocks (it’s not clear what is holding them in place). One bolt anchor at the far end.
Pitch 5, 5.8 , 15 m, 6 bolts: Climb up and right to the next small edge which is called The Porch. Belay bolts will be right in front of you when you reach the Porch. From these bolts a static rope leads up and left to the base of pitch 6 (easy scrambling, but can be slippery and muddy when wet).
Pitch 6, 5.7, 30 m, 12 bolts: Follow bolts up corners and slabs to a topout on a ledge system with rappel rings. If you want to experience the summit, the big spruce another 10 m up has green webbing and a maillon. You can get up to it by easy scrambling on the left or straight up by a very hard 5.10+ boulder problem with no bolts.
7 Route being developed - please do not climb.
8 Route being developed - please do not climb
9 The Witch | 5.11a | 90m
FA Reg Smart, Dave Smart, July 10, 2021
Located 50m left of Devil work
Pitch 1, 5.10a, 9 bolts: Climb up a vertical crack..
Pitch 2, 5.10b, 7 bolts: A left rising traverse thats ends up on easy terrain.
Pitch 3, 5.11b, 11 bolts: The money pitch. A beautiful face climb to slightly overhanging at the top where you traverse left under the roof to the belay. Enjoy the foot work.
Pitch 4, 5.5, 4 bolts: A 10m 5.5 pitch to ease the drag before the last pitch.
Pitch 5, 5.9, 12 bolts: The longest pitch on the route, climb the crack and fololow the bolts to the belay.