Climbing Molson Rock

My passion for rock climbing began many years ago, after I had returned to Wasaga Beach from my first year in college up in North Bay.

Before this time, my idea of rock climbing was scrambling up and down some steep hills that happened to have rocks on them. When I returned from school in May of 2000, my friends back home had begun to explore the fantastic areas that are found in the Georgian Triangle. My first outing was to a small crevice that we called Molson rock, the area was dubbed with this name because it was a popular spot for teenagers to go camping and, of course, drinking.

The area does have a proper name, however to this day I never learned it. Molson rock is located off the Bruce Trail on the John Haigh Side Trail. It is just off the parking area on the 6th side road and 2nd line, which is off of Grey road 19 just outside of Collingwood. When you approach the crevice from the parking area you can grab on to one of the old growth trees to stare down in to the abyss. There are two ways down to the bottom, the easy way and the hard way. Of course the only way for me is the hard way. To the left on the path, you work your way down some small drops, perilous edges and holes that are only found once you put your leg into them. Once you make it through these obstacles you come to an opening with two walls and a floor covered with fallen boulders.

The wall on the right has become one of my biggest challenges, it is nearly 50 feet of vertical with just enough of an angle to make it very difficult to keep your centre of gravity. I have spent hours just trying to get through the first two moves on some of the hardest routes. On the left there is a wall that is angled at a little more comfortable slope. This wall is covered with moss and is littered with felled trees. Before we had any safety equipment we would spend hours on this wall. Whether traversing from one side to the other or climbing to the top, this wall provided me the start to my love of climbing. Looking back on these experiences, I am very thankful to be alive. Although the angle of this wall provided a sense of security, one slip would land you in a heap of pain.

This wall’s covering of moss, I have since learned, is unique to this area and is considered protected. In my youth, I did not have much regard for this, but now I ask if you visit this area please stay off this wall. Please stick to the bolted routes found on the right hand wall. The right hand wall is the only climbing in this area, but it is not the only fun to be had. Once you venture a little further along the bottom path you will find little caves, tight squeezes and beautiful scenery. Once you are done playing around at the bottom you can come back up to the top and set up a campsite. There are multiple spots to do so within a short walking distance from the crevice. Fires are allowed in the area provided there are no warnings.

Being only 10 minutes outside of Collingwood, this is one of the quickest escapes I can think of. With access to some great scenic hiking with the Bruce Trail, some great biking with 3 stage being right around the corner, some of the most difficult climbs in the area and some fun scrambling at Molson Rock, there really is no excuse not to check this spot out.

Jonas has lived in and visited many parts of Canada, but he has chosen the Georgian Triangle area to call home. Through his formative years, Jonas was an active climber, hiker, biker, skier and canoeist. As 'real life' began to take hold and being a recent father, Jonas doesn't get out as often as he would like, but he still enjoys the great outdoors whenever he can.