A federated climbing site in Baie-Comeau

A federated climbing site in Baie-Comeau
A federated climbing site in Baie-Comeau

Baie-Comeau now has a climbing site accredited by the Fédération québécoise de la montagne et de l’escalade (FQME). Climbers from the Côte-Nord and elsewhere can tackle it for fun and challenge.

This new place that has just appeared on the FQME map is called Petit Malfait and is located near the Association récréative du Lac Malfait. It was accredited following steps taken by the Club d’escalade Gimper la côte de Baie-Comeau.

“Last year, from the very beginnings of the club, we began these steps for official recognition of a first climbing site. What that involved was getting a location certificate to see compliance, among other things,” says Camille Robidoux-Daigneault, president of the Club Grimper la côte.

“It’s land that belongs to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests. So, you have to make a request to use the territory. It’s quite long because there are impact studies. It took about 8 months to receive the positive response,” she continues.

The FQME also had its role to play since it was the one providing the insurance requested by the ministry. The local club therefore passed the file on to it at one point in the process until the final signature.

For the president of the local club, this addition to the Côte-Nord map is a “great visibility”. “There is already a climbing site in Port-Cartier called Baie des tous nus and there is another one opening in Gallix this summer. We are going to start to have a network that is still interesting on the Côte-Nord for climbing tourism and North Shore practitioners”, says the experienced climber.

According to the latter, the Bay of the Naked, “it is a spot atmosphere on the river bank which is conducive to initiation”. Le Petit Malfait, for its part, is a perfect area for learning sport climbing, “a climb that is a little more engaging”. “We also have a wall of about thirty meters. It’s different to have different areas”, she specifies.

On the new Baie-Comois site, a small bouldering area has also been developed. “It requires almost nothing, just a landing mat and a pair of shoes, and it’s very accessible. It’s a great introduction,” the volunteer emphasizes.

A party for all

To mark the completion of this long-term work, Grimper la côte invites the entire community to celebrate with it. On July 13, climbing will be featured at the new Petit Malfait site.

“There will be an introduction to rock climbing from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. upon registration, then the bouldering workshop from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. There will also be free climbing,” reveals the president, proud of the achievements of the past year.

For those interested, no experience is required. “It will be very friendly and it will be possible to borrow equipment,” adds the president, specifying that the registration form is published on the club’s social networks.

During this festive day, participants will be treated to a little surprise. The organization will be the first to reveal the new menhir sector. “We will equip 2 to 3 new routes that will be a little shorter, but that will be a little more in the forest, in a different atmosphere from the main wall, ideal for hot summer days,” reveals Camille Robidoux-Daigneault.

Still in development

Even though Grimper la côte has not been idle during its first year of foundation, it does not intend to slow down its ardor. Projects are always on its work table and there is no shortage of ideas within the board of directors.

In particular, rock autonomy courses are continuing in order to train new climbing enthusiasts in the region. A two-day training course, in Baie-Comeau and Port-Cartier, was offered to 10 climbers last weekend.

As for the development of other sites, steps are underway. Another new feature is that since January, the club has been supervising the indoor climbing wall located at the Cégep de Baie-Comeau. “We trained about sixty climbers this winter. They want to go outside. We have more requests than availability. We are consolidating our community,” she says.

Finally, believing in the importance of continuing education, the climbing club will allow its instructors to learn sport climbing in order to pass on their knowledge to local climbers. “Sport climbing is a bit like an end in our sport,” concludes the president, who thanks Loisir et Sport Côte-Nord for the financial support.

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