Dark Side

38 Sport Climbs, 16 Trad Climbs


The Dark Side is located on the south side of the Nanaimo River, directly across from the Sunny Side. The cliffs are shaded almost all the time regardless of season or time of day - great in the summer but chilly in the winter. The rock is fairly solid sandstone with mostly vertical routes as well as a few slabs. Moss can be an issue due to the continuous shade, do your part and scrub a section! The primordial feeling amphitheater you enter upon dropping down into the gorge is known as "The Boom Boom Room". Surprisingly, parts of this area remain dry even in rain due to the slight overhang on the main wall and tree cover. Top access on the main wall is good, but the anchors for some of the routes on the detached pillar in the Boom Boom Room are difficult to access.

Directions / Travel Info:

Go west on Spruston rd. then turn right on to Riverbend rd. Follow it until the end to where the big power lines go across the river. The trail winds upriver from the parking area for a couple hundred meters before dropping to the right down into a gorge.


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