Whitewater Resort in Nelson, British Columbia, has long been celebrated for its epic powder and amazing ski terrain but this summer the area is catering to a different kind of athlete – one that loves to climb dry rock.

Nelson-based ACMG guide David Lussier has just published his Whitewater Rocks guidebook – the cliff band that towers over Ymir bowl and looks down upon Whitewater Resort. For the past six years, he has quietly developed several two- to four-pitch alpine rock climbs on Goat Wall, Half Dome and on the eastern bench that leads to the iconic Ymir Peak. The grades range from 5.7 to 5.10a and all routes require a trad rack, although some have bolts to protect certain runout areas. Dave says the rock quality is marginal and the area isn’t as classic as other alpine destinations such as those in the Valhallas but the real appeal is the fact it’s only an hour’s drive from Nelson and an hour hike in.

An example of one of the topo maps from the new Whitewater Rocks guidebook.

Mountain Culture Group’s online editor Vince Hempsall had a chance to join David this past week on a few of the routes and can attest to the fact that although the rock isn’t the best quality, it’s still better than most areas in the Rockies and the views of the surrounding mountain ranges are as good as they are in the wintertime

David says the names of the climbs were inspired by the famous Whitewater Cookbooks written by Shelly Addams and that any competent climber can complete all 11 pitches on the six routes in a full day. (An ascent of all the sections from left to right combined with scrambles up Half Dome & Ymir Peak are referred to as “The Full Meal Deal”).

To learn more about the new Whitewater Rocks area and to download the guidebook, log on to David’s website Summit Mountain Guides.

Below are photos from the day MCG’s Vince Hempsall spent with David at the new area.