Grand Forks, British Columbia, isn’t well known for its rock climbing but local Bill Sperling is changing that with his new guidebook. Just don’t call it a guidebook.
The first thing you notice when you scroll through the 24-page “Grand Forks Rock Climbing” document is the qualifier on the cover that reads “not a guidebook!” Author and local route developer Bill Sperling put it there to clarify that this is a “compilation of existing crag beta made over the years. The only guarantee is that it is full of inaccuracies.” Despite this warning, he’s done a damn good guidebook…uh…not guide. Grand Forks rock climbing has been happening since the ’70s but Bill’s effort is the first time anyone has tried to write it all down. It’s also the first time anyone’s really committed themselves to intensive route developing in the West Kootenay city: if the guide is to be believed, Bill is responsible for the majority of the routes there.
I caught up with Bill to ask about Grand Forks rock climbing, the scene, and what the routes on the old bridge pillars are like. You can find that interview at mountainculturegroup.com.
Download the full Grand Forks rock climbing guidebook (which isn’t a guidebook) here: Grand-Forks-Climbing-Guide-2020.
Also, it’s awesome to hear GF is getting its own indoor gym this fall. The Fresh Tracks Outdoors Club bouldering wall is opening on November 1, 2020.