Best cliffs in region denied to climbers

by Tom Markiewicz on May 20, 2005

Cochrane Lane, Gagetown reports that climbers are being denied access to the granite cliffs of Cochrane Lane after the Gagetown military base posted no trespassing signs this spring. The Cochrane Lane cliffs located in the valley above the Nerepis River in Welsford has over 300 documented climbing routes.

The spot is a busy playground for thousands of climbers every year and has been featured in national and international magazines and the Canadian Alpine Journal.

For nearly 30 years, members of the University of New Brunswick rock and ice-climbing club have climbed there with the understanding that they had permission.

Cochrane Lane cliffs have been used year round since the first documented ascent in 1976. Routes bear names like Joe’s Garage, Gollum’s Cave and Minkey Wall; during the summer they are the home-away-from-home to many dedicated climbers. They cling to the cliffs, their hands wedged into small cracks; their colourful ropes dangle behind them as their partners yell out encouragement and helpful tips. During the winter ice-climbers chip away at frozen waterfalls that cascade down the walls.

  • Andrew

    Access has been restored to the area. UNB Club members enjoy free access, however, other users such as those travelling to enjoy the area or people from Saint John,etc. must at least call the ranger station and report in, or get a pass from Camp Petersville station.

    As a note, the ‘route names such as Joes Garage, etc.” those aren’t route names, but in actuality those are the names of different wall areas. Joe’s Garage is home to 50 or more different individual routes and is hundreds of feet wide and between 350 and 80 feet high.

    Here’s hoping for an uninterrupted 2006 Clmibing Season in Welsford, NB – Canada.

    Thanks to everyone envolved in regaining our access rights to Welsford.

  • Tom

    Thanks for the update Andrew. This is great news!

  • Andrew

    Cocrhane Lane Cliffs are closed, once again as of 6 June 2007. They may be reopened soon. There are Falcons nesting and biologists are working out a ‘no climb zone’ to protect the birds and climbers alike.

    If someone wants to know if its reopened, goto and check in the New Brunswick section of the forum under annoucements. I’m sure it will say there when it’s reopened.

    Climb on.

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