Wade into Waterworld

Take a paddle Waterworld, one of Revelstoke’s most stunning climbing spots

Leah Poirer at Waterworld. Photo: Laura Szanto/Revelstoke Mountaineer

Words and photos by Laura Szanto

This story first appeared in print in the July issue of Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine.

Laura Szanto shoots the approach to Waterworld. Photo: Laura Szanto/Revelstoke Mountaineer

If you really wanted to show off some of Revelstoke’s climbing chops to someone visiting Revelstoke, you’d take them to Waterworld. I was canoeing towards Martha Creek for a camping trip when I saw Waterworld for the first time I. I was taken aback by its tall, colourful quartzite cliffs that jutted out so prominently against the jade-coloured Lake Revelstoke. The views of Mt. Begbie and the surrounding alpine are expansive, and you’ll notice that you can actually spot the cliffs from the boat launch even five kilometres away!

Patrick O’Neill climbs at Waterworld on Lake Revelstoke. Photo by Laura Szanto/Revelstoke Mountaineer

A day out rock climbing at Waterworld is definitely a more adventurous and unique experience than your average day at the crag. You can choose to either begin at the top of the climb and rappel 90 metres to the belay ledge below, or approach with a canoe, boat, SUP or any other means of travel across Lake Revelstoke. While the scenic route is a more pleasant ride, it can be a bit of a logistical challenge tying your canoe off at the bottom of the cliffs. Hitching the canoe to a thin ledge and a not-so-sturdy piece of wood was our best solution, however we did hear amusing stories of drowned kayaks and stranded climbers.

Leah Poirer and Patrick O’Neill share a laugh at Waterworld. Photo: Laura Szanto

With all the interesting challenges aside, Waterworld offers steep technical climbing complete with dynamic roof pulls, thin crimps, and delicate footwork. Since you’re climbing above Lake Revelstoke there is a unique exposure content that fuels the adrenaline of the climb. While there is plenty of more advanced technical climbing, Waterworld offers some very enjoyable moderate grade climbing covering an area of three climbing sections (Gilligan’s Island, Voyage Cliff and Gangplank) and over 19 established sport routes. So whether you’re just looking to have an adventure and pull up some jugs, or looking to push your limit, Waterworld is sure to satisfy all of your climbing needs. An insider safety tip is to wear a helmet and to be mindful of those climbing above you, as the rock is considered ‘chossy’ and rock fall is common in this area.

Patrick O’Neill ascends. Photo by Laura Szanto/Revelstoke Mountaineer