Philip Stone is one tough cookie with a taste for adventure. He has explored, climbed, and skied in the rugged VanIsle mountains for over 30 years.
He has established dozens of new summer and winter routes on peaks like Elkhorn Mountain, Mount Colonel Foster, and Big Den Mountain.
And he loves to share what he’s learned with other folks who love being outdoors. Stone’s guidebooks Island Alpine, Island Turns and Tours, and Alpine Select have become the go-to bibles and inspiration for people planning mountain adventures on the Island.
But one of his favourite playgrounds is his own backyard—Quadra Island. Stone has been the driving force behind rock climbing route development on the Chinese Mountains above Mort Lake.
Dozens of crags composed of course volcanic andesite dot the slopes of this iconic Quadra Island landmark.
The cliffs attracted the attention of a few climbers 40 or so years ago. But only in recent years has Quadra Island become one of the more popular rock climbing destinations on the south coast.
The cliffs are south-facing, so they’re quick to dry after a rainstorm. And they’re one of the best places near VanIsle for early spring and late fall rock climbing.
Climbers also get amazing views of the Strait of Georgia.
Today, there are roughly 200 established routes on several dozen crags. Stone and other climbers continue to add new routes every year. You can access them using a network of trails that starts at the Chinese Mountains trailhead parking lot just off Hyacinthe Bay Road.
The entire area lies within the traditional territory of the We Wai Kai First Nation, but the province manages it as Crown Land under the Ministry of Forests.
Want to send some routes on Quadra? Pick up a copy of Philip Stone’s Quadra Island Rock Climbs.