Rock and ice climbers from all over will soon know more about the challenges waiting for them on cliffs around Thunder Bay.

The city recently hosted a team from Gripped magazine for 10 days. The publication’s editor and photographer gathered information and photos for a feature on rock-climbing attractions from Mount McKay to Orient Bay.


Thunder Bay Tourism manager Paul Pepe. (Matt Prokopchuk/CBC)

City tourism manager Paul Pepe said he is enthusiastic about the promotional value of the visit.

“It's really been generating a lot of buzz … online on their site and our site, and with the Canadian climbing community in general,” he said.

“They've been taking some spectacular photography.”

'Well-kept secret'

Pepe said the sport has been underdeveloped and under-promoted in the region.

"It has been a well-kept secret for some time. The climbing [here] has been known [only] to a certain level in the past 20 years,” he said.

"This [visit from Gripped magazine] has really become a catalyst in a lot of respects to open that conversation with communities in the district and to look at the potential that rock and ice climbing can bring.”

Areas visited during the tour include Mount McKay and Loch Lomond, Orient Bay, Pass Lake, Nipigon, and others.

Pepe said he hopes the publicity will catch the attention of climbers from all over.

“When you look at the ice and rock climbing community, these people will travel around the planet for the experience,” he said.

“These are people that'll get on a plane and travel halfway across the continent or halfway around the world.”

Pepe said photos taken by magazine staff have already been posted online. A print version will appear in the magazine next spring.