CURRENTLY CLOSED! Turtle Wall is currently CLOSED due to noise issues. Please check with the Ontario Access Coalition regarding its status. One of the largest crags with a convenient location and proximity to Toronto, Mount Nemo was unappreciated for a long time as many routes were not being maintained. This meant that everyone in a group had to minimally be 5.10 climbers. However, ongoing development since then has renewed interest at Mount Nemo.
Difficult-to-protect trad routes have been retrobolted, and many beginner routes have been installed, which has essentially rejuvenated Mount Nemo into a premier climbing destination. New routes are frequently put up, with much new information constantly coming to light. Aerial photography (by Janet Trost) and some cartography information is courtesy of Joe Stubbs. The source of some route information and descriptions for Mount Nemo is based on the work of Justin Dwyer. For a complete guide to Mount Nemo, please refer to Justin's guidebook, Ontario Climbing Vol. 1: The Southern Escarpment”, available at ontarioclimbing.com. Weather-wise, Mount Nemo is shady all year round, which makes it an excellent crag to climb in the heat of summer.
The shade also keeps it cool, giving the crag a later-than-average start with snow visible in some areas as late as June. Some routes that have not be climbed in a long time, that do not protect well, or are overgrown have been intentionally left out.
The Turtle Area is an easier climbing area on private property with the landowner actually living on the property within a visible distance. The landowner has agreed to allow climbing there, which means that access is very sensitive and the area could be closed at any time due to one person's bad behaviour. Because of the sensitive nature of access, the developers and those who negotiated access request that these rules be followed:
- Climbers must wear helmets. Loose rock is common.
- Keep a low profile and avoid shouting
- Stick clip every route, no matter how heroic of a climber you may be
- Keep your hammocks, Bluetooth speakers, joints, and beer at home
- Avoid pooping at the wall and the surrounding forest
- Climb in small groups less than four people
- Keep barking dogs at home and other dogs on leashes
- If it's too busy, climb elsewhere. Your paid fee is good for Kelso, Rattlesnake, Buffalo Crag, and the main part of Mount Nemo.
- Stay on the trail as you approach
Thanks to Gerry Banning, Mike Sheehan, Dave Smart, Reg Smart, and Gus Alexandropoulos for developing the area.
Park at the Bruce Trail parking lot located at the corner of Walkers Line and Side Road 2 (not 2 Side Road). The intersection may be confusing since the similarly named 2 Side Road ends near the main entrance of Mount Nemo at Guelph Road. There is a self-pay parking station. It's $7 per person, or better yet, get the Halton Parks annual pass. The parking lot tends to fill up quickly. If it's full, climb elsewhere.
From the parking lot, walk along the trail towards the cliff, crossing a few small bridges along the way. You will start seeing the cliff, but don't take any side trails or shortcuts to the wall (they're sucker trails anyways). Walk right up to the cliff where there is a short ladder to go to the top. Head climber's left along the base of the cliff to reach the routes. Approach Time: 10 minutes. Sun in the morning and shade starts around noon for most of the wall.