A friendly rock face
Since Val David has dozens of rock climbing routes for different levels, you can learn and grow your skills gradually and aim for greater heights over the course of your day or separate sessions. Check out the Val-David guidebook to help plan your day.
Beginners are welcome here (make sure you’ve got your skills and safety down and have some experienced climbers in your group). Half the park’s climbing routes are rated 5.9 or less and can be climbed with chocks or top ropes. The most popular climbing routes for novices are in the Chico and Dizzy sections of Mont Césaire and at Staircase on Mont King. The 80m L’Arabesque (5.3), also at Césaire, is a classic training route for multi-pitch trad climbing.
The upper echelons
If you’re an intermediate or advanced climber, you’ll be in your element on the trad and mixed routes at Champs-Élysées, l’Aiguille and La Bleue. Prefer sport climbing? Go to Dame de Coeur or Gemini. Or if you’re into high flying, head over to Mont King and try out l’Impériale (5.9) or l’Amphithéâtre (5.7). You’ll find classic fissures like the Sceptre (5.9) or Crown (5.10a), and impressive overhangs that intersect with extreme routes like Le Toit de Ben (5.13a) or La Zébrée (5.14a).
Conquer La Zébrée
Easily one of the most difficult crack lines in North America and the hardest in Quebec, La Zébrée is graded 5.14a. It’s extremely steep: 10 of its 25 metres are overhang. One of its many quirks is that it seeps badly in spring and is rarely dry even in summer. Die-hards will spend hours drying the crack because it’s just so gorgeous and well worth the trouble.
Once you’ve worn yourself out, get a group together and go into the village of Val-David for an amazing dinner. La Table des Gourmets is great. You know those dishes that look so chic you almost don’t want to eat them? That’s what they serve here. For a less expensive meal, check out Restaurant L’Epicurieux. Here you’ll find fantastic Canadian comfort food made classy.