The Pub Wall is a 130-foot-tall crag located directly behind the Lion’s Head Smoke and Brew Pub in Castlegar, British Columbia. If there was a speed record for fastest approach, this would be it—the crag is a mere 10 feet (ok, 12) from the pub’s parking lot. You could belay from the hood of your car. And while we have no official data to back this up, we know of no other natural climbing wall that’s in closer proximity to a bar.
The aptly-named Pub Wall serves up eight low-angle sport climbs on high-quality Gneiss, and three trad climbs following cracks on the far-right side of the wall, and just around the corner. Two of the sport routes have an optional second pitch, with sweeping views of the Columbia River over the pub’s rooftop. Except for the trad routes, all the climbs are in the 5.10-range, with one 5.9. The Pub Wall is an early season favorite for locals because it gets full sun, making it drier and warmer in the spring than the other climbing areas in and around Castlegar. And because craft beer.
Destination Castlegar recently commissioned a short climbing film to showcase the Pub Wall’s unique location. “It’s a really fun perspective because for the first minute or so, it looks like we’re someplace deep in the Selkirk Mountains,” says Jayme Moye, one of the climbers in the film. “Then it switches to our view from the top of the climb and you’re like, oh my god, they’re in the middle of town! You’ve almost got to see it to believe it.”