In the mountains behind the sleepy coastal town of Powell River, British Columbia, a small group of climbers have spent decades quietly pioneering routes on some of the largest granite walls in Canada.
Areas such as Eldred River Valley are similar in scale to Yosemite – The Mainline, for instance, on the West Main Wall is 900m, 18 pitches and VI 5.11-/A4. First climbed by Rob Richards and Colin Dionne, the route is seen as a catalyst for putting the area on the map. These early pioneers put the infrastructure in place that enabled climbing; from clearing paths and routes, to building a campsite and of course, developing routes.
In the past couple of decades, the valleys have been under threat from vast logging operations and the climbing community faces the uncertain future of a place that has come to define their lives and legacies. The logging companies are moving further and further into the wild environment and into alpine areas.
Climbers are now left with the decision to fight for these last ancient trees and potentially lose access or look away as the valley is stripped for timber. On The Verge is a snapshot of outdoors culture in British Columbia. The way we reconcile industries that give us access to the wilderness with the destruction they cause. The desire to protect our backyard but keep it for ourselves at the same time. The importance of these places to the people who have shaped them and been shaped by them in return.