Most people are amazed to learn that mountaineers and rock climbers have been climbing the rock walls in and around Castlegar since the 1950s. This area was first used a training ground for those establishing new routes in the Valhalla, Selkirk, Kootenay and Purcell mountain ranges. Today, Castlegar is a destination in its own right for sport climbers, trad climbers and boulderers given the many walls and areas strewn within and around the city. In fact, Castlegar is the only other city in British Columbia, aside from Squamish, with a natural rock climbing wall within its boundaries. (Kinnaird Rocks boasts no less than 70 rock climbs for everyone from beginner to expert climbers.) It’s also the only city in North America to boast an outdoor rock climbing pub. (The Lion’s Head Pub property has a rock wall with established routes on it located about 40 feet from its back patio.) Castlegar is also the location for the Kootenay Rock Climbing Festival, which happens in late September every year.