Diedre V3 ***
This destination is currently closed.
The Shrine contains the largest concentration of developed boulders in the Ottawa/Gatineau region. Most of the boulders aren't very high, so sit down starts abound, but the rock is of good quality and the landings are nice for the most part.
This isn't a destination, but if you are in the region there are a few problems worth checking out. The Meditation area is the most popular and has the largest concentration of problems.
The Shrine is located in Gatineau Park, which is administered by the National Capital Commission. As part of its ongoing mission to preserve the natural ecosystem, the NCC has severely restricted climbing within the park, and bouldering at The Shrine is currently not permitted.
The best conditions can be had in the early spring and fall. The blackflies can be unbearable in late spring and the mosquitoes will persist throughout the summer. Once the humidity of summer passes conditions are usually good until winter arrives.
The Shrine is located on the western edge of Gatineau Park, about a 20 minute drive from downtown Ottawa. Make your way to Chemin De la Montange and follow it for approximately 14 km until it takes a sharp left turn and cuts away from the hillside. The parking lot is at this turn on the right hand side. As of 2011 this parking lot is no longer accessible.
To the Meditation area it is a 1.5km hike, with 100m gain in elevation.
From the parking lot follow the main trail and stay left at the first split. After a few hundred meters of gradual climbing the trail will veer left and gradually descend a few hundred meters before approaching the second stream. Here the trail will cut right and you will start climbing in earnest. After a few hundred meters the trail will flatten out and start to approach the stream again. Keep your eyes open for the logs crossing the stream, they are at water level and the trail down can be easy to miss. Cross the stream and head up the switchback. In another 15 meters there will be a split in the trail. Follow it left for the Twister and Trickster areas, or right for the Meditation and Temple areas.
Back country camping is not allowed in the park.
There is nothing conveniently located, but Ottawa and Gatineau are large cities that provide many dining options.
The boulders are primarily Granodiorite and are talus from the Eardley Escarpment above. Approximately 450 million years ago, the Ottawa River Valley was a tectonically active rift valley where the earth’s crust moved slowly downwards between two faults. While this process eventually stopped, the steep cliffs of the Eardley Escarpment remain on the northeastern side of this failed rift valley and are the focus of the majority of the climbing and bouldering in the Ottawa-Gatineau area. The Eardley Escarpment consists of igneous and metamorphic rocks that are Precambrian in age (older than 540 million years).