Annual Rock Scaling Operations Along Gorge Wall

Annual Rock Scaling Operations Along Gorge Wall

Niagara Falls, ON – The Niagara Parks Commission will conduct its annual rock scaling operations along the wall of the Niagara Gorge on the Canadian side of the Horseshoe Falls, from April 10 to April 13, weather permitting.

A sure sign of spring, Niagara Parks will undertake this activity to remove any of the loose rocks and debris that have built up over the winter months to ensure the safe operations and opening of the lower observation deck of Niagara Parks’ Journey Behind the Falls attraction, which is scheduled to open on Friday, April 14.

Rock scaling also takes place above the lower roadway access point of the WildPlay MistRider Zipline attraction, as well as at Niagara Parks’ White Water Walk attraction.

During these operations, Niagara Parks staff will be lowered in a cage over the decorative parapet wall into the Niagara Gorge. A large crane operating from the top of the gorge wall will then slowly carry the workers across the face of the wall, some 13 storeys high over the Falls basin. Wearing helmets and protective gear, workers will then remove the loose rocks and debris.

The process that loosens the rocks on the gorge face is known as ‘ice-jacking’. Water captured in the crevasses of the rocks freezes and thaws over long periods of time and creates loose rocks. Rocks are chiseled out and allowed to fall into the gorge creating a sloped fortification wall called talus. This talus will then be removed, or left in place upon completion, depending on where it lands.

NPC is committed to a vision of Ontario’s Niagara Parks as one that Preserves a rich heritage, Conserves natural wonders, and Inspires people world-wide. Founded in 1885, The Niagara Parks Commission is an Operational Enterprise Agency of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Its mission is to protect the natural and cultural heritage along the Niagara River for the enjoyment of visitors while maintaining financial self-sufficiency.

For more information, please contact:
Tony Baldinelli
Senior Manager, Communications and Stakeholder Relations
(905) 356-2241 ext. 2206