Base Camp 35 – Where Your Adventures Begins
Base Camp 35 is a new guiding company in the Haliburton area that offers a variety of outdoor adventures as well as some unique accommodation and food options for its clients. We caught up with Base Camp 35 owners Lorne and Danielle Foisy and discussed climbing, community and floating campsites.
Congratulations on the new guiding business. Care to tell us a bit about yourselves?
Danielle: Sure, we would love to! We grew up in Ontario, but met out west in the Rocky Mountains. We both have a love for outdoor adventure sports. Lorne was a climbing guide at a camp and I was a white-water raft guide when we met in Canmore. That was seven years ago. We now have two little girls who are two and four and a puppy named Molson. We currently live in Haliburton and are exploring all the awesome outdoor opportunities this area offers.
Why start a guiding company?
Danielle: To get straight to the point, climbing is Lorne’s passion and being able to teach others climbing is his dream. So starting a guiding company is truly a dream come true. There isn’t a company based in the Haliburton area providing this service, so it’s been exciting to offer something from within the community.
Base Camp 35 owners Lorne and Danielle Foisy with their two daughters and Molson the wonder dog!
Where are you based and why did you choose this particular location?
Danielle: This season we operate out of the old Firehouse restaurant on HWY 35, the land adjacent to Kushog Lake Climbing area. When we first went to start a company, we met Jay and Anita Manning who own the property. We discussed building an adventure resort where people can come and learn to climb, stay over and relax and have their meals included. We also offer simpler ice climbing day trips as an option, which has been really popular this season.
What’s the reception been like from the local community?
Danielle: Really welcoming actually. The immediate communities of Algonquin Highlands, Haliburton and Minden have been great. The climbing community has been particularly encouraging. So it has been really great in that regard.
Base Camp 35 owner Lorne Foisy enjoying one of the many local ice climbs.
Can you tell us a bit about the various ice climbing courses that you’re offering this season?
Danielle: We offer mostly introductory courses this season as most of our clients have either never climbed or have only limited experience. Our goal is to provide introductory and intermediate courses that help climbers improve their skills so they can get out by themselves one day!
You’re also offering some unique accommodations. Tell us more about that.
Danielle: For this season we’re able to use the accommodations on the property. There is a hostel style set-up in the lodge that sleeps up to 13 folks and we also have two cabins that offer a bit more privacy. We also have food packages so people can have their meals during their stay.
Ice Climbing with Base Camp 35
Other than ice climbing, do you offer any other winter outdoor activities?
We have partnered with other local adventure companies to offer our clients a full weekend of adventure. It has been an awesome experience meeting with other adventure companies. Haliburton is unique in that we're all trying to support and help each other. There is a mentality of trying to work together so that people have a great time.
Here is a list of some of the other activities that we'll offer and the folks with which we've partnered:
Downhill Skiing – Sir Sams Resort
Ice Fishing – Buttermilk Falls Resort
Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing – Frost Centre
Dog Sledding – Winterdance Dog Sled Tours
In what capacity are you involved with the Southern Ontario Ice Fest 2017?
Danielle: We are donating the use of all our ice climbing gear for the SOIC. We will also be exhibiting at the event and look forward to answering any questions courses, accommodations or anything else! We are truly just excited to be there at the SOIC. It’s always great to be around like-minded people who love being in the outdoors.
Will you be offering any summer climbing courses?
Danielle: Of course! We will have rock climbing as one of our main activities. We’re also partnering with many of the companies in the area to offer packages that include heights, water, nature, speed and adrenaline and much more. We think summer is going to be just as exciting as the winter – maybe even more!
Finally, during our phone call you mentioned some special summer camping options. Want to give us some details?
Danielle: Our dream is to offer unique experiences. We are looking into ‘floating campsites’ on the water as well as ‘hanging campsites’ on a cliff. Because we’re just getting started, this won’t be something that will happen right away, but we’re really excited for what the future holds!
Base Camp 35 owner Lorne Foisy.
Gus Alexandropoulos is a freelance writer who has been involved in the outdoor industry for over 25 years. During his career he has been the editor at Canada’s national climbing magazine, as well as the gear editor for a national cycling magazine, triathlon magazine and running magazine. His work has been published in Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, and he has been a guest on television and radio broadcasts. His passion for climbing began in Ontario in the mid 80s and he continues to travel extensively in search of crisp conditions and steep rock.