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Acadia/Mt Desert Family TR recommendations?
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By Optimistic
From New Paltz
Jun 8, 2014

Hi,

Up in Acadia for a bit, looking for a nice user-friendly area to do a few TR's with the fam...ideal would be a range from 5.4-5.11 with a fairly benign area at the base for kids/non-climbers to hang out while the others climbed. I have gear with me to set anchors if needed.

Cheers,
David


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By Nate Solnit
From Bath, NH
Jun 8, 2014

Otter Cliffs is the usual place to TR. It's basically all top access anyways. Some people rap in/ do the low tide walk around, pull their ropes, and lead, but it's easier to just lower in and TR. Unfortunately the two or three local guiding services and the rest of the world knows this too so it gets crowded. But it's also some really fun and beautiful seaside climbing.


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By Optimistic
From New Paltz
Jun 8, 2014

Nate Solnit wrote:
Otter Cliffs is the usual place to TR. It's basically all top access anyways. Some people rap in/ do the low tide walk around, pull their ropes, and lead, but it's easier to just lower in and TR. Unfortunately the two or three local guiding services and the rest of the world knows this too so it gets crowded. But it's also some really fun and beautiful seaside climbing.

Hi Nate,

Thanks...I do know about Otter Cliffs but was specifically looking for stuff with a safer and more accessible base...my wife does have an adventurous spirit but I think that rapping down a sea cliff with our 2 month old in the baby carrier might exceed her tolerances by a touch or two. Also, we have non-climbers with us.


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By James Sweeney
Jun 8, 2014

David,

The obvious choice for toproping would be the Otter Cliff. The exception to your qualifiers would be that you'd have to keep an eye on the little ones (it's a cliff above the ocean) and the base of the cliff is really only accessible at low tide. On the plus side, it's an outstanding location that has some easier climbs (including some climbs that start from the top of the cliff, around to the right as you enter from the trail) and there's a great trail to access the spot that runs above the ocean. It was more of a pleasure than a task to hike in from the parking lot that is a mile away. You can buy a pocket guide ($4 if I remember right) at the shop on Main Street.
If you'd like to maximize your efficiency I found it well worth the expense to hire a guide using Groupon The guide we had,and who I would highly reccommend you ask for, was Dick Chasse. He took us to Mt. Champlain/The Precipice area where he did the leads and set up topropes for me and my two daughters.
I'm sorry to tell you that there's never enough time to take it all in, but you might also like to try:
Go all the way down Schooner Head road and do the Great Head Trail
Take one of tour boats out of Bass Harbor (late afternoon/early evening)
Echo Lake beach. The parking lot fills up early,but it's kid friendly as it's a lake and you can spot some lines on Canada Cliff.
Wake the kids up at 4AM and head up to Cadillac Mt. for the sunrise (you'll have plenty of company)
Visit local painter/potter Ed Davis
Seal Cove Pottery
Plan on returning because there's never enough time for all of it!

Jim


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By Optimistic
From New Paltz
Jun 8, 2014

James Sweeney wrote:
David, The obvious choice for toproping would be the Otter Cliff. The exception to your qualifiers would be that you'd have to keep an eye on the little ones (it's a cliff above the ocean) and the base of the cliff is really only accessible at low tide. On the plus side, it's an outstanding location that has some easier climbs (including some climbs that start from the top of the cliff, around to the right as you enter from the trail) and there's a great trail to access the spot that runs above the ocean. It was more of a pleasure than a task to hike in from the parking lot that is a mile away. You can buy a pocket guide ($4 if I remember right) at the shop on Main Street. If you'd like to maximize your efficiency I found it well worth the expense to hire a guide using Groupon The guide we had,and who I would highly reccommend you ask for, was Dick Chasse. He took us to Mt. Champlain/The Precipice area where he did the leads and set up topropes for me and my two daughters. I'm sorry to tell you that there's never enough time to take it all in, but you might also like to try: Go all the way down Schooner Head road and do the Great Head Trail Take one of tour boats out of Bass Harbor (late afternoon/early evening) Echo Lake beach. The parking lot fills up early,but it's kid friendly as it's a lake and you can spot some lines on Canada Cliff. Wake the kids up at 4AM and head up to Cadillac Mt. for the sunrise (you'll have plenty of company) Visit local painter/potter Ed Davis Seal Cove Pottery Plan on returning because there's never enough time for all of it! Jim


Thanks James! Especially for the guide service beta, I was wondering about that as a way to do this.


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By GMBurns
Jun 8, 2014
Climbing at Morro Anhangava in Southern Brasil. <br /> <br />(photo by Isa Vellozo)

The Precipice area is really the place to go. There's a fair amount of variety there and the base is reasonably good for hanging out. Plus its difficult to lose a kid there. Be aware of some potential for rock fall. However, the chances of that happening are slim. The approach is super easy, too. In general, there's a wide variety of climbs and the area is fairly self contained.

Echo Lake has great swimming, but the climbing there isn't so easy. I don't recommend Otter or Schooner Head due to the top access thing either. One can access the bottom of Schooner Head very easily by walking, but if you hit it at the wrong tide, or if a kid wanders too close to the water's edge...let's just say there's been more than one person washed away over the years, and the current there isn't very kind - it'll take anyone out deep in a matter of minutes. And by that I mean not just wandering kids, but adults who were also paying attention, too. You need to be pretty vigilant and aware if you're going to climb there.

South Bubble has a small variety of climbs, but it's not comfortable for non-climbers and could even be a bit dangerous with kids if you're not paying attention. Plus the chances of rock fall there are higher.


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By Optimistic
From New Paltz
Jun 8, 2014

GMBurns wrote:
The Precipice area is really the place to go. There's a fair amount of variety there and the base is reasonably good for hanging out. Plus its difficult to lose a kid there. Be aware of some potential for rock fall. However, the chances of that happening are slim. The approach is super easy, too. In general, there's a wide variety of climbs and the area is fairly self contained. Echo Lake has great swimming, but the climbing there isn't so easy. I don't recommend Otter or Schooner Head due to the top access thing either. One can access the bottom of Schooner Head very easily by walking, but if you hit it at the wrong tide, or if a kid wanders too close to the water's edge...let's just say there's been more than one person washed away over the years, and the current there isn't very kind - it'll take anyone out deep in a matter of minutes. And by that I mean not just wandering kids, but adults who were also paying attention, too. You need to be pretty vigilant and aware if you're going to climb there. South Bubble has a small variety of climbs, but it's not comfortable for non-climbers and could even be a bit dangerous with kids if you're not paying attention. Plus the chances of rock fall there are higher.


Thanks GM... This would be lead a pitch and set an anchor kind of deal instead of top access? EDIT: "this" being the Precipice?


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By wivanoff
Jun 8, 2014
High Exposure

Optimistic wrote:
Thanks GM... This would be lead a pitch and set an anchor kind of deal instead of top access? EDIT: "this" being the Precipice?


It would be some of that. Actually, most of that. You can climb Precipice Ledges 5.3 to get to the chains on top of Old Town 5.7

The hike to the base of Precipice (at Old Town anyway) requires a little scrambling - might be class 3. So if you have a baby carrier, be aware of that.

There's a lovely little cobblestone beach at Little Hunter beach. Fairly secluded. Sit and have a glass of wine with the wife as the sun goes down.

Oh... here's from a previous post of mine: "Other activities? In addition to all the touristy things in Bar Harbor...Whale watching. Sea Kayaking. Hike over to Bar Island at low tide (Park @ N 44 23.516' W 68 12.605'). Some nice restaurants: Not just in Bar Harbor, visit Bass Harbor, NE and SW Harbor also. Hunter Beach is VERY nice where Hunter Brook flows into the cove (Park @ N 44 18.159 W 068 13.274 and follow the trail). Sunrise on Cadillac Mtn. Hike out to "The Ovens" off Sand Point Road (Park @ N 44 26.137 W 68 15.356). Anemone Cave (park @ N 44 20.376' W 68 10.652' and follow trail down and left) Climb the Precipice Trail - semi via ferrata. Afternoon tea on Jordan Pond. Lots of things to do."


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By GMBurns
Jun 8, 2014
Climbing at Morro Anhangava in Southern Brasil. <br /> <br />(photo by Isa Vellozo)

Yup, a lot of lead to set up TR. Not a lot of TR set ups without leading unless you're talking the top access locations. I don't think the Precipice's scramble is that awkward. You gotta get around a tree branch across a short slabby section, but if you're creative then it shouldn't be that difficult to figure it out. You can always walk a bit around it, too.

Lots of others things to do on the island, too. Lots of great hiking (easy to difficult) and swimming, etc. The whale watchers are always nice, as are the carriage roads for biking / hiking and some horseback riding. Driving around Northeast Harbor and Seal Harbor offer some nice chances to see how the rich vacation. Best swimming is at Echo Lake (multiple locations - I prefer near the boat launch as opposed to the beach), though Long Pond can be nice, too. What used to be called Bear Brook (can't remember the new name) goes up the back side of Mt. Champlain and offers pretty stunning views of the bay. Easy hiking, and since the Precipice Trail (not to be confused with the Precipice climbing area, though they are in the same location) will be closed on the other side of Champlain due to the falcons, this is a way to get to the top.

Best pizza in town is Rosalie's. Best pub food is the Thirsty Whale. Best good dining is Havana on lower Main St., and the best fine dining is Galyn's on the hill on Main St. toward the wharf. Geddy's isn't what it used to be and isn't worth the wait, but they have the best cocktail drinks in town (best mudslide you'll ever have for sure) and OK food. Jordan's for breakfast is worth it just to say you went there and had blueberry pancakes, but honestly Cafe This Way (off a side street near the Village Green) has the best breakfast in town. There are several local brewpubs in town, too, if that's your thing.

Have fun.


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