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The Grotto
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Mystic River 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- British: HVS 4c

Type: Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- British: HVS 4c [details]
Season: year round
Page Views: 3,303
Submitted By: Benjamin Chapman on May 17, 2009
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  • Emergency Closure to Protect Sensitive Plant Species MORE INFO >>>
  • Grotto and Lookout closed MORE INFO >>>

  • Description 

    ROUTES ON THE NORTH FACING SOUTH SIDE OF THE GROTTO HAVE BEEN REMOVED, POSTED, AND CLOSED. The park service has deemed that there are endangered plants on the north facing faces of The Grotto that need to be protected. Also, the Park Service has ignored climbers at Echo Cliffs, but recent activities such as dogs at the base of the cliff, trash, tissue paper/feces, fire pits, and loud music have been observed and climbers are on notice and on the radar.


    All routes upstream from "Game Boy" on the south side of the Grotto have been closed.


    NO Bolts, NO Anchor.

    Comments on Mystic River Add Comment
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    By Maidy
    Oct 24, 2009

    Actually really fun and long for the Grotto. Gritty start but really great rock above.

    By Cory
    From: Boise, ID
    Dec 7, 2009
    rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c

    This is a fun long line with a thought provoking series of moves in the corner about 2/3 the way up.

    By Simon Hatfield
    From: Oakland, CA
    May 1, 2010

    I Climbed this route with a few friends today and were approached by a group of concerned park rangers. Apparently, Mystic River cuts through one of the world's 3 remaining populations of a critically endangered succulent. After the rangers identified the plant for us it was obvious that it was in fact activity by climbers that has destroyed much of this population. They mentioned that Echo was almost closed years ago in an effort to protect this specific plant. We convinced them that the climbing community is not only passionate about preserving the environment, but respectful towards rules, especially when access was contingent on them.

    Please help the park service to preserve this species by not only discontinuing the climbing in the northwest of the grotto, but making sure that other climbers know that the routes in the area run through critical habitat. As continuing to climb this route will likely lead to closure of the whole area, it is better to climb routes that do not promise to cause the extinction of a species.