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The Precipice aka The South Wall
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Albatross T 
Balance Queen T 
Band of Gypsys T 
Bartleby -(Central Slab) T 
Birch Ade - (mid-cliff START)  T 
Boys From Bangor T 
Byzantine T 
Chicken of the Sea T 
Chitlin's Corner T 
Connecticut Cracks T 
Country Corner - (mid-cliff START) T 
Crack Of Senility -(Central Slab) T 
Dynamo Hum - (mid-cliff START) T 
Emigrant Crack - (mid-cliff START)  T 
Fear of Flying T 
Fingers in a Seascape (mid-cliff START) S 
From Russia With Love -(Central Slab) T 
Gale Face T 
Games Without Frontiers - (mid-cliff START) S,TR 
Green Mt. Breakdown T 
Grendal T 
Gunklandia T 
Gunklandia Direct Variation T 
High Wire T 
Jaws T 
Juvenile T,S 
London Bridges T 
Lower Wall / Alcove / Staircase Break T 
Main Wall / Alcove / Staircase Break T 
Maniacal Depression T 
Michael's Pin - (mid-cliff START) T 
Mme. LeBois' Troubled Lunge -(Central Slab) T 
Old Town T 
Philidelphia Story, The T 
Pipe Dreams T 
Precipice Ledges T 
Quiver T 
Ramp Traverse, The T 
Recollections of Pacifica -(Central Slab) T 
Retlaw T 
Return to Forever - (mid-cliff START) T 
Rusticator T 
Scaramouche Arete - (mid-cliff START) S 
Sea Gypsy T 
Space Between T 
Staircase, The T 
Standard Route T 
Star Face Mole T 
Story of O T 
Sweet Surrender -(Central Slab) T 
Swept Away T 
Trotsky T 
Vacation Cracks - (mid-cliff START) T 
Wafer Step -(Central Slab) T 
Wet Lithuanian, The T 
Wilner's Route TR 

Return to Forever - (mid-cliff START) 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, 95'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: please help
Page Views: 4,759
Submitted By: Matthew Fienup on Jul 25, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (46)
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BETA PHOTO: At the pin (crux)

Annual Trail Closures to protect Peregrine falcons MORE INFO >>>


More classic stemming & laybacking! A terrific linkup with Old Town.

From the Old Town ledge, climb straight up through an awkward V-shaped slot to reach the clean, left-facing corner. Stem and layback your way to the top.


[ NOTE - A Mid-Cliff START on the left end of the "Fingers Ledge" at the belay shared by "2nd belay of Precipice Ledges (5.4) " and "Finger's on a Seascape". R Hall, ME Admin.]

Located directly above the Old Town Ledge.

For more info, click here


Tiny to small cams and nuts. One piton. Bolted top anchor with rappel rings.

Photos of Return to Forever - (mid-cliff START) Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Just past the crux. Buckets await. Amazing stemmin...
Just past the crux. Buckets await. Amazing stemmin...
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Z after crux
Mike Z after crux
Rock Climbing Photo: Rappelling from the fixed anchor atop Return to Fo...
Rappelling from the fixed anchor atop Return to Fo...

Comments on Return to Forever - (mid-cliff START) Add Comment
Show which comments
By Matthew Fienup
From: Ventura, CA
Jul 25, 2007

After climbing both Emigrant Crack (5.10b) and Connecticut Crack (5.11a) clean, this one still spit me out of the crux dihedral. Additionally, gear was strenuous to place.

Do not underestimate this route given the modest grade.
By Phil Persson
From: Denver, Colorado
Sep 28, 2009
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

What a great route.... agreed with Mr. Fienup, there are some slightly devious/tricky moves, but great pro [small cams and rp's], beatuful rock, and fantastic location make this one of the best routes I have done anywhere for it's grade. Very highly reccomended!!
By afh
From: Keene Valley, NY
Apr 6, 2010

The pin is gone. Plenty of other protection possibilities.
By Andrew Mertens
From: Berkeley, CA
Jun 30, 2010

The pin's there as of 6-24-10.
By Michael Z.
Aug 16, 2011

Wow Fabulous! Linked up with Old Town for my first route at Acadia, So Good!
By S. Neoh
Aug 16, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Congrats, you certainly chose some of the finest to get started on Acadia! I really enjoyed the location of and scenery from this route. I am almost sure it was my 1st 5.9 trad lead too many years ago so it is also special to me in that way.

Old Town was very busy the day I decided to get on this route so I did P1 of Gunklandia, then a little scramble/runout to the left on easy ground in order to get to the start of RTF. A little sneaky but I got the job done! :)
By Peter Lewis
From: Bridgton, Maine
Sep 15, 2014
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

The pin is still at the crux as of 9.13.14, although it doesn't matter: you can get gear anywhere you want. Stunning pitch, with great moves, gear, and reasonable stances, and one burly little crux. And, like so many Acadia routes, a jug awaits. One of the best things about Acadia is that if you can get yourself to the top of this part of the cliff (e.g., via Story of O, perhaps) and you're a middle-aged guy who doesn't train or get out enough anymore (like me), you can just wander around dropping the rope down so many great last pitches: this route, Michael's Pin, Birch Aid, Emigrant Crack, Chitlin Corner, Green Mt., Sea Gypsy, etc. It's a .9/.10 mileage bonanza!
By Max Dismukes
From: North Quincy, MA
Jun 16, 2015
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

The pin was still there yesterday! Excellent stances for placing gear the whole way. If anything, the only spooky part is making the first few odd moves from the belay ledge before you get your first piece of gear. So so good, climbed it twice.

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