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Routes in The Precipice aka The South Wall

Albatross T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Balance Queen T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Band of Gypsys T 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
Bartleby -(Central Slab) T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Birch Ade - (mid-cliff START) T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Boys From Bangor T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Byzantine T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Chicken of the Sea T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Chitlin's Corner T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Connecticut Cracks T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Country Corner - (mid-cliff START) T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Crack Of Senility -(Central Slab) T 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Dynamo Hum - (mid-cliff START) T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13
Emigrant Crack - (mid-cliff START) T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Fat Back Crack T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Fat Gypsy T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Fear of Flying T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Fingers in a Seascape (mid-cliff START) S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
From Russia With Love -(Central Slab) T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Gale Face T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a PG13
Games Without Frontiers - (mid-cliff START) S,TR 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Green Mt. Breakdown T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Grendal T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Gunklandia T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Gunklandia Direct Variation T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
High Wire T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Impalpable Cracks T 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Jaws T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Juvenile S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
London Bridges T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Lower Wall / Alcove / Staircase Break T 3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a
Main Wall / Alcove / Staircase Break T 3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a
Maniacal Depression T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a PG13
Michael's Pin - (mid-cliff START) T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Mme. LeBois' Troubled Lunge -(Central Slab) T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Old Town T 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Philidelphia Story, The T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Pipe Dreams T 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Precipice Ledges T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Quiver T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Ramp Traverse, The T 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
Recollections of Pacifica -(Central Slab) T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Retlaw T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Return to Forever - (mid-cliff START) T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Rusticator T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c PG13
Scaramouche Arete - (mid-cliff START) S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Sea Gypsy T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13
Space Between T 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a PG13
Staircase, The T 3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a
Standard Route T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Star Face Mole T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Story of O T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Sweet Surrender -(Central Slab) T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Swept Away T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Tempest , The T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Trotsky T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Vacation Cracks - (mid-cliff START) T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Wafer Step -(Central Slab) T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Wet Lithuanian, The T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Wilner's Route TR 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Elevation: 382 ft
GPS: 44.347, -68.19 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 72,004 total, 549/month
Shared By: Brett Butera on Mar 10, 2007 with updates
Admins: Ladd, Jonathan Steitzer, Robert Hall
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Description

The Precipice is located in Acadia National Park on the east side of Mount Desert Island in Maine. The glaciated pink granite is high-quality, solid rock for climbing and provides some excellent dihedrals, such as the classic climbs “Old Town” (5.7) and “Return to Forever” (5.9). Other not-to-miss climbs include: “The Story of O” (5.6), “Green Mountain Breakdown” (5.9+), and “Chitlins Corner” (5.10a). From the top of the climbs, one has a spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean. A guidebook is available for the island, “Acadia: a climber’s guide” by Jeff Butterfield and can be picked up at Cadillac Mountain Sports in Bar Harbor.

The crag is over two hundred feet tall at its highest point, resulting in 2-3 pitch climbs. The climbs are traditional and require a standard rack of mixed stoppers and mostly small-to-medium size cams. Fixed rappels are located at the top of many climbs. A 60-meter rope is best, although most climbs can be done with a 50-meter rope. Due to Peregrine Falcon nesting, the right side of the Precipice is closed seasonally.

The island has many campgrounds, although the island is more of a bed-and-breakfast type of place. Definitely try some of the local brews on the island. The Bar Harbor Real Ale is exceptionally good and is made by the Atlantic Brewing Company on the island. Also, if you need an inexpensive, fatty burrito after climbing, go to Gringo’s in Bar Harbor.

Current closures and conditions on the NPS site: nps.gov/acad/planyourvisit/…
Annual Trail Closures to protect Peregrine falcons Details

Getting There

Directions to the Precipice: From Bangor, Maine, take Rt. 1A to Ellsworth and then Rt. 3 to Mount Desert Island. Once on the island, head towards Town Hill on Rt. 198. Continue on Rt. 198 until you reach a junction with Rt. 233, at which you’ll need to take a left. From Rt. 233 take a left to enter Acadia National Park. Take the park loop road past the Precipice Trailhead parking. The trailhead to the crag is approximately 100 meters past the trailhead parking. You can park on the right side of the two-lane one-way road. You’ll know you are on the right approach trail when you see the climber sign-in box. Continue on the trail until you reach a small cliff, where you need to head left across the talus field to the base of the crag.

60 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Precipice aka The South Wall

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Wafer Step -(Central Slab)
Trad
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Story of O
Trad 3 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Standard Route
Trad 2 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Gunklandia
Trad 2 pitches
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Old Town
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Bartleby -(Central Slab)
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Return to Forever - (mid-cliff START)
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Recollections of Pacifica -(Central S…
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Chicken of the Sea
Trad
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Green Mt. Breakdown
Trad 2 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Chitlin's Corner
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Emigrant Crack - (mid-cliff START)
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Fear of Flying
Trad
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Fingers in a Seascape (mid-cliff START)
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Connecticut Cracks
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Wafer Step -(Central Slab) 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad
Story of O 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 3 pitches
Standard Route 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 2 pitches
Gunklandia 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 2 pitches
Old Town 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Bartleby -(Central Slab) 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Return to Forever - (mid-c… 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Recollections of Pacifica -… 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Chicken of the Sea 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Green Mt. Breakdown 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad 2 pitches
Chitlin's Corner 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Emigrant Crack - (mid-clif… 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Fear of Flying 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Fingers in a Seascape (mid… 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Connecticut Cracks 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
More Classic Climbs in The Precipice aka The South Wall »

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
A single 60m is perfect at the South Wall. There are numerous fixed anchors at sub-30m intervals in numerous locations: The top of Return to Forever down to the top of Figures on a Seascape and then down Old Town, another descent just left of Gunklandia, and others as well. Jul 18, 2016
Question:

I've got an older guide book and it says that from the top, you need to make two double rope raps. None of the pitches seem all that long though.

Is it possible to make two single rope raps with a 60m from the top of the cliff band? Jun 20, 2016
A great place to get beta or any gear you might have forgotten is the gear shop at 228 Main street, Alpenglow Adventure Sports. And if you don't know how to trad climb, Acadia Mountain Guides (run out of the same shop) can take you out to some amazing sea cliffs or granite splitters. Jun 6, 2012
Sweet area! Killer granite, nice cracks. The approach (like most in the east I have been to) is amazingly short. Can get here at the crack of noon and climb a dozen routes! May 14, 2011
climberKJ
Holderness, NH
climberKJ   Holderness, NH
Anyone know when the closure takes place? I'd like to go up in August, but want to make sure this wall is open to climb. Jul 16, 2010
Luke Hanley
Boulder, CO
Luke Hanley   Boulder, CO
If you make the trip to New England, make a point to head to this crag. In my opinion the rock, and climbing are both quality. If you're a 10 plus-11 trad leader you'll make quick work of these routes, but the quality is so good you might just do some routes twice.
One you must do is Green Mt. Breakdown...absolutely classic climbing and position. Dec 26, 2007
Matthew Fienup
Ventura, CA
Matthew Fienup   Ventura, CA  
The Precipice is one of the coolest crags I have ever climbed at. Incredible position, incredible view, incredible climbing!

The guidebook "ACADIA: a Climber's Guide," by Jeff Butterfield, is an outstanding resource and gives excellent beta on the routes at the Precipice. Jul 25, 2007
Ladd    
Due to a recent earthquake, beware loose rock Apr 11, 2007

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