Elevation: 489 ft
GPS: 45.151, -69.17 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 872,958 total · 5,974/month
Shared By: Ladd Raine on Apr 20, 2007 with improvements by Jonathan Steitzer
Admins: Ladd Raine, Jonathan Steitzer, Robert Hall

Description

Background:
Maine is historic, wild, rural, and in parts developed. It is many quixotic things, and its history is a fascinating cycle of boom and bust, beginning with the earliest European exploitation for lumber, which lead to the loss of huge amounts of it's forest. In the 18th and 19th century Maine's famously rocky coast was quarried and many cliffs and mountains disappeared as Maine became one of the premier supplier to the nation of granite for major construction. Historic Schooners sailed the coast trading, as the very islands themselves were blasted and carved and shipped off to major cities farther south. As farming became more efficient and railroads connected to the Midwest Maine's many coastal farms diminished, and as the steam engine replaced sail the shipyards and populous communities along it's coast shrank. Woods reclaimed the land leading to Maine now being one of the most heavily forested states in the nation, and it's population shrank.

Now sustained primarily by the twin economic poles of lobstering and tourism, Maine has several charming cities and many small lovely towns. Portland is it's biggest city, undergoing intense redevelopment as people from away flock to the state for it's quality of life and small town charm. Augusta is the capitol, picked for it's relatively central location and to show no favoritism between the economies of the coast and that of lumber. Bangor, another major area hosts Maine's largest university and is the gateway to Baxter State Park and downeast.

Absolutely worth a visit, both for the climbing and the culture, Maine is worth your time.

The Climbing:
 Some of the most well known and easily accessible climbing in Maine are the following crags:
  • Acadia National Park one of the best national parks in the country, and filled with lovely granite. Climb above the ocean here.
  • Camden Hills historic, charming, over run with tourists in the summer. A jumping off point for sailing on schooners in legendary penobscot bay, and also a great area for trad and ice.
  • Clifton Crags tucked away outside of Bangor, these cliffs have excellent sport climbs. Put up by much of the crew who went on to develop Rumney, they are a bit of a local's secret.
  • Shagg Crag if you climb hard, then hit Shagg, and some of the other cliffs in the western mountain. Entry starts at 5.10.

Ethics:
Lastly, a word on ethics, Maine is so large and the climbing so geographically separated that at any given time there are little pockets of locals, often operating at the same cliffs and not even aware of each other. Climbers band together and climb, then as time passes they move on and the moss and the woods reclaim what had once been local knowledge, and things are lost. Nonetheless, the general ethic of Maine is that of traditional protection, bold leads, and especially Leave No Trace. There are some cliffs that are exceptions to this, but locals are the ones who know these areas and put them up.

Some of the climbing here is part of incredibly fragile ecosystems, and sometimes climbing is found on private property. In all cases be discreet, and respect the rock. Do not chip or glue, do not bolt, do not cut that tree or leave trash in the wood or have a bonfire. Please be good stewards so we can all continue to climb here well into the future.

Have fun, be safe, always check your knot!

Travel and Maine Guide Services

Maine is unique in being the only state in the lower 48 to share it's border with only one other state. Coming up to Maine and then heading downeast you really start to feel like you're reaching the end of the road. Well, until you hit Canada and all of a sudden things are populous and developed again. Maine's relative remoteness and relatively unsettled quality makes it large and spread out, it's as large as the rest of New England combined and while 1.3 million people live in the state 90% of the population lives within 10 miles of the coast, leading to vast swaths of wilderness.

Airports: Maine's two largest airports are the Portland International Jetport and the Bangor International Airport. If you're planning to climb a bit in NH too then you're best served flying to Portland, however if you fancy exploring Downeast and Acadia, or perhaps a trip to Baxter State Park, then flying to Bangor will work best.

Highways: I-95 crosses into Maine at the coast with NH and is the major artery of the state. It follows along the coast first to Portland, then cutting above Maine's many peninsulas on a cross country cut to Bangor, before turning North and heading to Quebec. Maine is so large and spread out that a car is probably your best bet to get around.

Coastline: Maine is a paradise if you come by boat. One of the true treasures of the world for it's thousands of islands and winding water ways. However if you're on this website for climbing you're probably not too concerned about all that!

MAINE GUIDE SERVICES:

  • Atlantic Climbing SchoolWith an office right in Bar Harbor these guys primarily serve Acadia and Camden, though they will guide any location in New England and also offer guiding internationally. Locally owned, these guys put out the last couple guidebooks for Acadia.

  • Acadia Mountain Guides - Also based in Bar Harbor along with a location in Orono Maine, this school focuses primarily on Acadia but also guides throughout New England, along with occasionally offering AMGA classes. Owned by John Tierney, who wrote the original Clifton Guidebook.

  • Equinox Guiding Service - New kids on the block this guide service is primarily focused on climbing both rock and ice in and around Camden Hills. 

It's highly recommended to hire a guide if you're travelling, new to the area, or looking to grow your skills. Their local knowledge and best practices can help insure you have a safe fun time on the rock, and saves you the hassle of having to fly with your own rack and gear.

Maine Guide Services

Maine Guide Services:

  • Atlantic Climbing SchoolWith an office right in Bar Harbor these guys primarily serve Acadia and Camden, though they will guide any location in New England and also offer guiding internationally. Locally owned, these guys put out the last couple guidebooks for Acadia.

  • Acadia Mountain Guides - Also based in Bar Harbor along with a location in Orono Maine, this school focuses primarily on Acadia but also guides throughout New England, along with occasionally offering AMGA classes. Owned by John Tierney, who wrote the original Clifton Guidebook.

  • Equinox Guiding Service - New kids on the block this guide service is primarily focused on climbing both rock and ice in and around Camden Hills. 

872 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

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Classic Climbing Routes at Maine

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 105
The Great Chimney
TR
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 133
Wafer Step -(Central Slab)
Trad
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 178
Story of O
Trad 3 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 57
The Armadillo
Trad
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 89
The Flake
Trad, TR
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 197
Old Town
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 81
Bartleby -(Central Slab)
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 63
Return to Forever - (mid-cliff…
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 105
Recollections of Pacifica -(Cent…
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 66
Chitlin's Corner
Trad
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 108
The Great Escape
Sport
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13
 120
Adair by the Sea
Trad, TR
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 95
Connecticut Cracks
Trad
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
 70
Shaggin Wagon
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 70
Ginseng Route
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Great Chimney Acadia NP > Otter Cliffs
 105
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a TR
Wafer Step -(Central Slab) Acadia NP > Precipice aka The S Wall
 133
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad
Story of O Acadia NP > Precipice aka The S Wall
 178
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 3 pitches
The Armadillo j. The Maine Hi… > Katahdin > Chimney Pond ("South"…
 57
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
The Flake Acadia NP > Otter Cliffs
 89
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, TR
Old Town Acadia NP > Precipice aka The S Wall
 197
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Bartleby -(Central Slab) Acadia NP > Precipice aka The S Wall
 81
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Return to Forever - (mid-c… Acadia NP > Precipice aka The S Wall
 63
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Recollections of Pacifica -… Acadia NP > Precipice aka The S Wall
 105
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Chitlin's Corner Acadia NP > Precipice aka The S Wall
 66
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
The Great Escape Shagg Crag
 108
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Adair by the Sea Acadia NP > Otter Cliffs
 120
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13 Trad, TR
Connecticut Cracks Acadia NP > Precipice aka The S Wall
 95
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
Shaggin Wagon Shagg Crag
 70
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a Sport
Ginseng Route Shagg Crag
 70
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Maine »

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justo
slc
justo   slc
Maine rocks! Apr 23, 2009
M Sprague
New England
M Sprague   New England  
Maine has maybe the best sport climbing in New England after Rumney, maybe even the potential for the best, with all the hidden steep schist crags. The locals are just a little quiet about it. Know what I am saying, eh :) Aug 26, 2013