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Routes in Fort Williams / Portland Head Light

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Elevation: 53 ft
GPS: 43.622, -70.211 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 4,429 total · 48/month
Shared By: Heims on Mar 26, 2011
Admins: Ladd, Jonathan Steitzer, Robert Hall
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Access Issue: Gates close at sunset Details


In the off days of spotting German U-Boats I'm sure the soldiers of the WW2 era had plenty of time to do some bouldering of their own. This park encompasses some of Maine's rugged coastline with picturesque views of Portland Headlight and Portland. The bouldering here, like any spot on the Maine coast, is a plethora of opportunites to set new routes or climb old ones. There's a few bolted lines here spotted around the parking lot cliffs just to the side of the lighthouse and the main parking lot. Kind of run out and spotty anchoring, you may need to rap to investigate the quality of the bolts prior to hanging on them. This is right on the ocean so keep in mind the tides and make sure your belayer has a good anchor as well so no one goes for a swim :)

Getting There

Just google Fort Williams in Cape Elizabeth Maine.. 5 minute walk from the parking lots.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Fort Williams / Portland Head Light

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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Peter Beal
Boulder Colorado
Peter Beal   Boulder Colorado
A piece of advice. I wouldn't trust any fixed gear placed here. Mar 31, 2011
I second the skeptical look at those bolts. One set is badly rusted, the second set looks sound, but there are only two, and on a short face. I didn't count it worth bringing in the equipment.

There are some fun highball routes to be had here, and the salt air makes for minimal chalk use. In front of the old battery overlooking the beach, there is also a lot of really fun rocks at low tide. Children learning to boulder will have lots to learn on, and if not challenging, there is plenty of feel good cracks to play on. Sep 8, 2015
Jonathan Steitzer
West Lebanon, NH
Jonathan Steitzer   West Lebanon, NH  
This area should be closed to new route submissions. People have been climbing here for decades, all the rock has been climbed and there are no new lines.

Part of the fun of the place is discovering it for yourself, doing a traverse at high tide, soloing some boulder problem. Or hanging a top rope over some of the secret steep stuff.

This place is a gem, let's keep it that way and not over publicize it. Everyone can see it and knows there is rock there, and curious climbers will find rock abounding.

So have fun, but keep it chill. May 14, 2017
Peter Beal
Boulder Colorado
Peter Beal   Boulder Colorado
Yes I assure everyone that virtually every feasible line here has been climbed. I climbed here for many years before moving west and was pretty systematic about finding and climbing everything I could. May 14, 2017
I don't think anyone is trying to take credit for first ascent routes here, just provide some guidance for others to find places to climb - that is after all the purpose of this website is it not? May 15, 2017
homer, AK
Heims   homer, AK
Yep that's all I was doing at the time...just posting stuff some
Years ago for people looking to do things outside... thanks though Jonathan? Jun 7, 2017

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