Ten Degree Wall Rock Climbing
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To learn more about peregrines in Maine, check out the 2021 Maine Peregrine Falcon Program Report: maine.gov/ifw/docs/2021%20M…
View of the Main Wall from the parking pull-off.
In the late 80’s and 90’s local climbers Randy Baker, Stephen Dyer, and the “Rumford Lads” established many climbs here. They reported that it was not uncommon to see crowds on good weekends. Recently, the crag has fallen off the radar, trails have become overgrown, and old bolts are in need of replacement. Almost everyone who makes the trip to the Ten Degree Wall is stunned that it has fallen into obscurity. Indeed, it is hard to believe as the crag’s size, potential, unique features, diversity of climbing, high-quality rock, short approach, and ease of accessibility should, logically, have solidified it’s position as one of the state’s premier destinations. An old, informal guide, written by Randy Baker, says of the Ten Degree Wall that “with over 80 routes, no where in the state is there a cliff with such diverse climbing and good quality rock…” and most who make the trip out here agree. Today, many of the obvious classics need to be re-cleaned, trails need to re-established, and old bolts need to be replaced. If the work can be done, doubtless, the Ten Degree Wall will become a Maine climbing gem.
The Main Wall of the crag is easily visible from the Bemis Road. It is located directly north of Angel Falls, which can be heard and, at many points along the crag, seen from the Ten Degree Wall. The approaches are short (ten minutes) but can be steep and require some boulder scrambling if you get off trail. The Main Wall is obvious, but smaller, single pitch, sections of the cliff (the Military, Stump, Shady, and Beehive Walls) are located below the tree line, to the lower left of the Main Face. The Shady Wall and Military Wall can be seen through the trees in the fall and winter but are otherwise not visible from the road.
The biggest deterrents to climbing at the Ten Degree Wall are black flies and poison ivy, both of which are prevalent in the area in the summer. The best time to climb here is easily September and October. Spring can be good as the crag faces southeast and the main face is slightly overhung; generally it drys out quickly and stays warm. It is not unreasonable to climb here on a 40 degree day if there is full sun. There is good camping and swimming on nearby Mooselookmeguntic Lake making it a great late summer destination.
BOLT WARNING: Be extremely cautious about bolts. Many of the existing bolts are from the 80’s and 90’s and are non-stainless. Until a greater effort is put in to replace the original bolts be cautious, know what you are clipping into, and climb at your own risk.
From Rumford: Take Route 17 (West Roxbury Road) north for 17.3 miles. You’ll see an open field that serves as an informal, airplane landing strip. At the end of the runway, turn left onto the Bemis Road. You will immediately cross over the Swift River and pass a few small cabins. Stay on the Bemis Road for about 2.9 miles. The Main Wall will be obvious from the road. Park below the Main Wall, in the pull-off below the clear-cut. There are two pull-off sections from the road, opposite of the cliff: 1.) center of cliff, 2.) left side/military wall. Please use them and do not obstruct logging traffic and other recreational access as it is on private land. Do not approach the Main Wall straight on as you will end up in a labyrinth of boulders. The trail is located to the left of the Main Wall, through the center clear cut. Cairns can be spotted at the treeline, where the land starts to get steep.
2022 Update- see Comment on widened logging road.
Classic Climbing Routes at Ten Degree Wall
Days w Precip