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Blue Angel

5.8 PG13, Trad, 70 ft (21 m),  Avg: 2.3 from 3 votes
FA: unknown
Massachusetts > Central, MA > Crow Hill & Leo… > Crow Hill > 5. Main Face
Access Issue: Covid Guidelines Details


This is the "weird, steep face climb" to the right of Outersite. This route sees very little traffic and goes up the steep face above the flake on the first pitch of Outersite. Pumpy and awkward face moves lead up the face with dubious pro to a ledge below an overhang. Finish either via the large roof onto an awkward ramp or straight up the center on a bouldery sequence of steep moves.

This is a good route and is seldom done, possibly because of a very vague description in the Boston Rocks guidebook. It feels harder than the grade would suggest.


It is roughly straight up the center of the steep wall above the first belay of Outersite. This is clearly distinguished from the easier moves of the 2nd pitch of Outersite.

All route descriptions I have read are unclear as to whether this was originally done as a second pitch of Intertwine via a leftward traverse from the anchor or an optional 2nd pitch of Outersite. It is common practice is to start the route via the first section of Outersite.


The gear is dubious and spaced out amidst ledges, so it doesn't strike me as a safe lead. Two decent pines at the top make for an easy TR setup.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Leominster, MA
[Hide Comment] If anyone has any historical information on this route, I would love to hear it. Truly a neglected gem of a climb. Nov 13, 2014
  5.9 PG13
[Hide Comment] Good lead. Protects well with a keyhole nut placement at the crux. It oes require an experienced leader comfortable with finding stances and hanging in to suss out the gear on steep 5.9 terrain.

The overhang at the top is great fun whether you do it from the left using the horizontal crack or straight up through the overhang at the short vertical crack. Either way is well protected with abundant pro opportunities. Top out mantle move is a bit of challenge but you have a solid big cam at your waist.

I do it as a single pitch starting on Outersight. You can also do as a single pitch starting on the Blue Route. Haven't done it in a number of years, but my recollection is that traversing in from the Intertwine anchor was more than a bit thin gear-wise.

The route was very thoroughly cleaned 4 years ago. However when I was on it recently, the horizontal cracks above the crux just short of the ledge, and the horizontal cracks above the finishing overhang were getting filled with dirt and vegetation again. I had to dig out a cam placement before mantling onto the ledge. I then had to hunt out a place to place a cam that wasn't blocked by pieces of gravel in the horizontal above the overhang. Someone could perform a public service by doing some maintenance on the route. I'm rarely at Crow Hill these days. Nov 17, 2014
Leominster, MA
[Hide Comment] Thanks for the post, Losbill. So is 5.9 the actual grade on this route? Boston Rocks has it at 5.8, but it definitely feels more consistent with Watusi and Topaz in grade. Nov 30, 2014
  5.9 PG13
[Hide Comment] JD,

Not sure, but I think you are missing a major point in how Mountain Project functions.

What "gets me" is that MtnProject has been trying to help this situation by providing a means to develop a CONSENSUS GRADE, giving everyone a chance to "put in their two cents" on the rating; yet something like 55 people "ticked" this climb, but well less than a dozen rated it. Amazingly, even two folk who took the time to write a full comment about the grade don't appear to have put in a rating in the "Your Rating" box.…

At least in part, Robert's comment was directed to you, but you seemed not to get the message.

Not at all sure by what you mean by "actual grade". A guidebook grade is based upon a consensus opinion of a number of people who have led the climb. Mountain Project operates in a similar manner. I have led Blue Angel several times. 5.9 is the grade I choose to give it. Definitely harder than Intertwine. I find it a bit harder than Thin Line and Watusi, both of which I have led and rate as 5.9. I have not led Topaz only have top roped it and thus have not ventured to offer a grade for it. As others lead Blue Angel and post up a grade, one will be able to look at a number of ratings and see a consensus rating.

Just to be clear, to me a climbing grade relates to the difficulty of the climbing. It definitively does not speak to how well it can be protected or to the difficulty of placing adequate protection or to the risk of injury given a fall despite the protection. Thus my PG-13 rating. Blue Angel is a serious climb and has the risk of serious injury as you alluded to in your description.
You need the skill not just to climb 5.9 or 5.8 or whatever you chose to grade it but to adequately protect it. You also need an alert belayer. When you are in the business, you do have a bit of rope out and the sight line between you and your belayer isn't great. Dec 3, 2014