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Shell Pond

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Family Wall, The 
High Meadow Wall 
Shell Pond Bouldering 
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Shell Pond Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 44.24944, -70.96504 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 14,191
Administrators: Ladd, Jonathan Steitzer, Robert Hall, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: John Halupowski on Sep 16, 2011  with updates from John Halupowski


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Shell Pond from the High Meadow Wall aka the Main ...

The trails accessing the cliffs are on private property. MORE INFO >>>


Shell Pond is overlooked by a group of high-quality, single pitch, south-west facing schist cliffs. It's in a beautiful semi-secluded area located in Stow Maine, east of N. Chatham N.H. and south of Evans Notch. It's surrounded by W.M.N.F but access is through private property, so please be respectful and keep a low profile. There are presently two cliffs developed, the Family Wall and the upper tier of the High Meadow Wall (aka the Main Cliff).

The Family Wall is an 80' steep slab with routes 5.5-5.11 trad and sport. A 60 meter rope will work for top-roping off the cliff's top trees. Descent is a trail on climbers left. Due to low visitor use, some routes could use a wire brush.

The High Meadow Wall (Main Cliff) is vertical to overhanging sport routes in the 5.10-5.12 range. Most of the routes do not go to the top of the cliff, so top-roping is difficult. Routes have 2 bolt anchors, a 60 meter rope will work on most raps, a 70 meter on all (remember to knot your rope ends). Some routes can be climbed on rainy days.
The lower tier has sunny ice climbs in the winter.

Getting There 

There are two ways to approach off NH Rt 113, either by Deer Hill Rd (shortest walk but seasonally gated) or by Stone House Rd. They both have road name signs.

Deer Hill Rd approach to Family Wall and High Meadow Wall (Main Cliff):
Drive 30 minutes north from N Conway/Fryeburg toward Evans Notch on Rt 113 to Deer Hill Rd on the right (Summit Achievement sign at road head). Drive 3.8 miles on Deer Hill Rd to a small pull off on the left. Walk 50 yds to start of Shell Pond Trail.

Family Wall approach:
Follow Shell Pond trail for 10-15 minutes until you come to Family Wall's faint climbers trail on your right (there may be a cairn), walk uphill 10 minutes to cliff.

High Meadow Wall (Main Cliff) approach:
Continue on Shell Pond Trail for another 10 minutes and look for a less faint climbers trail on you right. 10 steep minutes uphill to upper tier of cliff. If you come to an ATV bridge over a stream you've walked a little too far.

Stone House Rd approach to Upper Meadow Wall (Main Cliff) and Family Wall:
Continue north on Rt 113 1.1 miles past Bald Face parking lot to Stone House Rd on right (0.9 miles south of Basin Pond road on left). Follow Stone House Rd a short distance and take a right at T intersection. Continue on main road until you reach a gate closure at 1.1 miles and parking lot. Walk past gate toward Stone House. Don't take first Shell Pond Trail on right but continue on road past White Cairn Trail and Stone House Trail on your left to a LARGE field/landing strip on the right side of road near the Stone House. Walk the road in the middle of the field (avoiding the Stone House and being low key) for a beautiful half mile (Upper Meadow Wall will come into sight high on left ridge) until you cross an ATV bridge on Shell Pond Trail.

Upper Meadow Wall (Main Cliff) approach:
Go right after crossing bridge another few minutes to the faint Main Wall climbers trail on you left. A steep 10 minutes uphill brings you to the upper tier. The lower tier looks to have new route potential
Family Wall approach:
Continue on Shell Pond trail another 10-15 minutes (left at fork)and look for faint climbers trail on your left. 10 minutes uphill and you're at the Family Wall.

Climbing Season

For the All Locations area.

Weather station 7.4 miles from here

18 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',6],['2 Stars',8],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Shell Pond

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Shell Pond:
Bubblecuffer   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Family Wall
Moose Du Jour   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   The Family Wall
Captain Dinghy   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   High Meadow Wall
Mr. Moose's Wild Ride   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Family Wall
Chocolate Moose   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   The Family Wall
Science Project   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   High Meadow Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Shell Pond

Featured Route For Shell Pond
Rock Climbing Photo: Start on the top of a pointed block close to the c...

Captain Dinghy 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  Maine : Shell Pond : High Meadow Wall
Wicked pissah route. Good steep rock with jugs right where you want them. The crux seems to be at 3/4 height.Start on the top of a pointed block next to the clean grey face and make an easy first clip. Head straight up for a few bolts then trend right toward a foot wide ramp/flake with a beautiful finger crack protected by 2 bolts. At right end of ramp head straight up passing bulges on jugs to a 2 bolt anchor with chains....[more]   Browse More Classics in Maine

Photos of Shell Pond Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking toward Stone House approach and landing st...
BETA PHOTO: Looking toward Stone House approach and landing st...

Comments on Shell Pond Add Comment
Show which comments
Nov 12, 2012
By M Sprague
From: New England
Oct 3, 2013
Any chance the description and directions could get an upgrade? Shell is such a good crag; it deserves it. Not all the routes are in the new Handren guide too, so if they were listed here it would help avoid confusion. I do understand if locals don't want the information out in an attempt to keep it from becoming ghetto though.
By John Halupowski
From: Intervale, N.H.
Oct 8, 2014
Directions and description have been updated
By jimmybob
Nov 12, 2014
Shhhhhhhh...Let's keep shell quiet!!
By Phil Schuld
From: NH
May 8, 2017
Voluntary peregrine nesting closure through 1 August this year. There is a sign posted on the approach trail to the base of the cliff.
By Dhane Knakkergaard
From: Intervale, NH
May 23, 2017
^ is this true? Sign says August 2016 at the base...
By Phil Schuld
From: NH
May 24, 2017
I spoke with the Forest Service, but since the cliff is on private land, they didn't have much information other than the fact that peregrines are indeed nesting there this year, and that the sign was posted by the landowner.

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