Leaders – Jim Nupp, Zach Coburn
Participants – Rick Laidlaw, Doug Laidlaw, Mike Lafleur, Pat Murphy, John Stevens, and Ben Litchfield
When someone mentions Acadia National Park you might envision Cadillac Mountain, the Precipice Trail, the carriage roads for cycling or the wonderful camping with all the ocean vistas. Yes, while this is all true, beyond these attractions is some first class climbing at places like the Lower wall, Otter Cliffs, Great Head or the Bubble, to name a few. This island is home to granite formed 400 million years ago and carved by glaciers, wind, water and time. The island first saw some technical ascents in the 1920’s and 30’s by the AMC with hemp ropes. Later, climbers like Lincoln O’Brien, Robert Underhill and the ubiquitous Fritz Weissner visited. Later still Ed Webster, John Harlin III, Bob Parrott and Jeff Butterfield put up routes here!! It goes without saying we were all humbled yet excited to explore some of the climbing in Acadia National Park!
There were eight of us that joined the five day trip, arriving on Thursday ,Sept. 8 and leaving Monday the 12th. We booked two cabins just outside the park that had kitchenettes , grills and picnic tables. By dinner time Thursday we had bought groceries and settled into the cabins. We decided to eat in town that night and make a plan for Friday. Some fog and occasional rain gave us some concern, but we planned to check out the South Wall on Champlain mountain near the Precipice as the next day the weather was forecast to improve! Sure enough the fog moved out and the rock dried to reveal a beautiful sunny day on Friday.
We set up multiple top rope lines to maximize everyone’s climbing experience and managed to climb several classics, as well as a number of other climbs. We climbed for over 8 hours the first
day! It being late and all of us being tired we opted to pick up pizza for dinner and joined the two cabin picnic tables to eat together and agree on a plan for the next day.
We decided on Otter Cliffs- shorter top rope climbs, but right on the ocean on the Southeast side of the island. It is truly a unique setting and the day was perfect. We climbed many lines on the Wonder Wall, the Sea Stack
chimney and the Ampitheater , all under the gaze of cormorants,sea gulls and the occasional seal! What fun we had, and even though this is a very popular area, we never had to wait for a climb!
Sunday’s forecast was for rain going into the evening and starting sometime in the morning, some of it heavy downpours. After cooking burgers and bratwurst Saturday evening together, we agreed to meet early Sunday morning to get in as much climbing as possible before the rain began. We decided to go back to the Lower Wall at the Precipice as it was a short approach and we could set multiple top rope lines there. The rain held off till around noon and we were able to do laps on all the climbs. One of our party had to leave Sunday and just as we left the climbs, the sky opened up!!
With the heavy rain and poor forecast several other folks decided to head back South and since the rain was forecast to continue that night, the rest of us decided Monday would be a washout as well. Based on that ,we all decided we had very good luck that week-end and left Sunday afternoon to head back home. We all had a wonderful time and I can only encourage anyone, climber or not, to visit this beautiful area if possible- it’s worth the drive!!!