Tayloe and John's Excellent Adventure!

A tremendous break in the weather was celebrated yesterday with a full day of climbing with Tayloe and John.  Tayloe (like J-lo!) is a surf instructor from California and John is…well…an Irishman.  They have been up in Maine visiting for a few weeks.  Like most folks who come to MDI and climb, they decided they needed to check out the cliffs in Acadia National Park.  And what better way then to have your own private tour guide?!

Now, Tayloe has a bit of outdoor sport climbing experience and John is relatively new to outdoor climbing.  That being said both of these would-be Canadians could crush and it made for great exposure to some of the best climbs on the South Wall of Champlain Mountain!

We started out warming up at the Central Slabs area on Wafer Step and Recollections of Pacifica.  These two climbs are great introductions to the cliff.  Slabby, footwork specific routes that really help one learn about friction and granite!  After the warm-up we got right after it and headed over to the main section of the cliff.

View from atop Story of O on the South Wall

There are a few climbs that are required of all climbers to complete when they come to the park.  Story of O is one of the best three pitch climbs the island has to offer.  It is awesome!  One pitch of easy gully climbing, followed by one of the best 5.6 corners in the east.  The last pitch is a “ski track” system of parallel hand cracks that lead into a huge hallway, then onto a big ledge with an amazing view.

From the top of Story of O, Tayloe and John were able to grapple some other classics on the cliff.  The two pitch Gunklandia has a great upper pitch.  Stem, squeeze and grunt your way up the awkward chimney/corner through a bulge to the anchors.

Our next stop on the cliff was a route called Return to Forever.  Imagine if you will a corner.  This corner is unlike anything you have ever seen.  Slippery feet, holds large enough for only the tips of ones fingers, a rusty piton and a “praise jah” hold finish help to outline one stellar pitch of 5.9.

Tayloe finding her own way up Return to Forever.
John feeling the pump with a power lay back on Return to Forever.

After two short rappels to the ground we were in the car and off to Otter Cliffs.  The day was winding down but the sun was still out.  After a relaxing lunch of humus and carrots, apples and scones we were off to finish up our day with a bang.

Tayloe and John floated Easy Corner.  They hiked The Flake.  They were in need of a serious challenge.  Luckily, Adair by the Sea was two climbs over.  A tips crack and steep jug haul, Adair by the Sea is one of the most fun 5.10s at Otter Cliffs.  Tayloe gave it all she had and put in a great effort.  John decided to save it for another day.

It was a great time climbing with Tayloe and John and I look forward to getting out with them again.  When you combine the South Wall and Otter Cliffs, there is a lifetime of amazing climbs to do.

Thanks again guys!

Until next time…Climb Hard and have FUN!

Ande Kahora

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *