Barrett’s Cove Cliff, Camden Hills

Camden Hills didn’t make it into the list of recommendations when I asked for advice on our North East America roadtrip on Mountain Project, but it’s a handy stop off on the way from Shagg Crag to Acadia National Park.

The crag itself could hardly be more convenient: the 250ft, 70 degrees granite wedge

sits over highway 52 just a couple of miles out of town and only a 5 minutes walk from the car.

The rock is compact, with few vertical cracks but many crimps, pockets and horizontal breaks, so climbing tends to be fairly straightforward but sometimes run-out. We opened our account with Charlotte’s Crack, 5.7, which does follow a system of good cracks, with a comfortable stance on the halfway ledge system of Broadway.

followed by the diagonal upper pitch.

Rapping back to the ledge we shuffled rightwards to access Fourth of July, 5.8+R which has a sketchy move off the deck followed by easier climbing.

Stunning views from the top of the eponymous cove (on Megunticook Lake, surprisingly, not the sea).

Back the next day and we did White Streak, 5.9R over on the far right of the crag, and Pandora, 5.10a which takes a pretty direct line left of centre (running both pitches together in a 160ft push).

Although the latter has 8 bolts, it’s still some way short of a sports climb (do the maths!)

We finished off with a couple of routes on the far left which may have included Obscure Object of Desire 5.10c (appropriately named – we couldn’t make a definitive ID).

Anyway, all thoroughly enjoyable and recommended for a visit if not a final destination. As an added bonus it also gave us the chance to sample a typical Maine seaside resort and Camden is a pretty spot, if a bit touristy.

And the Mt Battie State Park campground provides a great (though expensive) base with stupendous views of the Atlantic from the lookout at the top of the hill.

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