Flora and Fauna: Poison Ivy

The northern part of this sector, particularly the area of exposed large-block Talus (generally from "Engage" through "Facing the Black") grows poison ivy quite well. It is generally there from late May until mid- to late autumn, depending on the year.

See warning details and discuss

Created 15 days ago




Climbs around the "2nd Easy Way Down".

Mostly moderates, a mixture of older climbs that maintained their popularity and new climbs. Most climbs have bolted anchors.

Being close to "2nd Easy Way Down", means that there is generally easy top-of-cliff access for setting top-ropes on climbs in this sector.

Access issues inherited from Calabogie

Fires are PROHIBITED. Under NO circumstances should you start a fire at Calabogie. Respect the new parking restrictions.


Don't play music, no one wants to hear it. Pick yours and others trash up and pack it out. Dig a hole to take a #2 in and burry it! Don't pee under boulders or overhangs because the rain can't wash it away. Fires are banned on Greater Madawaska Crown Land without permit or approved fire pit, of which there are none at any of these crags. Limit the size of your group. Brush your tick marks before you move on. Keep your dog on a leash and pick up after it. Don't smoke around people who don't want to be around it and pack out your butts. Park responsibly.

Here is a good article talking about access issues recently (Read it, it only takes a minute)

Main Cliff, Calabogie Boulders, and approach are on crown land in a "General Use Area", in particular in the " "Madawaska Highlands General Use Area".

Most of Lake Cliff is on crown land however the property line (Land owned by Calabogie Peaks Resort) runs along the north west end of the cliff. Lot17 Con2 has been sold to a land developer. A significant amount of trees have been cleared through the entire lot. The property line backs onto crownland (Lot17 Con3) about 10 meters away from the base of the cliff and runs from Cubert though the lower end of the talus along the cliff. Some of the hiking trail goes straight through these (housing?) lots now. Unknown how the trail and easy access will develop seeing as the township just paved parking (spring 2020) and once the homes are built what kind of complains and sway they will have should Lake Cliff become more popular.

Skywalk is entirely on crown land.

The Hydro/High Falls section was closed in 2002 due to deaths from an unexpected opening of the Barrett Chute Dam overflow gates. The land is fenced off and owned by Ontario Hydro.

There are two very real threats to access at this crag that have come up in COVID times. We were a hairs breadth away from having all parking shut down in 2021. Fires and Parking are the only two things the people who have the power to shut down access have every talked about in the last 5 years.


Either take the upper approach, and scramble down "2nd Easy Way Down" (possibly after setting top-ropes), or approach along the bottom, taking the first or 2nd left branches up towards the cliff.


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Grade Route

Start at a point 30m right of the First Easy Way Down and 10m left of the point at which the trail climbs up around a large boulder. A solitary cedar 1/2 way up the cliff distinguishes the route. Starting above a juniper bush, pull directly over a small overhang, traverse slightly left to a large ledge, move diagonally up and right to the cedar, then finish straight to the top.

FA: D Buck & A Kerr-Wilson, 1985

Start just left of first bolt on juggy rail. Pull though the overhang trending right though more juggy rails. Find one of the many ways from the third bolt straight up the slab. Alternate start goes straight up from the first holds into the small dihedral and then heads right over the first bolt -- goes 9+ and avoids the glorious jugs. Most of the action is before the first bolt, stick clip recommend.

FA: Jim Clark, 26 Sep 2020

Start left of "Make It So" under the bulbous small roof. Pull though decent holds onto featured slab. Joins "Make It So" at 3rd bolt. This climb is unsafe to bolt/lead as the entire bottom slab is hollow. Belay should stand as "Make It So" with a redirect though the second bolt to avoid line trap.

FA: Jim Clark, 6 Aug 2020

Climb though the broken corner then up the slab. First bolt crux, stick clip advised. Bottom and the ledge half way could use a bit more gardening but it is in climbable shape.

FA: Jim Clark, 6 Aug 2020

Start right of "Make It So" pull some interesting moves to the first bolt. Cruize upwards trending left into the mini-roof at the 3rd bolt. Pull straight up though the mini-roof and gain the slab (crux) and then enjoy the somewhat sustained slab to the anchors. Crux can be avoided by heading left into the dihedral at the 3rd bolt (5.9)

FA: Jim Clark & Jeff, 19 Aug 2020

Warning Flora and Fauna: Poison Ivy

Easy slab climbing to the second bolt. Pull the crux bulge which is somewhat reachy onto easy ground to the top.

Set: Jim Clark

FA: Jim Clark, 9 Sep 2019

Work though some cryptic hard slab to gain the second bolt. From there put power though the sustained fingertip seam and the plethora of bad holds in the slightly overhung dihedral. Then enjoy the easy jugs though the overhung v-notch to the anchors.

FA: Jim Clark, 8 Sep 2020

Climb up the obvious line through the big overhang left of "The Next Generation" and continue up the face above. Usually wet.

Climb up the face to the left of Real Men, keeping 1 to 2 metres right of the blunt arete.

About 60 meters left of pull up at the base of the cliff where the large boulders are. Climb up some easy slab to the first bolt, bolt line then follows a black mineral stain up the wall.

"Prime Time" is a re-bolted version of "The Next Generation".

From the old guide, "Three bolts were placed before the first ascent. These were all removed by Steve Adcock in November, 1989." These old bolt-holes are clearly visible as one climbs.

Set: James H & Dean Urness

FA: S Adamson & C Macknie, 1989

Start directly beneath the left end of a large spectacular roof. This roof can be distinguished by the way it gains height in steps, from right to left. Climb straight up the steep slab to the base of the roof and traverse slightly left. Climb straight out to the outer ledge of the roof using an obvious finger crack (excellent protection if you have the strength to hang around and place it). Once past the roof, move slightly right and then up, past two pitons.

Now a bolt protecting the hard move though the roof.

"5.9 if you're a real man; 5.10 if you've got some brains."

FA: S Adcock & J Prokopiak, 1984

A few meters left of "Pull Up" is a slab of rock dyed black from water running down. In the spring this is covered in ice, and there are ice climbs on this section in the winter.

Climb up, staying to the left out of the dihedral, over the bulges on thin holds, to a solid cedar at the top.

Climb the dihedral, veering left up features just below the cedar (anchor).

Start as for "Black Book", but move onto the right face of the dihedral and climb staying completely on the face, using the arrete for hands, to the top, and then traverse to finish below the cedar.

It is possible to bypass the crux of "Assimilation" by heading left early on large chalk covered holds and traversing a few meters off the bolt line before coming back to an awkward clip then heading left again and rejoining "Assimilation" above in the dihedral under the roof. The bypass is 5.8ish and has a nasty pendulum fall potential.

Small but positive crimps though the textured vertical face give way into jugs after a tricky crux sequence. Find the hidden crimps! Some fun moves into the roof lead to a strenuous traverse to the anchors.

FA: Jim Clark, 3 Oct 2019

Trade the interesting dihedral and roof traverse for a few big throws on jugs. Mind the tree. Head straight up after the 3rd bolt.

FA: Jim Clark, 3 Oct 2019

About 20m left of "Cosmic Teacup" and "Pull Up". Climbs a left-facing wall between a lower roof to the right, and higher diamond-shaped roof to the left. This is a great line not very sustained.

Retro bolted May 23, 2021 with FA permission for safety reasons after a significant rockfall event. More difficult bottom section warrants a letter grade.

Set: Jp, 13 Jun 2015

FFA: Jp, 13 Jun 2015

FA: Jp, 13 Jun 2015

Climb the bolt line up the face left of "Pull Up".

A bit run-out from the last bolt to the anchors - a small gear placement might add confidence.

FFA: Jp, 11 Jun 2015

FA: Jp, 11 Jun 2015

Set: Jp & Mike Sims, 11 Jun 2015

From 'Flaky Flake', walk left along the cliff face, up and over a pile of scree then down again. There will be a slab with a wide zig-zagging crack going up to a ledge about 3m off the ground, with a small overhang about 1.5m above the ledge and a first bolt just above the overhang. Crux is pulling over the overhang, much harder if you are shorter than about 5'8". Then nice climbing up past 3 more bolts to a 2-bolt anchor.

An obvious slab a few meter left of The Fly. Up a crack then diagonally left up the slab to the top.

So named because of the many pins (none of them good) used to protect the FA. The route has since been repeated without using any pins. It is poorly protected.

FA: R Halka & H Norris, 1986

Start left of 'Flaky Flake'. Climb up onto a slab, then climb the obvious crack. (Harder than it looks.) Join Flaky Flake or finish left of that route.

FA: R Halka & S Adcock, 1986

Start 11m left of the 2nd Easy Way Down, where the obvious zig-zagging crack goes up the cliff. Climb up, generally angling left for the first half, then right, finishing at the large pine tree. Numerous variations are possible. (The flake of the name now rests in pieces at the bottom, courtesy of Gyula Pech, autumn 1985.) Anchors.

FA: R Halka & L Yanosik, 1975

Warning Flora and Fauna: Wasp Nests

Start as "Flaky Flake" but continue straight up into the vertical finger crack. Passing to the right of the dead tree 2/3 way up. 2 bolts for anchors at top.

"Seconds Out" finishes on a rising right traverse -- if you take this line of weakness and trace it leftwards past where "Seconds Out" joins it at a pair of cedar trees all the way to flaky flake, it looks like an interesting line.

Climb the slab right of Flaky Flake until you reach the horizontal weakness, traverse right towards the pair of cedar trees, then finish as per "Seconds Out" -- a rising right traverse until there is an obvious break in the top of the cliff.

Start under the bulge right of "Nutty Nuts". Pull straight though the bulge for full value. Wind up some easy ground to the crux section at the top. 3rd set of bolted anchors at the top of wall if counting from "Flaky Flake".

Start just left of "Seconds Out" and head up angling leftwards towards a small overhang (with a bolt). Finish on a 2-bolt anchor.

Start 5m left of 2nd Easy Way Down, climb up 3m on good holds (shared with Seconds OUt) then pull straight over the small overhang and bulges above it. About 2m above the cedar tree (on the left), follow the thin crack up to the anchors at the top.

The upper face section gets quite thin, and is a committing lead for a 5.8.

FA: J Prokopiak, R Halka & J Cotter, 1984

Start 5m left of 2nd Easy Way Down. Climb up 3m on good holds, then traverse left to avoid a small overhang. Climb up to an obvious tree, then doing a rising rightwards traverse on various ledges, to exit through an obvious crack at the top of the cliff.

FA: R Halka & L Yanosik, 1975

Shares the start for Seconds Out, look for a bolt on a fairly blank looking upper part of the face, right of the crack that Cool But Concerned climbs up. Climb up the initial dihedral then up and right (awkward) onto the ledge, then straight up to and past the bolt to anchors.

Starting just at the base of the ramp for 2nd Easy Way down, climb over the gentle bulges to a pair of bolted anchors.

This goes up the prominent corner just to the right of where the main lower trail comes up the talus slope to join the trail along the base of the cliff. From the top, this is just past the 2nd overlook, the 2nd place where the main trail along the top of the cliff comes out to the cliff top itself.

It is an easy slab section with a couple cedar trees on it, going to a short (about 3m) vertical section with big solid holds. At times, it is protected by a fixed rope.

Start 5m to the right of the "2nd Easy Way Down".

Really low first bolt, climb past one roof, up a slab, then pull another steep section on big holds.

Probably more like 5.8 in modern grades.

FA: M Buck & D Buck, 1984

Start at a short left-facing dihedral with an obvious foot-jam crack. Climb 4m up the dihedral, traverse right along a sloping crack, then finish.

Start at the widest part of a low (1.5-2m high) overhang at the base of the cliff. A 1m wide slight bulge, in black (water discoloured) rock, marks the start of the route. The crux is getting on the rock. After getting on the rock, easy climbing (though with little protection) up and slightly left leads to an obvious break in the overhang at the top of the cliff.

Belay/anchor off the big pine tree at the top. (Often has slings on it, as this section generally has a good ice climb on it in the winter.)

Awkward to protect, and crux unprotectable (except by bouldering/spotting techniques) means this lends itself well to a top-rope climb.

FA: R Halka & T Jones, 1985


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