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Mont Ste-Marie

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Summary

Cracks: from thin fingers to chimneys.

Description

Mont Ste-Marie is a small but complex crag just below the Mont Ste-Marie ski resort, and overlooking the Lac Ste-Marie golf course. The rock is generally compact and solid once surface plating is removed, and tends towards vertical or near-vertical crack lines, making for many excellent gear-protected lines. The top of most climbs can, also, be reached for setting top-ropes.

The crag is primarily west-facing, getting afternoon sun, though some sections and climbs stay shaded most of the day. There is also reasonable tree cover across much of the base.

Most/all climbs have a rock at the base with their name.

As this crag is quite new, most/all grades are still subject to discussion/confirmation.

The climbs left of the "Flight Deck", up to and including "San Diago" are easily reachable from the top by hiking up and around the left end of the crag.

For climbs right of this, it is more complicated. There are a couple of approach anchors that can work for most the climbs except "Flight Deck, Front" where you need to climb "Challenger" (short 5.6 with two bolts), and "Ivy League Dreams" which is more complicated, and probably not top-rope accessible.

Access issues

The crag is on municipal land that is zoned for mixed recreational use.

Approach

The approach is currently under construction. Literally. New roads are being built at the time of publication, for what looks like a new cottage sub-division to go in, making describing exactly how to find the start of the approach a bit tricky.

Davos Road (Rue de Davos) used to end in a turn-around at (45.9413900, -75.8855000) https://www.google.com/maps/place/45%C2%B056'29.0%22N+75%C2%B053'07.5%22W/@45.9413889,-75.8876054,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xf07b52162d87f98e!8m2!3d45.9413889!4d-75.8854167 . This is still the best point to park and meet someone.

From there, follow the newly constructed road as it continues (down hill a bit) then take the first left, which will go up hill a bit. About 200m after the left, look for an obvious trail heading off into the woods on the right. It is ATV wide, and double-rutted. You will see a small white sign on a tree as well, about 15 metres off the road.

Follow this trail for several hundred metres down the hill and across some low-lying land that is often wet. Look for a flagged trail on the left, about 5m before the third plastic culvert.

The flagged trail will branch shortly after it starts, with the left branch taking a steepish approach and arriving at Iron Lotus at the left end of the crag, whereas the right branch is more gentle, and brings you to the right end of the crag, close to the climb "Ivy League Dreams".

Ivy League Dreams is the right-most current climb, and right of it is often wet, and forms ice in the winter.

Ethic

Keep things clean. The crag overlooks a local golf course - don't be loud enough to annoy the golfers.

Check with Doug & Nicole before doing any development work. (Contact me, David Gibbs, if you wish to be put in contact with them.)

History

History timeline chart

The crag was developed by Nicole Fodor and Douglas Fleck, starting in 2016. It was opened to the public with about 20 finished lines in May 2022, though development continues. At the time when they started development, the line named San Diago had been climbed before, and had pre-existing top anchors, but there was no evidence of climbing on other lines.

Tags

Routes

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Grade Route

Slab and right-facing groove (where a big block came out). Open project.

Needs to be bolted. Very thin, might be 5.12?

Set: Nicole & Doug, 27 Oct 2021

Hands-to-fingers crack in a left-facing corner.

5.9+ G.

Set: Doug Fleck

FA: Doug Fleck, 23 May 2020

FFA: Doug Fleck, 20 Jun 2020

Crack to a ledge with a small birch, then twin cracks above.

5.8+ G.

Set: Nicole Fodor

FA: Nicole Fodor, 23 May 2020

FFA: Doug Fleck, 20 Jun 2020

Start in the corner where the bird-poop is. Climb up past the bird poop, angling right, to a ledge below a roof, then pull awkwardly left and then angle back right to the anchors. But, probably climb "Poop Mouth Direct".

Set: Doug & Nicole Fodor

FA: Doug Fleck, 23 Jun 2019

FFA: Doug Fleck, 20 Jun 2020

Start up twin cracks to a sloping ledge, then pull awkwardly left then angle back up and right.

5.9 G; might be 5.9+ PG if short.

Set: Doug & Nicole Fodor

FA: Doug Fleck, 10 Aug 2019

FFA: Doug Fleck, 20 Jun 2020

Thin climbing down low, to a steep crack above.

Open Project. Might want a bolt or two at the start. Probably needs another round of cleaning.

Traversing in from "Poop Mouth Direct" to avoid the start, then finish through the steep crack might be 5.10+.

Set: Doug Fleck, 18 Aug 2019

Climb a crack in orange rock past a rectangular pod, then roof.

This climb was established before Doug & Nicole started development, so history is unknown. If anyone has original name or FA information, please let me know.

The top section after pulling the roof is very dirty. A thorough cleaning will be done soon!

FFA: Douglas Fleck, 25 Jun

Right-leaning wide-crack/chimney. The start is a bit awkward and may be the hardest part. But then it's fun stemming and even a bit of face climbing at the end. Protection is actually good throughout. Anchor cannot easily be accessed from above.

The large rock at/in the base of the climb has been known to shift slightly. Don't put gear behind it as it may get stuck.

Set: Doug Fleck

FA: Doug Fleck, 10 Jul 2021

FFA: Doug Fleck, 8 Oct 2021

Very hard (5.11+/5.12?) start up thin crack to easier (5.9?) crack above.

Open project.

Set: Doug & Nicole, 4 Jul 2020

The next set of climbs start from a set of ledges above the main base, called the "Flight Deck". Climb the stairs then scramble upwards for the climbs on the "Flight Deck, Back" or climb the stairs, then traverse rightwards on the fixed rope to the climbs on the "Flight Deck, Front".

The following climbs are reached by climbing up the scramble to a comfortable ledge. This is a good place to be on a hot sunny day, as there is often shade.

Lovely pair of cracks in a large right-facing corner.

Start might be V0 to establish on the rock jammed in the chimney, depending on body type (smaller probably easier to squeeze into chimney), rest is 5.8 G if tall enough to stem a lot, perhaps harder if smaller.

Set: Nicole Fodor

FA: Nicole Fodor, 10 Jul 2021

FFA: Doug Fleck, 8 Oct 2021

Short wide crack/squeeze chimney that actually faces the opposite direction from the main line of the cliff. (You are facing "outwards" when climbing this.)

This can be climbed to access the anchors for the climbs on the front of the Flight Deck.

Set: Doug & Nicole

FFA: Doug Fleck, 24 Apr 2021

The following climbs are reached by climbing up the rock stairs until you see the fixed rope, then traversing right along the fixed rope.

"Tiger Moth" is another excellent sunny-hot day climb, as the base essentially never sees the sun.

Climb cracks in a corner to an overhanging off-width. 5.10+?

Still awaiting an ascent on lead.

Set: Doug Fleck

FA: Nicole Fodor, 24 Apr 2021

Start as per "Widowmaker" but when you reach the off-width, escape right and finish on the "Harvard" anchor.

Set: Nicole & Doug

FFA: Doug Fleck, 12 Jun 2021

Slab to a widening crack. 5.8 if you use both cracks, harder (5.9 OW?) if you stay in the wide crack to the right.

Opening is a bit run-out, but gear is good once you reach the crack.

Set: Nicole Fodor

FA: Nicole Fodor, 24 May 2021

FFA: Doug Fleck, 12 Jun 2021

Starts at the back of the wide chimney/narrow gulley, where there is a crack system in the left wall.

Stem up the chimney, using the crack in the left wall for protection. Or, at some point pull onto the left wall and climb there for a harder climb. 5.5 - 5.9, choose your own difficulty.

Set: Nicole & Doug

FA: Doug Fleck, 24 Apr 2021

FFA: Doug Fleck, 12 Jun 2021

Just below and right of the "Flight Deck" is a tunnel where you have to scramble down/up through a tunnel formed by boulders at the base of the cliff in order to progress right/left along the cliff base.

Boulder problem to ledge, thin crack in right-facing corner to ledge, then more of the same to choice of direct or tree finish.

Top rope access via bolted approach anchor.

Set: Nicole Fodor

FA: Nicole Fodor, 30 Sep 2021

FFA: Doug Fleck, 8 Oct 2021

Very thin crack in small left-facing corner, to nicer crack with a tree in it.

Might want a bolt to protect the crux, since gear might use the holds needed.

5.10+ or 5.11-

Top rope access via bolted approach anchor.

Set: Doug Fleck

FA: Doug Fleck, 30 Sep 2021

Crack right of Sooth Sayer. Strong bouldery pull off the ground into a few ledges, up to a thin pumpy corner. Pull the roof and go straight up (grade unknown) or pull right onto the face for easier climbing before rejoining the crack above.

5.10+? Easier if taller?

Top rope access via bolted approach anchor.

Set: Doug Fleck & Nicole Fodor

FA: Doug Fleck, 12 May

FFA: Doug Fleck, 14 May

On the right end of the crag, after “Brown Bomber”, is a shorter vertical wall where the Parnoosh climbs are. These climbs are top-rope accessible via a bolted fixed line, which begins around the corner past the Parnoosh Wall and heads up a ramp.

Crack starting immediately left of the black ash tree on the ledge. Thin start to better hands further up.

5.10-?

Set: Doug Fleck

FA: Doug Fleck, 13 May

Crack starting right of the black ash tree on the ledge.

5.9+?

Set: Nicole Fodor

FA: Nicole Fodor, 13 May

Wide left angling crack. Shares an anchor with Parnoosh Parade.

Closed project - needs another cleaning.

Set: Nicole Fodor

FA: Doug Fleck, 13 May

Short crack and edges to a ledge. Then step right and continue up cracks/flakes.

If the name isn't enough of a clue, note that you should watch out for poison ivy at the base of the cliff, and farther right along the face.

Set: Nicole & Doug

FFA: Doug Fleck, 29 Oct 2021

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