Cape Dauphin

Crag Description

This peculiar rock formation attracts many visitors, most of whom are there to inspect the “Fairy Hole”, a cave of sorts that extends from the beach untold distances into the hillside. Apparently, the trail to the cave is known by the Mi’kmaq as “the trail of the Little People” and legend has it that Glooscap entered the cave to retire from the outside world.

The routes here sound interesting but the top-outs seem to be a little dirty, due to a thick cap of glacial overburden. Lots of potential for me lines here. The routes were first recorded in the Climb Cape Breton guidebook and like all routes in the guide were ungraded. Use your judgement when tackling these routes.

How to get there

From Sydney, drive west on Routes 125 and 105 for approximately 50 km until the road starts to climb Kellys Mountain. Turn right here onto New Harris FOrks Road (just below the hairpin highway turn). Drive along the dirt road to its end (at the stop sign you should’ve turned right) and park near a small garage and house – please don’t block the driveway. A narrow hiking trail starts left of the garage. Follow it for approximately 2 km. The legendary Fairy Hole is reached by following the first major stream bed (Big Brook) to the beach and then following the beach to the right until the beach ends. To access Fairy Foot (route #1), descend to the beach via the 1st small stream bed you come to (i.e., just before Big Brook). To access climbing routes #2-3, continue on the main trail ~300m past Big Brook to another small stream bed. Follow this to the ocean and turn left, scrambling over the rocks along the shore, to reach a small beach and cliffs.

Routes

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This climb is located several hundred metres east of the Fairy Hole (near the end of the beach) and is a little difficult to access from the beach at high tide. Climb a vertical crack up a pillar that leads to a notch. From the notch, continue up a dirty, crumbling pillar to the top.
Type:Trad
Height:25m
Rating:PG-
FA by:John Read
FA on:1973
This climb is located approximately 400 m west of the Fairy Hole and is accessed from the beach. Climb the left-leaning slab from the middle of a small beach area. Exit via the left hand ridge to avoid an overhanging erosion bank at the top. A little dirty and the pro is somewhat sparse.
Type:Trad
Height:25m
Rating:PG-
FA by:John Read
FA on:1973
This climb is located approximately 30 m west of Elf Slide and climbs solid rock on a low angled left-leaning ridge/buttress.
Type:Trad
Height:25m
Rating:PG-
FA by:John Read
FA on:1973