Crow’s Nest is an imposing yet inviting climbing site that beckons from across the waters of Terence Bay. It is located in the Terence Bay Wilderness Area and is not terribly easy to get to.Although it is possible to hike in (after a good three hours of bushwhacking) it’s must easier to paddle over or get dropped off by boat. Regardless of how you get there, it is certainly an inspiring outing if your’e into steep crack climbing.
The main wall hosts about fifteen very obvious lines (ten of which have been climbed so far on the main wall) and almost all of them are high quality with good gear and great moves. More routes are also possible on surrounding outcrops. The climbing is pumpy to say the least. Luckily the hand jams are abundant and make resting at least a possibility on occasion. Not recommended for top-ropers since the anchor setups are a little funky.
How to get there
Come to Terence Bay from Halifax on the 333. Take the Terence Bay turnoff and turn left on River Road. Take this around until you see the second lake on the your left (Little Lake). Park there and walk back to the trail head. (There’s a spot for one car just before the trail head as well.)
From the trail head, take the footpath around Little Lake to join an ATV trail. Turn left on the trail and follow it to Quarry Lake. Ignore ATV trails going off to the right (towards the other side of Little Lake and the previous trail to Grover that was ruined in Hurricane Juan) and to the left (towards the windmills).
At Quarry Lake, take the foot path to the right around the lake to the top of the waterfall. You can cross the falls at the top when the lake run-off isn’t bad, in the middle any time, or at the bottom at low tide. The gps track takes the middle: stay on the same side of the waterfall and descend over some ridges left by quarrying to cross the stream mid-way down. (Consult mobeta for a map of the bouldering here.) Continue right-ish alongside the stream until you see the blue blazes that mark the path to the Lake Boulders on your left–follow these through the woods until the main trail splits off to the right with some flagging. This path brings you through the woods to a scrambly section at the base of the cliff over Round Pond.
The path continues clearly through the woods, generally up hill; then it descends towards a stream flowing out of Whale Cove Lake. The path turns left along this stream—you will find rocks that are reliably exposed however much rain there has been for crossing the stream. Once across the stream, you come up through some brush to a path in the woods again that passes underneath a cliff overlooking the lake.
The path continues through the woods until you reach a path that joins Whale Cove Lake and the unnamed cove between Loon Cove and Whale Cove. Turn right and follow that path and then take a smaller footpath to the left that skirts just above the Cove and heads up through the brush and birch to an exposed rock face that is clearly visible on satellite views. Follow the top ridge of that exposed rock face, pass one last time through some trees, and emerge onto the barrens with a view of Crow’s Nest. The footpath then descends through ankle-high shrub to a small rock ridge above a boggy spot–then you join and turn right on an ATV trail for the final climb to the top of Crow’s Nest.
From the top of Crow’s Nest (just down from the peak), the descent trail to the base of the cliff is to the left.
This climb follows a clean crack on the upper tier, at the left end of the crag. Starts approx. 10-15 m from the corner route (#3 - Chagrin) and laybacks up to a finger-sized crack at the end. Zig (the consummate gentleman) graciously forfeited the free ascent by hanging near the top - in deference to Rich's efforts to clean the line.
FA by:Ghislain Losier
A short route up a low-angle slab and thin crack just above the water. [Note: I've never been quite sure where this route is, but my best guess is that it is somewhere in the lower left slabby section of the cliff photo shown on the previous page.]
FA by:Alan Gilchrist
FA on:May 22, 1992
Climb the short, crumbly corner at the left end of the main area with a hollow flake jammed into it. Not recommended.
Starts in front of a tree at an offwidth crack and leads to a highly fractured wall above. To Steve's chagrin, he was the one who volunteered to lead it - his comment afterwards: "ok, so it's not solid everywhere!"
FA by:Steve Brewis
FA on:May 1995
Climb up the beautiful crack system three metres right of Chagrin, which forms an inverted "V" about five metres up. Sustained and engaging. Good gear.
FA by:Sean Willett
FA on:May 22, 1992
The crackline about 5m right of Land and Sea. [Reluctantly named by Steve as he figured it would be easily freed.]
FA by:Steve Punshon, Alan Wilson
FA on:January 2005
What to do the night after a stag party? Go aid climbing! Follows the sister crack just left of Sunset Siege. Will be easily freed.
FA by:Sean Therien
FA on:July 2002
"Free climbs the A1 route known as ""Butkus"" [NSR - route #5]. Here is Steve's free report:
""What with all the fuss this year about the death of the Pope I thought a route should commemorate the Roman Catholic Church's sordid and unapologetic millenium of slaughtering and torturing innocent people. This route is something of a forearm stretcher, but no hot pokers up the jacksie thank goodness. Brilliant and sustained climbing. """
FA by:Sean Therien
FA on:July 2002