Eagle's Nest

Eagle's Nest
Photo credit: Kris MacLellan

Crag Description

Eagle’s Nest – the archetypical “urban crag”. Also a great place to throw beer bottles. In reality it’s not that bad, but it is the kind of cliff that you commonly find near urban centres: heavy erosion, so-so routes, and a party spot for teh local yahoos. Despite its detractions, this crag has a few surprisingly high quality lines on it and was on of the earliest sites in Nova Scotia used by rock climbers. This is a very popular spot with climbers from Halifax who don’t own a car (it’s on the bus route). Also, the large collection of easier lines and an abundance of tress make this an excellent place for beginners (although there are definitely a few challenging lines for more advanced climbers).

The climbing at Eagle’s Nest is located within Admiral’s Cove Park, which is managed by the Halifax Regional Municipality. The main cliff has about 15 routes on it and there are 14 additional routes on two smaller cliff faces (The Schoolroom and The Back Slabs), located not far from the main cliff.

How to get there

From Halifax, take the Bedford Highway into Bedford and turn right (go under the railroad tracks) onto Shore Drive. From Dartmouth, take Highway 7 north and then the Bedford exit (get in the left lane) onto Dartmouth Road. Take the first left onto Eaglewood Drive.

Main Cliff:

Turn off of Eaglewood Drive onto Snowy Owl Drive and look for a short dead-end street off of Snowy Drive (there is an Admiral’s Cove Park sign and trail at the end of it). Park here and follow the overly marked trail for five minutes or so until you can see a beautiful view of the Bedford Basin. Many variations to the trail take you down a few levels to reach the top of the climbing cliff (the cliff faces south).

Back Slabs:

The Back Slabs can be reached from the left end of the Main Cliff near the top of the Nursery Slabs. Look for a narrow trail leading north and follow trails and your nose for about five minutes.

The Schoolroom:

Not far from the end of Shore Drive, park on the east side of the road by the Admiral’s Cove Park sign and follow the trail for about 15 minutes.

Routes

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The low-angle slab littered with cracks located at the left end of the cliff is very popular with first time climbers. It can be climbed numerous ways. Trees are available at the top for anchors.
Type:Trad
Height:9m
Rating:PG
Climb the steep left wall of the dihedral to a ledge. Then follow the left edge of the face past two bolts. The name was apparently inspired by some equipment that Nick Sagar took to his high school grad.
Type:Sport
Height:10m
Rating:PG
The cave-like overhang in the middle of the steep wall. Exit the cave on the left and scramble up the crack to finish. The route is fairly slick and gear is difficult to place on this one.
Type:Trad
Height:9m
Rating:PG-
A somewhat contrived line to the right of the overhang which traditionally stays in the finger crack to the left of the blocky holds. The route is easier if the holds to the right are used. The route is often dirty because of erosion run-off from the top. In the late 90's a climber (later known as "Flyin' Brian") attempted to ascend the route without using the bolts and suffered a six metre fall which resulted in two broken ankles. In a first-hand report of the descent: "I would've fallen farther but the ground stopped me."
Type:Sport
Height:9m
Rating:PG
Climb up a series of flakes and blocks on the right side of the overhanging face. The gear is bad on this one unless you use the bolts on No Man's Land. Watch for loose rock. [Note: I haven't climbed this one, but there's a good chance it's harder than 5.9.]
Type:Mixed
Height:9m
Rating:PG-/R
Directly above a narrow ledge, a large "guillotine-like" block hangs over the top of the wall. Climb past three bolts towards the block and carefully traverse under the roof to the right. The block seems to be solid, in spite of its appearance, but you can never be too sure!
Type:Sport
Height:8m
Rating:G
Climb the white slabby face left of Sea Gully past three bolts and a couple of bulges. Nice climb.
Type:Sport
Height:9m
Rating:PG
Climb the obvious corner over a small block to a ledge and then up a final dihedral to the top. Finishes at a tree.
Type:Trad
Height:15m
Rating:G
Climb the wall and arete to the right of the Sea Gully corner. Gain the big ledge and finish up the final dihedral of Sea Gully.
Type:Trad
Height:15m
Rating:PG-
A difficult sport route. Climb the lower face past two bolts, avoiding the cracks on the right. Finish on the original route.
Type:Sport
Height:9m
Rating:PG
The best climb at Eagles Nest. Climb easy cracks up the right side of the face/arete and at about two-thirds height step left onto the face to reach a good crack in the overhanging headwall.
Type:Mixed
Height:10m
Rating:G
Climb the short corner to the right of Evening Wall.
Type:Trad
Height:10m
Rating:G
The wall to the right of Evening Wall has a small roof at its base and a couple of pods and caves on its face. Many possible lines exist here (up to 5.7) and are collectively referred to as The Cave.
Type:Trad
Height:10m
Rating:G
At the far right end of the crag, rising from the scree slope, are two fine routes. This one climbs a crack and corner system up past the tree on the ledge.
Type:Trad
Height:10m
Rating:G
Originally documented as a variation to Big Mac, it's actually a fine route in its own right. Climb shallow dihedrals and shallow cracks past four bolts to the top.
Type:Sport
Height:10m
Rating:G
A short variation to the Big Mac routes. From the big ledge climb the flakes and cracks directly behind the spruce tree. The golden arches meets its maker.
Type:Trad
Height:4m
Rating:PG-
Climb a large crack system six metres left of the short roof, starting from a large ledge.
Type:Trad
Height:8m
Rating:R
FA by:J.P. Brown
FA on:1994
Immediately left of the short roof, a semi-detached flake marks the start of this route. Climb past the flake and move left of the roof onto a ledge. This is followed by a short headwall. A variation moves right past a small tree under the roof to gain a prominent crack through the roof (5.7).
Type:Trad
Height:8m
Rating:G
FA by:J.P. Brown
FA on:1994
Climb past horizontal cracks and one bolt to the top, following a narrow crack system. [Note: at the time of writing, this bolt was missing its hanger.]
Type:Mixed
Height:8m
Rating:G
FA by:J.P. Brown
FA on:1994
Climb past one bolt to the top. Interesting friction and mantle moves take you to the roof which is climbed directly.
Type:Mixed
Height:8m
Rating:G
FA by:J.P. Brown
FA on:1994
This climb surmounts the large roof and can be climbed a few different ways with varying levels of difficulty. The left side is the most difficult. After much effort and much flying, Dutchman Tony Veling succeeded on a lead of the route.
Type:Trad
Height:8m
Rating:R
FA by:Tony Veling
FA on:1990
Climb a thin crack and pocket system to the right of the Flying Dutchman roof. Sustained. Top-roped only. [Note: the wall looks very mossy here - not sure where this TR line goes exactly.]
Type:Top Rope
Height:5m
Boulder problem up a smooth slab left of the twin cracks.
Type:Top Rope
Height:4m
Boulder problem following one or both of the twin cracks at the far right end of the crag.
Type:Top Rope
Height:4m
Climb the left-facing dihedral on the left side of the face. A harder variation ascends the steep wall right of the corner starting above the block.
Type:Trad
Height:10m
Rating:PG
Climb through the roof and up cracks above. Belay using one bolt and a crack in the boulder.
Type:Trad
Height:10m
Rating:PG-
Climb a dihedral up to the tree. Climb left or right of the tree and finish directly up a crack to the top.
Type:Trad
Height:10m
Rating:PG-
Follow cracks and dihedrals right of the tree.
Type:Trad
Height:10m
Rating:PG
Have you seen Shrek? A short rambling line over slabs, muffins, and vegetation on the right side of the cliff.
Type:Trad
Height:10m
Rating:PG