Franey

Crag Description

Franey Mountain is a popular hiking destination and rises high above the Clyburn River Valley. Solid granite cliffs sit at the upper tier of the “mountain” and are modest in height (25-30m) but reasonably extensive and would off a full weekend of climbing and exploring. Four climbs are recorded here to date and much potential exists. One of the most interesting features on the cliff is a detached pillar (known as The Splinter) which from the valley floor looks enormous. Unfortunately it is less impressive after you slog your way up the scree slopes of Franey to find a pillar standing only ten metres high, but nonetheless, it offers some great exposures and vistas of the Atlantic Ocean and the Highland Plateau.

How to get there

Option 1: Across from the beach at Ingonish Centre turn off of the Cabot Trail (watch for Franey signs) and follow the road (changes from paved to dirt) for 2 km to reach a small parking area in front of a gated fire road. Follow the road and/or hiking trail (there’s a loop) to where the first tower once stood (~3.5km). From the fire tower platform, traverse west along the top of the ridge for about 300m to reach the top of climbs near The Splinter.

Option 2: This option is generally preferred since you can easily see the climbing areas as you approach from the valley floor. Approximately 300m south along the highway from the turn-off to Franey is a signed parking area for Clyburn Brook (right next to the golf course). Park here. Walk along the road and then riverside trail for 3 or 4 km until you see the cliffs. At this point slog up the steep scree slopes.

Routes

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From the Clyburn Valley, you can see an impressive-looking pinnacle at the west end of the rock exposures. This is the Splinter. Climb up the east side of the pillar by stemming between the splinter and the main wall. After a few metres you can transfer onto the block and climb an easy slab to the top. Descend the same way you came up.
Type:Trad
Height:10m
Rating:PG
FA by:John Read
FA on:1975
Starting below and just east of The Splinter, climb the southeast arete of a large block which is directly behind (north of) The Splinter. Near the top of the block, a large detour was taken during the first ascent on the east face, traversing right and back left again to re-join the arete. Apparently the route was originally climbed in cold weather with gloves on! In milder conditions a Zig or Zag would likely be unnecessary - unless of course you’re a smoker. Climbed in one or two pitches.
Type:Trad
Height:50m
Rating:PG
FA by:John Read
FA on:1975
From the base of Zig-Zag traverse east for a couple hundred metres until you see a large crack leading to a ridge. (Further east is a large gully.) Scramble up the large crack (4th class) and start ascending the low angle friction ridge to the top.
Type:Trad
Height:50m
Rating:PG
FA by:John Read
FA on:1975
From the fire tower hiking trail, continue 100 m past where the trail ends and descend 50 m below the summit of Franey. Traverse west for 50 m and you will be at the base of the Shallow Rib. Ascend the obvious rib (easy friction climbing).
Type:Trad
Height:50m
Rating:PG-
FA by:John Read
FA on:1975
looks like shit
Type:Trad
Height:18m
Rating:PG-
FA by:John Read
FA on:1975