Not to be confused with Cape Smokey, Little Smokey is a coastal outcropping located approximately seven kilometers north of Ingonish on the Cabot Trail. The metamorphic rock (gneiss) here is solid in most places and offers climbs of a full rope length.
Only two lines have been recorded to date, but it’s very likely that more of the face has been climbed. The climbing is generally easy on solid granite-like gneiss interspersed with crumbly volcanic dykes. Looks interesting. Be careful of tides. Protection seems to be fairly limited; be prepared to sling the odd tree root.
How to get there
Pull off of the Cabot Trail approximately 7 km north of Ingonish at a small parking lot located 1 km south of the Little Smokey summit. From the parking lot, follow the trail down to the beach and walk to its north end where the beach disappears and the cliffs begin.
This route starts just past the north end of the cobbly beach to the left of a shallow cave-like indentation. Follows a faint crackline and occasional fine quartzite seam. The route runs at a slight angle and ends at trees near the top. The gear is poor (only the occasional small nut) but the climbing is relatively easy.
FA by:Peter McVey
FA on:August 6, 2000
Climbs a prominent rib approximately 400 m from the north end of the beach. At high tide the bottom of the route is underwater so use caution as a retreat may be out of the question. Here's the original description found in Climb Cape Breton [it sure sounds awful but who am I to say]: "Ascend crack system keeping to the right of vegetation and ascend extremely crumbly volcanic material directly below overhanging soil. (At this point route can be dirty and wet). Pull up and over soil bank at obvious weakness on large root. Continue through trees to highway." Originally climbed in three pitches, I suspect it could be done in one or two at most.
FA by:John Read