Raptor Crag

Topography Information

Crag Description

Raptor Crag is a technical rock climbing face located in the Musquodoboit Valley in Nova Scotia. It offers excellent rock with a handful of traditional climbing routes and trail amenities. Climbing ranges in difficulty from 5.7 to 5.10a, with promise of more to come. The wall is a unique and curious feature in the valley, visible from the trail but unclimbed until visited by Kris MacLellan and Anthony Lord in July of 2016. Raptor Crag joins the ranks of walls that were hiding in plain sight, passed by numerous hikers, cyclists and dog walkers every day.

Access to the bottom of the crag is done a few ways. From the top of the crag a sturdy tree serves as either a good rappel anchor to the ground, or as a first stage to access the bolted anchors for toproping. Climber’s discretion. Please use tree bark protectors.

To climbers and future route developers: the rock is sharp and edgy. Keep your wits about you – minimize swinging on the lowering line. If you rappel in, be prepared to ascend out.

At the foot of the crag is a relatively flat, stable, and very convenient rock platform from which to belay topropers. Here there is a large rock with good trad placements with which to build floor anchors. Observe personal anchor protocols when working in this area.

Note: This Cliff is on crown (public) land

  • Climb at your own risk
  • Leave no trace – pack out trash
  • We have no authority to advise on the legality of camping, fires, or other human activities on this land. For more information, see rules around Crown Land in Nova Scotia

How to get there

Raptor Crag is located in Musquodoboit Harbour, Nova Scotia. It is part of the same valley system that includes popular existing climbing areas like Railway Crag and G-spot.

  • From Halifax, drive 41 km along Hwy 107 until it terminates.
  • Turn right on to highway 7, and continue to Musquodoboit Harbour.
  • Turn left before the RCMP detachment onto #357
  • Finally, turn right onto Bayers Mill Road and follow until it ends.
  • Observe parking rules here – signage is clear and simple. Parking is ample.
  • From here, head North on the Musquodoboit Trailway for 2 km to reach the trail head. Bring a bicycle to shorten this to a pleasant 5-7 minute ride.
  • Google Maps link shows the location from space, though we believe the crag isn’t visible

The crag overlooks the Musqudoboit Trailway system, at approximately the 2 km marker. The cliff is below what is popularly known as the Bayer Lake Lookoff Point (official MTA map). Access is gained by hiking the Bayer’s Lake Lookoff portion of the Admiral Lake Trail Loop, starting at the wooden bridge located after the 2km marker at the south end of Bayers Lake (see image). Hiking trail begins at the wooden bridge and is marked with red trail markers.

A few hundred meters past the trail head you will find a comfortable outhouse. This is maintained by the Musquodoboit Trailways Association. Please respect it.

Hiking time from the trail head to the top of the crag is approximately 15 minutes. Access to the lookoff point is indicated by a prussik cord tied to the trail marker (see image)

Turning right at the marker will bring you to Rock-In-Tree, the staging area. Climbers are advised to rack up here and stash gear behind Rock-In-Tree.

Be advised, people do hike past Rock-In-Tree, and will occasionally check it out now that the path has been cleared of windthrow. Mind your gear, though we’ve had no problems.

Routes

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Use the Elephant's Foot to gain access to the Apron. Follow the slab up and left to gain the bottom of the ramp. Climb up the ramp into the top corner, then follow the obvious horizontal hand crack left to blocky, bouldery movement up and out. Fantastic climbing, surprisingly overhanging.
Type:Trad
Height:22m
Anchor Type:Rings
Developer:Kris MacLellan and Anthony Lord
FA by:Kris MacLellan and Anthony Lord
FA on:August 2017
Start as per Apoplex. At the top of the ramp break right into the offwidth overhead crack out into space, finding side pulls and hidden hands to escape the crack and reach the top. First ascent during 2017 solar eclipse.
Type:Trad
Height:21m
Anchor Type:Rings
Developer:Kris MacLellan and Anthony Lord
FA by:Kris MacLellan and Anthony Lord
FA on:August 2017
Elephant's Foot start. Break right on the Apron to traverse the striking, wide, sky-facing crack as far as it goes. Finish with few well-protected technical moves to the lookoff point. No bolts here due to locals/aesthetic issues, so build a tree anchor to belay a second. If you committed to rapping in to Raptor Crag, this route is a great way to get back up to the top and out.
Type:Trad
Height:26m
Anchor Type:Natural
Developer:Kris MacLellan and Anthony Lord
FA by:Kris MacLellan and Anthony Lord
FA on:August 2017
Severely overhanging crack system, looks like pinches and jams up the Headwall. Finish as per Apoplex. Has been brushed but not deep cleaned. Looks tough.
Type:Trad
Long ramp with slopey hands up the shattered face. Top half mostly cleaned. Probably best to start from left near the nest, not at the Elephant's foot.
Type:Trad