The Castle

Topography Information

Crag Description

The Castle is a short yet surprisingly extensive crag discovered by Jack Bennet in the spring of 2016. Although sections of the wall are visible from a major road that leads to may other climbing areas in Musquoidobit valley, it was completely unexplored by the climbing community until its discovery. Realizing he possibly had a new crag on his hands, Jack quickly recruited the help of Todd Foster and development of the area exploded. Bennet and Foster were soon joined by other active developers like Mick Levin and Shawn Smith who committed days of scrubbing and general suffering to the cause. The end result is a pleasant little crag, hosting over 24 mostly sport routes and one of the shortest approaches in Nova Scotia.

The Moat

The large slab is the first wall you encounter on the approach to the Castle. It gets full sun for most of the day and is quite a bit warmer than the rest of the crag. It currently hosts only a single line but has the potential for a couple more.

Gatehouse

The first wall you see as you drop down the hill and into the forest. The most impressive feature of this wall is easily the overhanging section with the black streak. It’s steep enough that you can climb on a few of the routes even in the rain.

Keep

Directly around the corner from the Gatehouse, this is the longest continuous section of rock at the Castle.

there are multiple lines that are in development to the right of Stoke-i-fy. If rock has been scrubbed, assume someone else is developing that line

Rampart

Following the trail along the base of the cliff this wall is immediately after the 8 foot drop at the end of the Keep.

Flanking Tower

Flanking Tower is home to the first routes to be developed at the Castle. It offers a few quality Trad lines and some slightly steep sections of Sport climbing.

Watch Tower

Located 3 minutes down the trail past the main crag. This wall is hosts to just a few routes but is definitely worth visiting due to the quality and height of the routes.

How to get there

From Musquodoboit Harbour turn North onto route 357 following signs for Meagher’s Grant/Middle Musquodoboit.Drive 1.6 kilometers and turn right onto Bayers Mill Rd, you will immediately cross a bridge over the Musquodoboit river. Turn left onto Rookery Way, this is a well maintained dirt road. Drive about 500 meters. You will pass some big boulders on your right, a private driveway on your left and then a gated gravel pit on your right. Immediately after the gravel pit gate there will be a level pullout on the left. Park here. You will no doubtably see a large boulder to the left of the parking, this is the Smirley boulder …..(rob say something here). To the right of the parking is an old clear logging path, follow that into a small slightly meandering foot path that leads uphill. Towards the top of the hill, the path will split. from here you should be able to see a large grey slab. That’s the “Moat”. Follow the trail down left, it crosses through the swamp and down a hill into the woods to the main crag.

Routes

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Located at the megaslab by the marsh, climb up the tallest line between the two large cracks. Start on the low angle bare slab, up through the small seam mid-way up, followed by ultra textured granite for a last-minute crux. Equip yourself with sticky shoes and confidence.
Type:Sport
Anchor Type:Rings
Developer:Jack Bennet/Mick Levin
FA on:July 2016
Right of Slim Dusty. Climb through the ledges up into high corner.
Type:Sport
Anchor Type:Rings
FA by:Jack Bennet/Todd Foster
FA on:5/10/2016
Located at the right side of the crag, on the overhanging face. Begin below large block, move up into the steepness, climb flake and hit the clips! Awesome climb.
Type:Sport
Anchor Type:Quick Clips
FA by:Todd Foster/Jack Bennet
FA on:5/10/2016
A perfect route for the 5.11 climber looking to break into the next level! Step onto the ramp then make either technical moves through crimps, or bouldery moves through sloping ledges to pass through the first crux. From there, fight the pump through another 25 feet or so of 30°-40° climbing straight out of the Red River Gorge to claim The Golden Egg. On your way down, enjoy a philosophical debate with your belayer about whether a grade of 5.11d or 5.12a is more appropriate for someone of your specific height and reach.
Type:Sport
Height:11m
Anchor Type:Perma Draws
Anchor Accessibility:Lead
Rating:G
Developer:Todd Foster
FA by:Todd Foster
FA on:July 20, 2016
Climb steep bolted crack left of Golden Egg. Stood as the open "doorknob" project for the better part of a year until Sean T put it down. Awaits a second ascent!
Type:Sport
Anchor Type:Rings
Developer:Sean Therien
FA by:Sean Therien
FA on:September 2016
Right of No Rainbows. Follow three bolts up the slab, move through corner onto left face, and over bulge above to reach anchors.
Type:Sport
Height:13m
Anchor Type:Rings
Anchor Accessibility:Rappel
Rating:G
Developer:Jack Bennet
FA by:Jack Bennet/Todd Foster
FA on:July 13, 2016
"Ordeal - noun - an ancient test of guilt or innocence by subjection of the accused to
severe pain, survival of which was taken as divine proof of innocence." Climb straight up the middle of the wall through overhang to steel carabiners at anchor. Excellent climb, varied climbing with consistent difficulty."
Type:Sport
Anchor Type:Quick Clips
Developer:Mick Levin
FA by:Mick Levin
FA on:September 2016
Just left of No Rainbows head up broken corners to small roof, then turn lip thru notch and stand to anchor.
Type:Sport
Height:12m
Anchor Type:Rings
Anchor Accessibility:Rappel
Rating:G
Developer:Mick Levin
FA by:Mick Levin
FA on:August 29 2016
Right of Stoke-i-fy. Weaves up through good holds, with a crux in the middle.
Type:Sport
Anchor Type:Rings
Anchor Accessibility:Rappel
Developer:Todd Foster
FA by:Todd Foster/Jack Bennet
FA on:July 17, 2016
Balance up and thru stemmy between section of interesting flattened quartz dykes to crux horizontals.
Type:Trad
Anchor Type:Bolts (Titanium)
Rating:G
Developer:Todd Foster
FA by:Todd Foster
FA on:September 2016
Located in the middle wall under a small roof. Move up through cool features to the small bluging roof, topping out to stellar jugs. This route was Meg's first experience cleaning a truely dirty route in Nova Scotia. Good thing she has a passion for gardening. Meg is only 3 apples tall and had to borrow clown sized shoes during the FA, so no excuses for being short. It is however perfecly acceptable to ask someone to hang the draw above the roof.
Type:Sport
Anchor Type:Rings
FA by:Todd Foster/Meg Lamb
FA on:5/18/2016
Follow titanium glue-in bolts up left of Stokify. Some holds broke off and makes the most sketchy moves directly above your draws. Not for the faint of heart.
Type:Sport
Anchor Type:Bolts (Titanium)
Developer:Todd Foster
FA by:Todd Foster
FA on:September 2016
Right of Assassination of Blunderbore, underneath the anchors. In development.
FA by:Matthew Peck
FA on:~
Right of Siege the Castle. In development.
Type:Sport
Anchor Type:Rings
FA by:Jack Bennet
FA on:~
On the lefthand side of the middle wall, at the foots of the large overhanging and blank face. Route follows the obvious crack up to the top corner. Rings are located just to the right of where the crack tops out. Great intro trad climb
Type:Trad
Anchor Type:Rings
Developer:Nathan Benjamin and Jay Darrow
FA by:Nathan Benjamin/Jay Darrow
FA on:5/18/2016
Right of Declaration of Stoke. Work up the right layback and move onto the ledge. Climb up and left, following the slopey rail, and move through the upper slab to reach the anchor. Shoutout to Nathan Benjamin and Jay Darrow for the FFA!
Type:Sport
Anchor Type:Rings
FA by:Todd Foster/Jack Bennet
FA on:5/18/2016
To the right of Fe Fi Fo Fum. Climb up roof and onto face. After fourth bolt move left and momentarily go into Fee Fi Fo Fum before jetting back towards the anchors above the final bolt. Declare stoke.
Type:Sport
Anchor Type:Rings
FA by:Todd Foster/Jack Bennet
FA on:5/13/2016
Located at the far left end wall of the entire crag, line located in the middle of the wall. Tricky first movement, followed by nice moves up through good holds.
Type:Sport
Anchor Type:Rings
FA by:Jack Bennet/Todd Foster
FA on:5/9/2016
To the left of Fe Fi Fo Fum. Starts right of the main crack. Going up some blocky ledges to a juggy lay back with good feet. Then about half way up trend left along a good horizontal to meet the crack and finish up with solid locks and face holds. You can place gear almost anywhere
Type:Trad
Anchor Type:Rings
FA by:Shawn Smith
FA on:5/13/2016
Go straight up the main crack. Slightly worse gear and slightly hard moves. Needs cleaning of loose holds and dirty cracks
Type:Trad
Anchor Type:Rings
FA by:Shawn Smith
FA on:~
Left of Fe Fi Fo Fum, near end of the wall. Start underneath the blocks and climb straight up through wide moves on slightly steep face. Anchors located up above final hanger for crux final moves.
Type:Sport
Anchor Type:Rings
FA by:Todd Foster/Jack Bennet
FA on:5/9/2016
Starts just to the right of Taming the Shrew. Climb up, right past the roof, and up the long commiting corner.
Type:Sport
Anchor Type:Rings
Developer:Todd Foster/Jack Bennet
FA on:September 2016
Starts by the downed trees, climbs up the face staying right of the small dihedral. Pull small roof, up seams, and right past block at the top to reach the anchors. Awesome climb - very consistent grade.
Type:Sport
Anchor Type:Rings
Developer:Todd Foster/Jack Bennet
FA on:September 2016
Follows the corner up the dihedral and into the mini chimney. Takes a standard rack. Shares the same anchor as Humpty Trumpty.
Type:Trad
Anchor Type:Rings
Rating:G
Developer:Sean Therien/Jay Darrow
FA on:November 2016
Climb the face and arrete left of "Into the Breach"
Type:Sport
Anchor Type:Rings
Developer:Sean Therien/Jay Darrow
FA on:November 2016