The Zoo

Crag Description

A small but enjoyable climbing area near Hubbards on Dauphinees Mill Lake. Definitely worth a visit, but you must own some sort of watercraft to get there (40 minutes paddle by canoe). To date, there are about ten completed routes and room for about ten more. Development began in 2000 with a substantial cleaning and top-roping effort from Chris Hayes, Shawna Penny, Amelia Hunt, Joachim Stroink, Craig Dobbin, Brad Newman, and Mike Kohler. The name of the cliff arose because of the plethora of life-forms observed during initial visits, including snakes and other things living in the cracks. If you’re like me and not very fond of snakes, this is probably not the place to visit in the spring or early summer. Late summer or fall is pretty much snake-free and the changing leaves are awesome here.

How to get there

Drive southwest from Halifax on Highway 103 and take Exit 6 at Hubbards. At the end of the off-ramp, turn right and follow the road (paved and then gravel) for 1.5km to reach the end of Dauphinees Mill Lake. Park here and unload your boat (a private drive continues a little further along the lake – please do not take this). Paddle northwest following the left-hand shore to a dead end bay. Watch for a short (20m) portage on the right-hand side of the bay. The portage is flat and just above water level, sandwiched between two cottages. At the other side, paddle a short distance to the short rock buttress that you see from the portage on the right-hand side of the lake. Scramble up hill. Climb.

Note: The cliff is on an undeveloped parcel of private land. Permission has not yet been granted or denied by the absentee owner. As always, please be respectful of the site, and of the properties and privacy of the surrounding cottages.

Routes

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Climb the right-facing corner and crack system starting at the left end of a comfortable belay ledge.
Type:Trad
Height:10m
Rating:G
FA by:Amelia Hunt
FA on:Summer 2000
From the ledge, follow a curving crack that straightens near the top and finishes at a tree. Nice line with good gear. A little crack technique is essential for this one.
Type:Trad
Height:10m
Rating:G
FA by:Sean Cassidy
FA on:October 17, 2000
Start on the ledge next to a large dead tree stump and follow a crack up the left-facing corner.
Type:Trad
Height:10m
Rating:G
FA by:Jonathan Graham
FA on:Summer 2000
Start just right of the prominent arete at a large handhold and climb the arete up to a narrow ledge. Move right to get in a piece of gear (double ropes are handy for this), then step up and left into a blank section of rock to reach a superb crackline which is climbed to the top. [Note: snakeskins are often found in this crack, so watch out for critters - especially in the spring!]
Type:Trad
Height:15m
Rating:PG
FA by:Sean Cassidy
FA on:October 17, 2000
Start from the ground and climb a short, wide corner crack up to a big ledge about three metres up. From the ledge, enter the chimney and exit at the top. Wear headlamp and watch for bats.
Type:Trad
Height:15m
Rating:PG
FA by:Chris Hayes
FA on:Summer 2000
Start right of Bat Cave (either from the bottom or the big ledge) and climb the face above. A tri-cam is useful.
Type:Mixed
Height:14m
Rating:G
FA by:Chris Eager
FA on:September 21, 2002
Just to the right of "Spider Monkey", follow a crack straight up, then right and up again past the tree. [Note: the large block near the top of this route has been observed to be very loose - use caution.]
Type:Trad
Height:14m
Rating:G
FA by:Peter McVey, Steve Punshon, and Thom Parker
FA on:May 18, 2003
Scramble up to the ledge and climb the wide crack/chimney system left of the corner. Climb over a small roof block and eventually up to a small arete near the top.
Type:Trad
Height:8m
Rating:PG
FA by:Chris Hayes
FA on:Summer 2000
Start next to a medium-sized spruce tree on the ground and climb the corner up to a ledge (where Chimney Swift starts) and climb up the aesthetic back corner.
Type:Trad
Height:8m
Rating:G
FA by:Craig Dobbin
FA on:Summer 2000
Start as for Gopher Hole. From the ledge, climb the right hand face via prominent cracks.
Type:Trad
Height:8m
Rating:G
FA by:Chris Hayes
FA on:Summer 2000
Identified as a "Project" in NSR. Put up by Easy Steve and 5'2" S.Kelly.
Type:Trad
Height:7m
Rating:PG
FA by:Sean Kelly
FA on:October 2008