We always look forward to our week back in Maine. The Oelberger Residence is located on the St. George River about 20 minutes from the city of Rockland. Its so relaxing and we always enjoy our time with Ken & Dianne in their element on the coast of Maine. They are officially true “Mainers” now. Its always a full travel day (14 hours or so) from our house to the Oelberger’s house, but I feel its always fun taking the hour long flight from Boston to Owl’s Head on the 8-seater Cape Air Cessna.
About to board the Cessna in Boston
Kristine’s sister, Carrie, was also there with her family (Thomas, Teo, & Kai) visiting from Minneapolis. It was essentially one big Oelberger reunion. Our good friends Kate & Chris Danforth (with kids Harper & Afton in tow) from Burlington, VT (who vacation on the coast of Maine at Squirrel Island all summer) even came and stayed with us for 24 hours overnight. It was a houseful, but so fun. My sister, Logan, and her husband Ransome came up to visit for a few hours from Booth Bay Harbor as they were in-state for a wedding in Portland. It was a treat to have them visit us at the Oelberger Residence. Lots of activities were abundant each day including getting out on the boat(s), a few good trail runs (one great one with Chris Danforth on the local hiking trails), setting up a rope in a tree in the front yard (to show Thomas how to ascend a rope to trim/take down a large Mulberry Tree in Minneapolis yard), an afternoon of rock climbing for Kristine & myself at Barrett’s Cove Cliff, and numerous other fun events.
Left to right: Kate, Harper, Kristine, Afton, me, Chris, & Thomas
Teo & Carrie helping Thomas with the ropework in the Oelberger’s front yard
My sister, Logan, brother-in-law, Ransome, and us
Logan & Sawyer
Thomas practicing his jumaring
The view from the Oelberger’s front deck of Thomas dangling from the oak tree above the St. George River
Who needs baby toys when you have climbing gear?
Sawyer did not like the life vest
Down by the water
Chris & Sawyer
There was a lot of stimulation for Sawyer all week with all of the kiddos
Kristine & I had coordinated borrowing a full rack of climbing gear and rope(s) from the nicest gentleman, Bruce Gerard, who lives in Appleton (40 minutes away from Ken & Dianne) and had done landscape work for the Oelbergers in the past. Bruce had done a lot of climbing around the US and in New England. He is a veteran of the local climbing scene especially around Rockland, Camden, & Rockport and is essentially a “guidebook” himself. He was so generous to lend us his gear and we so enjoyed visiting he and his wife at his home on 20 acres for a good hour or so. I hope we can climb with Bruce on a future visit. All Kristine & I had to bring from Colorado were our harnesses, shoes, a helmet, and a few slings/biners/quickdraws. Bruce indeed saved us a lot of hastle with transporting a lot of gear across the county. So, the Oelbergers with Carrie & Thomas were so nice to watch Sawyer for 5+ hours while Kristine & I went and had some time to ourselves scoping out a new climbing area (to us) at Barrett’s Cove Cliff about 40 minutes away. It was a great afternoon just the two of us. We climbed a 260′ two-pitch route called Charlotte’s Crack (5.7 R), which was apparently one of the classic climbs of the area. It was a lot of fun. I couldn’t have led it without Bruce’s “Camden Rack” – lots of small TCUs, micro-nuts, and “east coast” gear. Very different from our splitter cracks out here where you maybe need 8-10 cams of the same size.
Me leading away on the 1st pitch of Charlotte’s Crack
Fun face climbing with decent protection
I tagged a 2nd (blue) rope for our rappels
Me on the 2nd portion of the 1st pitch
140′ up you reach a large ledge called “Broadway” and a 2-bolt anchor
me on Broadway with Barrett’s Cove behind
At Broadway ledge
We then transitioned to another 2-bolt anchor 15′ to our left on Broadway and I saddled up and began climbing up the enjoyable 2nd pitch of Charlotte’s Crack. The 2nd pitch was 120′ of 5.7 climbing up to two large trees which provided a suitable anchor from which I belayed Kristine up.
Me beginning the lead of the upper pitch of Charlotte’s Crack
There was a nice little off-width section, which was fun
Upper pitch of Charlotte’s Crack
Kristine topping out
Really pretty views from the top of the cliff
We then moved 15′ back to the left to find the rappel anchors and set up the double rope rap.
Setting up the 1st double rope rappel
Happy to be out just the two of us
Rapping down to Broadway
Upon reaching the ground after two double rope raps, we decided to hike around and find this other climbing area called The Verticals where several fun 5.9-5.10 sport routes existed. After scrambling up a gully and a stream bed we found two climbs on our right and just decided to climb these. I have no idea what they are, but the challenging climb was all good fun and gave me a bit of a pump. We felt like we needed to get back to Sawyer and while Kristine packed up the gear and coiled the ropes, I ran up the stream bed and found the top anchors for the climbs on The Verticals. They looked very cool. Next time for sure.
Kristine hiking out. A climber (in a pink shirt) can be seen way up on the 2nd pitch of Charlotte’s Crack
Route outline of Charlotte’s Crack as seen from Barrett’s Cove: red is 1st pitch, blue is Broadway, & green is 2nd pitch
Barrett’s Cove Cliff from Barrett’s Cove parking area
We met a nice climbing guide and owner of Northern Vertical named Ryan Howes at the base of Charlotte’s Crack with a client and he recommended we check our the Ocean Lookout crag with its variety of crack climbs. Looking forward to that hopefully on our next visit! A few more of our favorite pics throughout the week are as follows:
Me and S down by the water in front of the Oelberger’s home
Sawyer, Teo, me, & Carrie
Kristine took these gorgeous sunset pics looking over Ken & Dianne’s motorboat and the St. George River
Cousins (Left to right: Teo, Kai, Sawyer)
Sawyer’s 4th of July attire
Taking the Oelberger motorboat out for a spin
Seals sunbathing on the rocks
And, Sawyer tried her 1st Maine lobster! The first of many…
Until next time, Maine!