Cape Ann’s Crag Gem – Red Rock’s Main Wall

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Classic Line of Zipper at Main Wall

Stoke: Take 128 East from Boston and you will find a crag gem situated on the rocky Cape Ann peninsula. Red Rock and the vicinity area offers up some great single pitch trad and top rope cragging.  Although this is a small crag it offers some incredible crack and slab climbing just minutes from the city.

Beta: The beauty of the Red Rock vicinity is the ease of access, however still offers a feeling of isolation. Its easily accessed from 128 via exit 14. From the exit turn left onto 133, the crag parking isn’t clearly marked, but you will park in a gravel parking lot to the left of a storage facility.

Note: This area is dog friendly, but when your parking keep a close eye on your dogy or put them on a leash. Cars on 133  drive quickly and the parking lot is right off the road. 

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A Gloucester Haze Top Main Wall Crag

The Cape Ann area offers many small crags, however, my favorite has been Main Wall. The approach to Main Wall is a short 10-minute hike wondering along the native pines and ferns. Honestly, on a sunny day, this approach is hard to beat. The way the light softly glistens through the canopy presents a fairytale quality and the soil is a mix of the sandy granite remnants your about to climb.

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Slabtastic Granite

When you arrive at Main Wall you’ll be greeted with a granite face with a distinct vertical crack line running down the middle. This is Zipper and one of the classic Main Wall lines. Its a gear loving 5.6 granite crack that resembles few East Coast lines. Sew it up or run it out as much as you want, you will be sure to enjoy it.  To the left and right of Zipper are super fun slab climbs such as Zits, a PG13 5.8+ slabby runout sport route and Toe Jams Variation, a mixed crack and slab climb to the far right.

Beer Beta: Post climb be sure to head into Glouster and hit up Cape Ann Brewing Co for fresh beers and straight off the boat seafood. Last trip to Red Rock we got rained out mid-day and Cape Ann Breweing was a welcome respite from the wet crag. 

So next time you wake up to a surprise gorgeous day and don’t have time to make it to the mountains up North, head East for some granite cragging and classic lines at Cape Ann.

Happy Wildernessing,
– Jonathan

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