Band of Gypsies

Eli Simon on the first ascent of Band of Gypsies

 

A few years ago I was rappelling from the top of the route Sea Gypsy at the South Wall.  The rappel line descends through a beautiful pink headwall at the highest part of the cliff. As I lowered myself towards the next rappel anchor I carefully inspected a series of very tiny crimps that seemed to appear every four or five feet. It looked as if it might be possible to connect the dots and climb up this relatively blank face. It would certainly be a very tenuous climb, but it looked like it might be possible.

A few weeks ago, I once again found myself at the top rappel anchor with my good buddy and former ACS guide Nate Miller. He lowered me to the base of the wall and I tried, with out a lot of luck, to scratch and claw my way up the blank face on a top-rope. Slowly but surely we were able to piece together larger and larger sections of the climb. We visited this pitch on three more occasions over the course of a few weeks, and just a few days ago we were finally able to top-rope the entire pitch with out falling.

bolts

The Fixe hardware!

 

I submitted a proposal to the Acadia Climbing Advisory Group to add five bolts to this beautiful face. These bolts would provide protection in the areas where there were no options for traditions gear. My proposal was accepted and soon I had a Special Use Permit from the park to equip the route.

Nate Miller tightening a bolt

 

This morning was amazingly gorgeous. The sun shined on the head-wall and a cool breeze kept us a perfect temperature. It was an ideal day to be climbing, the type of day that makes me so unbelievably happy to call this island my home!

Nate plugging in a cam on the 2nd ascent of Band of Gypsies

 

 Once Nate and I were certain of the exact location for each bolt we bolted the line and each gave the pitch a good try on lead. I was able to huff and puff and claw my way to the chains but Nate fell on the last move!

 Establishing this new route with Nate has been such a wonderful process filled with lots of chalk, laughs, and sore fingertips! Our new route Band of Gypsies is a fantastic addition to one of the most amazing crags in the entire world!

Nate and Eli drillin'

All smiles at the South Wall!