Last summer ACS guide Ryan Scott was flipping through the new Rock Climbs of Acadia guidebook and noticed a top rope route called Impalpable Cracks at the South Wall. The line was originally climbed by Chris Gill and Ray Simpson and begins at the 2nd pitch corner of Story of O. The route follows face holds and thin discontinuous cracks up and left ending at the top Story of O rappel anchor. Ryan went out and gave the route a try. He found superb and engaging climbing and noticed the route could be lead with only the addition of a few bolts. Ryan put in a proposal to the Climbing Advisory Group to add the necessary bolts to the line. The proposal was accepted and Ryan and some of the other ACS guides began the process of cleaning the route and finding where the bolts should be. They discovered a beautiful variation to the original line that would not only add some great and challenging climbing, but it would also bring the bolts away from the Story of O corner.
On a cold morning in early March Ryan and I spent a few more hours re-climbing the line and dialing in the bolt placements. We equipped the route with four bolts. This highly technical line begins at the lower Story of O rappel station and begins with a hard bolt protected traverse right following a tiny crimp rail and crummy feet. This leads to a stance before committing to the face. Three bolts protect the fun face climbing which leads to thin discontinuous cracks. Arriving at the cracks there are two great finishing options. One can trend left into a small alcove or go straight up into the first thin crack. Both options are great and meet up after a few feet for some superb finishing moves.
Today Ryan and I went out to climb the line. Ryan went first and was able to hold on to the tiny holds even though it was blowing over 40mph! It was great to see him weave up the pitch so smoothly and clip the chains! I lead the pitch afterwards and we were both psyched with our efforts. Impalpable Cracks 5.11c is a great addition to the cliff!