Tumbledown Dick

Description

Arguably the closest crag from Bates (~1:15 from door to crag), Tumbledown Dick, also known as the dick, is an expansive hillside located close to the road with several different cliffs. Most of the climbing is trad, but it’s super easy to hike to the top of all of the cliffs and set up top ropes. Mostly slab climbing with some steeper harder stuff mixed in on super nice schist. A great place to practice trad climbing or to test out your anchor building skills and tope rope some stuff. If its warm out, pop over to Evan’s notch and take a dip in the Wild River (about 5 minutes away).

Directions

Turn right onto Bridge st. in Gilead and then take another right onto North Rd. Follow N Rd. past some farms until you hit a forested patch. As you crest a hill, the cliffs should be visible off to your right. Drive to the bottom of the hill and park on the side of the road across from a 10 ft tall roadside cliff.

Directly above where you park, there is a ~40ft cliff called the forehead (it looks like a forehead). There three cracks that go up this face are super fun and the left one is pretty dam hard. All climbs on the forehead are easily top roped. As you walk along the cliffs to the left you will reach the amphitheater, which has some great cracks as well which are easily top roped.

Continuing along the cliffs to climbings left, you will see a small hand line leading up a ramp directly before reaching a giant alcove with a chimney in the back. Follow this ramp up to the 2nd tier. Some of the better climbs on the second tier are located at the top of the ramp where the ramp widens. Thin Air climbs up to a small ledge with a tree, continues in a crack out left, and then another crack out right. Two other 5.9s climb the face to the right of Thin Air. All the climbs here have bolted anchors and are easy to walk around to. Make sure you have a 70m rope. If you continue up past the end of the 2nd tier ramp you reach the 3rd tier, which has some good stuff as well.

From the road, if you continue along the cliffs past the 2nd tier handling and alcove, you will eventually reach the sharks fin. tucked in a corner to the left of all the sport routes is an awesome 5.7 crack. Straight up the sharks fin face there is a super hard 12a crack that stays dry in anything. All routes here are easily top roped.

Continuing along the cliff to climbers left for another couple minutes, you will reach a large clean slab called the Illegal Alien Wall. The rout Illegal Alien is one of the best 10a’s in the North Conway area in my opinion. Climb directly up to the small overlap near the top of the slab. Head right and follow another crack system to the top. The routes directly right and left of Illegal Alien are also 10s. All routes are easily top roped with a 70m rope.

Location:

1700 N Rd, Gilead, ME 04217

44.405054°N, 70.939026°W

Additional Notes

The North Conway Rock Climbs guidebook has the dick in it as well almost all the crags in the Bates area. If you’re in to climbing you should pick one up.