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The Main Face
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Claw of the Toxic Walrus 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c PG13

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 800', Grade IV
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Jon Steitzer & Ted St. Peter Blair (11/13/2010)
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 1,938
Submitted By: Jonathan Steitzer on Nov 14, 2010

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BETA PHOTO: the route


A fun full day outing up the main face, beware of loose rock and blocks. Kineo is falling apart and we kicked off many large blocks between the size of a microwave and a coffee table.

The climb's a blast, with mostly easy moves and a few short cruxy section. To begin either follow the trail out to the edge of the blocky arete from the golf course, or go directly to the edge of the arete by canoe.

Pitch 1 (5.4) - Climb up blocks onto the edge of the arete, through falling water. Right below the series of vertical bolts (and what's the story there?) traverse right around the arete, trending up to the base of several cracks.

Pitch 2 (5.6) - Follow the right most crack into a dank and wooded couloir. A short pitch ~ half a rope length.

Pitch 3 (5.7) - Make dicey moves up wet chossy rock, trend slightly left onto the arete then up to a ledge. Stay right of the falling water into a dihedral.

Pitch 4 (5.7) - Move up slightly overhanging face climbing on the right side of the dihedral, then run out some hard to protect face climbing to a large triangular belay ledge.

Pitch 5 (5.7) - Traverse left and up, clipping the ancient piton to the left edge of a thickly wooded ledge. Move slightly right to the huge detached flake, work up the flake till it ends then follow thin face climbing. Run it out till rope ends at tiny ledge with marginal nut placements for belay station.

Pitch 6 (5.8) Either head straight up above sketchy belay ledge on easier terrain that's unprotectable, or trend left to right facing corner with a pine tree above a dead birch. Move up then trend back right to a detached vertical block. Lay back, gently, on the giant detached block and gain a mossy ledge with thick tree growth.

Pitch 7 (5.6) - work left up the gently sloping ramp then go vertical up the remaining face, then up and right to the summit.

That's the way we did it at least.


It's a big full day adventure with lots of loose rock, and a long approach. Well worth it though and highly satisfying. If it has rained at all within a week of the climb, expect lots and lots of water coming down the cliff.


The easiest way to start the route is to canoe out to where the rock explodes straight up out of the water, then tie up to the shore just left, and begin the traverse right.

Getting down is hellish. Mt. Kineo is seldom climbed, and the only trails on the island end a half mile from your top out location. Bushwack left along the cliff edge till you are well into the middle of the island, then angle off the cliff at around 45 degrees into the interior and you will eventually find a trail. There is extremely thick undergrowth, and treacherous footing.

Or rap down from trees to trees. Careful, the rock is wicked sharp.


Nuts, Large Hexes, Tiny cams, a few mid range cams and a large one too.

Photos of Claw of the Toxic Walrus Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: looking up
BETA PHOTO: looking up
Rock Climbing Photo: me on lead
me on lead

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