In my experience, granite rarely forms buckets and when it does form buckets, it's rarely steep. Shagg Crag has all three: steep, juggy, granite climbing.
Located about an hour away from North Conway, Shagg sees a fair amount of traffic, though it is still possible to have the crag by yourself on a sunny weekend. The crag gets afternoon sun and there is little to offer shade, so expect a warm climbing experience. This can be a great thing on sunny winter days, or a curse on sunny summer days. Get up early on warm days and climb until the wall comes into the sun.
Besides Waimea at Rumney, Shagg might be the most stacked cliff in all of New England. If you're looking for endurance-esque 5.12's, I can't think of a better crag. The guidebook lists twelve routes rated 5.12 and almost all of them are quality. Shaggin Wagon (12a), Ginseng Route (12c), Meltdown (12c/d), and Shagg It (12d), stand out as unique classics. If you're looking for routes of a more moderate grade, Shagg might offer enough for a day or so, and The Great Escape (10d) should not be missed.
Kayte on Shaggin Wagon Submitted By: Jay Knower on Dec 8, 2007
Take rt. 26 to West Paris and turn onto rt 219. Drive 4.8 miles and here you will turn left onto Tuell Hill Rd. Follow this road for 1.6 miles and at the junction continue north on Shagg Pond Rd. You will pass Shagg Pond on your west side. Park at a large pullout on the left side of the road. This is the trailhead. Hike east on Bald Mountain trail till you come just south of a pond at this junction follow to the right up a steep trail for just under a mile. As the trail starts to level look for a path on the right that starts down to the left of Shagg Crag. This hike will take 30 to 40 minutes.
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Shagg Crag:
The Great Escape climbs the obvious right-angling fault up the center of the cliff. It's amazing that a route of this grade climbs up this steep wall, as much harder routes exist both to the left and the right of The Great Escape.This route is pretty much the perfect warmup. It's close to the harder routes and has good holds but maintains a steep angle throughout it's length. However, if you're here just to tick this route, I'd also say that this is worth the trip to the crag. It's a bit runout ...[more]Browse More Classics in ME
For the most part Shagg Crag was developed in its entirety by Erik Mushial and Bob Parrott. I have it from the highest authority that the birth of Shagg took place over the course of one summer fueled by bong smoke and cases of warm beer. It would be safe to assume that any given route here, unless established in some later unrelated effort, should be credited as a collaboration of these two great New England climbers.
The parking area is at the top of a steep hill, with the trail starting across the road. In the winter and early spring, this road is not plowed and one must park at the base of this hill to avoid the sticky snow and getting stuck on either side (which has happened several times this month already!). Also, the road becomes extremely muddy this time of year, and 4WD is strongly encouraged.
Did a really cool link up today at the right end of the cliff. It starts on Cell Block D and then after the crux of Cell Block D traverses left into Looney Tunes. I have no idea of the name or grade. Anyone know?
Maybe its just me, but after a 3 hour, meandering drive from conway, I'm inclined to believe the the directions here were not quite right. Here are mine. I you follow them, I promise you will not get as lost as I did...
Take rt 26 towards West Paris, turn east onto 219. After 4.8 miles, turn left onto Tuell Hill Rd. After 1.6 miles take a left, continuing on Tuell Hill rd. After .9 miles, Tuell Hill rd. ends. Take a left on Reading. After 3.9/4 miles, there is a pullout on the left. Park here, the trail starts on the other side of the road.
Follow the trail for about 10 minutes until you come to a pond. At this trail junction, take the right path going up a steep hill. follow the path going uphill, and after 15/20 minutes when the trail starts to level off, take a small trail that breaks off right. After a couple minutes, you will be at the base of the crag.
I was hoping for a trip to Shagg sometime this spring and had emailed Ladd for a guidebook. I guess he changed emails or isn't around or something, either way, I was wondering if anyone happened to have a copy of that homemade guidebook he had that could email it to me?