This unique climbing destination is steeped in natural history and impressive geologic features. Situated east of Bethel, Maine, on route 26, this quiet climbing gem is just minutes away from Sunday River ski area. Bag some climbs and hit the slopes afterwards, or just spend the day with one of our guides climbing in quiet alpine paradise…that’s right, this region has escaped the New Hampshire crowds.

This course is available as a private or pre-existing group.

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    Online Bookings
    Online bookings are subject to guide availability and other factors such as weather and climbing conditions. After receiving your online booking, we will get back to you within 1 business day via phone or email to confirm your booking. In the event that we cannot accommodate your booking, you have the option of having your payment refunded or applied to a future booking.

    SMG accepts credit cards, PayPal, checks, and cash. Payment is due in full 7 days before a booking (or at time of booking confirmation when a course/trip is less than 7 days away). An exception is made for payment by check or these cases, payment is due in full at or before the course/trip.

    If you have to cancel your booking, please give us as much notice as possible. If you cancel 30+ days before the booking, we’ll apply the deposit/payment towards another booking at a later date or you can request a refund. If you cancel from 14-29 days before the booking, we’ll apply the deposit/payment towards another booking at a later date. If you cancel 13 days or sooner from the booking, for any reason, the deposit/payment is forfeited.

    Weather & Winter
    Winter courses/trips are rain or shine. If SMG cancels a booking due to weather, we will reschedule you for an alternate date of your choice.

Pay a 50% Deposit

Course Information

Depending on where you’ll be coming from, we can meet you at the Appalachian Trailhead parking lot, Sunday River Brew Pub, or a decided upon destination in the town of Bethel or Rumford. During the short drive into the notch, many diverse ice and alpine climbing objectives will grab your attention on both sides of the road, all of which are just a 5-25 minute walk.

Ice Slabs

The three prominent north-facing ice slabs are an excellent low-angle ice- climbing venue. The classic right slab (Slab 1, NEI 2+) is 700’ and at times interspersed with snow. The left slab (Slab 3+) 500’, offers steeper ice up to 80 degrees. Descent options include a combination of rappels, walking down low-angle ice and trails systems. Combine all three slabs in a day for 1700’ of elevation gain.

The Streams

Two prominent streams flow from Maine’s third tallest mountain, Old Speck (4180’). Situated in the far northern aspect of the Mahoosuc Mountain Range; known for the hardest section of the Appalachian Trail. The streams are ideal for learning the full gamut of crampon and single axe techniques as well as excellent steep ice routes NEI 4-5 and mixed climbs. Old Speck Stream, NEI 2+ is a fantastic alpine objective, as it continues to the summit of Old Speck and descends the Eyebrow along the Appalachian Trail for a total of 2800’ elevation gain and 6 mile round trip. The Eyebrow Stream, 2+ climbs parallel to the Appalachian Trail for approximately 1000’ before taking a tributary detour up a short snow and ice gully to the base of the Chimney, NEI 4+. This classic four-pitch climb finishes with great views of the Notch. Just around the corner lies The Smear, NEI 3+, and Hanging Gardens, NEI 5, making for an excellent day.

The Amphitheater

This is Maine’s answer to New Hampshire’s Frankenstein cliff. It contains nearly a dozen classic one to two-pitch ice climbing in the NEI 2-5 range. This is quite possibly the most popular ice crag in Maine; you don’t want to miss it.

The Notch has many fantastic moderate to hard mixed climbs on the Eyebrow’s 800’ cliff face, as well as on table rock. Perhaps Grafton’s most ephemeral route is the Hackett-Tremblay, NEI 5. It’s parasol effect makes for one of the most exciting objectives anywhere. There are several other ice amphitheaters, snow and ice gullies and slabs abound. There’s no shortage of adventure!

Mountains, Cliffs, & Routes

Grafton Notch, Maine has a variety of ice climbing routes ranging from low angle slabs to steep columns.


Beginner through Advanced (depending on route)


One to Multiple Days




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