We pulled into Camden and met Noah at a local coffee shop. After a quick introduction and discussion about the day, we headed to the cliff. Watching Noah pull plastic bins full of rock climbing shoes, harnesses, helmets and ropes ignited the sense of excitement we had come for. We could see the granite wall we were going to be climbing from the parking lot, and once our packs were loaded up we were on our way.

Arriving at the base of the cliff, Noah explained the hazards of climbing and what we might encounter. We donned helmets, tied into the rope, got a quick lesson in using the gear and watched Noah as he gracefully made his way up the wall, just using his hands and feet to ascend.

When the rope went tight and we heard Noah was safe above, we got ready for our own climb. Dipping hands into the bag of chalk to keep fingers dry, we each started finding small edges and pockets in the rock for grips. Small move here, small move there, we each found our path to Noah. As the exposure under our feet grew, and the ground dropped further away, our reality set in. Here we were, hanging from our finger tips with just a skinny rope protecting us from gravity’s force. As Noah shouted down words of advice and encouragement we found our focus (and courage) and closed in on the big ledge half way up the cliff.

Noah Kleiner rock climbing at Barrett's Cove in Camden, ME.
Noah Kleiner giving some climbing pointers while providing a belay. (Photo: Brian Threlkeld)

We high fived on the ledge and looked up to see what the rest of the climb had in store. At this point we were above the trees and could really take in the view of our surroundings. Rolling hills, shimmering lakes and the light dancing off Atlantic Ocean a couple miles away really gave us a moment to appreciate our surroundings and get a new perspective on our position.

Noah set off again for the top of the wall and was soon telling us it was safe for us to climb. As we neared the end of the route we shared a laugh and a smile in appreciation of our achievement and Noah’s talent in getting two new climbers up a two hundred foot cliff.

Celebrating at the top, rock climbing in Camden, Maine.
The team celebrating at the top of the second pitch. (Photo: Brian Threlkeld)

With another high five and better views, we prepared to reverse course and descend the cliff by rappelling down. We clipped our ropes into the rappel devices and slowly walked backwards down the cliff in a controlled slide down the rope. Back on terra firma we rejoiced and celebrated our successful climb. Noah had taken us from flat ground to vertical terrain and back again all while feeling safe the entire time and most importantly, having fun.

Rock climbing guide Owen Cassidy coiling rope in the parking lot at Barrett's Cove.
Equinox climbing guide Owen Cassidy laughing it up after a job well done. (Photo: Brian Threlkeld)

As we walked back to the parking lot to go our separate ways, we laughed as we looked back over our shoulders and felt great about the day and happy with our decision to find Equinox Guides through Back40 Adventures. Quality fun in a beautiful setting in Maine—it just doesn’t get any better!

Photos and text by Brian Threlkeld (Threlkeld Outdoor). Video by Cold House Media. Thanks to Equinox Guiding Service for taking us climbing.

Climbing Adventures on Back40:


Full Day Rock Climbing Adventure in Camden, ME

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