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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:48 pm 
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Rodrigo
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Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:07 pm
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Short story:
I climbed two routes at Cathedral Ledge in New Hampshire on Saturday. It was hot and the forecast was for warmer weather on Sunday so we decided to hike the Franconia Ridge Traverse on Sunday. We enjoyed our weekend:

Long story:
A week ago a new postdoc arrived at Woods Hole and promptly sent out an email looking for a new climbing partner. I responded and we immediately began planning. I’m currently living up in New Hampshire so when the weather forecast was good for this weekend we decided to get out. We met Saturday morning for delicious breakfast bagels and headed off to Cathedral Ledge around 915 (we would have gone earlier but I forgot my helmet and wanted to get one for the climb). We were shooting for some easy classics, Thin Air and Funhouse, but thought our late start might cause problems.

Anchor on P1 of Thin Air
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Shortly thereafter we arrived at the base of Thin Air (5.6, perhaps the most climbed trad route in NH?) to find no line. Shocked, I racked up quickly and took off climbing. The climbing was great as expected. It was too hot. We walked off rather than climbing Pine Tree Eliminate (5.8+) in the heat again. It's a great pitch though. Thin air may be a relatively easy climb, but it's easy to see why it is a classic. It's a shame the traffic causes people to wait so long on it because it should go very quickly for most parties.

Thin Air P2 Traverse (there must be 1000s of this picture on the interwebs)
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From P3 belay looking down the chimney to the improbable (from below) 5.5 face that is much steeper than it looks in this poorly taken picture
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We walked up, refilled our water at the car and headed over the Funhouse (5.7). Funhouse starts with a steep corner, perhaps 12 ft of which are entirely vertical. The holds are good enough to keep in reasonable but sparse enough for the steep climbing to be intimidating. Following the corner the route follows another short and obvious left hanging corned up to a bulge with pinchers to the belay at a big tree. I was expecting the climbing to decrease in quality after P1, which I had seen described as “as good as 5.7 gets.” I agree, but P2 was great. It is basically big ledges with 10-15 ft. thought-provoking cracks of different sizes. Good times. P3 started with 3rd class scrabbling to a short off-width (face options available) and 3rd class again to the base of Upper Refuse.

Terrible picture showing the beginning of P1 of Funhouse. Steep fun.
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Top of P1 of Funhouse
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To finish the face we climbed Upper Refuse in a single pitch. The description says 3 pitches (5.3/5.5/5.5) but I arrived with about 2 ft to spare on my 60 m rope. The “first” pitch was a glorified staircase. The second “two” I found to be great, well protected climbing with a distinctly old-school 5.5 feeling. From there it’s a short low-5th pitch to the top.

Upper Refuse from below
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I found that establishing myself in this corner was spicier than I anticipated for the grade. This picture of a party I was following closely (not normally this closely). They were cool with it and the ledges were big enough for all of use so they invited me to chase them up.
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I’ve climbed multiple routes at Cathedral and have been really impressed with the quality of the climbs in general.

On Sunday we drove to Franconia Notch to hike. We did the Franconia Ridge Traverse, a relatively easy 9 mile bike (4600 ft of gain?) that summits two larger peaks in the area and one minor one. It was a great hike but the best part is the awesome views of Cannon Cliff across the valley. Oh yeah, it was also peak color for the trees so that was nice to.

Our hike basically followed the ridge toward the right side and over across to our descent on the left side. I’m also too lazy to fix the merging of the pictures.
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The view the other way with Cannon Cliff down there.
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Last edited by Chris Bassett on Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:23 am 
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UW Climber
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Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 7:18 pm
Posts: 216
Location: Warm sunny rock
I'm glad you found a new climbing partner who isn't a scary hippie. That looks like some tasty rock up at Cathedral Ledge.


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