Whitehorse Rock Climbs
With the fall sports season coming to a close, the Milton Academy Outdoor Program brought a group of students to Whitehorse Ledge to sample some of the finest slab climbing in Northeast. The initial colder autumn temperatures and wind did not discourage the crew from testing their skills on climbs like Standard Route, Wavelength, and Sliding Board.
Thanks to our friends at Mammut, the guides, outfitted in The Ultimate Hoody, stayed warm and comfortable. The Ultimate Hoody was perfect for such a day: the Gore Windstopper material blocked the wind; it breathed well, particularly as the temperatures changed throughout the day; and it enabled us to move freely for climbing, belaying, and rappelling.
Some students, who were trying multi-pitch climbing for the first time, focused on the basics and took their climbing experience to new heights (both literally and figuratively). Going higher off the ground than usual can be intimidating for newer climbers, but the students trusted the systems and relied on their technique, reinforcing the skills they had worked on for the past few months.
The veteran climbers, on routes like Wavelength, reached new heights, executing moves further from the ground than usual. After completing their initial route in fine fashion, they headed over to Echo Roof to climb some more.
At the end of the day, the group stopped in town for a quick bite. Physically tired but mentally recharged for the coming week, the group headed home. Thanks to all the students for their energy and enthusiasm and to Kendall for organizing all the logistics and making the day happen.
An older post, saved from a while back. It seemed applicable to post it today as we enter rock season. Follow Steve’s lead, and get the whole family outdoors and rock climbing!
I have had the pleasure of climbing with Steve twice over the past few weeks. Once with a his son and two friends, and a second time with his son a daughter. Both days were spent on the beautiful granite slabs of Whitehorse in North Conway, NH. Whitehorse seems to be the superior area for a family rock climbing outing. The slabs offering a host of routes that everyone can enjoy together.
This inclusiveness is important to Steve. As a climber himself, learning the craft on the granite big walls of Yosemite Vally, he wants to pass on the joy he received from climbing on to his two children. Moving to New England less than a year ago and not knowing the terrain prompted Steve to seek out Mooney Mountain Guides. Together we decided that Whitehorse would be the proper venue for his goals.
In two days, more than ten pitches had been climbed from the Echo roof to Beginners Route. Lots of rappels, lowers, and funny pictures later everyone was happy to have shared the experience together. I was happy to have helped introduce the next generation of climbers to the sport.
Thank you Steve, family and friends for two great days on the rock.
Jerry and I completed a varied day of climbing on a few classic climbs at Whitehorse Ledge.
Wavelength – Seventh Seal – Loose Lips – Childrens Crusade 1st pitch.
We are in the middle of SENDTEMBER and it felt like it today. The climbing on the slabs and the central wall of Whitehorse Ledge in NH was exceptional. The morning temps were in the 40’s, the sky was cobalt blue thus the rock on the slabs was perfect for the sticky rubber shoes, the edges on the face routes were crisp and the jams in the finger cracks felt dry and and solid.
Seventh Seal and classic 5.10a finger crack on the Ethereal Buttress. Jerry approaching the crux which he cruised by with ease.
Our morning warm up on the first pitches of Standard Route.
The high end games began as Jerry took on the tricky leads of Wavelength 5.8.
Jerry styling the perfect granite finger crack leading up to Loose Lips.
Loose Lips – Wow this is an awesome route. The route is a personal favorite of mine and now Jerry. A techy 5.10 face leads to a traverse and then the finale, a beautiful long finger crack.
Today was the start of a week long trip for Jerry and I. Cathedral Ledge is our next stop and certainly a visit to Cannon Cliff will round out the trip. We are in certainly luck this time as the weather looks to be clear, sunny and cool for the entire week.
Thanks Jerry for a great day on the stone.
This past week my work has been with a group of 4 rock climbing instructors seeking to raise the bar for themselves and their guests. Each of these instructors put themselves and their skills on the line by guiding Alain and myself around Cathedral and Whitehorse. The end goal was certification as a Rock Instructor with the American Mountain Guides Association.
Rock Instructor Certification is designed to apply to most “cragging” style rock climbing areas in the United States. It is meant for guides or aspiring guides who work on routes that are Grade III or shorter. While these routes are multi-pitch, they are relatively straightforward and may involve complex approaches and/or descents. Time factors are important on all of these routes.
The photos below are of the instructors guiding us around last week. Great job to all of you for continuing your education and your commitment to guiding!!!
Whitehorse – a pleasurable day out on the slabs with AMGA guides.
Cathedral Ledge – fantastic steep cracks and flakes.
Diedre – one of the best corner systems around the NH area.
Rock rescue skills in action – mock drills for the instructors tool box.
Solid, efficient,movement – is number one for the climber, instructor, guide.
When choosing your guide look into the guides page. The information in bios will tell you who may be the best fit for your instruction and guiding day.
SPI guides are trained for the single pitch terrain and the RI are trained for multi pitch. Many certified SPI guides are in the process with mentorship and training for the RI. The Rock Guide is trained for the longest, complex routes.
Thanks to all of you for a great week.
Summertime is here and today the August visit from Mike his family was on. We all enjoyed a great day on Whitehores with Jackson – Miley the two superstars climbing exceptionally well. Mike, Amy and I looked on as both of these young climbers motored up the climbing routes.
Smearing their climbing shoes on the smooth friction, making high steps to overcome the overlaps, both Miley and Jackson reached new personal highs today. They both have been climbing for many years and it has become a natural activity. Tying into the rope, on belay from above or below, lowering from the top anchors – these two climbers are able to rise up and gain control in a calm and positive way.
Nice job to both of them – keep up the good work!!!
Miley and Jackson on side by side ropes up the friction wall.
Jackson very cool, calm and well balanced as he lowers to the ground.
Miley enjoying a bit more motion as she tries out a pendulum swing on the rope.
Big supporters of Black Diamond gear.
And also of Mooney Mountain Guides
Jackson putting some focus into proper footwork and positioning.
Two helpers teaming up as they pull the rope down.
A very awesome day with Mike, Amy, Jackson and Miley – thank you all very much.
Our crag for the day – Whitehorse with the Echo Roof area just left of center.
Jerry and I met at Whitehorse this past Saturday. It was a pleasant day with bright sunshine, temperatures in the 8o’s and a light breeze. As the weather man on the radio 93.5 in North Conway would say this day is a keeper or otherwise a fifty cent day.
Jerry and the belay station on pitch one.
Todays plan was for Jerry to get back on the sharp end of the rope. He decided on a full length route up the Whitehorse Slabs. I recommended the Beginners route with a few variations as another great introduction to the slabs. Do to the long unprotected areas on this route I would give a word of caution to any beginner leader who is not accustomed to this type of climbing. Jerry and I have been on Whitehorse many times – so he was up for the task.
Pitch three winds its way up the slabs for 190 feet with only a few pieces of protection. Jerry out there in the sea of granite, maintaining a cool head with steady and solid climbing movements.
Jerry leading out on yet another sparcely protected pitch. Seems to be a theme here at Whitehorse.
A watchful leader can get lucky and find solid solution pockets to thread the slings through for bomber protection. It took me a few times on this route before I got lucky and noticed this solution hole went right through.
Here we begin our afternoon session, at the middle of the South Buttress – the Seventh Seal area. Jerry is preparing to crank hard on this lie back hold, then a smear of a high left foot is key to gaining the reach up into the finger locks above.
Another hidden gem of a route.
Loose Lips is a fine three star 10.a which starts on a delicate thin face then follows thin cracks for 140 feet in a rising traverse. Awesome positions and great movements on this one. Hats off to Alain Comeau for finding this route but he gave the secret away in the coffee shop and Jimmy Dunn took the first ascent prize.
Hence the full name Loose Lips Sink Ships!!!
The final moves ease up a bit with climbing on nice finger locks to the chain anchor.
A phenomenal day for Jerry and I – thanks very much.