Cannon Rock Climbs

Franconia Notch and Echo Lake viewed from the Hounds Hump Ridge. The Eaglet and Flatiron are two of the many granite formations perched high above the valley floor. This area is absolutely amazing with alpine rock climbs of all types. The steep granite faces of the Flatiron, the wide cracks and awkward chimneys on the Eaglet, airy free hanging rappels all test a variety of movement and technical skills.

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Aubrey and I were looking for a multi pitch climb of the unusual sort. A climb that we had not been on for a while would be nice and if possible a new pitch or two would top off the day. The Eaglet came to mind as the start to a perfect outing. The weather was good and it even held out for us. In the afternoon we bagged a new route ( for us) on the Flatiron Wall called Salt Packed Pig Sack a beautiful 5.8 climb.

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 The slab in center named the  Flatiron and the free standing spire on right  called Eaglet

IMG_3702 The first pitch of the Eaglet may look a bit grungy, it is in places! But be ready for some techy face climbing at the 5.7 grade. Protection is a bit tricky to add to the excitement.

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Jagged formations loom overhead above our belay area.

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Manky anchors – as they say buyer beware – we set up our own to be sure.

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Chimneys and under cut overhangs – Aubrey in action.

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Three points make and anchor – well maybe. These pitons are a piece of NH climbing history.

Aubrey busting a move on the crux of the final pitch.

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Aubrey arriving on the summit – just enough room for two.

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Me – prepping the airy rappel set up.

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The descent from the Eaglet Spire – 180 feet rappel to the base.

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Afternoon clouds boiled up around us.

The radar looked great so we opted for a few more pitches on the Flatiron.

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Aubrey climbing Salt Packed Pig Sack – leave it up to Jon Sykes and you get a name like this.

The route is 5.8 and is one of the finest face climbs in the Notch. The protection is good and the vantage point is incredible.

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Aubrey – very psyched at the top of this amazing pitch.

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The approach and descent weave the way throughout this boulder strewn forest.

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Hounds Hump Ridge as seen from the bike path.

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 The visitors center leads folks to the viewing point for the Old Man. We choose a different path one that offered a birds eye view of the entire Franconia Notch.

Thanks to Aubrey – it was an awesome day climbing with you.

Art Mooney

The Whitney Gilman Ridge – a New Hampshire Classic rock climb for sure. This route receives many ascents over each season, at times there can be 4 to 5 parties on the route. One would think the rock is solid and sound but I find that the ridge is a heads up experience that requires precise movements and route finding up the stone. There are many areas that the  climber must tip toe there way through the section to avoid creating rockfall on themselves and others below. Cannon is know for this adventure type of climbing and it is one reason many climbers have high respect for the area.

This was my second time on the route this week and each time I climb the ridge it is a truly amazing and fun experience. Over the years I may very well have logged 75+ ascents. It is through knowing the route this well that allows me to be able to guide guests with confidence up this wild and exposed terrain.

Mike and I met early this morning in Plymouth. Right of the bat he gave me a large package of the homemade cookies his wife Amy had baked for me. This day was shaping up nicely, the good treats and fun times began right away. We drove up 93 to the notch. The 1000 ft talus approach was a full warm up for our bodies, we arrived at the base at 730am and had the route to ourselves. I prefer to climb the ridge in 6 pitches, with each pitch ending on a comfortable ledge. This gives us good communication while climbing and good spots to recover and refuel. The technical part of the route usually take s 4 to 5 hours and today we arrived on the ridge top at 12:30. Mike enjoyed a great climb, full of exposure and three challenging cruxes.

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First views of the wall.

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Our delicious homemade power cookies – Thank you Amy

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Whitney Gilman – Cannon Mountain NH

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On the talus approach – a good pre climb full body warm up.

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Videos, cameras, phones – lets log this event.

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Wide cracks right on the deck – ready, set, go.

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The Twin, a favorite rope system – The Mammut Twilight’s in action.

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Guide Tennies doing the work, keeping me lighter and comfortable with excellent performance.

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Mike managing the ropes.

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Climbing on the spine of the ridge.

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The exposed north wall – looking into the chasm.

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Pitch number six – on top of the world.

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Bring hoodies and bug spray – there were a few around.

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Mike – Great to see you thanks so much.

Art Mooney

Last summer I had the pleasure of climbing Moby Grape with father-daughter team Steve and Bridget Curley. You can check out the post here: http://www.mooneymountainguides.com/blog/cannon/riding-the-granite-time-machine-at-cannon/. On Saturday Bridget returned to Cannon with her sister Sharon for a fine sampling of granite cracks. Climbing is a family affair with the Curleys! The day was hazy, very hot and humid: more reminescent of mid August than early June. Never the less the motivation was high. We cranked out some true classics: The first few pitches of Duet, the first two of Union Jack, Reppy’s Crack, and Slow and Easy. 

Sharon and Bridget at the base of Duet

 Sharon and Bridget at the base of Duet after cruising its

first few superb pitches.

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Sharon launches up the wide first pitch of Union Jack

Bridget sizes up the steep and polished layback crux of Union Jack's second pitch.

Bridget sizes up the steep and polished layback crux of Union Jack’s awesome second pitch 

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Hot, tired and happy! Descending Cannon’s massive talus field after a great day. 

Thanks for a great day out, Sharon and Bridget. I look forward to climbing again with you soon!Cheers,

Derek Doucet, MMG

One of the best parts of my job is that guiding folks up iconic routes such as Cannon’s Moby Grape is like a granite time machine. It takes me straight back to my own first forays up New Hampshire’s most imposing hunk of stone, now more than 20 years and many hundreds of pitches in the past. Through the eyes of our guests, I get to experience the thrill of these early ascents all over again, which is a real gift. It’s all a new and grand adventure to them, and I’m fortunate enough to be a part of it. How cool is that? This past weekend, I shared ropes with father / daughter team Steve and Bridget. It was a stellar trip up the Grape, and brought me right back to my roots as a New England climber.

Here they are, psyched to be over the infamous Finger of Fate pitch. By this point in the route (4 pitches up) we’d left the parties below us well behind and enjoyed a nice break and some lunch on this spacious ledge. It was hot, but a pleasant breeze made it very enjoyable.

 Looking down at the talus 6 pitches below.  Cannon is big. Some of those blocks below are bigger than my car!

Bridget cruising the classic dihedral of the Kurt’s Corner finish. This aesthetic left facing corner adds another clean 5.7 pitch with thrilling position to an already fine route.

On top by 2:00. Very strong work from the father/daughter team!

Thanks for letting me be a part of the adventure, Steve and Bridget. I had a blast. Hope to see you both on the rock again soon!

Derek Doucet, MMG