Whitehorse Rock Climbs

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.

Art Mooney

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!!!

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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.

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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.

Art Mooney

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!!!


The day began with a fun selfie at the crag. IMG_3842

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.

Art Mooney

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.

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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.

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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.

Art Mooney

Runout sections on nice rock is the Handren Book route description for Slabs Direct 5.7  and Stop if You Dare 5.8.

We arrived at the Whitehorse Ledge parking lot just as a few large groups were headed for the slabs. Erik and I instantly new we would be guiding the lesser traveled routes on the slabs. It was time to keep a cool head and proceed with very steady and stable footwork on the above mentioned routes.


Gang of four all secure – after our wet mossy pitch out of the woods.


Whitehorse is an amazing chuck of solid rock – many of the routes have long run outs on moderate terrain. Always engaging and sometimes very exciting climbing.


Erik leading Chris and Adel up the Slabs Direct.


Steve at the belay after the crux pitch.

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Steve enjoying the stone -an amazing day out with the team.


Erik on the upper pitches of Whitehorse.

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Good times with the team, another one of many fun trips together.


El Caballaro Blanco – done to the top!!!

Thanks to Steve, Adel, Chris and Erik.

The skies cleared up and we enjoyed a magnificent day at Cathedral. Mike and I spoke a few days before and adjusted our schedules to beat the rain as we need a good day to have the entire family out on the cliffs for some rock climbing fun.

Saturday we met up early and Mike and I climbed Thin Air and the Saigon Pitches at Cathedral. First time here for Mike and he was impressed with the quality of the stone and the fine routes we were climbing. By noon we we done and we headed to Whitehorse to meet up with the family for the rest of the day.


Cathedral ledge from Whitehorse Slabs area.

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Fun times on Thin Air, the Prow area middle, and Mike topping out on Still in Saigon.


Oh yeah Cathedral is a blast.

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Mike and Amy high up on the stone!!!


Mylee and Jackson back to NH for some rock climbing – 4th year in a row.

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Family fun – On the rock with Mooney Mountain Guides.

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What an amazing day – getting together with Mike, Amy, Mylee and Jackson.

Thanks very much for climbing in NH again.

Art Mooney

 Cathedral and Whitehorse Ledges in North Conway Nh are two prize rock climbing areas in New England. For those looking for multi pitch granite cracks and granite slabs climbs these are the spots for an excellent summer rock climbing adventure.

Victoria and Barry joined me on last years summer vacation for a climb on Cannon of the Whitney Gilman Ridge. I will say we all had and excellent time meeting and climbing together. A few weeks back Victoria and I made new plans for a 2013 summer climbing trip. The number one choice was Cathedral Ledge. It has many climbing routes, loaded with steep cracks, and its on the tough side which would make it an engaging experience for all of us.

Cathedral our first choice – since it was a wet morning we chose to drive to the top and hike down to climb the Upper Refuse route. This is usually a good climb in questionable weather, it has moderate climbing, climbs in three short pitches, and the exposure and views are awesome. We topped out just after noon and ate our lunch at the car. For the afternoon I suggested we make a quick drive to the Whitehorse Slabs for another type of climbing  – friction and footwork.

By days end we had reached our fill of the stone. It was a nice blend of two of NH prize climbing areas.


Victoria warming up on Upper Refuse.


Victoria and Barry climbing together on Cathedral Ledge.

My Mammut 9.5 Infinity ropes were running smoothly today.


A fine type of Rest & Relaxation – enjoying a NH Rock Climbing Trip.


Topping out on Cathedral – my Five Ten Hueco shoes are awesome – all day comfort, good on the cracks and edges, and excellent on the friction slabs at Whitehorse.


View into North Conway from the top of Cathedral Ledge.

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Whitehorse is one big chunk of stone. The smooth slabs are a great place to quickly cover terrain. Using the legs for power but keeping a close eye of the footwork is key to keeping yourself together on the long friction pitches.

Our choice was a fantastic route called the Sliding Board. We climbing four pitches to the headwall then rappelled to the base. The day was full of excitement and adventure, we learned alot , and we refined what we knew.

Great day climbing with Victoria and Barry.

Art Mooney

Hot and steamy has been the weather theme during the past week or so in NH.  Janet and Bill arrived from San Antonio Texas to sample two of New Hampshires finest rock climbing areas – Whitehorse and Cathedral Ledge. MMG guide Erik decided on Whitehorse for the intro to the area. The afternoon session proved to be a good idea as the sun set over the cliff giving some relief from the heat.

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Bill on the smooth crux of the Sliding Board.

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Hanging belay from two bolts on Sliding Board.

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Footwork and body position is key to movement on the slabs.


View to Echo Lake and the town of North Conway.


On our second day I decide on the Upper Refuse route at Cathedral. Here is Janet using a finger crack to climb while Bill coaches the upcoming moves.


Top of Cathedral Ledge – Bill in a wildly exposed position.


Janet climbing strong on the exit moves to the lookout ledge.

Thanks to Janet and Bill for coming to NH to climb. They both enjoyed amazing weekend rock climbing adventure. Erik and I were excited to be their guides and show them our home climbing areas.

Art Mooney

With rain the night before and a small window of time before Cindy and Ariel headed down south, I wondered if we would be able to find dry rock.  We decided to hike the Bryce Path to the top of Cathedral and see if the rock would dry.

Pausing on the trail.

Pausing on the trail.

Pausing on the trail.

When we arrived at the top,  the mist began to rise.  Cindy and Ariel were excited to head over the Whitehorse and to continue their adventure.

Ariel and Cindy at the top of Cathedral.

Ariel and Cindy at the top of Cathedral.

Ariel and Cindy at the top of Cathedral.

By the time we reached Whitehorse Ledge, the sun began to show its face.  The lower section of the cliff was damp, but the upper part of Sea of Holes looked good.  Though getting off the ground was a little more challenging than usual, Cindy and Ariel moved up the rock smoothly and comfortably, enjoying the views of the valley.  We climbed the first couple of pitches in perfect weather before rappelling down.

Ariel finds a comfy rest.

Ariel finds a comfy rest.

Ariel finds a comfy rest.

Cindy making her way up the pitch.

Cindy making her way up the pitch.

 Cindy making her way up the pitch.

Ariel at the top of pitch one with Cathedral in the background.

Ariel at the top of pitch one with Cathedral in the background.

Ariel at the top of pitch one with Cathedral in the background.

Thanks for your enthusiasm and a great day on the rock!

Todd Goodman

MMG Guide

Mike has enjoyed climbing and skiing with MMG for the past eight years. Three years ago he traveled up to Conway with his family to try out rock climbing. Whitehorse was the place to begin with long sweeping slabs that lead to beautiful views of the Mt Washington Valley.

Now every year Jackson and Mylee take it a bit higher. MIleage is the key with climbing and once you become comfortable its much easier to climb to new heights. You will see by the photos Jackson and Mylee are having fun on these wonderful rock routes at Whitehorse Ledge inNorth Conway NH.

Family Photo

Mylee climbing quickly to the top!

Mike and Jackson working the moves together.

You go girl its a figure of eight.

Jackson headed up higher.

Made it to the top!!!

Great climb for Jackson and Mike.

Belay ledges offer a nice break.

Mike and Jackson having a good time.

It is great to be the teacher and watching the kids climb. Each season we do something a bit different with slightly more challenge. Being sure to keep it fun for all.

Thanks to Mike, Amy, Mylee and Jackson for climbing with me.

Art Mooney