Monday, August 15, 2011

North Conway

After returning home from our vacation out west, we wasted no time in packing up the car and hitting the road. Our first stop was the ridiculous resort town of North Conway, New Hampshire. With its outlet malls, hordes of tourists and constant rush hour traffic, it would normally be the last place we would want to be. Except for the fact that just outside of town lie two impressive cliffs, Cathedral Ledge and Whitehorse Ledge, each boasting some pretty awesome multi-pitch trad climbs. 

Over the last four days we climbed many great routes up these two cliffs, from slightly terrifying 5.7 runout friction slab to extremely committing 5.9 face/crack climbs, with a lot of enjoyable moderates thrown in the middle.

Here's a view of the Whitehorse Ledge slabs from a climb we were doing on Cathedral Ledge.

There's nothing like 800 feet of runout slab to get the heart pumping and the calves burning. Here I am heading out to start Sliding Board 5.7, 8 pitches.

And looking back down from the top of the first pitch.

Is there any protection on this thing? Answer: not a whole lot. During the entire climb we place a combined total of 14 pieces of gear. Thankfully, it was mostly pretty easy climbing. Here's Kristal on the fourth pitch.

And the view from the top.

Which was covered with delicious wild blueberries. Hmmm, blueberries.

I didn't get many pictures of the other climbs we did, though here is Kristal belaying me up the last pitch of the amazing Recombeast, 5.9, 5 pitches.

And her nearing the top.

Topping out on Cathedral Ledge can be quite the experience. There's a convenient road to a popular tourist lookout at the top. One day I followed Kristal up the last pitch of a climb that came out just below the lookout. As I come over the lip I see Kristal anchored in front of a nice chain link fence, with a crowd of 20+ tourists on the other side giving me a round of applause. Where else does that happen?

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