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Greeley Ponds
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Black flies and Dearticks T 

Black flies and Dearticks 

YDS: 5.7+ French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b X

   
Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 200', Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.7+ French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Bradley White, 1985
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 462
Submitted By: bradley white on Jul 1, 2009

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (1)
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Description 

At lowest northern side of this section of rock get up onto it, to do a long technical friction traverse left south to a sustained crux near the end of pitch. You are now at the Bombay dike reached 30+ ft off the ground above a ceiling. Here on out the climb is very exposed at 5-5 up outside edges of this Bombay dike 100+ feat until it forks, one way is a vertical dead end and the other a hard pan dirt ramp. I was on a one way trip and had to get up to the forest. A lousy dangerous finish to a beautiful climb. Good rock quality, there should be no problems to making fixed rappel stations on this dike. In the winter nowadays it is known as "The Drool of the Beast". There are multiples photographs of the dike section when you type in this ice climbing title.

Location 

Route start where it is boulder problem of steep height to access an obvious traverse ramp on the north side of the ledge. West uphill from Greeley ponds. Climbs needs rappel station (two ropes) or if you have to climb the hard pan dirt ramp and bushwhack up after the cliff and keep going up north before heading down so that the entire extrusion has become past. Hard gnarly stunted pine forest to down climb. Rappel is best option, then bushwhack back to Greeley ponds for the trail back to the Kang.

Protection 

none, free soloed


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By M Sprague
Administrator
From: New England
Jul 2, 2009

How do you get four stars out of this Bradley? From your description it sounds like it should get the bag.

Do you have a picture of this crag? I am curious if it is the same one in the area that I visited a few times, but never in climbing conditions. We hiked in from Waterville Valley and turned up right before getting to the ponds, doing a fairly heinous bushwack up to the ridge line. I don't remember anything as tall as 300 ft, but there looked to be a bunch of nice looking, mostly trad lines, 1 and shorter 2 pitch stuff.. We were never sure if the cliff we looked at was within the Greeley Ponds scenic area, or just outside. On a winter recon we saw a beautiful, huge hanging icicle, that if it touched down, would be a wild climb
By bradley white
From: Plymouth
Jul 16, 2009

I brought the vertical height down 100ft, since I was measuring climbing distance and not vertical height.
I don't intend to send anyone out into the woods for a crag that gets people lost in the woods. This crag can do just that. So be forewarned.
Heading in from Waterville Valley it would be on the left or west but not until the ponds. The other cliffs that are shorter are on the left before the ponds. This dike was known as the mini-black dike by some older climbers and it was climbed, but I didn't find it on my winter excursions out there. I did climb many other things though, mostly pillars topping off slab gully approaches north west of the ponds.
The free standing pillar, I believe was it, no doubt if the pillar came out from a bombay narrow dike. Otherwise it was one of the free standing pillars north of it. They drip out from the ground. I have soloed every pillar out there except this dike in winter.
Just to the south of the dike is a 200+ brown slab. The slab meets the south wall of this dike.
To find this section of cliff above Greeley ponds is difficult. I G.P.S near the ponds themselves and not this crag section. It's far to the left of where the G.P.S. positioning is shown. It comes into view as a thin edge and a piece of the slab furthest south on the edge. It's about 1+ miles away slightly south, mostly west of the ponds. I searched for years before I found this particular section. The rock is solid, perfect for smearing while not much to hold onto. Protection across the granite traverse is none, straight up instead of traversing is onto a black face unlike anything else I've seen (definitely not granite) with many horizontal ribbon bands. It would be an excellent climb but needs bolts. It has many foot holds but poorly created for pro and no escape for 100+ft. After the dike I saw it's finish. Nothing but hanging brush is above this black face.
The dike itself is granite climbed on the outside edges and should take pro. The end is horrible, but being without a rope I had to summit.
I don't know of any climbing on the east side on those mountains. I have seen the ridge.
My goal was the brown slab to the south that is 200+ft high on the west side. I believed I was going to traverse into it. The bombay dike stopped my progress. The slab is tucked down in an enclave. I still haven't been to the base of it. The slab (when the leaves are gone) can be seen a mile or so so up the East Peak Osceola trail from Greeley ponds. It has some length to it 200ft possibly. The trail does not go near to the slab. I got glimpses of it while climbing up the dike.
It's a very long bushwhack almost 1+ miles rugged but open hardwoods terrain to this section of the long ridge west of Greeley ponds, I felt the whole way bushwhacking looking for it was a complete waste of time. It might be best to find it before carrying all kinds of climbing gear and rope out there.
All I had were shoes and a nylon full length anorak. It was a hot day and I wore that anorak with the hood closed tightly to keep the flies away. I looked ridiculous but only the gods were watching and laughing.
I have no photo's of it. I hiked in from the Kancamagus Highway in early May, just as the the leaves were on the trees. I found a dear tick the next day attached to my chest, after it had almost had it's fill. Hence the name of the climb and the beginning of my 26yr struggle (now 2010) with neuro/muscular incurable Lyme disease.
This is a crag for those that don't mind wandering around in the woods and possibly finding nothing on that day. I used to bag routes no one has climbed before without a rope. In regards to that every climb I have done on sight without a rope that hasn't been done before by anyone, is a climb worthy of a star.
You keep on entertaining me, I thank you for that, Mark.
By M Sprague
Administrator
From: New England
Mar 3, 2010

OK, it seems the crag you are describing is not the one I went to, which is to the south east of the ponds, on the south west shoulder of Mnt. Kancamagus. If I ever get back there I will try to get some photos of it. I will have to check out the Osceola side you are describing. Walking in from Waterville I did notice an orange cliff that looked to be shaped like an overhanging amphitheater to the left, I think south of what you are describing. Ward Smith told me he checked it out and it was extremely rotten and loose, so we didn't hike up there that day. It might be worth another look as loose piles can often produce the best sport climbing
By CJC
Sep 17, 2012

4 stars huh take this guys ratings with a grain of salt lol

oh and it's DEER tick
By M Sprague
Administrator
From: New England
Oct 29, 2012

..unless you like ticks.

I figured out after talking to Brady Libby again that the crag we went to with the ice pillar is SE of Greeley pond at about 44.00230, -071.49417, and is called Monkey Village. It looks to be just south of the Greeley Ponds Scenic Area, right near the edge.

The furthest south of the ones Bradley mentions across the valley to the west, the chossy orange one, is known as Gorilla Head. Apparently there is a good traditionally protected arete around to the right a bit put up by Chris Buckley (I'll try to get more info). Once past this, going north, and over to the area where the Drool of the Beast is, is all in the Greeley Scenic Area, so be aware of the more restrictive policy on bicycles and power drills if you climb there.
By nick benedix
From: campton NH
Dec 2, 2012

on the WVAIA map gorilla head is called painted cliff and monkey village is called K1 cliff