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*Cannon Cliff

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0. Henderson's Buttress 
1. Whitney-Gilman Area 
2. Duet Area etc 
3. Big Wall 
4. Moby Grape Area 
5. Slabs 
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*Cannon Cliff  Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 4,100'
Location: 44.159, -71.6847 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 105,111
Administrators: Jay Knower, M Sprague, lee hansche, Jeffrey.LeCours, Robert Hall, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Jay Knower on Oct 23, 2011
Forecast:
Today

71° | 52°
Sunday

76° | 57°
Monday

74° | 56°
Tuesday

69° | 53°
Wednesday

64° | 49°
Thursday

67° | 51°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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P.Ross on the bivy ledge during first ascent of La...

Description 

Cannon Cliff is the tallest and most respected cliff in New England. The climbs are long, the weather is bad, and the rock is exfoliating. Every climber who heads up to do a route on Cannon understands that the undertaking is a considerable one.

This is not to say that the routes are bad, however. The popular routes ascend pristine granite and can be over ten pitches long. Just don't stray from your chosen route, as you may find yourself in one of Cannon's many heavily eroded vertical gullies.

Rockfall is a common occurrence on the cliff. The Old Man, a natural outline of a face in the rock and New Hampshire's famous state symbol, fell off the cliff a few years back. An entire pitch, the Whaleback Crack, parted from the face in the 1990's and created a swath of fresh talus at the base.
Rock Climbing Photo: This is the rough estimate of the areas i split ca...
This is the rough estimate of the areas i split cannon in to...


Located in Franconia Notch, the cliff faces east and many a climber has been caught unawares by fast-moving storms coming from the west. Plus, a long talus approach leads to the base and can be heinous if the talus is wet or snow covered.

Do not let the above description dissuade you. Cannon offers the chance for the experienced climber to find alpine serenity on a remote, unforgiving, and challenging wall.

Getting There 

All roads lead to Interstate 93 and I-93 runs through Franconia Notch. The big cliff is on the west side of the road. You can't possibly miss it.

The parking area is on the north end of the cliff. It is only possible to access the lot from the southbound side of 93. If you are coming from the south, head past the lot and get off on the next exit (the Tramway exit). From here, reverse directions and head south into the lot.

Winter climbs 

For descriptions of Cannon's excellent winter climbs, including the super-classic Black Dike, see Cannon Ice Climbs.

Climbing Season



Weather station 8.6 miles from here

77 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',15],['3 Stars',40],['2 Stars',13],['1 Star',6],['Bomb',3]
['<=5.6',9],['5.7',9],['5.8',17],['5.9',16],['5.10',11],['5.11',7],['5.12',7],['5.13',1],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in *Cannon Cliff

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for *Cannon Cliff :
Lakeview   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches   5. Slabs
Lightning Crack    5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 150'   2. Duet Area etc
Whitney Gilman Ridge   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 600'   1. Whitney-Gilman Area
Reppys Crack   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 100'   4. Moby Grape Area
Slow and Easy   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 80'   2. Duet Area etc
Moby Grape   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches   4. Moby Grape Area
Ambrosia   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 90'   1. Whitney-Gilman Area
Union Jack   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 400'   4. Moby Grape Area
Moonshadow   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 600'   4. Moby Grape Area
Vertigo   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A0 R     Trad, Aid, Alpine, 4 pitches, 500'   4. Moby Grape Area
Raven Crack   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches, 300'   2. Duet Area etc
Odyssey of an Artichoke   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 500'   5. Slabs
Sticky Fingers   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches, 100'   2. Duet Area etc
VMC Direct Direct   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches, 800'   3. Big Wall
Duet Direct   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches, 200'   2. Duet Area etc
Condescender   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R     Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches, 300'   5. Slabs
Labyrinth Wall Direct   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 800'   3. Big Wall
Benedictus/Masterpiece   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, Alpine, 11 pitches, 1000'   3. Big Wall
Peppy's Face   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R     Sport, Alpine, 1 pitch, 140'   4. Moby Grape Area
The White Iceberg   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches, 400'   4. Moby Grape Area
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in *Cannon Cliff

Featured Route For *Cannon Cliff
Rock Climbing Photo: The normal (5.7) route is the green line... follow...

Whitney Gilman Ridge 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b  NH : *Cannon Cliff : 1. Whitney-Gilman Area
Whitney Gilman climbs the prominent ridge on the left side of Cannon. Interesting climbing, great belay ledges and incredible exposure make this climb a classic one. Edging up the well defined arete is an experience unique to New Hampshire climbing. There is no 5.7 more exposed than the WG. The approach is long. Expect about one hour of hiking. Walk down along the bike trail until you reach a well marked trail (photo) heading into the woods. Follow this trail uphill (photo) and through the inter...[more]   Browse More Classics in NH

Photos of *Cannon Cliff Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Peloquin and John Bragg below Canon preparing...
Mike Peloquin and John Bragg below Canon preparing...
Rock Climbing Photo: Whitney Gilman with the moon over top. A beautiful...
Whitney Gilman with the moon over top. A beautiful...
Rock Climbing Photo: a full-moon lit canon.
a full-moon lit canon.
Rock Climbing Photo: Long exposure at night, 2001.
Long exposure at night, 2001.
Rock Climbing Photo: canon in the summer
canon in the summer
Rock Climbing Photo: First ascent of The Ghost. July 1971
First ascent of The Ghost. July 1971
Rock Climbing Photo: a shot from the adjecent peak of hay stack
a shot from the adjecent peak of hay stack
Rock Climbing Photo: Cannon Cliff from Mount Lafayette. The stark Whitn...
Cannon Cliff from Mount Lafayette. The stark Whitn...
Rock Climbing Photo: The "new" man on the mountain... Cromagn...
The "new" man on the mountain... Cromagn...
Rock Climbing Photo: summer morning canon
summer morning canon
Rock Climbing Photo: Cannon, and its talus field, from afar.
Cannon, and its talus field, from afar.
Rock Climbing Photo: This is a topo of the slabs I've been working on. ...
BETA PHOTO: This is a topo of the slabs I've been working on. ...
Rock Climbing Photo: The first traverse of Cannon .The Magical Mystery ...
The first traverse of Cannon .The Magical Mystery ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Matt Ritter Leading up the 3rd pitch
Matt Ritter Leading up the 3rd pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: cannon
cannon
Rock Climbing Photo: Grade V
Grade V
Rock Climbing Photo: The central wall of Cannon
The central wall of Cannon
Rock Climbing Photo: Full view of the Whitney Gilman Ridge
BETA PHOTO: Full view of the Whitney Gilman Ridge
Rock Climbing Photo: Matt Bacalakis climbing up Whitney Gilman Ridge
Matt Bacalakis climbing up Whitney Gilman Ridge
Rock Climbing Photo: Matt Ritter Belaying on Whitney Gilman Ridge
Matt Ritter Belaying on Whitney Gilman Ridge
Rock Climbing Photo: Another shot of Cannon, from Mt. Liberty
Another shot of Cannon, from Mt. Liberty
Rock Climbing Photo: The approach to the Whitney Gilman Ridge
The approach to the Whitney Gilman Ridge
Rock Climbing Photo: What a beautiful cliff!
What a beautiful cliff!
Rock Climbing Photo: me and jakob peering over the drop in to the black...
me and jakob peering over the drop in to the black...

Show All 43 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on *Cannon Cliff Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 24, 2015
By Ladd
Administrator
Oct 12, 2007
Check out the article in Alpinist vol. 21
By Jay Knower
Administrator
From: Campton, NH
Feb 15, 2009
Basilisk has scanned an old guidebook for Cannon. You can download it here.
By Mike McLean
Oct 13, 2011
I was told there was a way to descend from the bottom of the cliff face by going to the right of Lakeview and following a trail.

Last Sunday, I was up at Lakeview at about 10AM and it was jam packed and backed up by a slooooooooooow group; looked at Weisner Dike and there was a sllllloooooow group there as well.

Considering there was bound to be a huge clusterf*ck at the last pitch, I figured I'd just walk back down and go somewhere else; there is something that looks like a trail for a few hundred feet ... then nothing. I ended up bushwhacking straight down for 95% of the descent and ended up directly on the left side of the parking.

Anyway; word to the wise: That trail is somewhat overgrown.
By lee hansche
Administrator
From: goffstown, nh
Oct 24, 2011
Im in the middle of redoing Cannon Cliff's organization. I just have to move the photos now. As you look around let me know if any routes are out of place. The area descriptions are just rough drafts so far.
By john strand
From: southern colo
Oct 24, 2011
I was about to add lab Wall- it's been quite a while and my meager notes are somewhat sketchy. Anyone else ??? It's such a great,demanding climb.
By Ian Dibbs
Jun 22, 2013
The wind blowing down through the Franconia Notch can be strong and cold, a windproof jacket and maybe even a light hat is probably a good idea even in the summer.
By Rich Brereton
From: Durham, NH
Aug 9, 2013
Anyone feel like posting info on Benedictus? Can't say I'm qualified.
By Claire Stolz
From: Cambridge, MA
Oct 20, 2013
I found a rope on Cannon on Saturday. If it's yours, tell me where you left it and what color it is, and I'll get it back to you.
By Jeffrey.LeCours
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Apr 25, 2014
There is an awesome Gigapan of Cannon Cliff taken by Jim Surette on the Museum of the White Mountains website. It's fantastic how far you can zoom in! This is a great resource when planning out your climb at Cannon.

MotWM's viewing area is 400 pixels tall but gigapan allows up to 800 pixels tall. Here is a direct link to a larger viewer. I tried to get it full screen but it took just enough effort for me to lose interest -- this one's good enough. :)

gigapan.com/gigapans/148041/op...

So Mark... how many beers do you think it will take to get Jim to gigapan Green's?
By Rich Brereton
From: Durham, NH
Jul 31, 2015
Anyone know if Jon Sykes is planning to do a new edition of Secrets of the Notch?
By Jeffrey.LeCours
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Jul 31, 2015
Rich, Sykes & Cunningham have put a lot of time into a new book for the notches that will cover route descriptions for Crawford, Zealand, Franconia, Kinsman, and Olivarian Notches. It's been "coming out soon" but surely will be worth the wait.
By Eric8
From: Maynard, MA
Jul 31, 2015
There facebook pages says they were targeting summer 15 for whatever that is worth...
facebook.com/groups/valhallapu...
By Robert111
Oct 13, 2015
Does anyone have any info to find the decent. My friend said it was challenging. I haven't been able to find a guidebook and plan on using the info from this site, but there is no decent info. Plan on trying Moby Grape this weekend..
By Daniel Weisman
Oct 24, 2015
I can confirm that there has been significant destruction at the top of the Moby Grape approach trail (bottom of vertigo). Looks like a big chunk came out from under Moonshadow. Lots of trees were knocked down, and the trail was in pretty rough condition from about 50 yards to the top.

In the photos you can see that a big block came out, and there's now a pretty treacherous looking roof/hanging flake directly above the top of the approach trail.

There was also a lot of falling ice today. Wear your helmet and be careful up there!


Rock Climbing Photo: Some of the destruction
Some of the destruction


Rock Climbing Photo: The base of the cliff where the rock came down.
The base of the cliff where the rock came down.


Rock Climbing Photo: looking up
looking up


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