Several ice flows from WI3+ to WI5 multi-pitch climbs exist. Condition of ice flows dependent on weather. Sometimes very thin to nothing at all can exist on some of the longer flows. Be prepared for bitter coldness or worst rain sometimes.
Cross country skis and snow shoes are needed. Go eight miles of cross country skiing until at Thirteen Falls Campground. Turn left and and follow Franconia Brook trail towards Mt. Lafayette. When trail crosses Franconia Brook (DON'T), keep heading straight on the old logging road through short pines. When logging road terminates to being mostly forest ahead there is a decent camp site opening near Franconia Brook.
Cliff is about 1 mile heading up on logging road west to start from camp. When slope gets steep and road ends go up north northwest. If slope doesn't get too steep after much snow shoeing you've missed the ledge and its likely west from where you are lost. I have never missed it but its also not easy to find. Much snow shoeing with no sight of cliff ahead. Deep snow drifts before cliff create trouble navigating footsteps and seeing. This is the right place and still no cliff will be in sight. Don't see until you can climb it usually.
This is longest and only way I have done by taking Lincoln woods old wilderness trail to Franconia Brook Trail turning right onto it to Thirteen Falls Campground.
Shortest distance to car parked 6-7 miles from RT 302. These are terrible miles over mountains. Shortest distance is by Garfield Trail to the A.T. follow it east to trail leading down to 13 Falls. Don't go to Falls, instead traverse across slope until crag comes into view. Another way is Gale Head Trail to Gale Head Hut and walk south down from hut to 13 Falls. Day trips from 13 Falls Campground would be another good way to do multiple day camping but much time would be taken up getting to cliff.
This is a protected wilderness coded area in NH. That means leave no trace, use no ribbon trail markers on trees, no permanent anchors, including pitons and fixed webbing on a tree.
7 Total Routes
['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For Garfield Crag
: *NH Ice and Alpine Climbing
: Garfield Crag
Climb steep ramp to pillar. Pillar starts wide and narrows so much that one leg ends up front pointing on rock stemming up crux. Very awkward and well protected but a little run out. Enter easy ramp when iced and not so easy when bare rock covered snow. This climb was originally soloed by top rope by me in 1985. ...[more] Browse More Classics in NH
Latest Regional Forum Messages
BETA PHOTO: Left line is Bilbo's Tunnel, middle is Leaving the...
|By Adam Wilcox|
From: Candia, NH
Aug 13, 2009
You certainly get around.
Thanks for sharing, Brad. I might never go to a lot of these places but I enjoy reading about them.
|By bradley white|
Aug 14, 2009
You are welcome Adam.
I used mole skinned cross country skis with Tirol adjustable bindings that fit ice climbing boots on the Wilderness trail to Franconia Brook trail and then would camp close to the brook west uphill from 13 falls campground. I modified a weight lifter's belt with loop holes to drag two kid sleds behind me. These sleds were loaded with food, camping supplies and climbing gear. I had 10 days off between Christmas and New years day. I usually stayed six days out there. One day to approach and set up camp. One day to snowshoe up to the crag's base. Three or four days climbing and one day to break camp and ski back to the car. I went out there four years. The only person that ever joined me was Jim Shimberg. The rest of my climbing associates I believe, thought I was nuts.
I had some mishaps over the years, sleds careening off the trail snapping the drag lines, Spent one night with Jim at 30 below zero, had my camp destroyed in 1984 year by high wind spouts and rain. I had to build a fire inside what was left of my shelter to survive the night. Scratched my corneas by fire ash and after seeing the doctor had to wear patches on both eyes for a week. I loved it out there away from civilization except for a radio and sometimes Jim.
|By Mike Thompson|
From: Manchester NH
Aug 15, 2009
you are one burly dude bradley :)
|By Ryan Barber|
From: Rumney, NH
Dec 27, 2011
LOL. How many miles on the approach??
|By john strand|
From: southern colo
Dec 27, 2011
if you are areal maniac-- come in over the top. So special