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Atlantis Area
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Atlantis T 
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Burning Down The House T 
Cold Day in Hell T 
Hotter Than Hell T 
Indian Summer T 
Inferno T 
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Lost Souls T 
New Wave Traverse (L to R Girdle of Whitehorse Ledge), The T 
Tranquility  T 
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Unforgettable Fire T 
Workshop Orgy (variation of Atlantis) T 


YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, 380'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: B. Anderson and W. Christian Aug 1972
Page Views: 8,537
Submitted By: lee hansche on Jun 2, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (90)
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Joshua Corbett follows Inferno's crack pitch.


Though it is a classic route on its own, the upper pitches are more perfect than the first, and I recommend Hotter Than Hell (5.9) to the ledge and finishing on the last 2 pitches of Inferno, this is THE classic link up on this part of the cliff. The true beginning is fun but a little wandering, not following a distinct feature. We will start from there though.

Pitch 0: Scramble on to the ledge below Atlantis. Scramble right then back left till you are comfortable on the ledge.

Pitch 1: (5.7) Climb up a groove, then on to a flake, and work your way left passing a pin and joining the big corner on the left for a few feet. Follow the crack to belay near a small tree. 130 FT.

Pitch 2: (5.4) Scramble left to gain a big tree ledge and walk along the ledge till you are under a beautiful crack system. Belay from here.

Pitch 3: (5.8) Follow a flake up past small tree until you can move left to a perfect crack. Jam this awesome crack to a belay ledge with a small tree. This crack is one of the best at the grade in the White Mountains. 100 ft.

Pitch 4: (5.8) Traverse left 10 feet to a steep flake system heading up and right, follow this to a few more exciting moves to the top of the cliff.

Pitches 3 and 4 can be combined as one long pitch but care must be taken to avoid rope drag. Most people just do them separately but I like the link up.

Rap with 2 ropes to the tree ledge, then another two rope rap to the ground.


Starts under the left-facing, corner system of Atlantis (5.10b). Wandering up a less than vertical face to the ledge before walking left for the upper pitches.


Standard rack.

Photos of Inferno Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Joshua Corbett atop the Hotter Than Hell/Inferno l...
Joshua Corbett atop the Hotter Than Hell/Inferno l...
Rock Climbing Photo: Another great view of the stellar hand crack at th...
Another great view of the stellar hand crack at th...
Rock Climbing Photo: Topping out on Inferno on a perfect late autumn da...
Topping out on Inferno on a perfect late autumn da...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking climbers left along the traverse that star...
Looking climbers left along the traverse that star...
Rock Climbing Photo: Me bro Evan on Inferno's classic hand crack
Me bro Evan on Inferno's classic hand crack
Rock Climbing Photo: On the last pitch of Inferno.
On the last pitch of Inferno.
Rock Climbing Photo: Joshua nearing the tree belay ledge atop Inferno's...
Joshua nearing the tree belay ledge atop Inferno's...
Rock Climbing Photo: First pitch of Inferno, as best i could figure out...
BETA PHOTO: First pitch of Inferno, as best i could figure out...
Rock Climbing Photo: Chinos representing atop Inferno.
Chinos representing atop Inferno.
Rock Climbing Photo: Ryan getting into the obvious crack on P2 (done as...
Ryan getting into the obvious crack on P2 (done as...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jeremy, Final pitch
Jeremy, Final pitch

Comments on Inferno Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 14, 2015
By john strand
From: southern colo
Jul 14, 2008

If not the best trad 5.8 in the state then I don't know what is.
By Chris Norfolk
From: Fredericton, New Brunswick
Jan 5, 2010

Agreed. Don't miss this climb.
By Larry S
From: Easton, Pennsylvania
Jul 7, 2010

Finding it: If you're standing below some blankish slabs with a bolt or two, you're too low, head left then scramble right onto the ledge.

P1 seems really contrived and is a bit difficult to follow. Just keep looking for the path of least resistance trending right then back left to the vertical section of the arching roof-crack. There was a small wasp nest in the bottom of the flake midway up as of early july, so be careful. Found 1 piton, 1 ratty fixed tricam, and a freshly fixed #1 camalot. Run it all the way to the trees on the ledge, no reason to stop and make it two pitches.

P2 - Awesome, 4 stars. Follow the obvious crack above the ledge.

P3 - Follow cracks and flakes starting left of the belay to a mantle at the top.

Descent - Walk left to a tree with slings and rings. Do two 2-rope rappels. If you only have one rope and you trust it enough, there is a single bolt with a quick-link in the middle of the first rap and a tree in the middle of the second.
By Jeffrey.LeCours
From: New Hampshire
Aug 21, 2010

Just did the HTH to Inferno link up today and WOW! Great face climbing up crimps on HTH and an absolutely STELLAR crack up Inferno. It seems like it would be easy to do the top two pitches of Inferno in one shot... but the 3rd pitch belay ledge is such a nice position you might as well take a minute and appreciate the fantastic crack you just climbed.
By Keyan P
From: Brooklyn, NY
Jun 26, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R

Found it to be more like 3 pitches, as P2 is just walking climbers left to a belay tree. Great climbing for the whole route, but P1 was most definitely R, fairly secure face climbing with thinly spaced gear and big fall potential until reaching the Atlantis corner.
By joshua corbett
From: Wolfeboro NH
Oct 22, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

It is possible to walk off left its not bad at all, we did it yesterday with our TC Pros on in wet conditions with ease
By Ryan Nelling
Aug 9, 2013

Came up to this from Hotter Than Hell - awesome link-up. I climbed this in one pitch - just sling the tree & extend it, clip the fixed piece long, and get to the top! Someone had left a rap anchor on the tree right above where this tops out, I guess it was dark, or they were unaware of the rappel 40 feet to climber's left.
By Paul LaFontaine
From: hebron,nh
Nov 5, 2013

climbed pitch one of Inferno yesterday and would agree with some of the posters that the first pitch deserves an R rating. The climbing was not difficult but the confidence inspiring pro was limited and seemed like some long run outs until reaching the Atlantis corner, which gobbles up gear.
By ccmski
From: Prescott, AZ
Nov 4, 2014

can link last 2 pitches with a 60m, but beware of rope drag. Walkoff wasn't too bad except the ankle deep death leaves
By gblauer
From: Wayne, PA
Jun 23, 2015

Very fun climb. Totally worth doing. P2 (the pitch that's right after P1 of Hotter than Hell) is amazing.
By petr07
Aug 10, 2015
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

You can walk off, and you can also finish on Cosmic Crag above. Cosmic Amazement (5.9 lieback) is a great way to finish it all off.
By Russ Keane
Sep 14, 2015

I led the official pitch 1 of Inferno this weekend.... It was kind of weird, but not too bad, a pretty good little 5.7 test, and I don;t think the protection was all that bad. It wasn't super run out or scary. Not a classic pitch, but certainly the move over the end of the corner is pretty cool.

As for the top pitches- Yes indeed these are sweet and classic. However- I was under the expectation that there was going to be a long, continuous crack based on the photo you always see from the belay (see Handren book)... But in fact that lightning bolt crack is only 10 feet long, and the rest is more of a steep flake or broken crack system. Thus, I was a little let down by the climb overall. Still gorgeous high quality climbing but I had a slight misunderstanding about its epicness in terms of being a premier "crack climb".
By john strand
From: southern colo
Sep 14, 2015

Welcome to the South Butt Russ..damn few classic crack climbs..almost zero in fact.

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