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Lost Souls 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 400', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.10a/b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: John Sykes, Bill Lowther et al
Season:  fall and spring, the south buttress can be hot in summer
Page Views: 3,909
Submitted By: Casey Bald on Apr 14, 2007

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Pitch 1: climb up to a bolt under a small roof, mantle the lip (pin) and traverse right pulling another small roof at a bolt, traverse right at the base of the head wall and clip a bolt (crux) follow decently spaced bolts to a bolt and two pin anchor next to a flake 5.10.

Pitch 2. traverse left 25 feet and place trad pro at the base of the arete (large nut or hex useful). Climb the beautiful arete on bolts (exposed, 5.9+) to a two bolt anchor below a wide dihedral.

Pitch 3: climb the beautiful dihedral using crack and face holds to a half driven in lost arrow, continue up the corner to an awkward layback move (crux). Traverse left 20 feet to the two bolt anchor on Atlantis.

Rappel straight down in two raps with 60 meter ropes.


The south buttress of Whitehorse can be accessed by the main climbers trail spanning the length of Whitehorse. Make sure to park in the climbers lot located on the right when driving towards the hotel. Please do not cross the golf course or disturb golfers as the White Mountain Hotel and the residents of the golf course have been helpful in providing access to the cliff.


The majority of this route relies on fixed protection; however, in true New Hampshire style, most of the bolts and pins were drilled/placed on lead. A standard rack from #0.4 to #3 and a set of nuts should suffice. Because of the wandering nature of the first and second pitch, using double ropes is a good idea.

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 8, 2015
By L. Hamilton
Jul 1, 2007

It's not mentioned but the description above begins partway up the cliff, after a 4th-class scramble up and right to reach fixed anchors at the horizontal break below the steeper part of the wall.

There's a worthwhile first pitch that was traditionally part of the route, but which is bypassed by doing this scramble. Its difficulty and rock quality are consistent with the climbing above, so for full value, you might want to climb all four pitches.

From the ground, scramble up and right about 40' to a ledge with tree-cluster below a steep, clean slab. A bolt can be seen 10' up this slab, marking the start of the climb. Reach the bolt, surmount a big overlap, and continue with face climbing and friction past several fixed pins directly up to the belay below the crux pitch of Lost Souls. 100' 5.9 PG.
By Casey Bald
Sep 16, 2007

larry, does the original first pitch start at the edge of the slime gully, I have only done the top three pitches....I dont want to miss out!
By L. Hamilton
Apr 27, 2008

For the original first pitch of Lost Souls, start at the same gearing-up spot used for Atlantis, Inferno, Last Unicorn, etc. Instead of scrambling up the long 3rd class section that accesses those routes, look for a ledge with several trees about 30 feet up and right from the start of scrambling. The first bolt of the Lost Souls can be seen from the ground, on a slab about ten feet above the tree ledge. Scramble up to the tree ledge and set the first belay.

Slab climbing (tricky when wet) leads up to the obvious bolt. Zig right and then left to surmount the headwall, and continue up a slab past several fixed pitons, eventually reaching a bolt belay below the big headwall pitch of Lost Souls. About 100 feet, 5.9 PG.
By john strand
From: southern colo
Jul 14, 2008

I have not done this route but Bill told me just before he died that this was his best line. Quite a statement from someone who did so many good F/A's.
By lee hansche
From: goffstown, nh
Jul 30, 2008

I just climbed this route yesterday...
the first pitch adds to the climb and i saw no reason to avoid it...
pitch 3, the arete with 2 bolts is a little spooky and fun...
all in all a great climb...
By paul y.
Oct 11, 2011

One of the most fun routes on the South Butt!! Consistently good/varied climbing all the way to the top.

I thought I'd post to echo the sentiments about the first pitch. It's worth doing. After the first set of pitons, on the slab, it's hard to see where the next two are. I went left and never found them/or any other gear resulting in a rather long run out to the 1st anchor. On the way down, we spotted them: look for two consecutive tufts of grass trending straight and slightly right above the first paired pitons. They should be just right on a line of sight from the clump of wimpy trees that marks the end of the slab section.
By Peter Lewis
From: Bridgton, Maine
May 25, 2012

I agree with the others about the first pitch; it's well worth doing. And the arete on the third pitch is indeed spicy, so a cool head is helpful. Two raps with two 60m ropes to the ground from the final anchor: the first rappel goes to a fixed anchor straight below with one of the mightiest sets of chains you ever saw.
By hasan
From: portland,me
Jun 30, 2012

To start we climbed a mini pitch to a 2 bolt belay right underneath a roof overlap and a lone bolt before p1. Starting p1, those first few moves could be pg13, the first bolt does nothing if you fall mantling above it. The slab is right underneath. Putting a regular draw on that bolt would be horrendous rope drag since you break hard right immediately after mantling onto the ledge with the piton. I put a 4ft runner on that bolt, fell doing that mantle, and decked on the slab below just above the the belay anchor. Luckily didn't twist or break my ankles, it would be a horrendous approach out. Its insecure and needs a relax mind There are two small crimps on the ledge, not much to pull on once you get into it. Plenty pro on the right side after ledge.
By Matt Desenberg
From: North Berwick, ME
Oct 19, 2013
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

I wasn't a huge fan of the first pitch, but it's part of the route so I would do it again. The scramble across isn't much better.

The upper three pitches of the route were terrific and pretty straightforward. The pillar wasn't really spooky per se, but there are a few times over the course of the route when falls wouldn't be a great idea.

We climbed on a single rope with a separate rap line and had no trouble with drag. Put a short/regular draw on the first bolt of the second pitch and sling the pin long after the mantle.
By kevin neville
From: Somerville, MA
Sep 1, 2014

I found the arete to be the crux, either hard for 10a or I just couldn't figure out the sequence. Climbed the chimney to the right as an alternative at ~5.9. The top dihedral pitch isn't bad, maybe 5.9 as well, and protects better than it looks like it's going to from below.
By Russ Keane
Nov 8, 2015

This climb is fantastic. You are literally awash in granite, as it goes right up the middle of the gigantic mass of Wonderwall. The line feels so natural and intuitive as you ascend the cliff. The climbing is exciting, and at no point does it become boring or contrived. In fact it felt like a remote alpine mountaineering route for some reason!

I would absolutely recommend this climb to people. In the Handren guide it's 3 stars, and I concur. The "forgotten" first pitch is way worth it. Don't skip it!

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