BETA PHOTO: The obvious crack line visible from the white trai...
This area is briefly mentioned in the 2nd edition of the New England Bouldering guide.
A collection of large boulders surround a small pond in the center of Pawtuckaway State Park. A cluster of boulders directly abuts the pond, while some others are found in the woods nearby. A number of prominent crack lines looked clean as if they had been climbed before. Some of the more difficult lines were dirty and had loose flakes and may have never been climbed.
Park at the boat launch parking lot off of Deerfield Rd. Walk over the foot bridge and turn left to follow the wide trail. After about 10 minutes you will pass the large Fisherman Boulder on the left side of the trail. Continue along the trail until you reach a a small wooden bridge that has been washed out next to a #4 sign on a large tree. Do not cross the stream, instead continue along the narrower trail that leads NW along the side of the marsh. This trailed is marked with white paint blazes. After You will cross a wooden foot bridge and continue to follow the white trail as it snakes around a few marshes. The trail will eventually travel SW with marshes on the left side of the trail. As the marsh ends the trail turns sharply to the north, at this point there is a small stream just off the trail and beyond the stream there a two large boulders in view. One of the large boulders has an obvious wide crack splitting it down the center. At this point move off the trail and cross the stream to these two boulders. Continuing past these boulders towards large boulders in the distance that will lead towards the pond.
Although not actually named the Flake Route, it serves as a good description. Jutting out from the scooped face of the boulder is a large block that happens to be a great starting hold. Pull on and follow the crimpy flake up and left until you get your hands on the large slopey shelf. Unfortunately, this is where the holds run out and the problem ends. Drop off, or better yet, link into the start of the crack to the left and highball up the boulder....[more]Browse More Classics in NH
I made a trip to explore the magic pond after reading about it in the New England Bouldering guide. I believe I found the correct place. I will post some pictures, please if you recognize any of these climbs post any information you know. I would like to stimulate some discussion on the Magic Pond Area because the New England Bouldering guidebook lacks details.
Was I in the right place? Do you know of any more boulders around the pond that I did not photograph? Any info on first ascents? Any boulder problems given names?
I have spent a bunch of time out there as the climbing suits my style. Most of the cracks and corners are in .9 to .10 range, with a few being a bit harder. The big boulder at the top of the hill with the crack wraping around it is hard off the ground and easier as it gets higher. Besides the start I've never done it, but have had friends lead it on gear. Some of the boulders by the pond itself lend themselves to harder bouldering. In the late fall this is one of my favorite areas to spend a day and the best part is...no one is ever around.
As far as established routes go, I would assume all of the cracks were climbed a bunch of years ago. And every few years I hear of stronger climber going out and reclimbing old climbs. Just assume everything has been climbed beofore and have fun at a magical place!
Do you know if there is more bouldering around the entire perimeter of the pond? I only went as far as the cluster of boulders on the edge of the water.
By BDalhaus Administrator From: Manchester, NH Aug 12, 2009
Across the pond from what you photographed are the Beaver Dam boulders. Downstream from them is another cluster, and up the hill behind them are a few scattered large boulders with a beautiful giant boulder a few minutes over the ridge. In the middle of the pond is the Whale boulder, which is climbable in winter for the brave. On the walk out there, the two boulders on the trail are the Twins, the first of which holds a V6 called Pearl Necklace. The first two boulders you find after leaving the trail and crossing the stream are the Gas Boulders. With the exception of the crack climbing, most of the rock is chossy, and nearly everything has been climbed. Keep in mind the area was discovered roughly 6 years ago and not many people venture out there. Hiking out there to climb is more about the solitude and enjoyment than the names and the grades.
Magic Pond is also known as "Incredible Pond" on topographic and orienteering maps. If you're looking to do more exploring in the area take a look at the orienteering course maps out there of Pway, they are online and easy to find. Someone has been nice enough to have gone through the trouble of mapping out just about every rock in the park.
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Apr 17, 2011
This weekend I headed out to Area 51 to take some pictures and get GPS coordinates of the boulders. I then took the new pink taped trail from the Mowgli Boulder running east, then eventually broke off to the right and bushwhacked. I found a huge number of fantastic boulders, eventually getting down to what I figured must be the Magic Pond Boulders. Not having been there before, I returned the next day with Chris Smith using the above directions to confirm if they were the same. We found it is actually shorter coming from the parking for Area 51 than from the boat launch. There is huge potential in this whole area, and many of the boulders are fantastic. Some of the boulders do have chossy flakes (and a few nasty glue jobs that need to be cleaned up), But the potential for super quality lines with some TLC cleaning is mind boggling. Even if many lines having been done and gone back into obscurity , I am sure there is giant potential for new routes, especially as you go further north east. The old ones deserve rebrushing up
I'll try to work on a map using my GPS points showing how to get there by going through Area 51 and post it up here.
The last time I was out here I noticed that a lot has changed since I first explored the area in 2002. When you first come to the pond moving uphill and right from the gas boulders there is a group of boulders next to the water that used to have a large group of hemlock saplings between them, on my last venture out I noticed that someone had done some very aggressive landscaping to make all the possible faces of the boulders climbable. When I say aggressive I mean some f**king hack landscaping, it makes me wonder if it was really viable to cut all those trees? I can understand "cleaning" a route but this seems excessive beyond what is considered normal removal of lichen, boulder top duff and debris, it looked like a small logging op. Anybody?
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Dec 13, 2011
I'd have to see what it is you are referring to judge. Things looked fine when I was out there in April. Everything looked pretty natural except that one bad glue job. I wouldn't personally have much of an issue if somebody removed a few scraggly saplings if done well so it wasn't really noticeable and didn't effect the habitat or feel of an area, and for something really good, but if somebody was a slob and made it look like a slash and burn with punji stick stumps and branches thrown around, that's obviously unfortunate.
The name of the area is fitting, so people should know better than to hack it up. If a handful of little saplings really need to be removed, they should be cut down below the level of the soil and then the stump covered up and all debris cut up small and distributed around in as natural way as you can.