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4. Moby Grape Area
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Dark Hallow T 
Manhedral T 
Moby Grape T 
Moonshadow T 
Peppy's Face S 
Psyche Dike (Bradley Leblanc's unfinished variation) T 
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Union Jack T 
Vertigo T 
White Iceberg, The T 

Moby Grape 

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

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Joe Cote, Roger Martin, 1972
Page Views: 40,208
Submitted By: Jay Knower on Nov 8, 2006

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BETA PHOTO: i know someone already posted a map for this but t...

Description 

Moby Grape is the second most popular route on Cannon, behind the Whitney Gilman. It is a classic 5.8 wall climb, comparable to Nutcracker in Yosemite or to Guide's Wall in the Tetons. Until the final two pitches, the rock is as good as granite gets.

The Conn buttress borders the right side of the big wall section and Moby Grape climbs up the center of this buttress. Though the original first pitch climbed the left corner of the buttress, Reppy's Crack, a splitter in the truest sense of the word, has become the pitch of choice.

Pitch 1, (Reppy's Crack) 5.8: Climb the obvious splitter crack. This has been called the best hand crack in New Hampshire. Though more of a fist crack, Reppy's requires jamming skills because there are no face holds. Follow the crack to easier rock and climb to the end of your rope.

Pitch 2, (The Triangular Roof) 5.8: This is the technical crux of the route. Climb up to and over the prominent triangular roof using hand jams. This pitch ends at a good ledge.

Pitch 3: Move right around the corner on less than ideal rock. Belay near the base of the unmistakable flake.

Pitch 4, (The Finger of Fate) 5.8: Climb runout rock up to the flake. This flake looks dubiously connected to the cliff but is actually pretty solid. Either chimney up the left side of the flake or hand traverse (campus if you dare) along the right side. Belay on a scruffy ledge. It is possible to rappel from here with two ropes.

Pitch 5: The climbing degrades into classic Cannon rockaneering. Meander around short walls and aim for a belay near the left side of a huge fallen pillar.

Pitch 6, 5.8: Climb the awkward corner in the left side of the pillar to a roof. Exit the corner on the right and head to the top.

Descent: At the top of the cliff, head right toward the top of the now defunct Old Man. Follow the waterslide, a cemented water diversion apparatus (that obviously didn't work) downhill until a trail can be picked up. It is possible to head right at the bottom of the cliff to get back to the base, or head straight to go back to the parking lot.


Protection 

Standard rock rack, with doubles. Reppy's Crack takes #3 and #3.5 Camalots. Two ropes are required for rappels. Don't forget your helmet--this is Cannon after all.



Photos of Moby Grape Slideshow Add Photo
Converse demonstrating the proper climbing technique for conquering the finger of fate.
BETA PHOTO: Converse demonstrating the proper climbing techniq...
The Finger of Fate from the belay below.
The Finger of Fate from the belay below.
Reppy's Crack 7/3/2010.
Reppy's Crack 7/3/2010.
Looking down from below the triangle roof
Looking down from below the triangle roof
One from the Vaults.  Edge on an ascent of Moby Grape circa 1984.
One from the Vaults. Edge on an ascent of Moby Gr...
Kurts corner variation finish
Kurts corner variation finish
Here i'm standing on top of the Finger of Fate looking down at Mike and lots of exposure... puts it in perspective a little bit....
Here i'm standing on top of the Finger of Fate loo...
pulling the roof on pitch 3... photo corey hebert...
pulling the roof on pitch 3... photo corey hebert....
Sean Bowen, Below the Finger of Fate, looking twords the Whitney Gilman Ridge
Sean Bowen, Below the Finger of Fate, looking twor...
moving toward the roof
moving toward the roof
here im chillin at the pod rest 2/3 of the way up reppy's... photo by corey hebert...
here im chillin at the pod rest 2/3 of the way up ...
Tim looking out from the Finger.
Tim looking out from the Finger.
Below the Finger of Fate
Below the Finger of Fate
climbing out of the squeeze up the finger of fate...
climbing out of the squeeze up the finger of fate....
approaching the "finger of fate"... <br />corey hebert photo...
approaching the "finger of fate"...
corey hebert p...
On the upper slabs.
On the upper slabs.
The classic Reppy's crack butt shot... what a nice pitch though...
The classic Reppy's crack butt shot... what a nice...
The was my first time up moby grape and i took a variation (oops) to get to the roof on pitch 3... the part im on here felt about cannon 5.9 or 9+ but was very fun... the moderate way is to the left...
The was my first time up moby grape and i took a v...
Pulling the finger, so to speak... corey hebert took the photo...
Pulling the finger, so to speak... corey hebert to...
Bryce Dalhaus about to pull the triangle roof.
Bryce Dalhaus about to pull the triangle roof.
Yeah, it's solid. The Finger of Fate. Photo by Ron Long.
Yeah, it's solid. The Finger of Fate. Photo by Ron...
Mike happy to be jamming on Reppy's Crack...
Mike happy to be jamming on Reppy's Crack...
Ron Long on pitch 3.
Ron Long on pitch 3.
Mike getting toward the top of Reppy's...
Mike getting toward the top of Reppy's...
Roof crux.
Roof crux.
Mike Thompson pulling the roof move... you can jam it or lay it back but few people can make it look good...
Mike Thompson pulling the roof move... you can jam...
Reppy's.  A couple of dudes from tufts are doing yoga on the original first pitch. <br />(it's not as steep as it used to be)
Reppy's. A couple of dudes from tufts are doing y...
Above the Triangular roof
Above the Triangular roof
Mid climb
Mid climb
View from above Triangular roof, looking twords the Whitney Gilman Ridge
View from above Triangular roof, looking twords th...
Reppy's Crack. Photo by Ron Long.
Reppy's Crack. Photo by Ron Long.
Belay above the Triangular roof, looking down with climbers on Vertigo
Belay above the Triangular roof, looking down with...
Leaving the belay ledge at the top of the second pitch and approaching the "awkward" roof.  The route continues up through the prominent right facing dihedral center left in the picture and the "finger of fate" can be seen just beyond and a tad to the left of the corner.
Leaving the belay ledge at the top of the second p...
Ron Long following pitch 2.
Ron Long following pitch 2.
The crux triangle roof awaits. Shimberg photo.
The crux triangle roof awaits. Shimberg photo.
Erik the Red leading pitch 5. Shimberg photo
Erik the Red leading pitch 5. Shimberg photo
straddling the finger of fate
straddling the finger of fate
Kurt's Corner Topo: <br />Orange - alternate Cave pitch <br />Yellow - Kurt's Corner pitch <br />Blue - Slab pitch
BETA PHOTO: Kurt's Corner Topo:
Orange - alternate Cave pitch
...
Erik heading up Reppy's. Photo by Shimberg
Erik heading up Reppy's. Photo by Shimberg
Moby Grape
Moby Grape
Handjam laybackin'. Photo by Shimberg
Handjam laybackin'. Photo by Shimberg
Tim styling it.
Tim styling it.
Exposure and great climbing! Shimber Photo.
Exposure and great climbing! Shimber Photo.
Reppy's crack 7/3/2010. If this is you, contact me for more photos.
Reppy's crack 7/3/2010. If this is you, contact me...
Topo with belays and prominent points marked.
BETA PHOTO: Topo with belays and prominent points marked.
Comments on Moby Grape Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 10, 2013
By Anthony Anagnostou
From: nyc
Sep 8, 2007

"alpine rock rack"? i was pleased to have a double set of cams, including blue aliens, and if you're not solid on straight-in hands and wide hands then youll want extra #2 and #3 camalots.

great route. every pitch was interesting and it was climbing all the way to the top. double ropes are great on this route.

By asmith
Oct 16, 2007

I went lighter in Reppy's and found that there were many constrictions that would take big hexs.

By lee hansche
Administrator
From: goffstown, nh
May 4, 2009

Got on this one today after a couple years and man it was a blast! what a great route with memorable climbing on almost every pitch...

i had heard that there was a scramble off to the north after the Finger pitch... i had done the normal finish a couple times so i tryed the scramble today... got a little lost (and found a few nice pitches) but no easy scramble to the right... anyone know if it exists or if i was just sand bagged?

By Mike Thompson
From: Manchester NH
May 4, 2009

well :) today was my first experience of cannon and it was on this route... wow what an eye opening experience! WAY different than any trad i have done before and deffinately more heroing :) but all in all it was a blast :) despite how i may have sounded lee :) cant wait for my next cannon adventure.... and thats exactly what it was .... an adventure :)

By Adam Wilcox
From: Candia, NH
Aug 15, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Climbed this yesterday and Reppy's is my new favorite pitch. I felt like a single #3 Camalot would have been sufficient and the #3.5/4 was only really useful below the Finger. There's lots of small constrictions in Reppy's where other gear can be used.

There was some fresh rockfall just left of Reppy's. Art Mooney told my partner that it came off the original start in the last few days and may have altered that pitch significantly.

By J Antin
From: Denver, CO
Aug 27, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Climbed the Grape yesterday. It is an amazing route, and Reppy's is possibly my favorite pitch led to date! MG is the gift that keeps on giving! Highly recommended.

By losbill
Aug 29, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

After exiting the P6 roof, aka "The Cave"; instead of heading up right to finish, finish on Kurt's Corner. The base of its left-facing dihedral will be directly overhead. It is clearly visible to the left of the finish marked in the very nice topo photo.

Just do it! As my partner said to me yesterday at the top after finishing it, "Such a great finish lifts the entire quality of an already high quality climb." I heartily agreed!

By Mike C. Robinson
From: Rumney, NH
Aug 7, 2010

Amazing, I have moved this to #1, 5.8 on my list!

By Chris Norfolk
From: Fredericton, New Brunswick
Oct 12, 2010

Wow. My first Alpine style experience and we had the entire line to ourselves over the October long weekend. Great climb with wild stuff almost the whole way. The step down to the hanging flake off the anchors on the Finger pitch was airy!

Only thing to add is that I'm a 5.8 crag leader and this was a climb a bit over my head. I had to give almost all pitches to my stronger partner for the sake of speed. If this is your limit you might consider doing it in the summer when the days are longer.

By John Joline
Jun 24, 2011

Re the Kurt's Corner finish: This was originally done by Phil Koch and partner (whose name I don't know) sometime in the 1970's. Phil took me up it in summer/fall of 1980, and told me about his first ascent of it (which was free), which had taken place some years prior. (I think the current guidebook lists the FA as latter 1980's? I don't have it on me as I write this.)

By losbill
Jun 25, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

John -- Jon Sykes' guide notes Kurt Winkler and John Colebaugh 10/86 as the FA. I will point Jamie Cunningham to your post. Jon apparently doesn't do too much "web surfing". Jon is working on a new guide I believe to be called "Secrets of the Notches" to update development in Franconia Notch and the development of several areas up in Kinsman Notch over the last number of years. Would be an opportunity to correct the attribution as warranted based upon your comment. --- Bill

By N Nelsen
From: Lincoln, NH
Jul 20, 2011

First pitch didn't go with only a single set of 1-3 C4s. figured it was a good sign of things to come, so saving the route until a few more mid sized C4s are purchased. Great first pitch though, hope the rest of the route is as quality!

By shaftoe
Aug 4, 2011

This route has variety, is sustained, and is steep in a few spots.
I love it.
It's wild. Conditions can change your experience drastically...
for example, last saturday my partner and I got caught behind two groups of 3. We showed up at 10:30 because it had rained the night before and the notch was socked in. The first group of 3 had arrived at 7:30 and we saw them on the 3rd pitch (at the triangle) on the approach. By the time we were at the end of the 3rd pitch we had caught up to them! The last of their group was at the anchor and the second group of 3 was waiting.

Long story short, we ended up climbing the last pitch (including the cruxy-run-out-soaking-wet slab) in the pitch dark.
So did the pair behind us. Good for looking at the stars, not as good for climbing and finding the trail down.
(should have climbed the corner but my route description didn't show that)

Here's a picture of the log jam before the last pitch:

Night falls on the log jam.
Night falls on the log jam.

By lee hansche
Administrator
From: goffstown, nh
Aug 4, 2011

yuck! i hate waiting... i would have rapped and done a few other routes instead... glad you made it down safe!

By Ryan Barber
From: Rumney, NH
Sep 12, 2011

Very nice. I finally finished yesterday on my 4th attempt (1st attempt bailed at the top of Reppy's due to a rescue happening above; 2nd attempt bailed due to thunderstorms at the top of the triangular roof; 3rd attempt bailed because my partner could not push the roof despite his best efforts).

Took a fall on pitch 5/6 (Jay, perhaps you could fix the description from "classic cannon rockaneering"... Jon Sykes' book gives a little better idea) at the fixed pink tricam before the weird move out of the cave and up over the bulge to the belay. Not knowing where the route led, I tried to follow some smudgy chalk lines that went up left from the cave up the dihedral slabby corner. My feet peeled, and I dropped down to the ledge 15 feet below, my left foot hitting the ledge and having just enough rope to absorb the impact of the rest of my body. I immediately got up and figured out the awkward exit out right of the cave. The final pitch and a half was nicer climbing than I anticipated.

Highly recommended, and definitely will repeat.

By Pete Wilk
Sep 29, 2011

My partner and I climbed this route yesterday. We were expecting to rap down off the fourth pitch but were enjoying it too much to stop. This lead to an uncomfortable hike down in our climbing shoes but I'm glad I did the whole route.

We climbed the corner variation as described in the Northeast Select Climbs book by Lewis and Horowitz. The corner was good fun and I recommend it. Rather than heading right after the chimney/cave head straight up and set the belay just below a left facing corner. From here we headed up the corner and onto slabby terrain above.

Caution! I used all 70m of my rope and just barely got to a stance where I could put in a few marginal pieces and belay my partner up (right side of slab). I ran out probably 70ft of slab with only a dead tree as mental pro. Wet moss and slab made things even more spicy. Doing it again I would set a belay after the corner at the most convenient spot then do the run out on the slab. That would give enough rope to set a better belay.

Descent: If doing the corner variation you'll end up near some cables we thought were Old Man remnants. This turned out to be untrue. Walk more or less downhill and north. Aim for a rectangular foundation like structure you'll be able to see from where you topped out. There are some faint trails but you'll have to bushwhack a bit. In the process of heading towards this foundation structure you'll pick up on the well used standard descent trail and the waterslide which brings you to the actual Old Man remnants.

My partner and I split while on the descent trail so he could pick up our bags we left at the bottom. There was an obvious branch in the trail, but it dwindled quickly. To the right will bring you to the base of the cliff, but only after some easy 5th class downclimbing according to my partner.

By johnthethird
Jun 2, 2012

Are all the anchors fixed on this route?

By chris magness
Jun 25, 2012

No, it is usually possible to rap off after the first 4 pitches without leaving gear. The rap station at the top of the Triangle Roof (4th) is a thread behind a piece of shit flake. You should plan on building all of your own anchors.

By Dom
Administrator
From: New Brunswick Canada
Aug 29, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I'll second the 'climb the Kurt's Corner variation'. Very Beautiful dihedral. After the dihedral, head right to find some gear to belay off of.

By bradley white
From: Plymouth
Dec 11, 2012

I set up that rap in 2011 and it was not a shit flake. It fit in all the right places and is made of the highest quality pink Conway granite. Why the sling has stayed I don't know, it was booty. That fat rock horn lower right that is bigger and brownish is risky business to rappel off of or crap in my opinion. I believe size and thickness are not as important as physicality and rock composition.

By Lucas79
From: Malden, MA
Jun 29, 2013

The original first pitch is much more varied and thoughtful than Reppys.....and a good way to pass slow parties. Def a grade harder than Reppys. Do it in one long pitch to the top of the buttress.

By Brian
From: North Kingstown, RI
Jun 30, 2013

If you do the first pitch variation be aware that the rock quality is less than good in a few places which is inconsistent with the rest of the route. There was a significant rock fall on the original start in 2009 injuring the climber.

By Eric Chabot
From: Thetford Ctr, VT
Jul 28, 2013

Did this route 2 days ago, and really enjoyed every pitch. We went up to the finger of fate and decided to rap from there, threading a flake and leaving a nut at the belay above the finger. Stuart Green's guidebook recommends doing this to avoid the lesser quality upper pitches.

While pulling our ropes, one got super stuck in the area of broken rock above the triangular roof. I yarded on it maybe a little too hard and dislodged a rock the size of a 60" flat screen TV which missed us by a few yards.

Rappelling this route should be done with EXTREME CAUTION.

By Derek Doucet
Jul 29, 2013

Yikes! Glad you and anyone else who might have been around is OK!

Regarding the Greene guide's advice to rap off, next time you go, disregard it entirely. The pitches above the Finger are for the most part high quality, provided you get the route finding right.

The boulder-problem pitch (next after the Finger) is OK, if not great, and certainly not a reason to retreat. It's actually pretty fun.

The pitch after the boulder problem is fantastic, with a great combination of delicate face and wild, steep stems and jams on excellent granite. The belay is spectacular as well.

That leaves you with the traditional finishing pitches up and right, which are quite good, or the outstanding Kurt's Corner variation finish which is arguably the best pitch of the entire route.

Go finish this sucker!

By Brett Maguire
Aug 22, 2013

This is such a great climb! I'll admit that it took three times up Cannon - once on the Whitney G, once seconding Moby Grape, and then this third time leading it - to feel relaxed enough to have type one fun on the cliff. I'm now itching to hit it again.

We were a bit tired after the Finger pitch and took the beta about bailing off to the right up the Conn Dike. I'm not certain how this counts as bailing: over a hundred feet of scrambling up unprotectable and questionable rock, followed by a long, dirty pitch of actual 5.7/5.8 climbing (maybe I missed an easier line?). Point of all this is that, even when tired, it would have been better just to finish the actual route, which is becoming a recurring theme in these comments.

Also: there always seems to be an abandoned blue #3 Camalot in one of the main crack lines. The beta on this page calls Reppy's a #3 or #3.5 crack, but #2 seems to be much more appropriate. If you're a beginning leader, reach for a #2 before overcamming and offering up a #3 to the Moby Grape gods.

By Chris Gesek
Sep 9, 2013

I agree with Brett - Reppy's takes #2 Camalots/C4s (possibly equivalent to #3 Friends?). And to reiterate what others have mentioned - the clean slab directly above Kurt's Corner has no pro. Best to escape right unless runout slab sounds appealing.

By Derek Doucet
Sep 10, 2013

While it's true that the clean slab above Kurt's has no pro, it's also true that it isn't even 5th class...

By Kurtz
Sep 10, 2013

A great day on a stellar route! Every pitch was good and remarkably consistent.

I heard a lot of bitching about the MP beta. We used MP and Chauvin's. Overall, Chauvin's 9 pitch version is better. We did it in 9 with 60m doubles. MG can certainly be done in 6 but I wouldn't recommend it unless you've climbed here before. Here are the most useful tidbits I can offer:

P1: Reppy's Crack takes #2 (yellow) Camalot almost everywhere. A #3 will fit occasionally. Nothing bigger or smaller fits very often. Move right at the top of the crack and up about 30 ft. to bolted anchors. This takes almost all of a 60m rope.

P2: Since it's very hard to see the Triangular Roof from the anchor, it's a good idea to add this 80 ft.(?) pitch to a decent ledge so you can see the leader approach and pull the roof. Chauvin says to move left on 4th class but we took a fun direct line. You can go left, right or straight through the wide crack/mini-chimney (5.7ish).

Warning: a party below us tried to pass on the far left at this point and knocked off a minifridge-size boulder. It bounced over the buttress and exploded on impact at the base. I saw shrapnel spray 100 feet into the talus field. Luckily, no one was down there at the time.

P3: The Triangular Roof is the most physical move on the route. A stuck cam makes it harder to jam so everyone I saw laid it back to the right. The belay ledge above is big but there are questionable blocks and plenty of loose rock to avoid. The next pitch starts from the right end so we built our anchor there.

P4: I don't remember much about the next pitch. It was pretty obvious and no nasty surprises. Chose a belay that gives a good view of the Finger of Fate.

P5: Getting to the Finger is half the fun. Neither beta mentions The Sickle which is a cool curved flake below the Finger that you have to hand traverse. Reaching the Sickle is a bit of a stretch for the less-tall. We went up the right side of the Finger. Easy but awkward especially with a pack. Consider pulling it behind you on a sling.

We found MP's P5-6 beta truly useless. Chavin's P6-9 is far better.

P6: We moved our belay 40 ft. left and went up the crack. A bit tricky to protect and a burly 5.8 move off the ledge, but easier after. We trended right to the belay at the base of a really big left-facing chimney/cave. Apparently, the best way to approach the belay is from the left. I went straight at it, up a 5.9R slab with a turf finish. Not recommended.

Note: We had a lot of trouble hearing the leader on P7-8. Plan accordingly.

P7: There are 2 bomber fixed nuts at top of the Cave. You'll probably want a piece below them but I suggest back cleaning it to avoid rope drag. You exit right using a nice horizontal finger crack. Above the Cave, the traditional route goes right but we wanted the Kurt's Corner variation (the obvious left-facing corner directly above the Cave). To get there requires some zigzagging (see the pic I added). It looks hard from below, but holds and pro appear like magic. A couple of long slings reduce drag. We set up a pretty comfortable semi-hanging belay at the base of the Corner because another party was using the little ledge above.

P8: Kurt's Corner is fun and fast! Plenty of pro in the cracks on the right. It's longer than you think so start looking for a belay as you reach the top. I started up the slab and realized there was no pro above for long, long way. I backtracked to a soggy nook on the left at the start of the slab and belayed off some spongy trees.

P9: Run-out slab but very easy (barely 4th class) where dry. You might be able to sling a tree or two. We avoided the mossy wet streaks by climbing into the turf at the top.

Descent: We followed a promising trail that just petered out and had to bushwhack the entire way down. Nasty! Apparently, the trail follows the cliff edge so don't get lured to the left (north).