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 ADVANCED
7. The Slabs
Routes Sorted
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Beginners Direct T 
Beginners Easy Variation T 
Beginners Route T 
Booklet, The T 
Cormier-Magness Route, The T 
Dark Horse T 
Fingertip Trip T 
Girdle Traverse of Whitehorse Ledge T 
Interloper  T 
Man O War T 
Ninth Wave, The T 
Sea of Holes T 
Slabs Direct T 
Sliding Board T 
Slipshod T 
South Buttress of Wankers Wall T 
Standard Route T 
Stop if you Dare T 
Tidal Wave T,S 
Waiting for Comeau T 
Wave Bye Bye T 
Wave Length T 
Wedge T 
White Wilderness T 

Standard Route 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a R

   
Type:  Trad, 9 pitches, 1100'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a [details]
FA: Underhill, Towie, Spring 1928
Page Views: 19,296
Submitted By: Guy H. on Jan 18, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (114)
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Simul climbing the slabs with the wife...

Description 

This route may rival the 3rd Flatiron as the best easy multi pitch climb in the states. Although the climbing is relatively easy, there are huge runouts (30-50ft) and few features.

P1 (5.0R 100ft) Scramble up to the Launch Pad.
P2 (5.1R 110ft) Angle up and right past a few flakes. (Toilet Bowl Pitch)
P3 (5.2R 150ft) Head straight up past two bolts and a flake mid pitch. Belay on a ledge with large crystals.
P4 (5.3R 100ft) Head straight up passing a few cool pockets. (tricams) Belay in the underlapping crack.
P5 (5.4 130ft) Follow the arching crack, pull the through at an intersecting arch (~60ft) and belay on a ledge. (Lunch Ledge)
P6 (5.5R 120ft) Head straight right past 2-3 bolts, head up the arching crack, pull through at a crack system and belay.
P6 (5.7 120ft) A better pitch heads up and right past some fixed gear and ends at the same location. (Slabs Direct)
P7 (5.2R 80ft) Head up and left and belay on a ledge.
P8 (5.2R 120ft) Continue up on a dike passing an overlap, and belay on a ledge.
P9 (5.2R 150ft) More runout fiction past one bolt to the top.

Descent: Head to your right, and find a wandering trail back to the base. It is probably possible to rap the route with two ropes, if it starts to rain.


Protection 

Light SR, including some small tricams



Photos of Standard Route Slideshow Add Photo
Mike leading in some spooky fog that cleared about halfway up the wall.  This was my first multipitch and the fog cleverly hid all the climbing I was about to do.
Mike leading in some spooky fog that cleared about...
Following the crux
Following the crux
Overview of Standard Route done with the 'Quartz Pocket' and 'Direct Finish' variations
BETA PHOTO: Overview of Standard Route done with the 'Quartz P...
Me in the toilet bowl. Photo by Loran Smith
Me in the toilet bowl. Photo by Loran Smith
View of the right side sitting on lunch ledge
View of the right side sitting on lunch ledge
be prepared to run it out on easy slab
be prepared to run it out on easy slab
Dave Trumper starting the crux traverse photo taken from Lunch Ledge... <br /> <br />note: he has just clipped bolt 1 and bolt 2 is just above the sloping ledge less than 10 feet to his right...
Dave Trumper starting the crux traverse photo take...
dave at the top of the arch (looking up from the thread belay) just before getting  to lunch ledge...
dave at the top of the arch (looking up from the t...
We chose to belay just after the traverse from gear... Here Dave is leading up from our belay to the right facing corner that could be considered a second crux (one of the best sections of the climb though)...
We chose to belay just after the traverse from gea...
One of the weird holes in which tricams really do work best.
One of the weird holes in which tricams really do ...
ben on the crux pitch
ben on the crux pitch
Hanging at the belay
Hanging at the belay
Me on lunch rock with the real beauty behind me!
Me on lunch rock with the real beauty behind me!
Looking down the arch on Standard Route from "the mailbox".  If you've got a 60m and you're coming up the arch and not the quartz pocket variation, do a semi-hanging belay here, you won't reach the thread-belay.  70m rope might make it.
BETA PHOTO: Looking down the arch on Standard Route from "the ...
Bernardo heading from the thread-belay to the lunch ledge.
Bernardo heading from the thread-belay to the lunc...
Midway on Pitch 2
Midway on Pitch 2
Climbers on the crux pitch (5.7 Direct).
Climbers on the crux pitch (5.7 Direct).
Climbing direct from the launch pad to the base of the arch. TCU's in pocket at midpoint. 190 feet.
BETA PHOTO: Climbing direct from the launch pad to the base of...
looking up from the lunch ledge
looking up from the lunch ledge
Dave Trumper leading up from the Quartz Pocket on pitch 3... bring tricams for this pitch if you like protection...
Dave Trumper leading up from the Quartz Pocket on ...
The arch. Photo by Loran Smith
The arch. Photo by Loran Smith
Panorama from lunch rocks! Beauty!
Panorama from lunch rocks! Beauty!
Bernardo belaying at the two bolts at the very bottom of the arch on standard route.  Ryan traversing to the belay after climbing up from "The Toilet Bowl" in the background.
Bernardo belaying at the two bolts at the very bot...
Beautiful view!
Beautiful view!
Comments on Standard Route Add Comment
Show which comments
By Guy H.
From: Fort Collins CO
Jan 19, 2007

Here is another description of the climb:

www.chauvinguides.com/stdguide.pdf

By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 12, 2008

Fun route! The most memorable part was getting munched by black flies, though. Those buggers are nasty!

By Adam Wilcox
From: Candia, NH
May 3, 2009

The single bolt on the last pitch is missing its nut and hanger.

By Larry S
Jul 7, 2010

A great intro to easy slabs. We did the whole arch rather than the quartz pocket variation, ample pro in the arch, but it can be a little mossy in spots. Experienced horrific rope drag on the crux pitch above the lunch ledge even with long runners, route seems to wander back and forth alot here. Doubles would be helpful for just that pitch. The 3 pitches following dikes to the top are like stairs.

Edit - Two and a half years later, I realize went off-route above the lunch ledge and did Slabs Direct - 5.7. This explains my rope drag problem.

By Barrett Stetson
Oct 4, 2010

Very fun, did the Quartz pocket and Direct variations. The biggest problem on the Direct variation is keeping the rope out of the crack after climbing up past the pin (or bolt? don't remember). It was a struggle getting it out and trying to add a redirect to keep it going back in again. I read somewhere that someone had better luck slotting a nut there just to keep it out, but that's also the nicest handhold too. Still some rope drag too, even doing the Direct variation.

The single bolt was there on the dike near the top, we ended up needing to belay at it. Although the dike is like climbing mini stairs, it was a little sketchy because there was runoff water right down the middle making it a tad slippery (there was heavy rain 2 days prior) and there is no protection for a long run out up there (maybe 100 ft?).

By lee hansche
Administrator
From: goffstown, nh
Jul 1, 2011

i had soooooo much fun with my dad last week simulclimbing standard route... we were just trying to keep moving, not shooting for time but we did it in 19 minutes which i thought was pretty cool considering that the first time we did it years ago it was probably like 5 hrs :)

By Mike C. Robinson
From: Rumney, NH
Jul 11, 2011

I'd vote this over The 3rd Flatiron. This route has better climbing for more pitches. The backdrop during New England Autumn is more impressive but you do get a stronger sense of exposure from The 3rd.

By Steve Moulding
From: New York
Jun 10, 2012

My first ever multi-pitch lead back in June 1988.
No cams back then. I recall tricams being helpful down low (little pockets where nothing else fit) and I remember the top-out pitches being completely run out. Wouldn't like to do it in the rain.
Great situation, great route!

By Robert Hall
May 13, 2014
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13

I think the Std. Route is significantly harder than the 3rd Flatiron....like maybe 2 or 3 grades: 5.5-5.6 vs 5.3-5.4 The moves at the crux are pretty daunting for a 5.5 leader, especially if not familiar with friction. A closer approximation, difficulty and commitment-wise, would be Red Rocks' Cat in the Hat.
The rock on Whitehorse is a lot more polished (especially the at the crux 'brown-spot & boilerplate'), and gets even more so with a little rain. [I've seen 5.10 leaders turned back by the first 30 feet of normally 5.0 when it was "wet-lichen-slab".