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BETA PHOTO: "The Prize" far left on Sq. Ledge's fron...
History: The FA was made in 1944 by Brooks Dodge and Mary Backus.
The Prize ascends the far left side of the main face, about 20 feet left of Standard Route. Following a thin crack system most of the way, the climbing is a little less fun and varied than that on Standard Route. However, this climb is still worthwhile, especially given it's ideal position above scenic Pinkham Notch.
Begin climbing at the base of the buttress, right where the hiking trail hits the rock. Navigate easy terrain around a bush. Continue with more difficulty up the discontinuous crack system, but using mainly face holds. Either establish an awkward belay at half height or keep going. The crux is a slight bulge in the slab as the climber nears the top. Move up this steeper section with scant protection making easy but balancy moves. Alternatively, break right into Standard Route at around 80 feet. Gear and tree anchor at top.
Far left side of the main face. First climb you will see on the approach.
Takes excellent passive pro for most of it's length. The bulge near the top is unprotected and probably means a 20 foot runout on easy terrain. This crux section is easily avoided to the right at 5.3 or 5.4.
NOTE: This is the Standard Route, not "the Pr...
By Russ Keane
May 28, 2014
I found this line to be much easier than 5.5. I couldn't really find a trad line on the main face that was 5.6 or even 5.5. Kind of soft ratings if you ask me.
That being said, good rock, good pro, and reasonably fun, especially with that most commanding view behind you!
By Eric Nguyen
From: Natick, MA
Jul 1, 2015
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Fun climbing with a spectacular view the whole way up. I wouldn't necessarily recommend as a first lead due to a few run-out sections and tricky gear placement - very little that is straightforward. With that said, bomber parallel cracks at the top for an anchor. Also worth noting that there is lots of lichen on the rock about halfway up. Not sure if this is due to lack of climbing or if the route bears right. Either way, be prepared to move right to avoid this crunchy section!