The great fire opened these ledges up clear of plants and trees dead. Lots of plants and small trees competing for height growing like weeds below the tall dead trees. The ledges might be the hardest place to bushwhack throat Rattlesnake Mt. Finding this place can be awful. Above Jimmy Cliff is a wall part of the moss, wet, lichen, thorn, grass, dirt and tree obstacle coarse around overhangs to low angled tempting to up ledges that make it up to the central and the western side ends to the summit after too many small trees. Utopia is best reached on the east side of all this region if stating at Jimmy Cliff top. It has the only decent climbs from the ground up that are the cleanest and steepest on the east side and some towards the center. Towards the center is easier to get to now by staying at the cliff side for base approach to climbs. Approximately 150-200+ feet of alpine trad rope climbing and fifty feet of it steepest on all climbs at the same height from a long rock formation. Tree banded upper sections of ledges adjoined by slabs until the summit. A little wandering to stay on rock. Many burnt trees and with thick growth at trunks. Exfoliation slab ledges with overlap holds or cracks and blocks also to climb that can be thirty feet high head walls sometimes. Extreme climbing has not been had. All kinds and and short in the twenty-thirty feet zone. All can continue up and so far its been done without bolt and pin. Features are quite a few that have not been climbed that take gear. The area will be vast and troublesome because there are turns right and left in gully slopes. Sometimes going back to the beginning of a wrong turn must happen. Commitment to trust there will be holds ahead, so far has happened going up onto ledges. Bushwhacking not so lucky. I have had to retrace my steps take a right to go up left again. Route finding on rock experience afterward. Finally the complexity of this convoluted region of steep gullies and ravines below ledges. Dangerous sometimes terrain between the middle slabs and the outcrops at the base of the east side will take a few recon trips. The higher up towards the summit can be perplexing to stay on the rock because of tree slopes. They go east so head up direct and westward. best higher slab of rock is direct up west will reach out at summit west on trail higher up and still east of Makamah Road top out. Beeker, Freedonia and Lost in Utopia are in the central section hard to get too where from a flat opening grass off to the side from the steep slope. Directly up climbs to the central summit after the head wall above a short gully to short wall and slab. For a better finish after this wall traversing west will bring onto the furthest western slab. Total distance to girdle up for the summit 500-700 ft. There is a lot of no shade because there are a lot dead trees. Some trees are blown down. Cracks in ledges are becoming filled with vines and small trees near the ground because of the sunlight. Rescue from here is very difficult. Weather can be unbearably hot in summer or hypothermia cold by thunder clouds on the same day. Know the weather predicted before ascending. Loose rock is possible while hiking and climbing. I've been up and down much without any problems. There are many dog and a few dear ticks. Stump ground on the climbs and tree trunks often are charcoal. This gets on your hands and clothes. The new downed trees and their branches on the climbs continues. After fire, nature now doing its thing, young trees and tall plants competing for light in the incinerated enriched soil areas. The climbing season is best in October until the snow falls. Its very warm in the fall. Early spring has lots of ticks. Summer no vision ahead, also there are very thin thorn (like fiberglass) bushes to contend with as an obstacle coarse on the approach and some climbs. Winter should have a couple of ice routes. Rock climbing to the summit has its bonus view. The view has changed to the south to looking at wind towers. Don't go up there, unless you are capable of getting back to Buffalo Road. Worst comes to worst, there is the yellow marked hiking trail to the road but it'll bring you out several miles west on Buffalo Road. Three hundred feet east, is another exfoliation of rock slabs, overlaps and chock stones. It isn't the cleanest rock around but has some of the most stimulating clean rock climbing available. Fascinating geology on the east slab side. Access is most reasonable. So far, I have had this mountaineering experience to myself for decades. This type of mountaineering, didn't have anyone else's interest then that I knew. And for something completely different, I shall be done with iexit it.
The old approach I have given up on doing because there are too many trees. From the top of Bonsai trail, go up on connector trail east to cross woods and up left a rocky buttress. Follow this buttress and go right under large boulder and ascend next ridge. Climb up it unmistakable and has to be done. On top is open slab. go down north west side through some rocks then forested meadow Ascend stream bed at boulder with a rock on top of it to identify it. The mountain summit and climbing area are a direct line up from here and come into view at the height of these forested slabs. Do not go left direct to the first crags you see. These are a fools gold and not good for climbing. This is the easiest approach to the base of the crags. Much care is needed on this ascent not to disturb the moss, grass and forested slopes. Its doable and I have gone up it many days and left not trace. A little effort to not stomp and skid goes a long ways to keep vegetation in place. I do the approach in an hour or so. Most climbs are uphill left via the forested scree field finish. The east ledges are fifty feet to the east from trail top. Cut logs are land marks before the stream bed going down from trail top. Same stream as Venus Wall. All the way down to Venus is complicated to describe. This is also the fire line trail and with a flashlight, I would find my way out of this area every time. Hiking down from the east side ledges, the drop off ledges are at killer height as you weave your way back to the fire line trail. There is also a overgrown trail on the western side of the mountain summit. When the hiking trail goes off of the rock, stay on the rock and go down to the edge of the steep slabs. Go across rocks and oak trees until able to crash through the woods to the top of the Monolith Crag (this became a learned experience and without any experience great potential for an epic doing it). At the Monolith the trail enters the woods before Monolith's edge, at some stacked fallen downed trees on the western side of the slab top. Trail is very exposed in places and a long distance to the road. Another access to the Monolith trail is to follow the trial down off the rocks west and take a little used side trail west. This goes to some open crags and pine. Go down the opening for a long ways until escape to woods left, east is reasonable over a few rocks. Experience again is very helpful going down this way. The longest way down is the hiking trail. Rappelling 'Utopia' should only be a minor trouble with the small downed tree branches and small rocks should be cleared first the ropes might pull down okay. Likely easily doable.
Start by stepping over oak tree onto friction slab 5 feet to grass ledge little lichen slab to the crack (5.3) on the right. This crack I was surprised to see so low down because it was hidden from my view. It becomes a flake filled in with grasses. The higher part of the crack can be seen from far away. Continue on up left of the crack at the same grade and cleaner rock. Climb standing up on lower angle slab left of the crack. Way, before crack ends in slime and moss traverse to the right. Set ...[more]Browse More Classics in NH
News and Events For Utopia Ledges (True Summit Ledges)
There are some short ceiling cracks that are higher level climbs. Lichen on some. I'm not into the cleaned wall appearance up here. I had reservations on posting it. It's posted. I trespassed. I left a trace of my chosen foot holds and hand holds through some lichen filled sections. It's an ecological way to go about ascents. As usual the steeper stuff will be safer by bolting. Critically dangerous rock isn't as much. To bolt or not to bolt? Most ground up cracks stop at unprotected slab to climb. Most are short or shorter like 'Darth Vader' in height. The ceiling cracks end up on the slabs that have abundant lichen sometimes. No protection(perhaps soft pins in horizontal crack bands) and it's a mind game of easy climbing. Avoid rope drag. Some walls are detached and overhanging. 'Hannah' ceiling has a committing ceiling crack onto the slab. I haven't done anything involving flexing because of my hurt wrist. It's better now. Its really buggy up there and ticks spring through summer. Its alpine adventure.