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Elevation: 1,704 ft
GPS: 44.15822, -71.36891
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 209,856 total · 998/month
Shared By: Lee Hansche on Nov 25, 2006
Admins: Jay Knower, M Sprague, Lee Hansche, Jeffrey LeCours, Jonathan S, Robert Hall
Warning Access Issue: Avoid walking on the train tracks whenever possible. DetailsDrop down

Description Suggest change

As of 12/23/23 Route 302 through Crawford Notch is now open, although there is one section of one-lane controlled by traffic lights.

NOTE: Sub-Areas are listed, roughly, south-to-north . R Hall Admin.

The training grounds. Every Experienced ice climber in NH has spent time cutting their teeth at Frankenstein. It seem like it was designed for the sport, with routes of all grades within a short easy walk from the car. One might start out on Standard Route or one of the easy slabs on there first day out then realize that there is a route for every step of the progression from novice to the skill required to climb the hardest routes anywhere.

Far from the commitment required to climb on Cannon or Lake Willoughby Frankenstein is great for developing the skills on short routes so you have them to work with when you are ready to commit to something a little more uncertain.

Most routes are 1-2 pitches some maybe 3 and there really are routes of every grade. Some classics are Standard Route(3), Chia(3+), Pegasus(3+/4), Dracula(4+), Dropline(5), if things get crowded don't worry these classics are just the tip of the iceburg, look around and you will find more quality ice than you know what to do with. Most routes come in consistently though there are some that will only appear sporadically, you can normally count on having something to climb from December to March but hey we are in New Hampshire and weather is far from an exact science around here.

From the parking area you will hike along a railroad track and look for the ice up the hill on your left the first big ice you will see is Smear(3) a wide flow that can be thin in early season look for a steep ramp running up from right to left. This is followed by the Amphitheater which holds many quality lines.
You can check Amphitheater conditions by looking over from the Trestle... Across the Trestle you will get to Standard Route Dracula Area and finally the Hanging Gardens... If you can't find something you like in any of these areas you simply don't like ice climbing.

The cliffs are north facing so plan on being in the shade unless you pick the right route and time it just right. Dress warm cause those belays can get pretty cold when the wind is whipping down the notch.

Getting There Suggest change

Access for Frankenstein begins in the same area as the trailhead for Arethusa Falls. Located in Crawford Notch on Route 302.

Access update! The traditional approach has been to walk the railroad tracks from the parking area and break off from there to reach the different climbing areas. THIS IS NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE.  The railroads own the tracks and they have posted “No Trespassing” signs to indicate that we are not welcome to be there. This is very unfortunate but they have every right to decide who is on their property. You could be fined or arrested if you choose to defy their request. Perhaps worse your actions could erode relations with the community which could have negative consequences for access in the future.

For now, there is a trail from the lower lot (on your right as you turn off of 302) that leads up to the amphitheater. From there you should be able to make your way to some of the other cliffs without walking on tracks.

Trains will be running throughout the winter so please be careful and respectful out there. 

65 Total Climbs

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Location: * Frankenstein Ice Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Frankenstein Ice

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
WI3+
 108
Chia
Ice
WI4+
 197
Dracula
Ice
WI4
 81
The Penguin
Ice 2 pitches
WI4+
 95
Hobbit Couloir
Ice
WI3-4
 107
Pegasus
Ice
WI3+ M3
 114
Pegasus Rock Finish
Mixed, Ice 2 pitches
WI5
 40
Dropline
Ice
WI3+
 208
Standard Route
Ice 2 pitches
WI4-5
 19
Welcome to the Machine
Ice
WI4
 12
Gandalf the Great
Ice
WI4+
 6
Cocaine
Ice 2 pitches
WI5
 6
Widows Walk
Ice
WI4
 16
Puffin
Ice
WI5-
 15
Within Reason
Trad, Ice
WI5
 5
Last Exit
Trad, Ice
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Chia 3. Amphitheater Area
 108
WI3+ Ice
Dracula 7. Dropline Area
 197
WI4+ Ice
The Penguin 6. Standard Route Area
 81
WI4 Ice 2 pitches
Hobbit Couloir 3. Amphitheater Area
 95
WI4+ Ice
Pegasus 3. Amphitheater Area
 107
WI3-4 Ice
Pegasus Rock Finish 3. Amphitheater Area
 114
WI3+ M3 Mixed, Ice 2 pitches
Dropline 7. Dropline Area
 40
WI5 Ice
Standard Route 6. Standard Route Area
 208
WI3+ Ice 2 pitches
Welcome to the Machine 7. Dropline Area
 19
WI4-5 Ice
Gandalf the Great 3. Amphitheater Area
 12
WI4 Ice
Cocaine 2. S Face
 6
WI4+ Ice 2 pitches
Widows Walk 3. Amphitheater Area
 6
WI5 Ice
Puffin 6. Standard Route Area
 16
WI4 Ice
Within Reason 8. Hanging Gardens
 15
WI5- Trad, Ice
Last Exit 7. Dropline Area
 5
WI5 Trad, Ice
More Classic Climbs in Frankenstein Ice »

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