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WM: Evans Notch

New Hampshire


Wild River Crag pretty much describes itself! It can be found Northeast of the Presidentials and North Conway. The usual access road to this crag is closed when snow makes it impassable and therefore climbing here is a summer/fall affair. Climbing started at this crag in the '70s but took off with bolted lines in the early '90s. The crags within the Wild River Area are filled with proud lines, incredible aretes, amazing faces, and awesome corners. Many very beautiful lines can be scored in this area.

This area is comprised of Wild River Crag, Laughing Lion Crag, and The Shell Pond Crags. The latter two being actually located just across the border in Maine.

Wild River is the main event of this area and most folks that make the trek up here spend their time pulling hard on its 140ft granite splendor, to be more thoroughly described on its own page.

Shell Pond has two areas the Main cliff and the Family wall. Both have seen more use in recent years. Main cliff is home to bolted sport ( or sport-like) climbs while Family Cliff is more moderate and, with judicious use of long slings to trees or as safety to reach top anchors, can be top roped. ( 70m rope helpful) 

Many of the bolted lines on Shell Main and Wild River crag are long and require many draws and need two ropes to get back to the ground. The trad lines require a full rack and then some.

Getting There

See the individual areas for specific directions.

Shell Pond and Laughing Lion are usually accessed by driving north 25+/- miles from Freyburg Maine on Rt 113 north, while Wild River Crag is best approached ( especially from the North Conway area) by driving north on Rt 16, east on Rt 2 and south on Rt113 to Wild River Road. 

Technically, Laughing Lion is actually just barely in Maine, but we’ll leave it here in NH. R Hall, Admin.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Wild River Wilderness
[Hide Photo] Wild River Wilderness
View of the height of land in Evan's Notch. <br>
[Hide Photo] View of the height of land in Evan's Notch.
Wild River Wilderness. <br>
[Hide Photo] Wild River Wilderness.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] shell pond is really overlooked, there are some good ice routes there in the winter too, at one point there was a article in "Climbing" that talked about "the secret crags of maine" and it listed a topo..... Sep 16, 2007
Seattle, WA
[Hide Comment] Shell Pond is a pretty neat set of crags - a few one-pitch slabs and a huge bluff 200 feet high of orange rock and overhangs. It's pretty awesome and showed few signs of development. To get there: Drive up Rt 113, weaving across the NH-ME border, until about 1/2 mile before the AMC's Cold River Campground. Turn left onto Stone House Road, cross a bridge and bear right. Drive until you see a green road gate and park on the right (in early spring you won't make it very far after the bridge due to snow). Follow a jeep track for about 20 minutes, crossing a beautiful open airfield, and from the end of the airfield follow the Shell Pond Trail through an orchard and over a brook. From here you can see the crags on the right through the trees. Alternatively, turn a few miles before the Cold River Campground onto Deer Hill Rd. (closed in winter) and follow that for about five miels, looking for Shell Pond Trail and the crags up on the side of Rattlesnake mountain on your left. Bushwhack up to them and see what you can find! No idea about routes, first ascentionists, or anything like that. Please add if you know em! May 7, 2009
[Hide Comment] anna, i believe randy rackliff had put some of the routes on the lower tier. Dec 29, 2009
[Hide Comment] Hey Y'all. I've created a shell pond area in Maine for that awesome crag. If you have any info on the place please throw it up on the shell pond page, before it all gets lost to the obscurity of time. Thanks! Sep 16, 2011
M Sprague
New England
[Hide Comment] Bayard Russel has a good topo of Laughing Lion in his blog… Mar 10, 2016