Mt. Willard Rock Climbing
|GPS:||44.212, -71.405 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
|Page Views:||48,891 total · 290/month|
|Shared By:||Casey Bald on Aug 10, 2007|
|Admins:||Jay Knower, M Sprague, Lee Hansche, Jeffrey LeCours, Jonathan Steitzer, Robert Hall|
NOTE: The winter ice routes for this area are found as a sub-area in the "area "NH ICE and ALPINE CLIMBING".
A multi-faceted area. The main slab has multi pitch slab and crack climbing in a nice sub alpine setting. Climbs such as "Hugo's Horror revisited" and the newer "Time-Space Continuum " have widly-spaced, but new stainless 3/8 inch bolts, and secure double-bolt belays. These, as well as some of the older lines such as the very popular "Across the Universe" and the "Star Trek slab" [where the belays are now 3/8" stainless bolts] now make for pleasant outings and a somewhat different experience from slabs like Whitehorse.
The recently developed Willey Brook Ravine, and "rediscovered" Butress No. 1 AREAs provide interesting 1 pitch climbs of a different, steeper sort. Buttress No. 1 "sports" several newer, bolted, NON-SPORT routes in the 5.6 - 5.8 range, as well as several trad climbs in the same grade range. Of course, there's an "X" ...."R/X" or two as well!
The shortest and fastest approach to the Main Slab, Buttress No. 1, and Willey Brook Ravine is the "Hatties Garden Path". Park on Rt 302 at a gravel pullout on the west side of the road about a half mile above the Willey Slide pullout (coming from the south/east) or 1 1/2 miles below the AMC's Highland house (from the north/west). Coming from the south/east on Rt 302 (i.e from North Conway and Bartlett) this pull-out is on the left beyond where a small stream (Willey Brook) comes in from the left, and JUST before the Saco River crosses underneath Rt 302.
A rocky logging-road starts from the rear of the parking, but quickly turns into a trail. Hike up the well-cairned trail to the actual "Hattie's Garden". (about 10 min)
To get to Willey Brook Ravine: From Hattie's Garden walk "down tracks" (south) to the big bridge and cut right into the woods. Follow the climbers trail for 2 min to the crag. (To be honest, this "trail" is obscure.)
To get to Buttress No. 1 and Main Slab, walk "Up-Tracks" (towards the cliff)
For Buttress No 1, walk about 1 to 2 minutes and look for the first little (8-inch wide) drainage channel through the tracks. About 30 more RR ties, and look for a cairn and steep climber's path up to the base of Buttress No.1, another 10-12 min. (More details, and photo of the "8-inch channel, in the But. No.1 AREA)
For Main Slab continue another 4-5 minutes to a boulder-gully with vegetation. (A wider, flat area with much poison ivy is on the right [south] side of the tracks here.) Up this "gully" 50-75 feet (any further and you may have the wrong 'gully'.) to the "toe" of the main slab. Standard and Hugos start here. Go right along the slab for "Time Space" and "Across the Universe".
2020 Update - As you continue to walk up the tracks, there's a cairn about 100 ft beyond the gully. I presume this is a "direct" approach to the "Across the Universe" and "Time Space" but haven't actually taken it.
For the "Star Trek / A Night Climb" slab continue along the RR Tracks about 150 ties beyond the gully and look for a 2nd cairn. Follow cairns up on a zig-zagging crude path. [ 2020 Update there now is a large tree blown down. This does not block the crude path but does force you to the right, which is where you want to go. ] At the base of the slab, go up the left side of the slab for the start of Star Trek. For "A Night Climb", and its Pitch-1 clean-slab variations, go right, crossing 15 ft of a newly-exposed slab (smaller tree blown over), then up following a zig-zagging path to the base. Avoid going too far right, if you find yourself below a really mossy slab you are too far right, the correct approach path climbs up a steep slope in the woods, just right of the left edge of this slab.
The Non-Recommended Approach - For years the classic approach was to drive west on NH Rt. 302 and park across the street from Elephant's Head, then walk back south east along the tracks over two trestles to where the gully leading to "Standard" nearly reaches the tracks, about 20-25min. (This approach, at least in the summer and fall when the sightseeing train runs, is, technically, trespassing.)
Classic Climbing Routes at Mt. Willard
Days w Precip