Willard Rock Climbing
Areas in Mt. Willard
|GPS:||44.212, -71.405 Google Map · Climbing Map|
|Shared By:||Casey Bald on Aug 10, 2007|
|Admins:||Jay Knower, M Sprague, lee hansche, Jeffrey.LeCours, Robert Hall|
DescriptionOct 30, 2017 Alert -Oct 31, 2017 Alert - Rt 302 is CLOSED at the Sawyer River Bridge, about 4-5 miles west of Bartlett.. (although the actual wash-out is further up the road, it's illegal to get there.) Both Sawyer River Rd & Bear Notch are closed to vehicles, although a USFS ranger said Sawyer is open to hikers and bikers.
Between Glen and Bartlet Rt 302 is now open, but one lane. West side Rd is fine to 302. If you're headed for Mt Willard from North Conway, you'll have to go all the way around via either on the "Kanc" or Rt 16&Rt2 through Gorham.
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 had 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 see 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!
Getting ThereThe 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".
For the "Star Trek / A Night Climb" slab continue along the RR Tracks about another 150 ties and look for a cairn. Follow cairns up. At the base of the slab, go up the left side of the slab for Star Trek. For "A Night Climb" go up and right, 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 just barely touches the far left bottom 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
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season