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Routes in Magic Pond

Flake Route, The V3-4 6A+
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This area is briefly mentioned in the 2nd edition of the New England Bouldering guide.

A collection of large boulders surround a small pond in the center of Pawtuckaway State Park. A cluster of boulders directly abuts the pond, while some others are found in the woods nearby. A number of prominent crack lines looked clean as if they had been climbed before. Some of the more difficult lines were dirty and had loose flakes and may have never been climbed.

Getting There

Park at the boat launch parking lot off of Deerfield Rd. Walk over the foot bridge and turn left to follow the wide trail. After about 10 minutes you will pass the large Fisherman Boulder on the left side of the trail. Continue along the trail until you reach a a small wooden bridge that has been washed out next to a #4 sign on a large tree. Do not cross the stream, instead continue along the narrower trail that leads NW along the side of the marsh. This trailed is marked with white paint blazes. After You will cross a wooden foot bridge and continue to follow the white trail as it snakes around a few marshes. The trail will eventually travel SW with marshes on the left side of the trail. As the marsh ends the trail turns sharply to the north, at this point there is a small stream just off the trail and beyond the stream there a two large boulders in view. One of the large boulders has an obvious wide crack splitting it down the center. At this point move off the trail and cross the stream to these two boulders. Continuing past these boulders towards large boulders in the distance that will lead towards the pond.

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Jon Felch   NH
I made a trip to explore the magic pond after reading about it in the New England Bouldering guide. I believe I found the correct place. I will post some pictures, please if you recognize any of these climbs post any information you know. I would like to stimulate some discussion on the Magic Pond Area because the New England Bouldering guidebook lacks details.

Was I in the right place?
Do you know of any more boulders around the pond that I did not photograph?
Any info on first ascents?
Any boulder problems given names? Aug 9, 2009
Newmarket, NH
nhclimber   Newmarket, NH
I have spent a bunch of time out there as the climbing suits my style. Most of the cracks and corners are in .9 to .10 range, with a few being a bit harder. The big boulder at the top of the hill with the crack wraping around it is hard off the ground and easier as it gets higher. Besides the start I've never done it, but have had friends lead it on gear. Some of the boulders by the pond itself lend themselves to harder bouldering. In the late fall this is one of my favorite areas to spend a day and the best part one is ever around.

As far as established routes go, I would assume all of the cracks were climbed a bunch of years ago. And every few years I hear of stronger climber going out and reclimbing old climbs. Just assume everything has been climbed beofore and have fun at a magical place! Aug 10, 2009
Jon Felch   NH
Do you know if there is more bouldering around the entire perimeter of the pond? I only went as far as the cluster of boulders on the edge of the water. Aug 11, 2009
Bangor, ME
BDalhaus   Bangor, ME  
Across the pond from what you photographed are the Beaver Dam boulders. Downstream from them is another cluster, and up the hill behind them are a few scattered large boulders with a beautiful giant boulder a few minutes over the ridge. In the middle of the pond is the Whale boulder, which is climbable in winter for the brave. On the walk out there, the two boulders on the trail are the Twins, the first of which holds a V6 called Pearl Necklace. The first two boulders you find after leaving the trail and crossing the stream are the Gas Boulders. With the exception of the crack climbing, most of the rock is chossy, and nearly everything has been climbed. Keep in mind the area was discovered roughly 6 years ago and not many people venture out there. Hiking out there to climb is more about the solitude and enjoyment than the names and the grades. Aug 12, 2009
Newmarket, NH
nhclimber   Newmarket, NH
'Hiking out there to climb is more about the solitude and enjoyment than the names and the grades.' Well put! Aug 12, 2009
Jason Funk
Salt Lake City, UT
Jason Funk   Salt Lake City, UT
Magic Pond is also known as "Incredible Pond" on topographic and orienteering maps. If you're looking to do more exploring in the area take a look at the orienteering course maps out there of Pway, they are online and easy to find. Someone has been nice enough to have gone through the trouble of mapping out just about every rock in the park. Aug 18, 2009
M Sprague
New England
M Sprague   New England  
This weekend I headed out to Area 51 to take some pictures and get GPS coordinates of the boulders. I then took the new pink taped trail from the Mowgli Boulder running east, then eventually broke off to the right and bushwhacked. I found a huge number of fantastic boulders, eventually getting down to what I figured must be the Magic Pond Boulders. Not having been there before, I returned the next day with Chris Smith using the above directions to confirm if they were the same. We found it is actually shorter coming from the parking for Area 51 than from the boat launch. There is huge potential in this whole area, and many of the boulders are fantastic. Some of the boulders do have chossy flakes (and a few nasty glue jobs that need to be cleaned up), But the potential for super quality lines with some TLC cleaning is mind boggling. Even if many lines having been done and gone back into obscurity , I am sure there is giant potential for new routes, especially as you go further north east. The old ones deserve rebrushing up Apr 17, 2011
The last time I was out here I noticed that a lot has changed since I first explored the area in 2002. When you first come to the pond moving uphill and right from the gas boulders there is a group of boulders next to the water that used to have a large group of hemlock saplings between them, on my last venture out I noticed that someone had done some very aggressive landscaping to make all the possible faces of the boulders climbable. When I say aggressive I mean some f**king hack landscaping, it makes me wonder if it was really viable to cut all those trees? I can understand "cleaning" a route but this seems excessive beyond what is considered normal removal of lichen, boulder top duff and debris, it looked like a small logging op. Anybody? Dec 12, 2011
M Sprague
New England
M Sprague   New England  
I'd have to see what it is you are referring to judge. Things looked fine when I was out there in April. Everything looked pretty natural except that one bad glue job. I wouldn't personally have much of an issue if somebody removed a few scraggly saplings if done well so it wasn't really noticeable and didn't effect the habitat or feel of an area, and for something really good, but if somebody was a slob and made it look like a slash and burn with punji stick stumps and branches thrown around, that's obviously unfortunate.

The name of the area is fitting, so people should know better than to hack it up. If a handful of little saplings really need to be removed, they should be cut down below the level of the soil and then the stump covered up and all debris cut up small and distributed around in as natural way as you can. Dec 13, 2011
Okay, so... There are two supposedly mega-classic, double digit highballs here. Number one is a very proud v11 with an equally bad landing - Lost Nation. It is long, pumpy, reachy, viciously sustained, and beautiful looking. There is a video of Dave Wettmore making the F.A, and based on watching that, it looks like it's in the running for THE best climb at Pawtuckaway. To find the vid just type 'Pawtuckaway Lost Nation F.A' and it should pop up.

The seccond is an equally amazing sounding v12 highball called the Diving Board Project. The only info I know on this one is from Keith telling me about it (he scrubbed it and worked the moves on toprope). He described what sounded like 'The Flake Route' up to the drop off point and then some really tough crimpy moves. It sounded like the extension to The Flake Route that is mentioned in the description for that climb, but I have never been to Magic Pond, so I can't say for certain.

If anybody could provide any info on either of these climbs, it would be much appreciated! Aug 31, 2016
Christian Prellwitz
Telluride, CO
Christian Prellwitz   Telluride, CO
Graham-- I think if the 'Diving Board Project' (or whatever it's called) were sent, it would be in contention for the best problem in Pway. I can confirm that it's a beauty. There are a few other worthwhile lines in this area, though most of the climbing is in the v0-v4 range. I wish there were more hard lines to be found. Sep 1, 2016
Christian - That's awesome! It definitely does look pretty sweet from the photo I saw. Do you know anything about Lost Nation or how to get to it? I have heard that it is a beaut but extremely hard to find. It does seem that with all the established moderate climbs, and those two classic super-hard climbs, and the potential here; with some scrubbing, in a few months this place could be the next Blair Woods! Sep 2, 2016

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