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Routes in Outback Cliff

Counter Culture T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Hyperspace T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Love Crack T 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Object of Great Desire, The T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Phantom of the Woods T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Potato Peels, The T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Raptor Roof, The T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Unsorted Routes:

Description

Outback Cliff is hidden in the woods up behind Sundown's Main Cliff. Over the years it has developed a somewhat notorious reputation as a mythical, hard-to-find cliff. With a GPS and and/or an advanced sense of cunning, The Outback Cliff isn't really that hard to find, and it's surprising close to the parking lot.

As of August 2012, the cliff looked like it had become reclaimed by the forest. But then again, almost every obscure cliff in New Hampshire tends to look like that in the depth of summer. There are a few worthwhile routes at the cliff, most notably Interzone, Love Crack, and Hyperspace. An inspiring photo George Hurley on Hyperspace appeared in a 1990's edition of Climbing magazine. Perhaps this photo contributed to Hyperspace's popularity, and prompted Jerry Handren, in his new guidebook, to refer to Hyperspace's "oversold" reputation.

The Outback Cliff seems to revel in contradictions: the routes are supposedly great, yet no one climbs them; the approach is short, yet everyone gets lost. I think the best beta is to go there and check it out for yourself...that is, if you can find it.

Getting There

From the covered bridge, hike down for a few minutes to a drainage on right with an obvious trail to the left of it. Follow the trail and drainage uphill until you are able to cross at a faint trail where another drainage comes in from the right. Follow this other drainage staying right when possible. Now you should be seeing the occasional cairn (maybe, if you don't you will still get there). The 'trail' sort of dissolves from here and we have gone in 2 different ways:

1). Follow the drainages uphill for a ways then when the ground starts to get steeper break right and you will start to see the far left decomposed little cliffets that start the cliff, follow these to the main cliff.

2). From the lower right hand drainage break right at a cairn and attempt to follow cairns and your gut through relatively flat ground, trending right till you start to get to a boulder field. Straight up the boulder field you will find the cliff. Find Hyperspace first (far right hand margin) and the other routes will make sense.

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Jay Knower
Campton, NH
Jay Knower   Campton, NH  
Three years later, and I finally found the cliff. As such, I updated the description above. Aug 27, 2012
Jay Knower
Campton, NH
Jay Knower   Campton, NH  
Only in New Hampshire would you have a whole page worth of directions for a 30 minute approach.

Thanks a lot for the info guys. I'll try my luck again in a few days. Sep 27, 2009
Jay, I found the book directions not to help at all. Turn up the first right hand turn off the snow mobile track, then look for a was or stream coming in from the right, not more than five min up that trail. follow this up into the basin. There are lots of smaller cliffbannds right, getting larger left, then back small again. Interzone looks cool, kindof none discript line up the wall. Sep 26, 2009
nhclimber
Newmarket, NH
nhclimber   Newmarket, NH
Less than 10 minutes down the ski trail you'll see a fairly obvious trail that diagonals off in the direction of the stream. Once you have the drainage, the trick to the better/ lower approach is to keep switching to the right hand drainage when possible, then follow your gut when you think you should branch away from the stream bed. Hyperspace (to me) was more hype than space, sorry lame. It was ok, I think they're are better routes on the cliff, and I haven't found the really cool sounding ones yet. I posted a few that we did find and will post up some more. Sep 25, 2009
Jay Knower
Campton, NH
Jay Knower   Campton, NH  
I'm confused about when you turn off the main, ski trail/road that parallels the river. Do you turn before an obvious stream crosses underneath the trail? I basically turned at the culvert and followed the stream (dry at first) uphill for about 30 minutes. Nothing. Sep 25, 2009
nhclimber
Newmarket, NH
nhclimber   Newmarket, NH
Jay, barely worth it. We've made 3 trips out and besides some limited new potential the cliff offers very little quality climbing. It looks spectacular and has some good lines, but it is destined to be obscure Even hyperspace has loose rock, posison ivy, and some weird gear. And I'm a fan of 2 out of three of those. Anyway, from the covered bridge hike down for a few minutes to a drainage on right with an obvious trail to the left of it. Follow the trail and drainage uphill till you are able to cross at a faint trail where another drainage comes in from the right. Follow this other drainage staying right when possible. Now you should be seeing the occasional cairn (maybe, if you don't you will still get there). The 'trail' sort of dissolves from here and we have gone in 2 different ways 1) follow the drainages uphill for a ways then when the ground starts to get steeper break right and you will start to see the far left decomposed little cliffets that start the cliff, follow these to the main cliff. 2) From the lower right hand drainage break right at a cairn and attempt to follow cairns and your gut through relativly flat ground, trending right till you start to get to a boulder field. Staight up the boulder field you will find the cliff. Find hyperspace first (far right hand margin) and the other routes will make sense. Way far left there is a really cool groove that has a couple routes out of it that are fun warm ups. In the middle of the cliff there is a really cool looking stemming corner with a bolt that I looked at but did't get on. Also, I saw both of the big roofs but didn't see the crazy roof cracks. I'll probrably get out one more time this year. But have fun, hope this helps. Sep 25, 2009
Jay Knower
Campton, NH
Jay Knower   Campton, NH  
I tried to go check out this cliff, but I ended up walking aimlessly through the woods. Never found it. Does anyone have good directions? Sep 25, 2009

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