Lost Ledge Rock Climbing
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|Shared By:||Jamescolinwalsh17 on Jun 21, 2010 · Updates|
|Admins:||Jay Knower, M Sprague, Lee Hansche, Jeffrey LeCours, Jonathan S, Robert Hall|
A pleasant sunny slab that is perfect for the beginning leader or for a more proficient climber who just wants to spend a relaxing day in the woods. The climbs at at Lost Ledge are almost all slabs and the cliff is never crowded. While it is about 20-25 min. and 400 vertical feet up into the woods; it is very easy to find with the proper directions.
All of the old 1/4" bolts have now (2016-19) been replaced with 3/8" bolts. (Why this fact didn't make it into the 2nd edition of the North Conway guidebook I have no idea, this guidebook still speaks (erroneously) of old 1/4 bolts on the crag.)
NOTE- The approach diagramed and described in both the 1st and 2nd editions of North Conway Rock Climbs is obsolete and hardly ever used. Most climbers who use it either get lost or report significant bushwhacking, especially at the final, steeper section. The description below is the route that has been used for at least 10 years. Granted, if you are trying it for the first time, AND if it is late fall with freshly fallen leaves, there are places you will wish the yellow blazes were still on the trees ( they have long-since faded) but otherwise it is fairly easy to follow.
A couple of photos of the approach have been added.
Park at the gravel pull out for Ham Brook, which is on the south side of the Kancamangus highway 0.5-0.6 miles east of the turn-off for Albany Covered Bridge (about 1.5 Mi. East of Lower Falls), or, from the Conway area, 5 1/2 miles West of the "Kanc" traffic light on Rt 16.
The path starts near the east end of the parking area. It immediately climbs up for 30 +/- feet, then levels off (ignore any campsite or fire ring in this first 200-300 feet) walk through a pine-forest flat area and then swing to the left. Look for birch branches on the ground "directing" you.
In about 3-5 minutes of walking ( NOT 15min, as some books say) you reach an open area, here the main path turns RIGHT down an embankment. [Approach Photo-1] [Note, to this point the path should have been clear, as this spot is a popular camping spot. (Unfortunately "illegal" as it's too close to a stream for WMNF ) Cross Ham Brook here at a cairn. After the crossing the path turns LEFT and follows a tiny gully/stream for 100 -150 ft and just in front of another downed tree (2018), turns 90-degrees RIGHT and climbs directly up the steep hillside. Follow the path and occasional cairns.
Some key turns are:
1) When the first steep section ends (about 3 min. beyond the 90-degree right-hand turn) you'll pass over a LARGE downed tree and then go between two trees [Approach photo-2], step over a rotting log and drop down to the right into a shallow gully with a cairn. About 20 ft beyond the cairn, turn 90-degrees left and up. [Approach photo-3] DO NOT CONTINUE UP THE SHALLOW GULLY.
2) Soon you'll reach the site of a 2017-18 blowdown (a large birch tree) the new path goes directly through this now, then turns left.
3) Shortly thereafter, the path levels out for a short distance while traversing left, then bends around to the right and passes next to a large boulder (with stone cairn) and then turns up right very steeply for 100 ft. It then makes a left and follows an ancient "skidder" (logging) road.
4) Continue up along the old "skidder path" to a cairn, then drop down left and reach the far right of the Carpet Slab. The base of the climb "Carpet Slabber" is the open area about 25 ft from the far right of the slab.
Approach should take 20-25 minutes (500 vertical ft, about 1/2 to 3/4 mile) to the first slab (Carpet Slab). The Main slab is just to the left .
As stated above, approaching on the climber's path you first arrive at the Carpet Slab and the first climb is "Carpet Slabber" (Wow! weren't those guys back in the 1970's ingenious in route nomenclature!). Traversing the length of the Carpet Slab and walking less than a minute further you come to Main Slab and the climbs Rattle Can (black bolts) and Hallie Haley, then the obvious crack system of "Weak Nuts". Note the default order for listing climbs is L to Right; just click on R to Left to get the order by which you reach the climbs.
On the Main Slab all of the climbs from Nutt’n But Clean Laundry to Rattle Can are accessed from a wide, fairly level dirt base; for the "normal" starts to Washboard, Erosion Groove and Little Dab 'il Do Ya, it is necessary to drop down LEFT through the steep woods to the actual "toe" of the slab.
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