Elevation: 1,389 ft
GPS: 43.995, -71.238 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 9,679 total · 93/month
Shared By: Jamescolinwalsh17 on Jun 21, 2010 with updates from Robert Hall
Admins: Jay Knower, M Sprague, lee hansche, Jeffrey LeCours, Jonathan Steitzer, Robert Hall
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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.

Virtually of the old 1/4" bolts have now been replaced with 3/8" bolts.

Getting There

[July 2018 NOTE: There is now a path (cleared leaves) around the 2017-18 winter blowdowns that had fallen directly on the climber's path making it obscure. The path should now be OK to follow. ]

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 Rt 16.

The path starts near the middle of the parking area. It drops down a few feet and then immediately climbs up steeply for 50 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 to where the old fire ring has been transformed into rocks marking the path. [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. A few feet beyond the crossing the path turns LEFT and follows a tiny gully/stream* for 100 ft, ducks under a blown-down tree, and shortly turns RIGHT up the steep hillside.  Follow the path and occasional cairns and faint yellow blazes.
  Some key turns are:
  1) About 7-10 min. up you step over an ancient, large rotted log; a few yards leter the path jogs right then back left uphill. Soon you'll reach the 2017-18 blowdown (a large bitch tree) the new path goes to the right of, then steps over its trunk and makes a slight left.  
  2) Shortly thereafter, the path then levels out for a short distance traversing left, then turns up right and passes next to a large boulder (1-stone cairn) and then turns up right very steeply for 100 ft, then makes a left and follows an ancient "skidder" (logging) road. You should start to see the "Carpet Slab" here.
  3) Avoid dropping left and low, but continue up to a cairn, then drop down left and reach the far right of the Carpet Slab.  The base of "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 further.

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 a 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 Washboard's "RIGHT-START" to Rattle Can are accessed from a wide, fairly level dirt base; for Washboard's normal start, 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.

19 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Lost Ledge

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Girls Prefer Batteries
Sport 2 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Rattle Can
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Found Arch
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Girls Prefer Batteries
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Sport 2 pitches
Rattle Can
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Found Arch
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
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Do NOT follow the approach directions in the Handren book!! Handren details staying on the left side of the stream (river right) but also mentions following the yellow blazes. If you follow his directions, there will be no blazes and you will have a heck of a bushwack to get to the base of the ledge, but you can find it... For less frustration, follow the directions listed here- the stream crossing is shortly after the trail breaks through the short hemlock undergrowth. There is an old fire ring next to the stream at that point (not the ring by the parking area) and from there you can follow the yellow (and sometimes blue) blazes. Aug 26, 2012
joshua corbett
Wolfeboro NH
joshua corbett   Wolfeboro NH
I went back out this weekend for the first time in 3 years, and it doesn't look like anyone goes out there. All the routes on the slab were dirty, looked like they haven't been climb since I was last there. I also thought that this was be a great area for beginners well its not really, great for top roping but not for leading. most of the bolts are 40 years old now, rusted and scary the anchors were in better shape this time but still not great. Two to three bolt in a 100 foot pitch might freak some beginners out. The best protected climb was Hallie Haley that had 4 bolts for the first 50 feet or so it was fun. I don't mind the 2 bolts per 100 feet but not when the are that old. If anyone wants to give me premising or if anyone knows how to get a hold of Joe, let me know and I will gladly change the bolts to new SS ones. Except Carpet Slabber I thin that one should stay the same for historic reasons. Anyway still very fun climbing. Aug 5, 2013
Robert Hall
North Conway, NH
Robert Hall   North Conway, NH  
We were back there today ( 7/12/14) for the first time in 3-5 years and it was a LOT different than the Aug 2013 description (previous comment), at least on the main slab. The better routes (which are most of them) now have 3/8" SS ( 5/16th) bolts. The only old 1/4"-ers we saw were on VECTOR, which is easily TR'd. (Josh...did you get ahold of Joe and replace the bolts? If so "Well Done!" )
As for the APPROACH...YES, you should follow the "Mtn Project" approach description ( or the one in Webster 3rd Ed. EAST, which is about the same). We tried to follow the new (Handren) guide book and we were lucky (or woods-experienced enough) to intercept the regular trail after bushwhacking up from the stream. Later, we followed the trail DOWN and found it crossed the stream at the old "fishing camp". At the 'camp-site' there was a real fire ring, and across the stream there was a "fire ring" that had never seen a fire. THIS is the (faintly) yellow blazed trail. I left a few survey-tape markers, and may go back and flag this trail.
....[Incorrect text removed 7/27/14 to avoid confusion on....see Bob A's comments 7/24/14 and my reply 7/27/14. ] Jul 12, 2014
Bob A  
just to clarify,the line of Lost Arch is a totally independent line from Found Arch.
Found Arch is the line just right of Groov-in with the first two bolts fairly close together protecting the crux moves before stepping left across the moss streak to the third bolt.(also,if the first bolt seems like a stretch,there is a good right foot at the start of the overlap(look carefully before going too high) that is key to stand up and make the clip from.)

Lost Arch starts to the right at a lower bolt with a very committing crux before you get to the second bolt then the third is just above a pocket(big enough to stand in) with a small tree growing out of it.Third bolt is just behind it then one more bolt to the anchor.

Vector is an older line right next to Lost Arch.
Look for a 1/4 inch bolt just up and right of the first bolt on Lost Arch.Two more 1/4 inch bolts are hidden in the black mossy streak to the right of Lost Arch.

I replaced the three 1/4 inch bolts on Groov-in this year (May 2014)The fourth was a stainless in good condition.
I also replaced the two bolts on Rhumb Line and two on Weak Nuts also along with a little bit of scrubbing. (7-24-14)
That first one is a long way up!
Jul 24, 2014
Robert Hall
North Conway, NH
Robert Hall   North Conway, NH  
Bob A ---- I just read your comments on Rhumb Line and it is clear that I thought Vector (in the brown rock/lichen with 1/4" bolts) was Rhumb Line. [You should be able to see where I brushed several holds.] I did not find a climb with a "first bolt 30 feet up" (Your actual description for Rhumb Line) because neither Webster nor Handren mentioned this distance, which is quite a run-out. I looked around a while (including while being lowered down what I now know is Vector to TR it) and saw no bolts between where I was and Numb Nuts. But old 1/4"-ers are tough to see! With your new 3/8"-ers on Rhumb's I'm sure it will be easier. Thanks for your good work on this! (Both the Beta and the re-bolting.)
NOTE: To avoid confusing others, I have edited my comment of 7/12/14. Jul 27, 2014
Northeast Alpine Start
Conway, New Hampshire
Northeast Alpine Start   Conway, New Hampshire
Posted this over on NEClimbs a couple days ago, I’ll post it here as well:

Got back out to Lost Ledge this morning after almost 10 years with my good friends Gary, Sandy, and Geoff. Geoff & I climbed Found Arch, Groovin’, Erosion Groove, and Lost Arch. The main slab does have some of the best 5.8 slab climbing in MWV IMO. Even the 5.4 & 5.6 routes will keep you focused. On our way out we saw 2 other parties enjoying routes towards the right side of the Carpet Slab. This place deserves traffic.

That being said there are some issues with the access trail. Recently (like within 2-3 weeks) someone used yellow spray paint to gratuitously mark the trail. 10 years ago I removed a copious amount of flagging that had covered the trail from top to bottom. Today I removed quite a bit as well, as cairns mark most of the trickier sections, and anyone who knows how to look for traffic in the woods can stay on track here... it is “lost” ledge after all... it’s part of the adventure to have to pay attention a bit to find the trail...

That being said after checking the new guidebook I see the guidebook map is either wrong, or there is a 2nd trail appearing with a stream crossing much higher than the approach I took with Joe Cote 10 years ago (and is the one currently covered in yellow spray can paint).

The guidebook approach has you crossing the stream when you are almost at the cliff:

The cairned (and abundantly blazed) trail follows this GPS track, and crosses the stream much lower. It also enters the climbing area at the far right side of the Carpet Slab (not between the two areas):

While I understand the person who spray painted this route has good intentions, I really don’t think the Forest Service would appreciate the heavy blazing of a relatively obscure remote climbers trail.

It’s only a 20-25 minute approach even if you have to sniff out the trail... let’s leave some adventure to the approach huh?

Since the spray paint & cairns clearly mark the trail for anyone who has their eyes open I took the liberty of removing some of the nylon surveyor tape that littered the trail:

While I know this isn’t designated wilderness I think we should carefully think about how much impact we have on obscure access trails. Small cairns and “re-organzined” downed wood are much better at guiding visitors than neon surveyor’s tape and obsessive spray painting... Laura & Guy Waterman’s books, Backcountry & Wilderness Ethics, had some excellent ideas on these trail “guiding” techniques... definitely a good read.

Anyways, Lost Ledge is awesome. If you haven’t checked it out you should!

For some relative photos please see the original post on NEClimbs:

neclimbs.com/SMF_2/index.ph… Aug 18, 2014