Carter Ledge Rock Climbing
|GPS:||43.959, -71.254 Google Map · Climbing Map|
|Page Views:||5,178 total, 83/month|
|Shared By:||Brad White North Conway on Oct 13, 2012|
|Admins:||Jay Knower, M Sprague, lee hansche, Jeffrey.LeCours, Robert Hall|
DescriptionCarter Ledge is the often looked at south facing low angled looking slab seen from Rt. 16 while driving North near Chocorua Lake. Carter Ledge can be clearly seen looking east from the summit of Mt.Chocorua. This attractive cliff is located on the ridge leading to the Three Sisters peaks and has a hiking trail to its summit. This is an incredibility beautiful slab climb in a not too remote location with the spectacular backdrop of Mt. Chocorua over your left shoulder. The white granite is amazingly clean and solid with good natural protection where you need it.
Getting ThereHiking Directions to Carter Ledge
You can approach Carter Ledge two different ways. Both ways involve a two plus mile hike so this climb is not for the belay off your bumper crowd. Start at the Piper Trail in Albany and hike 1.2 miles to the Nickerson Ledge Trail on the right. Follow the Nickerson Ledge Trail to its Junction with the Carter Ledge Trail in .8 miles.
The alternative is to start in the White Ledge Campground in Albany and follow the Carter Ledge Trail itself 2 miles to the same junction. This way seems a bit easier as it follows a gently rising trail the whole way. From the junction hike about 0.3 miles up the trail till an open slab can be seen just left of the trail. Hike up a few more steps till the trail turns sharply to the right. Move left up and across the top of the slabs in the woods just below another set of short slabs above. Bushwhack/traverse left (west) across the slope keeping at the same elevation for about 10-15 minutes and you will intersect the bottom of the slab. Do not drop to low on the hillside or you might hike right on by.
Carter Ledge is obvious when you see it as it is very clean perfect granite with occasional Jack Pines growing out of its open face. This cliff has been climbed before (possibly many times) but never officially recorded that I could find. The second time I climbed Carter Ledge an old fixed angle piton was found at half height. The approach takes between one and a half to two hours with the majority of the hiking on the trail.
RHall comment, June 2017 - Alternate Approach from the top. We stayed on the hiking trail and rapped down: From where Brad suggests traversing left we stayed on the hiking trail, which climbs steeply for 200 more vertical ft (and about a 1/4 mile), then flattens out and then passes an old viewpoint on the left. A minute or two later you see, or "sense", the slab to your left, here break through the shrub and small trees 30-40 ft to the top of the slab. [see "Boulder Photo" and "Tree Photo". ] If you get to the wide open slabs and blueberry bushes on the trail you've gone to far.
We rapped as follows with a full-length single 70m rope:
Rap 1 - from the Jack Pine tree in center of slab [photo] 115ft, 35-36m to a point 15 +/- ft climber's/rapeller's left of the start of the "pockets pitch". Here we established a temporary rap station with 2 small cams. (retrieved on the way up) If you have any doubt about the length of your 70m rope, extend the sling on the tree 10 or 15 ft. [Note: Even just Doubled 50m ropes would make it to trees 25-35 ft below.]
Rap 2 - 115ft, 35m From the temporary station to a ledge with stacked blocks. We left a 8mm cord threaded through these blocks - back it up! (photo) The climb "Wanderings" passes over these blocks (and/or uses their ledge as a belay stance) NOTE: On a later climb this cord was gone.
Rap 3 - 115ft, 35 m From the blocks down to a 12-14 inch diameter pine tree with bushes around it. This was another "rope stretcher", but a full-length 70m should reach to the bushes and dirt ledge around the tree. Here we dismantled an ANCIENT sling-with-single aluminum-ring "station" and left, then retrieved, our own sling.
Rap 4 - 100ft, 30 m From large tree down to a single pine tree, 4-5 inches diameter, that is about 30-40 ft from the bottom of the slab. We started here.
A later trip, with doubled 50meter ropes we made the ground in 3 raps:
1) Jack Pine to a small pine on the left 165 ft (50m)
Down-climb Class 3 slab 30-35 ft, passing 1 pine, to a larger (6-8inch diameter) pine tree about 15-20 ft above the blocky-ledge
2)Pine tree down to the large, 12-inch diameter pine on a bushy ledge. (same as mentioned in the 70m rap) 162 ft, 49m
3)150 ft (40m) from large pine to base.
Classic Climbing Routes at Carter Ledge
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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