Middle Sugarloaf / Main Face Rock Climbing
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|Shared By:||Robert Hall on Aug 27, 2015|
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DescriptionFeb 2017 NOTE: Route Names and FA info. have been added to the routes on this cliff, the data taken from the new guidebook by Jon Sykes ("The Notches",eaglecliffpub.com, or it should be available at your local climbing shop.) Thanks Jon for the research! In addition there are many routes on Sugarloaf listed in that guidebook that do not yet have full descriptions listed here.
This is the cliff you get a glimpse of from Rt 302 when traveling from Bretton Woods towards the town of Twin Mtn. The "Main Face" has seen spurts of development in the 1980's, 1990's and the 21st Century. By-and-large the rock is clean, solid and fairly well protected with some climbs having been recently "retro-bolted in 'trad' style" (i.e. "X-factors" removed but not eliminating the risk-reward challenge.) Climbers should be aware of 'hollow' flakes that, while usually OK to use for climbing, it might be best to not place cams behind them, lest the cams pry out in a fall, or worse break off the flake. This is not a usual problem, but be aware!
Approach is about 30-40 minutes by a good hiking trail. Views are SPECTACULAR! (Any non-climbers in your group will appreciate them)
The climbing is the usual "gear protected with a bolt if necessary" on most routes, generally high-angle slab on clean rock.
Several 1980's climbs are described in Webster's 2nd Edition. His 3rd Ed., "Wht. Mtns. EAST, doesn't go this far west. Jon Skyes' new guidebook fills in that gap, although "Steve's Twilight" (and it's 'Direct') had its FA after that guidebook was "set to go".
To the Base of the Cliff: There are four (4) possible descents: A Class 3 scramble on each end of the cliff [described as ROUTEs], and now (late 2015) two possible rap lines.[See photo "Established Rap Lines"] These rap lines are also described as routes.
THE BEST RAP LINE is probably the "Center Cliff Rap Line" since it can be done easily with one 60M rope (3 raps). [See the "climb" listed as "Center Cliff Rap Line" for directions]
The "Suzy Q" rap line [See the "climb" Suzy Q Rap Line for directions] can be rapped using either two 60M ropes in one long rap, or can be rapped with two raps using a single 70m (but not single 60m). However, if using a single 70M be advised the "mid-station" anchor is not "set" for rapping so you will have to leave something here.
The climbs, as I know them, Left To Right: (If in bold the description is listed herein in MP; if "JS"= described in Jon Sykes "The Notches", "EW"= described in Ed Webster's 2nd Edition)
South (Left) Gully descent (called "West Gully by JS)
Brain Cramp 5.8, "JS"
A Bit Too Long 5.10 "JS" (previously listed in MP as Unknown#1) 3 bolts on a slab about 150 ft Right of the South (Left) descent gully
Lutter's Run 5.10 JS
Tap Dancer 5.10 JS
Blueberry Road 5.9 JS
Swain's Direct 5.10 JS (variation on Bullit's Alt Direct Start)
Bullit - Alt Direct start - See Route Description
Bullit (JS, EW) - Original Start - see Route Description
Get the Lead Out (EW), start just R of Bullit, climb through middle crack in OverLap. 5.8+
Shrapnel EW , JS 12 Ft R of Shrapnel, climbs through the Left crack in the Overlap.5.8
Pleasant Street 5.6 JS (after 1st 15 ft of Suzy Q goes left)
Suzy Q - See Route Description
When the Dog Bites (previously listed as Bad Dogs)-See Route Description
Skyline Promenade - See Route Description
Life by the Numbers - 5.8 [5.7? R (X?)] See Route Description - FA Ed Webster, rope solo, Oct 1986. After the path descends steeply a flat base area is reached at the foot of a clean slab. Life by the Numbers starts at the left side of this slab, below three flaring cracks about 15-20 ft up.
Bolt in the Sky 5.9 FA Unknown (P1 is a well protected 5.8 ***, and leads to several possible finishes that maintain the 5.8 / 5.7 grade. P1 is described in the "Link Up") START: 10-15 ft right of the cracks of Life by the Numbers, near the right side of the clean slab. P1 has six (6) bolts leading to a double-bolt anchor with rings. P2 climbs the crack (FA Ed Webster as part of P1 of Life by the Numbers.) P3 goes for "THE Bolt in the Sky" (Photo); Life by the Numbers finishes up right and then steps back up left onto the top of the slab.
Painted Forest 5.10 JS
Fiddle Dee Dee 5.7 JS
Fiddle Dee Dum 5.5 JS
Clean Corner Slabs (JS, EW): 5.7 +
Electrician's Route 5.7 JS
Sea of Green (previously listed as The Green Mile) 5.6 - 5.7 See Route Description
Sea of Green Direct 5.10 X - see route description
Rock Candy 5.9 & Rock Candy Direct 5.10 - See Route Description(s)
Saber 5.6 FA Unknown See Route Description
Scepter 5.6+ / 5.7 See Route Description
Rapier 5.8/ 5.8+ (5.7 R without a stick-clip)
Saber Rattler 5.8+/ 5.9- (or 5.7 -5.8) FA Unknown See Route Description
19, 20, 21 See (EW) On the giant boulder on the right (facing out) near the top of the North Gully descent.
Jack the Knife 5.7
Sickle - 5.7 -
Solitude 5.9 TR
Getting ThereTake the Zealand Road from Rt 302 (about 3 Mi. East of Twin Mtn, or about 5 Mi West of Bretton Woods) for 1 Mi. to the parking lot on the right. (Same as for Mt Oscar). Display your Pass (WMNF, Golden Eagle, ect.) or pay the $3 WMNF parking fee and walk up the road across the bridge, and a right onto the trail.
Take the trail to a "T" intersection, turn Left to Middle Sugarloaf and continue to the summit. Consult the "climbs" for one of three descent routes; if it's your first time here you may want to use the South descent route as the climbs are listed climber's-left to right and the South descent gully puts you at #1.
Classic Climbing Routes at Middle Sugarloaf / Main Face
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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