Pine Mountain Rock Climbing
|GPS:||44.364, -71.213 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
|Page Views:||9,569 total · 127/month|
|Shared By:||Robert Hall on Jul 17, 2016|
|Admins:||Jay Knower, M Sprague, Lee Hansche, Jeffrey LeCours, Jonathan S, Robert Hall|
Access Notes: 1) When the Horton camp is in session (weekend and/or weekly groups) during the Spring thru Fall seasons, the public is asked to respect the camp and stay on the marked trail(s).
2) In the fall of 2022 the road will be under repair/construction Monday > Thursday. There will be no vehicle access when work is being done, although you'll probably be able to walk in from the parking at Pinkham B road.
An old-time slab/cliff (first climbed in the 1930's with evidence of further climbing in the late 1960's-mid-70's) that has seen some recent activity, mostly by Matt and Kathy Barker who researched the early climb(s) with the Boston AMC. Helping them was/is Ben Smith and the Chinos' Jon Garlough and Hank Tracy.
The cliff/slab presents a interesting alternative to slabs like Whitehorse and even Table and Rainbow due to its unusual character of slabs with a serious number of small overlaps, and at least one route completely on pegmatite.
Bring a light standard rack (we didn't use anything larger than a #1 (red) although we brought a #2 (gold) & a #3, "alpine draws" (i.e. long-ish) are useful, the routes wander a bit. Expect to find a bolt or two if needed but we aren't talking "sport climbs" here. Nuts seemed especially useful on the pegmatite. We survived with a single 70m rope, but used the trees on far right to descend from the top ( 3 single rope raps).
Fairly easy approach: 0.9 mi. on dirt road, 0.1 mile on trail and about 0.3 mi bushwhack
Currently that 0.3 mi bushwhack, while not bad in terms of the degree of "brush-crashing", is still pretty obscure. (More on this in "Getting There".) With additional visits this may become more clear.
Take the Dolly Copp road (a.k.a. Pinkham B) from Rt 16 north of Pinkham Notch past the entrances to both the campground and Barns Field (group camping) whereupon it turns to dirt. Continue a few miles to the height-of-land and a parking lot on the left and a dirt road on the right (East). Park here. [From the north and west, pick up the northern end of the Dolly Copp road off of Rt2 near Randolph, NH.]
There is VERY LIMITED parking in two or three one-car pullouts on the road ( which is a WMNF road leading to the private Horton Center) near the Ledges Trailhead. If you can’t park without being on the road please drive back to the parking on Dolly Copp Rd and walk back on the road. Take the Ledges Trail about 0.1 mile to a large boulder on the right with a dead birch tree trunk in front of it. [This is the 2nd or 3rd boulder you pass, but is the largest...perhaps in the near future there'll be a cairn on it or nearby.]
Leave the trail here and contour around at the same level. (altimeter / altitude watch and/or GPS currently helpful) for about 0.3 mile that will feel like twice that. [With stopping, checking location, etc, figure 40-50 minutes your first time "in".] If you drop too low you might completely miss the cliff, so if anything "error high". You will cross a small but distinct drainage about 1/3 of the way to the slab, and then a larger (wider) but less distinct drainage about 2/3rds of the way there. Generally, the "path" seems reasonably clear as far as the first drainage [cuttings and very occasional green tape], and also reasonably clear from the 2nd drainage to the cliff (once you find it), but the territory between the drainages seems to be "no man's land".
One key: if, shortly after passing the 2nd drainage, you hit talus DROP DOWN to go around the talus.
To add confusion, the last time I was there (Aug 2016) a line of pink surveyer's tape branches off from the hiking trail a bit lower than the boulder shown in the photo. mmmm??
Classic Climbing Routes at Pine Mountain
Days w Precip