Guidebook for Rock Climbing in the Presidentials


Original Post
Nolan Huther · · Clarkson University · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 552

I was hoping for a suggestion for the "best" guidebook which covers the rock climbs in Huntington Ravine fairly well. I was hoping to visit the Presidentials with my dad but mix it up by throwing in some easier technical rock climbs, then returning sometime in the future after that to do the classics with a few of the regular bunch, maybe. Is there a good guidebook someone could point me to?

PS- while I'm posting, for future use, is there also a guidebook for Katahdin, or is MP the best resource now?

lucander · · Stone Ridge, NY · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 175

Jerry Handren's North Conway book and Ed Webster's old White Mountain book cover what you're looking for.

Kathadin beta found in Stewart Greene New England climbing guide and Peter Lewis & Dave Horowitz Northeast Select.

Russ Keane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 90

Some might disagree... But I say there really isn't much good rock climbing in the Presidentials. It's all quite chossy, broken up, and non epic.

Alan Rubin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 0

"quite chossy"--well occasionally--yes.
"broken up"---in some places.
"non epic"---hmm--not always!!!

A good long day adventure way up in the mountains especially with a summit thrown in for the full value experience---almost always!!!

I guess it is all in the "eyes of the beholder"

Alan

Nolan Huther · · Clarkson University · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 552

Fortunately, chossy and broken up almost works as a plus in my book. Crowded crags with classic routes harder than I can climb are plenty in NY! Thanks for the guidebook suggestion!

Russ Keane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 90

Al-

I am a little confused. We are talking Huntington's and Tuckerman's, right? You've got the Pinnacle Buttress.... and then a small handful of single or two pitch climbs, and that's it. So where/how is this good?

Are there other climbs I am missing?

Russ

Nolan Huther · · Clarkson University · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 552

They certainly seem aesthetic. Pretty much the only thing I'm interested in and why I asked. I'm really only a beginning climber but after a few years of hiking and such, I really appreciate that sort of thing

john strand · · southern colo · Joined May 2008 · Points: 1,575

Russ- the bouldering in King Ravine is pretty good,,,you might not even die.

I guess pinnacle is kinda like W-G..not really that good climbing, but a cool experience ? The direct is better

Are Stairs and Mt Webster considered the presi's ???

Ron Birk · · Boston, MA · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 3,300
john strand wrote:Are Stairs and Mt Webster considered the presi's ???
Both are part of the presidential range, so yes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidential_Range
john strand · · southern colo · Joined May 2008 · Points: 1,575

Thanks for the geography Ron..

I meant from a rock climbing perspective, IMO..no

Russ Keane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 90

All I am saying is, the Presidential Range is not known for its rock climbing. There's not much. Certainly it;s not even close to the amount of good rock in the Adirondacks.

divnamite · · New York, NY · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 90
Nolan Huther wrote:Fortunately, chossy and broken up almost works as a plus in my book. Crowded crags with classic routes harder than I can climb are plenty in NY! Thanks for the guidebook suggestion!
Pinnacle Buttress is a long ass hike for a choss pile.

Why not go to the Dacks? There are ton of backcountry climbs that's not crowded and beautiful settings. Wallface for example.
john strand · · southern colo · Joined May 2008 · Points: 1,575

IMO the Dacks and the Presi's pale compared to Katahdin. More "out there" cool climbs and an impressive summit.

Nolan Huther · · Clarkson University · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 552

I do climb dacks actually. Mostly the 46ers, plus I've been rock climbing for the past year. I've been wanting to visit the Whites and climb a few 48ers for a while though, and this seemed like a great opportunity for a good weekend trip between college semesters this summer, likely a climb up Huntington Ravine and linking up some of the northern Presidentials before doubling back and camping at the base. I appreciate all the advice, I hope to visit Katahdin too this summer or next, despite the 14 hour drive. Thanks for the advice, all I really needed was a good guidebook to look up.

divnamite · · New York, NY · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 90

Well, if you must to Pinnacle Buttress.

http://www.chauvinguides.com/pinnacleguide.htm

Robert Hall · · North Conway, NH · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 11,696

Hey guys (i.e. responders) note in his last post Nolan mentioned he'd been " (rock) climbing for about a year".

IMHO I'm not sure one should advise anyone with "only about a year's experience" to take the lead in climbing in the Presidential ravines. (Huntington, Tuckerman or Kings) as even with "guidebook-in-hand" route finding can be problematical;...and once off route can rapidly become "epic", with help hours away. THEN, there's the potential for rapid weather change at nearly 5000ft .

Nolan, my advice is, if you want to climb in the "Presi's" then the hire one of the many fine guides that are available in the greater North Conway area, or try one of the cliffs/slabs that are not up in the higher "Presidentials" and which are covered quite nicely by any one of a couple or guidebooks (some mentioned above) and/or in mountainproject itself.

john strand · · southern colo · Joined May 2008 · Points: 1,575

Depends on the experience..my first lead was WG and Pinnacle the next spring. You gotta learn sometime and a lot of experience can be had in a year.

ChrisN · · Morro Bay, CA · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 0

If you have trad lead climbing experience, you should be fine on the Pinnacle. If you feel like you're in over your head, there are many spots where you can escape climber's left into the schwack. It's not a great climb, a lot of easy 5th class and 4th class with a few pitches of moderate climbing, but if you are using it to spice up a few days in the Presidentials and don't mind lugging up the extra weight, I think it would be a good option. Make sure to do the fairytale traverse if you can find it, the climb is worth the effort just for this pitch. It's easier than it looks when you first peer around the corner.

Another option would be to head in to the Great Gulf wilderness and up to the ridgeline via the Six Husbands trail. You can then traverse over to Mt. Madison and back down the Osgood trail... either as a day hike or with a camp setup a few miles into the Great Gulf (heading up the headwall with a heavy pack would be brutal). It's not rock climbing, but the Six Husbands is a spectacular trail with a few 3rd and 4th class moves with some exposure. My favorite hike in the Whites. All of the trails in the Great Gulf are amazing. Just a spectacular spot.

And I'm sure you know this, but watch the weather.

Luc-514 · · Montreal, Quebec · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 8,393

Osgood Trail is a real killer on the way down, steep steep steep, hiking poles highly recommended.

I don't know if the upcoming "Notches" guidebook (by Jon Sykes) will have any info regarding climbs in the Mount Washington area.

Ron Birk · · Boston, MA · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 3,300
Nolan Huther wrote:I do climb dacks actually. Mostly the 46ers, plus I've been rock climbing for the past year. I've been wanting to visit the Whites and climb a few 48ers for a while though, and this seemed like a great opportunity for a good weekend trip between college semesters this summer, likely a climb up Huntington Ravine and linking up some of the northern Presidentials before doubling back and camping at the base. I appreciate all the advice, I hope to visit Katahdin too this summer or next, despite the 14 hour drive. Thanks for the advice, all I really needed was a good guidebook to look up.
When you say climbing the 48 and 46, do you mean hiking or technical rock climbing? Most of the 48 don't have much in regards to rock climbing.
MaxSuffering · · KVNY · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 0
john strand wrote:IMO the Dacks and the Presi's pale compared to Katahdin. More "out there" cool climbs and an impressive summit.
For "out there" check this out, makes summertime ascents on Katadin seem pretty mild.

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/panther-gorge/109235496

Not to say Huntington Ravine isn't worthwhile... it's pretty cool there too. Like ChrisN said, if you're in the neighborhood and looking for a hiking day with some fun climbing thrown in check it out.

Also, to answer the original question get the Handren guide, although I think the Webster guide is more fun to read.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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