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Routes in Barber Wall

Arete., The T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Bad Dogs T 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Big Deal Rock Climb T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a PG13
Black Crack T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Black Lung T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Book of Solemnibeast (variation of Book of Solemnity) T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Book of Solemnity, The T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Chicken Delight T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Double Vee T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Dresden T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13
Final Gesture T 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Fools Gold T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Graverobber T,TR 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a PG13
Hatful of Hollow T 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Jolt T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Kim Jung Il T 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Layton's Ascent T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Lichen Delight T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Lichen It a Lot T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Medusa T 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Nomad Crack T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Nutcracker T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Off the Hook T,S 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Perseus T 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b PG13
Reconciliation T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R
Retaliation T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Upper Refuse T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Webster's Unabridged T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13
Youth Challenge T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Type: Trad, 190 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Joe Cote and Steve Arsenault-1971
Page Views: 15,936 total, 118/month
Shared By: m-earle on Oct 31, 2006
Admins: Jay Knower, M Sprague, lee hansche, Jeffrey.LeCours, Robert Hall

You & This Route


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Description

This gorgeous line starts to the right of the start of Upper Refuse and Black Lung.

P1- 5.10a- 80'- Climb the dihedral past two pins and traverse under the roof (crux) and up to a two bolt belay ledge on the right hand face.

P2- 5.10a- 120'- Step left off the belay ledge and continue up the crack system until it ends. Traverse left onto a small ledge (crux), and follow over to the top section of upper refuse. Belay from the top of Upper Refuse. If you are not using double ropes, don't place any gear on or after the traverse. If you do, your second could take a nasty swing.

Protection

set of nuts and cams
Sean M
  5.10c
Sean M  
  5.10c
Incredible climb! I have to say I think the first pitch a little bit sandbagged, especially if slab is not your strength.

The North Conway area book mentioned 3 pins on the first pitch leading up to the roof, but there are only 2 now. Only one of these is in the roof, which is too small to protect with other gear. The way the pin is angled is directly down and out from the roof seam, making it seem quite sketchy. Given how hard it is to inspect the pin on lead, I didn't want to whip on it, and just pulled through. I'm not a local, but I think the route would really benefit from having the old pin replaced with a bolt. If the pin pulled you would take a really hard pendulum whip into the left wall.

The rest of the first pitch after the roof, and the entire second pitch, is just total joy 5.9-ish climbing. On the first pitch the 15 feet straddling the first pin, and the roof itself, felt more like mid/hard 5.10. Oct 17, 2017
Owen Silitch
Brunswick, ME
Owen Silitch   Brunswick, ME
BETA SPOILER: Just did this route last weekend and have some advice for the 2nd pitch which I thought was the more logistically and mentally challenging of the two. As you make your way up to where you should traverse left towards the last pitch of Upper Refuse, climb up about 5 more feet and get an excellent .5 camalot placement (I think this might be the undercling that previous comments are talking about). I used this as my primary point of protection for the traversing move. Then you down climb so your waist is about level with the .5 cam and find a sloping ledge to smear you left foot onto, it is a lot better than it looks. Then, there are two decent crimps that you can use to bump your left hand up onto the jug rail at the top of the ledge and then the interesting climbing is basically over. Once I made it to the ledge I did not place any pro on the third pitch of Upper Refuse (as mentioned before double ropes would solve this problem) and then continue up to the top. I belayed off two pins and a .75 C4, but there are plenty of trees that you could use and there is also a set of brand new looking bolts on a ledge 5 feet down and to climber's right which would all protect you follower as they do the crux traverse. Afterwards, instead of hiking off climbers left, head right towards the top of recompense and do the fun 20 ft little finger crack which lets you top out on the main part of Cathedral and shock some wowed tourists.... Sep 21, 2017
S. Neoh  
It has been a long while but that sounds about right, John. P2 was over quite quickly for me if memory serves. Oct 6, 2016
john strand
southern colo
 
john strand   southern colo
 
The solution to P2 is to NOT go all the way over to Refuse..go a bit left then straight up over the bulge. it's commiting but gets easier quickly. John Mallery used to call the holds "finger buckets" You actually are on Casual Route, the liet that avoids the cluster on Refuse, brings you to a nice ledge,,,hang off a bit and you can see the second most of the way. Oct 6, 2016
S. Neoh  
Reading all the above makes me think I did not follow P2 as described at all. My friend Leo led P2. We used doubles that day. Leo had done the route before so he protected the second (me!) well after I had led up P1 for my first time ever on the route. I remember Leo only clipped protection with one rope so the second strand ran almost straight down from the belay after P2. I felt well protected when I did the traverse on P2 with some Beta from Leo. I believe I did it "the low way" almost all the way and went up some corner/arete feature to finish P2. I thought mid .10 was a fair grade even 1st go ever at it. Maybe everything fell in place for me on that day or we took an easier way up P2. Great outing all in all. Oct 5, 2016
Jay Morse
Hooksett, New Hampshire
 
Jay Morse   Hooksett, New Hampshire
 
Amazing climb with unforgettable cruxes and climbing that's so fun in between them you might forget to place gear!

I thought a more intricate description of the top of pitch 2 would be helpful for those who are wondering why double ropes would be useful and how it can be done with a single rope.

About 40-50' up on Pitch 2 you need to make a traverse far to the left. There are some gear options right before the traverse, and the swing back to the right if you fell would be mostly air, so as a leader you are reasonably protected (But its definitely enough of a swing that the fall will be in your head...). After you complete the traverse, which is both the technical and mental crux (and most unforgettable part) of the route in my opinion you will find yourself on the ledge of Pitch 2 of Upper Refuse, which you can not use as a belay for this route, because you are now something like 25-30' to the side of your last piece of gear, and you would be setting your second up for a nasty leftward swing into a wall right at the technical crux.

So what you need to do from here is climb the end of Upper Refuse, which is about 50' of 5.5 climbing that angles back to the right. The Upper Refuse tree anchor at the top of this section is at a reasonable angle for your second to both reduce the swing when doing the Book of Solemnity Traverse and protect them while they climb Upper Refuse. If you only have one rope, you will need to free solo this section, as placing any gear would leave the rope angle too far to the side and set your second up for the nasty swing. Another commentor mentioned that if using only one rope you could maybe place gear, climb to the top anchor, have your second lower you to clean the gear, and then climb back up and that may be a solution.

With two ropes, you will be able to place gear on this final 50' stretch of Upper Refuse, and just make sure not to clip the gear with the second rope.

Also note that you will not be able to see your second from the Top Upper Refuse anchors, and will have to shout to communicate, and keep in mind that the nature of the traverse is that you will need to give rather than take slack during the traverse. Your partner could simply fall and swing over to the ledge, bypassing the traverse, but if they are trying to send and enjoy the traverse moves, being able to communicate and watch them is very nice.

My solution for this was to set up a belay at the chain anchors of Webster's Unabridged (I think?) which are located on a nice ledge down and to climber's right of the tree anchors at the top of Upper Refuse. Using these chain anchors and a couple pieces in a crack to the left of those anchors equalized in the perfect spot to protect the second during the traverse while being able to watch them and communicate easily from a comfortable ledge. Once my second finished the Book of Solemnity traverse and landed on the Upper Refuse pitch 2 belay ledge, I had her go in direct to the tree anchor there and hang out on the ledge for a few minutes while I cleaned my anchor, climbed back up to the Upper Refuse pitch 3 tree anchors (5.0 or 5.1 climbing), which were at a much better angle to protect her while finishing Upper Refuse, set a new anchor, told her she was back on belay, and she finished it up. I think it was the safest possible way to protect the second, though it was admittedly at the expense of my own safety since I had to free solo the final pitch of Upper Refuse as well as the descent and ascent to and from the Webster's Unabridged belay ledge.

I will use double ropes if I ever do it again. I hope this helps explain the situation to those who have never done this climb before so you can be prepared. Oct 5, 2016
This climb is brilliant. But the traverse left on P2 was a perplexing mystery. My leader went high, did the step overs, (he thought it was quite intense), and then for following, I tried my hardest to figure out the low way, but there was nothing there I could see! So I just pulled the classic "weeeeeeeee!" and swung over to the ledge and the easy remainder of climbing. Oh well. Uber-classic route! Nov 9, 2015
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
 
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
 
I had never imagined that the current bolts were the originals, I know the kind of gear you all were using back then. As the story was told, they were left that way because that was the original placement... Thank you for debunking this myth! Now... if that old story is BS then will someone please put that anchor in a better place haha... Jun 8, 2015
We didn't put those bolts in on the 1st ascent. Those chain anchors weren't even available back in 1971, nor were cams.
Those crux moves on the 2nd pitch have gotten harder, since I've shrunk 2 inches. Jun 7, 2015
john strand
southern colo
 
john strand   southern colo
 
Geez, i never heard that one before. i'll have to ask a member of the f/a team. May 13, 2015
M Bageant
Cambridge, MA
M Bageant   Cambridge, MA
Ah, good to know there's a story there! I thought there had to be an interesting reason for the low bolts.

Looking at the photos on here of the 2nd pitch crux traverse from 2009 makes me wonder if part of the hold just under the roof has broken off. I'll have to take a photo when I have a rematch.

Maybe I am just doing it all wrong and making it harder for myself! May 11, 2015
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
 
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
 
I heard lore that the belay was put low to hide them from view since the FA party didn't have time to do the second pitch on their first push and didn't want others to get and ideas... May 10, 2015
john strand
southern colo
 
john strand   southern colo
 
Did the belay bolts get re done ? i never remember them being to low.. the farther left you go on p2, the easier it gets. in fact you can go all the way left and finish scenic Route 5.8 up the edge. May 10, 2015
M Bageant
Cambridge, MA
M Bageant   Cambridge, MA
I climbed this yesterday and found the second pitch crux to be ridiculously hard if you have a reach smaller than 5'9". It felt more like 5.10+ to 5.11 to me with my stumpy 5'5" reach. I tried both variations and the higher one seemed most tractable, but both were hard if short. Fellow shorties, consider yourself warned!

Also what's up with the bolts being at your feet on the big white belay ledge atop P1? Super awkward. Pick your poison I guess, if you want a semi-hanging belay in the crack or bolts at ankle height on the ledge.

The crux moves on P1 are brilliant! The crux moves on P2 just made me cry. May 10, 2015
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
 
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
 
yup... sounds safe :) very similar to how i do it... but safer... Sep 13, 2013
Jcomeau
North Conway
Jcomeau   North Conway
Lee, I am planning on using long runners on everything and a minimal amount of gear up to the bolted belay just right of the 3rd pitch on Upper Refuse. I just want to make sure my second is protected through the traverse. Sep 13, 2013
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
 
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
 
that would be a decent way to handle the situation so long as rope drag was manageable on the way up... Sep 13, 2013
Jcomeau
North Conway
Jcomeau   North Conway
When climbing with one rope, would it be acceotable to place gear after the travers then lower down and clean it? Sep 13, 2013
john strand
southern colo
 
john strand   southern colo
 
SA--- holds ? Mallery called them " finger buckets" back in '79

a tremendous climb, well worth many stars. i rarely repeated routes on Cathedral, but this is one to do over and over Apr 29, 2013
Wait till you guys become senior citizens and can't see the holds. You will think it is harder! Apr 29, 2013
last time I led this there was a fixed nut lingering in the undercling just before the leftwards traverse. the step down does indeed induce a keen pucker. Mar 10, 2013
MJO
MJO  
it all worked out for the best! Jun 22, 2010
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
 
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
 
thanks for the story :)
sounds like the gear was fine, there are bigger options you can use... but if it saves your ass it was good enough right? haha Jun 22, 2010
MJO
MJO  
Sorry for the late response Lee;

I placed the #4 nut about 8 feet below the crux on pitch 2. I made the move and my right foot blew off. It was quite a fall; the wire on #4 is bent to this day!

It was my first time leading The Book and my first lead on anything higher than 5.9. I made the move and finished the climb. This was some years ago, and being more experienced now, I suspect there may be better placements than I made. Jun 22, 2010
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
 
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
 
where did you place the #4? Jun 13, 2010
MJO
MJO  
Tremendous Climb! You'll need a #4 nut for the second pitch crux. It'll hold on a whipper, trust me. Jun 13, 2010
Every time that I am in North Conway to climb it always rains. The past three days were the best weather I have ever had in North Conway for climbing, and in November, go figure. We shared the entire cliff with 3 or 4 parties.

The Book is a superb climb. My partner did both options while seconding(he asked me to lower him back after doing one) He thought that the high traverse was far easier than the low traverse.

Will have to hope for more good weather next time for Recombeast, Last Unicorn and others. Nov 10, 2009
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
 
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
 
yeah, whichever way you do it the traverse moves are the second pitch crux... and both ways are fun... next time you should take the high road just to mix things up...

Ps. david, i am surprised you hadnt dont it yet... classic huh? Nov 10, 2009
Just did this route yesterday for the first time. What a great climb.
Several people have referenced the step down move as barely 5th class. I assume what they are referring to is the high traverse stepping down the the ledge. I went with the low the traverse and to me that is by far the crux of the pitch. Nov 10, 2009
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
 
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
 
Just took a run up the book yesterday... I noticed 2 interesting things on the 1st pitch...

1: It had been cleaned really well since i had last been on it...

2:There was soooo much chalk on it i felt like i was at Rumney... The Difference is that there are holds at Rumney... Chalk your hands all you want, it wont make your feet stick to a polished slab :) Sep 16, 2009
The second pitch crux is a lot tougher if you are short. May 5, 2009
David Aguasca!
New York
  5.10+
David Aguasca!   New York
  5.10+
Tastiest 5.10 slab masquerading-as-fingercrack-in-corner i've ever climbed. Oct 5, 2008
Ken Cangi
Eldorado Springs, CO
 
Ken Cangi   Eldorado Springs, CO
 
A must-do introduction to 5.10 Aug 25, 2007
Ladd

  5.10a
Ladd    
  5.10a
I did this route again this past Saturday 5.26.07

That step down is probably only 4th class, but it does offer a keen pucker. Especially since I ran together the two pitches, and didn't place pro in the undercling like I usually do...oops. May 29, 2007
Ladd

  5.10a
Ladd    
  5.10a
Terror inducing indeed...
But yes, truly it is barely 5th class May 11, 2007
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
 
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
 
I say grab a good belayer (and double ropes for the second pitch) and just fire it, the gear is good on the 1st pitch crux...and the second pitch crux has good gear, it's just the terror-inducing 5.2 move that ladd made reference to that's a scary one, but it's not hard at all.... Apr 20, 2007
Ladd

  5.10a
Ladd    
  5.10a
If this is your max difficulty, consider top-roping it first. It has a strange slab move traversing under the roof. The second pitch has and equally strange step down into nothing. Apr 20, 2007