Type: Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, Grade III
FA: Joe Cote, Roger Martin, 1972
Page Views: 99,647 total · 636/month
Shared By: Andy Casler on Nov 8, 2006 with improvements by lemac889 Iandrvil
Admins: Jay Knower, M Sprague, lee hansche, Jeffrey LeCours, Jonathan Steitzer, Robert Hall

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Description

Moby Grape is the second most popular route on Cannon, behind the Whitney Gilman. It is a classic 5.8 wall climb, comparable to Nutcracker in Yosemite or to Guide's Wall in the Tetons. Until the final two pitches, the rock is as good as granite gets.

The Conn buttress borders the right side of the big wall section and Moby Grape climbs up the center of this buttress. Though the original first pitch climbed the left corner of the buttress, Reppy's Crack, a splitter in the truest sense of the word, has become the pitch of choice.

[Note: while given here in 7 pitches, many climbers will break up the pitches. There are several route descriptions in the COMMENTs section. R. Hall ]

Pitch 1, 120' (Reppy's Crack) 5.8: Climb the obvious splitter crack. This has been called the best hand crack in New Hampshire. Though more of a fist crack, Reppy's requires jamming skills because there are no face holds. Follow the crack up and right to easier rock, stopping at a bolted belay. (FA'd by Phil Nelson and Allen Wedgewood in '65) Note - The original first pitch climbed to the left of Reppy's, but has had significant rock fall, with injuries, and is still loose.

Pitch 2, (The Triangular Roof) 5.9: This is the technical crux of the route. Climb up to and over the prominent triangular roof using hand jams. This pitch ends at a good ledge. There's some loose choss up here, so make sure the rocks you build your belay in are solid.
[Historical note: the triangular roof is quite "geologically young", having formed about 1968-69 due to rockfall. Prior to that time the old ConnCourse route climbed an inside corner to a set of "rising steps" on a slab. R. Hall]

Pitch 3, 5.7: Move right around the corner on less than ideal rock. Belay near the base of the unmistakable Finger of Fate.

Pitch 4, (The Finger of Fate) 5.8 PG-13: Climb up to the flake. This flake looks dubiously connected to the cliff but is actually pretty solid. Either chimney up the left side of the flake or hand traverse (campus if you dare) along the right side. It's possible to get a very funky looking 0.1 X4 camalot  (maybe it would hold, but probably best to not test it) from the stance on top of The Finger before committing to one or two slab moves that lead to a comfortable ledge. Walk left on the scruffy ledge and build a belay. It is possible to rappel from here with two ropes.

Pitch 5, 5.7: The climbing degrades into classic Cannon rockaneering. From the belay, walk left about 30 feet to a dike, make a tricky move and then climb easy ledges trending right to another long ledge. Belay near the left side of a huge fallen pillar.

Pitch 6, 5.7: Climb the fun corner in the left side of the pillar to a roof. Exit the corner on the right and build a belay in good rock.

Pitch 7, 5.8: Climb the exciting slab up to a good crack. Top out the cliff and build a belay in good rock.

Descent: The trail can be hard to find. Scramble right from the Pitch 7 belay. In the vicinity of a grassy, square foundation (helicopter pad), you'll find a trail leading downhill that trends climber's right (north). Following the trail, you'll find the cables and rods that failed to keep the Old Man on the mountain. Follow the waterslide (a cemented water diversion apparatus that obviously didn't work) downhill until you pick up an obvious, well-worn trail. The trail will return you to the northern trailhead parking lot.

Return to start of route: [From Krutz in the comment section] Walk down the descent trail about 30 minutes. Look for faint climbers trail that cuts hard right where the main trail hangs a left (about halfway down, where the steepness starts to ease off). Better to be too low than too high. You should emerge at the base of the slabs. From there, it's about 15 minutes walk back to the start of MG.

Protection

Standard trad rack. Can be nice to have doubles to No. 3 and tape gloves, though not necessary. Two ropes are required for rappels. Don't forget your helmet--this is Cannon after all.

Photos