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Machine Head

5.11d, Sport,  Avg: 2.9 from 59 votes
FA: Ted Hammond 1990
New Hampshire > Rumney > Prudential

Description

Machine Head is a short but kick ass climb with a technical less than vertical start, a steep jug haul bulge and a scary balancy mantel finish. All in a route that is only 5 bolts long.

I recommend clipping the 2nd bolt due to an awkward clipping stance and ground fall potential, but that's your call. The first moves are like the moves you find at the bottom of many routes on Waimea. not steep but all the holds are facing weird directions. After overcoming this section you hit the jugs of the Red River Gorge like central band. And now that you are pumped, head up to the dreaded mantel finish. After working it out the grade seems reasonable but on the onsight attempt it feels hard in the grade.

They only give it one star in the guide book but I think it is worthy of full marks.

Location

The right side of the cliff. It only goes up to the midway ledge.Locate the quick clips on the wall above the ledge. The route starts right underneath.

Protection

5 bolts to quick clips

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Perfect Form!<br>
<br>
photo credit Jessica Trout-Haney
[Hide Photo] Perfect Form! photo credit Jessica Trout-Haney
Alternate right foot beta for the crux.
[Hide Photo] Alternate right foot beta for the crux.
Sylvain and Charles doing what they do best... climbing and belaying, respectively.
[Hide Photo] Sylvain and Charles doing what they do best... climbing and belaying, respectively.
Sylvain relaxing after the tricky start. Dreaded mantle finish yet to come!
[Hide Photo] Sylvain relaxing after the tricky start. Dreaded mantle finish yet to come!
Pump crux.
[Hide Photo] Pump crux.
The start
[Hide Photo] The start
This is a shot of the really cool band of strange rock that runs through the cliff and houses many huecos and other interesting features... This particular section is on the bulge of Machine Head that saps some energy before the dreaded top out...
[Hide Photo] This is a shot of the really cool band of strange rock that runs through the cliff and houses many huecos and other interesting features... This particular section is on the bulge of Machine Head t…
Here's Dom on Machine Head.  The section below him is the technical and thin section.  The rest of the route is a fun jug haul over a small roof.
[Hide Photo] Here's Dom on Machine Head. The section below him is the technical and thin section. The rest of the route is a fun jug haul over a small roof.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Adam Conroy
Cambridge, MA
[Hide Comment] Worked this problem today for a while, didn't send but got all the moves. That mantle finish had my heart pumping and made me feel like I really pulled off something epic.

The description nails it and its minimum 3 stars here. Will reserve whether it is 3 or 4 after I send it. :) Mar 6, 2010
Jared LaVacque
Anchorage/Grand Junction
  5.11d
[Hide Comment] The 2nd bolt and most of the SMC hangers spin, which makes stick clipping difficult. The glue in bolts are solid. A really fun route in general. Apr 23, 2011
Jeffrey LeCours
New Hampshire
[Hide Comment] The bolts Jared mentions have been updated May 12, 2013
Zane Dordai
Salt Lake City
 
[Hide Comment] classic rig. at least as hard as pulse, and in my opinion as hard as many of the 12a's I have done. either the hardest 11d ever or a soft 12a...but either way one of Rumney's best short climbs. another great non-awkward mantle finish.

beta spoiler: the dihedral definitely contained the hardest moves on the route, but the pump hits you on the mantle. Aug 5, 2013
Matt Levine
Concord, NH
[Hide Comment] I projected this for a little while this past weekend. The pre-roof sections ease up quite a bit with the right beta...the crux is in the pump at the top for me. Can't wait to get back and tick it off (hopefully...)

Fantastic route for sure. Apr 22, 2015
Ward Smith
Wendell MA
  5.11d
[Hide Comment] Just got on this again after onsighting it 20 years ago....failed on the deja vue onsight at the mantle. The mantle is actually 5.9 if you hit it right...I didn't.

Definitely getting two stars (out of three) and 11d in the new guide, great route. Jun 16, 2015
Daniel Kaye
Boston, ma
 
[Hide Comment] Question about the mantel - straight up or right?

I tried both... it feels consistent in difficulty & more of a natural line to go almost straight up over the last bolt. But you can also go ~8' right of the last bolt, almost directly over the anchors of the climb to the right, which is much easier (maybe what Ward is talking about). Any idea which is intended? Jun 26, 2017