Type: Trad
FA: Jim Surette 1986
Page Views: 14,806 total · 70/month
Shared By: Jay Knower on Jan 16, 2007 · Updates
Admins: Jay Knower, M Sprague, Lee Hansche, Jeffrey LeCours, Jonathan S, Robert Hall

You & This Route

4 Opinions
Your To-Do List: Add To-Do ·
Your Star Rating:
Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty Rating:
-none- Change
Your Ticks:Add New Tick
Use onX Backcountry to explore the terrain in 3D, view recent satellite imagery, and more. Now available in onX Backcountry Mobile apps! For more information see this post.

Description Suggest change

Though initially climbed as an independent multi pitch route to the right of the Prow, most people these days only climb the crux third pitch, as the other two are now covered in lichen and that weird bio-crust Cathedral tends to develop.

If you choose to do the whole route, here's the description:

The route starts on the original 5.9 slab pitch of the Prow. Before stepping left onto the ledge belay, punch it it up and right on a long 5.10+ runout slab. You can place a bit of gear in a flake near the end. Pitch one ends at the bolt ladder of the Yellow Brick Road. This pitch is now dirty and needs to be cleaned again.

Pitch two is fun, clean well protected 5.11 face climbing up the bolt ladder to a ledge. 

Pitch three traverses left across the wall to the "space station" belay on the Prow. Dicey 5.12- climbing up and left into a small corner where you can place some a small cam and perhaps a nut as well. Continue up and left on easier climbing past a bolt to gain the belay. Pitches two and three can be combined as I did on the FA.

The crux pitch is listed below but rather than stop at the stance above the crux, Surette ran it out past some fixed bashies that are not currently in place, on 5.11 face climbing all the way to the top.

If you choose just to climb the crux pitch, first berate yourself for being a sport climbing weenie, then read the description below: 

Liquid Sky is perhaps New Hampshire's most aesthetic hard route, as the crux pitch climbs a very thin crack that slashes right across the overhanging wall right of the Prow, 400 feet or so off the ground. The difficulty is contained in this twenty foot stretch of crack. When the crack jogs upward and climbs directly up the wall, the holds become bigger and the climbing becomes less technical.

To start, get yourself to the Space Station belay, the third belay on the Prow. You can climb up the Prow to reach this hanging stance. More likely, though, you can rap from the top of the cliff to a belay at the top of the LS crux pitch. Fix the rope here and rap again (still with the same rope) to the Space Station Belay.

Climb up right off the belay, up the blunt arete that marks the very edge of the wall (5.12a). Two pins can be found at the start of the crack. You might chose to stick clip one or both of them. Once the crack is gained, engage in uber-technical climbing, using the angling crack for sidepulls, underclings, anything that makes your feet stick on the little nothings on the blank wall. The crux is moving from the last pin (which, by the way, is tied off because it sticks out about an inch. A tied off sling is usually in-situ) to the bolt at the end of the angling crack. From here, steep climbing (5.11+) with better gear leads to the two bolt belay stance.

All of the gear on the angling crack is fixed. You may chose to prehang draws on the pins and the bolt as you rap down to the belay stance.

Protection Suggest change

Small gear, long runners. A sling to tie off the crux pin if it's not already there. Two ropes (one to fix as a rap line, one to use for climbing.) Ascenders to climb back up to the top. Maybe a portaledge.

Rappel Approach Suggest change

Most people rap in from the big tree on top of the Prow. Of the two sets of anchors, Liquid Sky climbs to the ones closest to the The Big Flush. The other anchors are for Edge of the World.

Once you rap to the top anchors, it is relatively easy to lower the climber down and top belay on the upper portion of the route. The lower traversing portion is difficult to work if being lowered from the top. If going for the lead, fix the rope and continue down, swinging a bit to the climber's left, to the Space Station belay.