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Sliding Board

5.7 R, Trad, 1000 ft, 9 pitches,  Avg: 3.5 from 126 votes
FA: B Crowther and B Gilmore 1959/1960
New Hampshire > Whitehorse Ledge > 7. The Slabs


A truly classic slab climb, loved, respected and feared.A great place to hone your slab climbing skills.Sees many ascents and some epics on a nice weekend so try to avoid the crowds and make sure you are ready for the adventure.

Start from the launch pad.

Pitch one (5.2): Moves up toward the arch of standard route breaking left to a two ringbolt anchor, even with the bottom of the arch.

Pitch two (5.7): Move right and up past two bolts along a steep ramp. Belay on small gear in a crack with an old pin, or traverse left to a two bolt anchor on Interloper.

Pitch three (5.5): The mental crux for most.
Straight up and a little right climbing past 1 bolt on this 100ft pitch to a 2 bolt anchor at some large solution pockets. The climbing is moderate but feels harder due to the smooth rock and long runout.

P 2 and P3 can be combined with a 70m rope.

Pitch 4 (5.5): move right to a pretty left facing corner with a nice crack, up this to gain a dike and shortly after, a comfortable stance at a slanting corner. Belay from here with gear, lower is better. (see photo "P4 Belay")

Pitch 5 (5.6): A couple ways to do this one. You can move up and right across smooth slab over an overlap to a slippery dike or stay left of the dike in a good grove then traversing right to the last few feet of the dike. Either way you do it you are heading for a two bolt anchor below the dike that splits the steep headwall. The direct dike is a bit spooky but more fun in my opinion where as the left option is better protected, easier, but harder to see the line.

Pitch 6 (5.5): Steep but moderate climbing gets you up the 20ft headwall and on to the truly moderate climbing.. Up the easy dike to a good stance. belay from gear.

Pitch 7 (5.3): Up dikes and left over a slab to a tree belay.

Pitches 8 and 9 (5.1 ish): I normally simulclimb them clipping the one bolt between the tree and the summit.Follow the dike or choose your own adventure.Belay from trees above, or stop to belay from 1 bolt at the halfway mark.


Follow directions to the launch pad from Whitehorse directions....
From the top turn right (north) and follow a trail down... Many parties rap down with 2 ropes after doing the harder pitches to avoid the hike....


Standard rack, tricams helpful in solution pockets....[NOTE: a #3 Camalot-sized piece protects the move onto the dike off the top of the crack on P4 (P3, if P1 & P2 are combined; R Hall]

Some pitches are run out giving it the R rating.... The physical crux is well protected but there is some spooky climbing on most pitches for those not comfortable running it out on 5.5 and under....

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

A party of two in the third pitch of Sliding Board, as seen from the route Wedge. One can also see two other parties starting Standard Route far below.
[Hide Photo] A party of two in the third pitch of Sliding Board, as seen from the route Wedge. One can also see two other parties starting Standard Route far below.
Sliding Board from Cathedral Ledge
[Hide Photo] Sliding Board from Cathedral Ledge
My dad (Ernie Hansche) on sliding board (5.7) with Cathedral Ledge in the background...
[Hide Photo] My dad (Ernie Hansche) on sliding board (5.7) with Cathedral Ledge in the background...
"P4 Belay:End of P4" - The belayer is using the lower belay point (old pin + good gear) thus allowing the leader to also get good gear (Med.- Large Cam, just above belayer) before the run-out slab.  If you belay 10-15 ft higher it's off small wires and TCU's. Leader has just finshed P5 and reached dbl bolt anchor below the headwall.
[Hide Photo] "P4 Belay:End of P4" - The belayer is using the lower belay point (old pin + good gear) thus allowing the leader to also get good gear (Med.- Large Cam, just above belayer) before the run-out slab.…
An interesting panorama of torie following the runout 3rd pitch...
[Hide Photo] An interesting panorama of torie following the runout 3rd pitch...
Devon getting toward the overlap
[Hide Photo] Devon getting toward the overlap
Looking down pitch four, from the start of the nice corner.
[Hide Photo] Looking down pitch four, from the start of the nice corner.
Slabs from a distance
[Hide Photo] Slabs from a distance
Devon on the 3rd pitch
[Hide Photo] Devon on the 3rd pitch
Diane starting up the "Sliding Board"
[Hide Photo] Diane starting up the "Sliding Board"
High on Sliding Board - who needs holds.
[Hide Photo] High on Sliding Board - who needs holds.
This one looks just like the one of lily in the same spot... I must like the angle
[Hide Photo] This one looks just like the one of lily in the same spot... I must like the angle

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

J Beta
New Hampshire
  5.7 R
[Hide Comment] Most people rap from the end of pitch 5 since this is the last place where a fixed rap station can be found. However, this does not allow you to climb the steep headwall, one of the best stretches of climbing on the route. The walk-off isn't really that bad, and the view from the summit makes it worth walking off, in my opinion. Feb 20, 2007
Steve Marr
Colorado Springs, CO
[Hide Comment] We "discovered" an interesting variation to Sliding Board when there was a steady stream of water trickling down the second pitch. From the first belay, step right, climb up a steep slab, and gain the 2nd pitch of Tidal Wave. Follow the white rock just above the rim of the arch in one long, run out pitch to a horizontal flake. You can get a little protection in a flaring crack before traversing right to a bolted anchor (clipping into the anchors was a relief). Rejoin Sliding Board's 4th pitch above the anchors. Nov 19, 2007
john strand
southern colo
[Hide Comment] An excellent climb- 49 years ago !!!! Willie climbed in Tennis shoes and basically placed no gear. Jul 12, 2008
"H" Lampasso
Manitou Springs
[Hide Comment] great climb! However this one got me hating slabs!! Need to come back east to climb one of these years. Jan 17, 2009
Matt Desenberg
Limerick, ME
[Hide Comment] I too "discovered" the variation described above. Quite runout, but not a bad way to climb the route. I was also able to clip a third bold on the right side of the white streak. From there, run it out to the V-shaped flake and it's almost a full pitch. May 1, 2009
E thatcher
Plymouth/ North Conway (NH)
[Hide Comment] I found today that pitch two and three can be run together in one pitch no problem. Jul 14, 2009
Allison Quirk
San Diego, CA
[Hide Comment] Wonderful climb! Anyone know if this is considered a grade III? Aug 11, 2009
Victor Grau Serrat
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] Nope, this is considered grade II. The explanation for the commitment ratings is as follows: Grade II would be for about half a day, up to 5 to 6 pitches, whereas Grade III would be up to 7 to 8 hours. Fairly serious. Taken from: Rock Climbs in the White Mountains of New Hampshire by Ed Webster and published by Mountain Imaginery (1996).
I climbed Sliding Board two days ago, and it took us about 4 hours to do the entire 8 pitches. May 31, 2010
  5.7 R
[Hide Comment] Great route. Turns out I'm bad at route-finding (ended up doing the P2 of Intrloper oops). Re: gear, I followed Marc Chauvin's beta and brought a standard rack up to #3, which was a total overkill. The biggest gear I placed was #1 Camalot and only because I had it. Mostly used tricams (pink and red - could have left the brown at the base), small wires, Aliens (blue, green and yellow) and C3s. 5 trad draws is more than enough. Jul 12, 2010
Devin McPhillips
  5.7 R
[Hide Comment] The upper pitches (5 and 6 especially) were very wet this weekend, and based on the water stains and moss buildup I bet they are wet on most weekends of the year. P1-4 were excellent, though, and I would do them again but rappel down from the 2-bolt anchor on Wavelength.

Route-finding was also a challenge. Guidebooks and beta talk about dikes. These are subtle features, apparent mostly as textural differences that fade in and out. Best to get a photo of the splitter dike in the headwall (start of P6) and remember it. Oct 18, 2010
Tim Waystrong
New Hampshire
  5.6 R
[Hide Comment] You can do this climb in 6 pitches. By linking the 2nd and 3rd pitches together. Then linking the 5th and 6th pitches together. You only need a 60m rope for this too. Sep 17, 2011
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
[Hide Comment] I've always wanted to climb this in under a half hour... today simul-climbing with my friend jakob we did it from Launch Pad to the tree at the top in 18 minutes! :) Jun 9, 2012
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
[Hide Comment] thanks much the the party who let us pass them... we owe you one... Jun 9, 2012
Brendan Blanchard
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] Did for the first time today. We should have linked pitched 2&3, instead we linked 4&5** and 6&7**, both are obviously run out to start, so it doesn't change that much.

The bolt on the last 2 pitches/simul finish was missing it's hangar. I failed to spot it on the way up, but another party told me it had no hangar. Unfortunately, a 70m will not link those two final easy pitches.

  • *We used a 70m, and had >15 feet left at the end of both links.
Apr 28, 2013
Robert Hall
North Conway, NH
  5.7 PG13
[Hide Comment] P2 and P3 can be easily combined with a 70m, and most 60m's will make it too, but perhaps not all. With a "long" 60m be sure to NOT trend right and clip a bolt (I think its on Wavelength or some other climb) or the "zig-and-zag" will kill you.
Re' the belay at the end of P4: there's a fixed pin on the left about 10 feet below where most people stop. Here, in addition to the solid pin, you can get larger Camalot(s) [ #0.75 and/or #1] instead of the small wires and tiny cams of the usual spot.
Re' P5 If you belay at the lower point by the pin, then the usual belay cracks accept your first protection. Unfortunately, about your ONLY protection for the next 100 feet or so. In my opinion this pitch deserves an "X" rating, regardless of its difficulty. Just LOOK at the fall-line! (a fall from on high on the dike sends you into the arch of the Std route.) However, I've never done the "harder to see" climb-it-left-of-the-dike-with-better-protection "variation". I guess it is really "harder to see" since I've done the climb about a half-dozen times. May 13, 2014
Ben Karin
Berkeley, CA
[Hide Comment] I climbed sliding board last weekend (on October 18th) and got rained out on pitch 4 after the lieback crack. I left a nut with a quick link in the lieback crack to lower back down to the anchor, then we rappelled to the ground in the rain. The nut shouldn't have been too hard to remove, so if anyone found the nut, please let me know! Oct 23, 2014
[Hide Comment] I led this whole route today 1) never having run out anything on lead more than 15 feet, 2) never having led multipitch trad, 3) never having placed a tricam, and I thoroughly scared the crap out of myself. It was wicked fun. Head game training man! Sep 3, 2015
Will Stat
  5.7 R
[Hide Comment] We did the route all the way to the top in just over 3 hours last Saturday at what I would describe as a moderate to slightly quicker pace. 4 hours seems average.

If you are not used to runout slab, or if 5.7 is anywhere near your limit, you may be absolutely terrified. It was my partner's first real slab climb and I ended up taking the sharp end for the whole route. For a more experienced and stronger leader it's very casual. It felt easier and more secure than Tuolumne 5.7. Its entertaining to see different parties on sliding board having totally different experiences.

[ Agree...easier (IMO) but more run-out than, for example, "Zee Tree" at Tuolumne. R Hall ] Jul 6, 2016
John Halupowski
Intervale, N.H.
  5.7 R
[Hide Comment] What condition are the 2nd pitch bolts in? Last time I climbed it (3 years ago) they needed replacement. Jul 6, 2016
Tim McGivern
Medford, ma
[Hide Comment] Difficult route finding if it's your first time on the route in the middle of the night. Oct 10, 2016
[Hide Comment] While this route COULD be an absolutely fantastic solo option for the bold and skilled friction soloist, the constant traffic on the route actually make it a very bad choice.

If you are a soloist and are interested in doing this route ropeless, from personal experience I would strongly (STRONGLY) suggest limiting your climbing to off-peak days and hours. Soloing this route on a summer weekend day is just really uncool.

Also, if you are going to solo it - you really, really need to check the water seepage / flow conditions on the route first. Jun 26, 2017
Jay Morse
Hooksett, New Hampshire
[Hide Comment] Climbed this today and the 2-bolt anchor (for Interloper) that is mentioned both here and in the guidebook as an option for the second-pitch anchor was nowhere to be found. The gear anchor for that pitch was great and in a nice spot, so there's no reason not to just build one, but it confused us a little to not see the bolted anchor nearby.

What a great route! The "slippery" dyke was probably the headiest part of the climb, but was also one of my favorites! Definitely go for it if you've felt confident in all the climbing before that pitch. It's all there. Plenty of good feet, it's just thought-provoking. The left variation looked pretty uninteresting to me.

For what it's worth, I though Pitch 3 was easier and less heady than the 5.5R pitch on Beginner's Route. Jul 4, 2017
Sean T.Bowen
New Boston,NH
[Hide Comment] Looking at running sliding board with 70M Ropes, running p2 and 3 together (No problem) for the first time (lead the climb 5-6 times over 20 yrs. Thinking ABOUT P4-5 TOGETHER, what is the thought? It's a little away from the top of p3 's belay and we will be using doubles, the pro is generally sparse anyway, I've never run these together, what is the thought?

Sean Jul 18, 2017
[Hide Comment] Yesterday 8/15/2017 there was some rockfall from our belay above the headwall. I'm not sure exactly which pitch this corresponds to in the route description above, either P6 or P7 (we apparently did things a bit differently). Either way, be careful up there as there's likely still some loose rock which could be dangerous to parties below. Aug 17, 2017
[Hide Comment] I remember climbing his in 87' and having someone being a jerk shout up from the base of the slabs "Hey Bouchard, you're an a$$holo". I told John about this and he just laughed. This is one of my favorite slab climbs, east of Tuolumne! Don't be intimidated by the run-outs; if you know you can do the moves you just have to link them and trust your yourself more than your last distant pro....:-) It is a classic! Sep 25, 2017