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Pine Tree Eliminate

5.8+, Trad, 90 ft,  Avg: 3.4 from 287 votes
FA: M. Hartrich, R. Ruprel
New Hampshire > Cathedral Ledge > Airation Buttress


Pine Tree is somewhat of a nemesis at the grade for many and a favorite to others. Though it is a crack climb, it is not very straightforward, and you might do well to keep an eye out for some foot holds on the face. Lots of jamming and some odd undercling jams will get you to my favorite jug at Cathedral at about halfway. Continue up some much more straightforward climbing to a root that leads to the top. At that point you can decide your ethics on grabbing the root or avoiding it.

Pine Tree is highly recommended for its interesting moves and awesome exposed positioning.


Right above the route Thin Air (5.6), there is a face with a few cracks that look like they need to be climbed. The one on the right, the wider one, is Pine Tree Eliminate.


Standard rack. Pine Tree is well protected all the way. Belay from trees at the top.

I've seen it done with lots of cams, and I've done it with only nuts.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Dave just pulled the last bulge on pine tree... now its a cruise to the top...
[Hide Photo] Dave just pulled the last bulge on pine tree... now its a cruise to the top...
Jon Booth leading PTE on 6/21.
[Hide Photo] Jon Booth leading PTE on 6/21.
One two three four jams.
[Hide Photo] One two three four jams.
A shot of Pine Tree Eliminate from its base.  What an awesome climb!
[Hide Photo] A shot of Pine Tree Eliminate from its base. What an awesome climb!
I finally get a chance to lead PTE!
[Hide Photo] I finally get a chance to lead PTE!
Alex Kendral starting Pine Tree Eliminate..
[Hide Photo] Alex Kendral starting Pine Tree Eliminate..

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] This is a sweet route, if all the moves are done right it is 5.8, but if you start doing moves wrong, or miss key holds, it gets harder; take your time. A good finish if you've just done Thin Air. Feb 19, 2007
Jay Knower
New Hampshire
[Hide Comment] I don't think this is as well protected as the route description implies. The crack flares inward making it difficult the get the right sized cams into the crack in the first place. I always end up spending more time than I want to fiddling with gear on this thing. Maybe it's just me, but I have a hard time protecting this one. Feb 20, 2007
Ian McEleney
Mammoth Lakes, CA
[Hide Comment] The nature of the crack can make protecting with cams tricky sometimes. Nuts are key. Feb 23, 2007
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
[Hide Comment] I've climbed this crack 10 or more times, that might be why I feel it is so well protected but...I know where everything goes....
Nuts are totaly key.... Climb it slow and find the gear, I've seen people sew it up.... Feb 27, 2007
Ladd Raine

[Hide Comment] I agree with Jay, while climbing Play Misty with a UNH outdoor ed. teacher during a trad. leading workshop we saw a fellow student deck after her second piece popped out. She dropped the class but was physicaly unhurt.
Take your time and place good gear near the bottom, the flaring nature of the crack means that it takes experience to place good pro. Apr 20, 2007
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
[Hide Comment] since my last post on this route i've climbed it about 3 more times and i always place 1 cam in the bottom to keep from zippering then all nuts to the top, i never even think about cams on route anymore as they are way trickier to place for the most part... While i agree that this is not a good lead for a beginner there is no reason to fear if you know how to place solid nuts... May 31, 2008
  5.9 PG13
[Hide Comment] Doesn't climb like a crack, and all the holds are definitely there. I emptied my rack on this thing my first time. I think I'll be able to get it clean the next time. Jul 15, 2008
[Hide Comment] I found the first two or so placements to be a bit tenuous but after that found the protection to be closely spaced and quite solid. As to the moves, I think it is more intimidating than hard since there are good jugs and jams where you need them. A lot of the best holds, though, can be hidden or seem to come right after hard or thin moves. Dec 1, 2008

[Hide Comment] I have also seen someone deck from this route ... be careful to protect ledge-fall (and zippering!), the ground is closer than you think.

This route can be 5.8. Unless you climb it like the crack that it is (ie, minimize your use of feet on the face), and find the good stances, it can seem much harder, very quickly, and more so than other routes. The pro does sometimes take a moment to get right, but it's 100% G.

Such sweet climbing and position, though! Apr 27, 2009
Jason Antin
Golden, CO
[Hide Comment] Fun climb. Eats Gear. I thought the toughest part was the first 15 feet. Aug 2, 2009
Spiro Spiro
[Hide Comment] Crack begged to be climbed for sure. Great climb, easy gear, thoughtful moves. Aug 9, 2009
john strand
southern colo
[Hide Comment] People deck from Black Lung all the time too. Both routes are well geared with patience. Sep 30, 2009
[Hide Comment] I've been up thin air a hand full of times and finally did this route today. Everything is there if you look for it including a couple no hands rest, and nuts are definitely key. I think I only used two cams. Aug 19, 2010
Tim Wolsonovich
[Hide Comment] I tried to do it with cams, including a micro in the right side of that blocky looking formation about 15-20 feet up. It pulled out as I climbed past it, which had never happened to me before. Fortunately I had a good stance and was able to place better gear right away. I lowered, let a friend try it, then led it again successfuly. I don't have loads of trad experience, but the second try went MUCH better and I was able to send it fairly clean.

Second time I placed some cams, but several nuts and tri-cams as well.

-t Oct 20, 2010
hasan Adil
[Hide Comment] Amazing route, sent yesterday soaking wet, it has bomber finger locks. The start is slippery, seems lots of people get on it. I think best route of the grade at Cathedral. It eats up nuts pretty well. Little but easy runout after the second bulge to the trees. Aug 30, 2011
[Hide Comment] My first 5.8 crack. Totally awesome. Worth a shot even if you need to bail it's easy to rap down from the top to clean your gear. Do it, you'll love it. VERY wet start ledge I ended up putting my approach shoes over the water, (then put my climbing shoes on). I then stepped from the side on top of them to start the climb with dry feet. May 29, 2012
Don MacKenzie
Seattle, WA
[Hide Comment] There's not a move harder than 5.8 on this route; the challenge is just that every move in the first 30 feet is solidly 5.8.

To my view, the crux is gaining the pod below the first overhang. Both of the overhangs are actually pretty easy, and like the whole route, are very well protected.

Well protected? You bet. Maybe too well protected. If you don't watch out, you'll end up placing 18 pieces like I did. Jul 20, 2012
[Hide Comment] Just did this yesterday and it was fun, but I sewed it up because I was pretty terrified. I must have placed about 10-12 pieces of gear and would have placed more if I had enough slings/draws. Great way to finish up after Thin Air though! Jun 4, 2013
Ryan Nelling
Gunks NY
[Hide Comment] Pro's great the whole way up. Spoiler alert - you can protect the wide section with a green C3, to the left of the crack in a small feature on the face. Awesome climb!! A must-do after coming up the Thin Air face. Aug 9, 2013
Derek Jf
[Hide Comment] Awesome route - you'll love climbing this Jun 25, 2014
Russ Keane
Asheville, NC
[Hide Comment] I concur- Way fun. One of the best pitches I've done in NH. We set up a top rope on it, after doing Thin Air. I grunted and hauled and sweated harder on this pitch than on the entire climbing below... Awesome awesome line Aug 24, 2015
Tom D
New York
[Hide Comment] Found the lower 15-20ft to be a little pumpy and hard to protect. The climb eases despite the daunting mini roof ahead.

There is also a huge echo which makes communicating a bit hard. Sep 21, 2015
Torie Kidd
[Hide Comment] Really fun climb! It protects great if you use nuts. I think I only placed two cams on the whole thing, the rest of the protection being nuts. It felt very safe that way. May 13, 2016