Avg: 3.9 from 86 votes
|Type:||Trad, 350 ft (106 m), 6 pitches, Grade III|
|FA:||FA: Paul Ross and Hugh Thompson (1972), FFA: Jimmy Dunn and Jay Wilson (1977)|
|Page Views:||38,621 total · 224/month|
|Shared By:||Tristan Perry on Aug 20, 2007 · Updates|
|Admins:||Jay Knower, M Sprague, Lee Hansche, Jeffrey LeCours, Jonathan Steitzer, Robert Hall|
This is a/an historical, direct, and elegant line that ascends the Prow Buttress, to the right of Recompense. If you look at the perfectly sculpted arete, the Prow never veers farther than about 10 or 15 feet away from the edge. It is utterly classic, both as an aid climb and as a free climb. The pitches are mostly short and fierce. North Conway hardmen supposedly put in many days of hard work to free this in the 1970s. It's still considered a quite a challenge to climb it without falling.
The first pitch has several variations, I think the standard way goes up a corner in a slab at about 5.9 or 5.10a. It is a great little pitch by itself, with a little smearing and a lot of laybacking.
The second pitch goes at about 5.11c and makes use of a few bolts. Crank through a tough section that goes a bit past vertical, gain the crack, clip the pitons, and get after that slab. The latter part of the pitch is supposedly only about 5.10a, but it has frustratingly tiny hand and footholds.
The third pitch goes to the right, around the arete, and up a very unique thin crack, again at about 5.10a. The crux comes when you awkwardly pull around the arete about midway up the pitch.
The fourth pitch is exposed and wild! It gets hard right off the bat. The crux is really a boulder problem (5.11c/d). Climb straight up above to a seam, which turns into an awesome and strenuous finger crack that ends at the Space Station belay (a hanging belay from bomber bolts with feet on sloping ramp). A couple of pins exist within the crack still. A variation that's supposedly a bit easier technically climbs to the left off the belay and then rejoins the crack.
The very steep fifth pitch is the crux. Make hard moves to the left from the belay, climb up thin cracks, and gain the dihedral. Stem carefully and economically up the airy, hanging corner until you get to the Triangle Roof. Now you can expend that energy you've been saving by boldly busting out that roof on the right. It's a real grunt - and a redpoint heartbreaker!
If you've made it this far without falling, it's in the bag. The last pitch is gravy...dreamy 5.9 fingerlocks on a nicely featured slab seem downright easy after what you just went through. The angle finally steepens and you crank through the last few dramatic moves with perfect protection. For those of us who are cheaters, the tree roots make perfect jugs en route.
There now, that wasn't that bad...if you pulled on gear!