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The Ninth Wave

5.10a R, Trad, 5 pitches,  Avg: 2.3 from 4 votes
FA: Michael hartrich, Jeff Phesant and Bill Findeson 1974
New Hampshire > Whitehorse Ledge > 7. The Slabs


This is perhaps the most obvious route on the Ninth Wave formation on the lower right side of the whitehorse slabs... A very slippery friction route which is convenient to top rope and commiting to lead...

Pitch 1: (5.10a R) From the anchor on the left side below the "wave" head straight up the ridge above (there seems to be some different opinions of where the route goes depending on guidebook choice) Clip a bolt 10 feet up from the anchor and stick your neck out as you run it out to the anchor above the steep swell...

Most people rap from here...

Pitches 4-5: (5.3-5.6) Continue up above the anchor for 4 more pitches of more moderate climbing if your heart desires...However... I think most people would just pat themselves on the back and call it a day after this lead...


Just left of pitch 2 of Beginners route there is a steep swell that hosts a few very commiting routes all leaving from the same start anchor and finishing on the same anchor as well... This is the one in the middle...

To get to the anchor solo up the moderate friction right of slabbs direct to the swell and clip in...

All the routes are easy to top rope from the anchor...


1 bolt and bolted anchors...

Easy to top rope from the anchor...

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

john strand
southern colo
[Hide Comment] This route is pretty good and not really that serious. The fall is safe with a good belayer and maybe some reeling in of the rope. i think that the direct start to Interloper is harder. Jul 1, 2008
[Hide Comment] lee, this route is for shure 9+, I dont really feel like the moves above the sickle are nearly as hard as that of interloper, black jade, or fingertip trip, which are all classic 10- whitehorse slab routes. The Ninth wave is for shure way more run out but any one single techinal move on it is not 5.10. just my opine' but I've climbed lots of the slab route over there. Oct 1, 2009
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
[Hide Comment] glad you added your vote... ive done a good deal of slab my self and to be honest ive never seen a difference between 5.9+ and 5.10 other than on some of Hot Henry's 5.9+ cracks which often feel like 5.10+ haha... anyway i thought 10a seemed right (though i only copied the grade for the jerry handren guide)... perhaps if i take a few more runs on it i will figure out something that makes it feel better... Oct 1, 2009
Tim Waystrong
New Hampshire
[Hide Comment] The guide book I've been looking in say's it's 5.9+. Which means 5.10 anyways. ; ) Sep 16, 2011
frank dahlmeyer
north conway nh
[Hide Comment] onsite today with Bobbo-fun Sep 16, 2013
John Halupowski
Intervale, N.H.
  5.10a R
[Hide Comment] Per Ross/Ellms 1978 guide book, "One will find two bolts at the base of the wave. This route climbs the wave above the right hand bolt. CLIMB ONTO A SMALL GANGWAY SLANTING UP TO THE RIGHT, then straight up to where angle eases." Handren's guide book describes this climb differently from the Ross/Ellms guide book and describes a much less committing line. Handren's diagram is correct though.This line waited for Mike Hartrich's boldness.

The new lower anchors have been moved 15' to the left of their original location to make a more comfy belay spot. The original anchor has been removed and it 'protected' the line better. There is no protection bolt above the old belay until you reach the top anchors which are old. You're 15-20' right of the South Buttress of Wankers Wall bolt making it useless. It's a heady lead where your belayer will only be useful after you bounce off the flatness that is the base of the wave. A spotter would be useful as well as a belayer. A fall at the top of The Wave, in my opinion, would do a job on your ankles. I led it once BITD and said to my belayer "Glad I don't have to do this one again". Aug 24, 2015