Type: Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches, Grade III
FA: Wiessner and Underhill
Page Views: 26,298 total · 211/month
Shared By: Joe Heinz on Oct 12, 2008
Admins: Jay Knower, M Sprague, lee hansche, Jeffrey LeCours, Jonathan Steitzer, Robert Hall

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Description from Joseph Heinz

For this description of the pitches I give below, use the 2 pictures in the photos that shows all the belay spots with red dots and shows the climb with the yellow dashes.  In the comments below I will call this the “overall reference picture."

P1 Find also the base picture in the photos.  From this base, head directly upward for 70ft to a small scree ledge.  70ft

P2 Climb up on top of the first angled ledge about 10 to 15 feet directly in front of you and then head hard left and traverse at a slight angle upwards until you see the large obvious crack that is about 1 foot wide (found in all the photos).  Belay just at the end of this large one foot wide crack.  100ft

P3 In front of you there are angled ledges. Get on top of the second ledge and head left again on friction climbing.  Continue until you end up 20 ft beneath the truck sized block.  Under this ledge there are large cam placements on the left edge OR small cam placements on the right which you can use to create a belay. 100ft

P4 At this point I'm leaving the course of the overall reference picture above. It shows that you should take a downward angle now, but I took a similar angle to pitch 2 and 3 (upward).  Feel free to take that downward angle if you wish. Go about 10 ft on your present climbing angle and then step down off your angled ledge.  Continue then on your slight steady angle up the mountain that you've kept on Pitch 3 and Pitch 2.  If you're using a 60-meter rope, you will just about run out of rope to get to your belay.  Your belay spot should be just beneath the start of the next pitch, which is a dirty gully alpine climb. Whether you take my path or the path shown in the overall reference picture mentioned above, you need to end up at the base of the dirty gully.  At the base of the gully climb section, there is a low angle flake with a tire sized crumbling hole in the face of it. At the top of this flake there is a 10ft vertical jumbled rock section.  190ft

P5 Climb up the jumbled, vertical, cracked-out rock section that is in front of you and access the dirty gully. This gully is filled with little pieces of rock about 1 cm in size... like kitty litter. There are no placements in the gully which runs for about 100 ft.  Be careful not to move any of the larger unsettled rocks in this gulley.  They could hit your partner or a group down below on Consolation Prize.  Continue up this gully until you reach the next belay ledge (at the base of the vertical face beneath where the Old Man used to be).  At the base of the vertical face go to the far left side and create your belay at the obvious 2 to 3ft wide crack system.  210ft
Another option is to avoid the dirty gully altogether by going 40ft to the left and taking a more vertical approach.  This route is found in the other route picture found in the photos…the photo marked with a blue route and white rap spots.  This may be more safe if you are uncomfortable the long alpine runouts.  It may also provide more solid rock for the belay of P5.

P6 Head up the crack system 50ft until you gain the top of it. Then make a gentle move to head left for 10 to 15 feet to gain the next thinner crack system, which is also straight up vertical climbing.  Go to the top of it to gain your next belay.  The belay is right where it tops off and then begins friction climbing again.  Belay before the 15 foot of low angle friction climbing.  You should see the hard flake move (seen in the photos) to gain the chimney. The chimney is not visible from your belay... And you will not see it until you are at the flake.  80ft

P7 Place a solid Jesus nut immediately in front of you. Then climb the low angle friction slab to the flake. Place a piece at the base of the flake somewhere and extend it with a long alpine draw. Climb the flake and leave your feet dangling until you gain the top of the flake with your hands and then get a heel hook behind you where your hands. If you fall here, it will be very nasty. This legs dangling opportunity is the crux.  Once you gain the top of the flake, head up the obvious V shaped chimney to the top. Belay off the various large structures found at the top.  80ft

I would highly recommend a 70-meter rope for this climb. Depending on whether you find the right belay spots, you could run out of rope with a 60 meter.  The 70m will give you more options for better rock, which is a problem on this route.  Many of the flakes are crumbling.

Descent: At the top you will find a 3 foot wide concrete channel (to channel water away for the old man's face before it collapsed).  Follow this channel to the climbers right and down to an obvious small wooded trail which leads to back the base of the mountain.  You will come off the mountain at the North end of the lake and then head south on the Pemi Trail to get back to the original trail you started on and the parking lot.  There is no talus in the descent.

Original Description from Jay Knower (2008):

Lakeview used to be a popular route. Then the Old Man fell down and strafed the middle pitches with rockfall. Ever since, climbers have seemed reluctant to climb on Cannon's right-side slabs. While Lakeview crosses right through the danger zone, the loose rock is not horrible and pretty easily avoided. The first few pitches and the last two might offer better climbing and better rock than on the over-crowded Whitney Gilman.

Start on the far right side of the cliff, at an obvious clearing. Head up, over 5.3-5.4, terrain for about 100 feet. When the overlaps start to angle up and left, follow the weakness in the rock, more left than up, past a runout 5.5 slab and then onto easier, but loose and gravelly, terrain. You should be crossing from right to left under the fresh rock scar where the Old Man once looked out proudly over the valley.

The general idea here is to head to the deep inside corner left of the Old Man rock scar. This is the Wiessner Corner. The pitch before the corner is classic, well-protected and steep. It's probably about 5.6 and is much better than any climbing on the WG. Belay on a sloping ledge. Then climb the obvious inside corner, which is blocked by a short, steep wall at its base. This wall is the crux and is not well protected. The holds are big, but a fall here would be ugly.

Once in the corner, enjoy the exposure and top out at a great, flat, overlook. You can belay off the remnants of the failed engineering project that was used, in vain, to keep the Old Man from succumbing to Cannon's tendency to fall apart.

Protection and directions

Getting There:
In Franconia Notch, on the south side of the Tramway parking area is Profile Lake (along Route 93). At the very southern end of this lake, on the southbound side of 93, you'll find the parking lot.

Head south from the parking lot along the paved bicycle path for a very short distance (80 yds) until you cross the professionally built footbridge. Immediately at the edge of the footbridge turn right along the dirt Pemi Trail. Follow this trail until you hit the first small stream crossing on wooded planks. Don't cross. Instead, turn uphill to your left. Follow this trail up to the talus field. Stay on the right side of the talus field and spot the climb. Head towards the base of your climb on the talus field.


Standard Cannon rack and certainly a helmet. There are no fixed anchors.  The longer pitches (200ft) could require some extra placements, if you are not comfortable with slab friction runnouts.


Miguel Peralta and I did this route today -- October 12, 2008 (same day as Jay K's post -- maybe you were the party ahead of us?). Miguel was about to lead up the final corner and at the last moment noticed a piton by his foot, semi-hidden by tufts of grass. This pin makes the move vastly less intimidating: if you fell you wouldn't go careening pro-less down the slab and pitch into the void. Jay you are spot-on about the quality of the first couple pitches of the route and the final two pitches! Oct 12, 2008
Jay Knower
Campton, NH
Jay Knower   Campton, NH  
Yes, we did the route in the morning. Beautiful day, eh? I was surprised how enjoyable the route was. Oct 13, 2008
Yes -- really an unexpectedly delightful experience, in spite of the sometimes horrifying loose-rock sections. In its present condition it's good training for raw, seldom-done alpine rock routes. At one newly-fractured spot I actually had to dig out a couple of belay-pro placements with my fingers, having used up the big cams. (Reminded me of one time in the Wind Rivers attempting a new route and being grateful that on lead I happened by chance to have a nut tool on me; one forgets that any less-than-vertical crack is originally filled with dirt -- even in the high West).

The places without rock fragments on this route are really beautiful and solid -- very classic granite. Hopefully more people will start doing it, and it'll continue to clean up nicely. It could, in fact, eventually end up better than the original version, with no more through-the-bushes pitches. Oct 13, 2008
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
Did this route with my friend Jakob yesterday as the finish of an enchainment of Cathedral, Whitehorse and Cannon... Loved Lakeview, here are a few comments...

Pitch 2: Super fun! after the first couple moves its like a slab route with huge jugs as you traverse on really cool cracks...

Pitch 3: A little confused with the guides description, it makes no mention of a slightly spooky run out slab pull over an overlap... thats what i ran in to... and it was fun...

Pitch 4-6: i was simulclimbing and got a little lost... went too left and not enough up and traversed under the lunch ledge so i ended up coming up left of lunch ledge to a nice little grass covered belay ledge...

Pitch 7: From my slightly lost spot I climbed a crack to the right ledge and did the really sweet 2nd to last pitch that jay described...

Pitch 8: I too was glad to find the pin at my feet before pulling the flake move in to the corner... By todays standards i think this move is a good bit harder than 5.6 and i bet there have been a lot of curses uttered from that flake out of fear and frustration...

Climb it its still good... Apr 29, 2009
bradley white
bradley white   Bend
Did the run out of the third pitch. The pin has seen better days and should be replaced with a bugaboo. There's no protection early on besides this pin. People do fall. Sometimes unexpectedly, or worst rain. This pin can't fail! The consequences would be a bloody broken climber. 4th pitch we sent a coffee table rock down by accident. good thing nobody was below us. Also the trailing rope sent rocks down on this pitch. I recommend no climbing the slabs below when climbers are on Lakeview's upper pitches. 5th pitch we went right up a slab then right to a buttress right of the old man's debris slope. It worked out in getting us up to being above the debris by solid rock. It did put us in the bushes though. The way Lakeview has been described, it was climbed by Dan Brodien, Roger Damon and Andy Fisher in 1962. Wiesner's is the last 2 pitches only. An early line was climbed by Earle Whipple and Brad Giddings in 1960 slightly to the left of the standard ascent of Lakeview nowadays. Jun 13, 2009
North Kingstown, RI
Brian   North Kingstown, RI
If you think the last pitch is sandbagged at 5.6...it is actually rated 5.5 (Webster, 2nd ed). I'm all for grade creep. I become a harder climber every time a new guidebook comes out. :-) Sep 2, 2010
Mike McLean
Mike McLean  
Did the route yesterday. A few thoughts:
  • Loose rock really is an issue. I saw a half-man size boulder going down to the scree field. Scary!
  • Again the loose rock issue: I got clocked on the head by a rock. Wear those helmets
  • The middle 3 pitches aren't great, but shouldn't detract from the rest. All other pitches are quite worth it.
  • Descent took us over 1 hour, but the path is very obvious. We did the whole descent in the dark.
  • Very, very committing. It would be difficult to bail until you made it to the base of the old man
  • Went up with a single rope, but I'd probably not do that anymore.
  • Apart from a small section on the third pitch, gear is plentiful
  • Climbing is varied (slab, crack, stemming, layback)

>>Did the run out of the third pitch. The pin has seen better days
>> and should be replaced with a bugaboo. There's no protection early on besides this pin
Actually, there's a small cam placement in the vertical going up to the overlap. Oct 11, 2010
Matt Clifton
Berkeley, CA
Matt Clifton   Berkeley, CA
I did the route yesterday (04-15-2012). I would second the comments on the loose rock.
  • Pitches 1-2 were fun, I especially liked the second pitch traverse with the fun rail.
  • Pitch 3 is not bad getting to the first pin (and there is a place for a blue metolius), after the pin the climbing is a bit runout, but the rock is still clean at this point.
  • Pitches 4 -6 (depending how you count) are pretty bad. For me this detracted from the overall route. The best way to describe it is dirty slab and crack climbing covered in kitty litter.
  • Pitch 7 was enjoyable but a bit wet at the crux (likely as it was April).
  • Pitch 8 is definitely sandbagged. If you are a 5.6 leader, use caution. That being said, its the best pitch on the route. The slab leading to the flake was also wet (again, it was April). After you climb the flake, there is a good place to rest before finishing off the fun dihedral.

To descend, just follow the large concrete channel to the right which will lead you to a nice trail back to the lake. Head right back to the parking lot on an easy trail. Apr 15, 2012
Reggie Pawle
Boston, MA
Reggie Pawle   Boston, MA
My partner and I simulclimbed pitches 5 and 6. We were following the Chauvin guide, and I must have gone too far because my partner began simulclimbing for twenty feet or so (60m rope) before I began to climb up. On the way, I passed a shiny two-bolt anchor with two 4mm cords looped through each bolt, joined by a rap ring. Interesting. I eventually made it to a corner with a 1/4" bolt right next to a beautiful crack in a corner. Also interesting. We followed this crack to the last belay ledge.

Turns out that that corner is on Weissner's Dike. So basically, if you're climbing this thing at night and are worried you might have missed the sixth pitch turnoff, don't even worry about it, Weissner's dike has got you covered. Jun 21, 2012
lee hansche
goffstown, nh
lee hansche   goffstown, nh  
The first time i did Lakeview i got lost in the very same way and linking up with that corner :) and just yesterday i climbed weissners for the first time and figured out that that was the really nice corner i had climbed! its great climbing so its not a bad mistake to make... after climbing lakeview again and consolation prize a few times i still cant figure out where im supposed to go under neith the old man wreckage but its all been fun exploration... Jun 21, 2012
Ryan Barber
Rumney, NH
Ryan Barber   Rumney, NH
Im seeing lot of comments on the loose sandy section in the middle which definitely gets the blood pumping for the soloist and lead climber alike. There is one particular rock I've climbed over twice which is the size of a small desk sitting in sand and which moves. I would put in a vote for some serious sweeping from above while someone below in radio contact keeps the area clear. Otherwise, small rocks will continue to roll down onto unsuspecting people walking the base. Or worse... One of the larger ones which is bound to come loose slides at the wrong time. Jul 7, 2012
Ryan Barber
Rumney, NH
Ryan Barber   Rumney, NH
PS. This is just my humble opinion, but I think grade II feels more reasonable. Jul 7, 2012
Paul Mourer
Boulder, CO
Paul Mourer   Boulder, CO
did a night climb on this awhile ago, route finding was interesting to say the least. but i feel thats part of the challenge on cannon, is it not? definitely recommend the night climb, just keep an eye on weissners corner and you'll make it Dec 7, 2012
Ian Dibbs
  5.6 PG13
Ian Dibbs  
  5.6 PG13
As of June 2013 there was some fixed pro (2 nuts) at the end of the first pitch in the corner of the first overlap, and at the end of the second pitch where the major traversing starts (slung flake) which helps identify the route. Had to do some interesting moves at the end of the traverse to avoid knocking down loose rock, part of the Cannon experience I guess.
Be sure to save some strength for the end ... the last 2 pitches are by far the steepest and most tiring.
The flake on the final pitch ..... the flake is smooth and seemed pretty vertical, making it feel like 10 feet of 5.7- 5.8 climbing which requires a lot of arm strength. If you think your second is weak or could bonk out during the tiring finale of the climb, it could be an idea to bring them a small ascender for the flake move "just in case". For those of you who are sneering, I suspect you have never been high on a multipitch with a fading sun with a partner who says "I'm tired, I don't think I can make the move".
I would suggest it prudent to always bring a windproof jacket. The wind coming down the Franconia Notch can be brisk and surprisingly cool, even on a sunny summers day . I suspect it's never a bad idea to bring a light hat as well. Jun 21, 2013
Alexander Smith
Boston Area
Alexander Smith   Boston Area
I feel like I would have enjoyed this climb a lot more if it was not for the god damn black flies. Wear bug spray! My ears are swollen today lol. Fun climbing for the first 3 pitches, crappy climbing for the next three, and the last two are great again. Third pitch is a little sketchy (for me atleast). Pretty runout at times, especially when your on the difficult slab bit. Doing slabs direct on whitehorse really helped me prepare for the mental aspect of that pitch. Jul 8, 2013
Russ Keane
Asheville, NC
Russ Keane   Asheville, NC
It's fun. A few interesting places of climbing. Otherwise it's just a moderate adventure that is alpiney and easy. Jul 3, 2014
Bill Matsinger
Rhode Island
Bill Matsinger   Rhode Island
Enjoyed the route on Saturday with AQ and Julie. Combined P4, 5 and 6 into 2 pitches and found adequate protection. Almost kicked down a large boulder just before Lunch Ledge, but caught it with my knee and secured it on the ledge. The last two pitches were great climbing, with good exposure and protection. I did not see the pin at the base of the Archival Flake until my second attempt and wished Sykes had mentioned it in his guide book; without it, the commitment was very high and I considered it a hard 6 move. Jul 21, 2014
In October 1985 I was moving to North Wales in the UK and a friend and I climbed Lakeview. A very late start and we finished in a flurry of snow in the dark. We sat it out all night as we could not see beyond our arms reach and did not fancy the walk down along the cliffs edge. I bring it up because during the night a small plane crashed below into the face, anybody recall this? We were sitting up on top watching lights flash across the face thinking our wives had sent a rescue after us.
When we got down in the morning we drove straight to Macs and sat on the toilet floor under the hand dryers we were so friggin cold. We did not have any jackets and such and it was a miserable night. Staff brought us free burgers.
Another tale of woe from and older chap.
JHS Sep 24, 2014
Jay Morse
Hooksett, New Hampshire
Jay Morse   Hooksett, New Hampshire
Great route! Pitch 2 has got to be the funnest pitch of 5.3/5.4 anywhere, and the last two pitches are classic. The traverse pitches were better than expected from what I had read about the route - nothing great, but the rock quality is fine, and it was fun practicing route-finding and decision-making with very little beta besides "go towards the cables". However, there is plenty of loose rock around that your rope is bound to knock off, so DO NOT CLIMB ANYTHING BELOW LAKEVIEW IF SOMEONE IS ON IT! (Consolation Prize etc.) You could definitely follow another party up Lakeview, since the route constantly trends left and you'll never really be on top of each other - but give the party in front of you plenty of space. Wait until all climbers ahead of you make it up to the "lunch ledge" below the final two pitches before making your way to the anchors underneath it. It doesn't matter how careful or experienced you are, your rope is bound to knock off some rocks that could easily kill someone, and it is your fault if you are underneath anyone up there when it happens!

Overall protection was fine if you're a solid 5.6 leader. Mildly spicy at the P3 slab crux at the grade, but if you have ever led any friction slab you'll be fine. If you've never led friction slab it's probably feels pretty heady and committing. It's also spicy for the grade at the flake on the second to last pitch because the fall consequence is pretty horrible (The pin that used to be at the base is now gone. You can fit a BD #0 or 00 cam in there, but the crack is usually seeping, and between the wetness and the low force rating on these small cams, it may not hold) but it's a short piece of climbing and is very secure if you just stick your leg in the back of it, cam your leg, and just hump it.

The views are beautiful, the belay ledges were comfortable, and overall I thought this route was every bit the NH moderate classic that Standard Route on Whitehorse is - I think a little better actually.

I was happy to have 3 double=length runners in addition to my alpine draws for extending pieces during the traverse pitches. I'll bring 4-5 next time. Oct 16, 2016
Just bailed on this yesterday due to rain and late start. I met a party on the approach that said they might be able to grab my gear that I left behind. Next time I climb this I am going to try to replace the thread at the first belay. Oct 17, 2016
Ian Dibbs
  5.6 PG13
Ian Dibbs  
  5.6 PG13
I tried the usual approach trail up (near Profile Lake), it was usable in 2013 but now, it seems to disappear about 3/4 up, in the big moss covered boulders, just where you want it the most. If ....the trail is still there .... it is hiding very well. There must be a better way up ..... Jul 5, 2017
Rob Rogowicz
Danville, NH
Rob Rogowicz   Danville, NH
Climbed 9/15/18: This was an amazing adventure! It deserves more traffic and would only get better with it. Pitch 1-3 = good. Pitch 4-5 nasty but doable. Don't climb directly behind people anywhere on this route. Pitch 6 is the MONEY Pitch! Pitch 7 is pretty awesome, the flake is a no fall spot. But, if you're worried, you can literally hump it from the bottom to the top and be pretty secure. I would agree with most in saying that it is harder than a 5.6 move. But, I really don't know crap. Just climb it! Sep 17, 2018