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Routes in The Central Wall

Abrakadabra T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Angel's Freeway T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a R
Antline T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Bicycle Route, The T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
British Are Coming, The T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A3
Candidus/Frenchman's Fury T 5.13b/c 8a+ 29 X- 30 E7 6c A3+
Colonial Ambush T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Forest of Fangorn T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b A3
Fortitude, Pitch 1 T 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b PG13
Intimidation T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Passing Thoughts T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
White Eye, pitch 1 T 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
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Type: Trad, Aid, 70 ft
FA: Candidus: Tim Kemple. FF: Brad White & Paul Cormier
Page Views: 1,826 total · 17/month
Shared By: nhclimber on Sep 30, 2009
Admins: Jay Knower, M Sprague, lee hansche, Jeffrey LeCours, Jonathan Steitzer, Robert Hall

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To the right of the british there is an overhanging wall. You will see a bolt up high before you get to the vertical seam on the british. Nail up the incipiant seam/crack to the bolt, move back left to join the british. Makes for a great direct start.


To the Right of the twin blocks marking the start to the british.


Lots of blades on top of a standard nailing rack.

Aid vs. Free

Frenchman's Fury was free climbed by Tim Kemple. Kemple renamed it Candidus and rated it 5.13b/c. As on all free routes, pounding pins into Candidus is controversial (see comments below). --Jay Knower


- No Photos -
jason seaver
Estes Park, CO
jason seaver   Estes Park, CO
This pitch was free-climbed by Tim Kemple in 2003 as the crux first pitch of Candidus, 5.13b/c. Paul and Brad originally aided it in 2001 at A3/A4. But since it is now free, the pins and hammer should be left on the ground. There is one bolt and a couple of fixed bashies in the angling, overhanging corner before it joins The British Are Coming. The start is shared with Colonial Ambush. Oct 3, 2009
Newmarket, NH
  5.13b/c A3+
nhclimber   Newmarket, NH
  5.13b/c A3+
Should it though? How many times has it been climbed since tim climbed it? I remember when he freed it and he told me to have at it, it wouldn't get climbed again. I'm all for preserving our finite resources, but where is the line drawn? Where one bold and gifted climber is able to climb something does that mean that it is now off limits. We're not talking kiddie crack here, when I climbed frenchman's I finished up the next two pitches of the british. In total maybe 5-6 pins and 2 heads, but there was no getting around these placements.

Now that high and dry is free at .14a r'ish I would imagine, even that route had mandatory nailing placements. Anyway, this should bring up some discussion.

I think that what people in the MWV are able to climb is great, all locally historic acheivments. And I also realize that any piton/bolts forever ruin a piece of stone, but I'm just saying com'on now, lets just climb! Oct 5, 2009
Hey NH climber. I hear what you are saying about whether or not these former aid routes should still be aided. The fact is though that these routes are getting climbed and repeated. I read your similar post on NEClimbs. Reincarnation has had two repeats since Dave did it. One of the repeats was a second try 1 day ascent and the other was a two day 4th try ascent. Frenchmans Fury (Candidus) has had 3 repeats since Tim did it (maybe more free ascents than aid ascents?. Thinking that these routes are or were just being climbed by one "bold and gifted" (which I agree with!) climber is just plain wrong.

I think the line needs to be drawn to not alter the route once it has gone free. They way I think of it is that almost any piece of rock can be an aid route, but only some of those routes can go free.

Curious to know what you think.

Jay Conway Oct 5, 2009
Newmarket, NH
  5.13b/c A3+
nhclimber   Newmarket, NH
  5.13b/c A3+
Hey Jay, first of all freeing topless telllers is ridiculous, so good job (and jay with the SA?). Also, it's great to have someone keeping track of these climbs. I totally agree that a line needs to be drawn so as not to damage the rock beyond repair. But like you said in regards to FF (frenchman's fury) it probrably has more free ascents than aid ascents, that being said a good aid climber treads pretty lightly, kinda goes with the territory. Overdriving a pin; you won't get it back, you'll blow the feature off, you'll blow the placement out, you'll f*ck up the pin and they are suprisingly expensive of late. Same with heads (a good aid climber should NEVER trench) overdrive and you'll puncture the head itself and the wire will pull the swedge, you'll blow the placement, etc. Also, more likely than not you reach for clean gear cause it takes way less time and effort to place (for the most part).
I think that most people have a perception of iron mongering that is way out dated. Also, how many people are even aid climbing let alone routes that have a splat factor. Not that our routes are comparable but even in Yos Valley nailing routes that have gone free still get aid climbed with hammers in tow. And lets be honest (said with a wry grin) us knuckle draggers help you strongmen out on some of these routes! Anyway, I appreciate the dialog on an interesting topic.
-Jon Howard
oh yeah, you caught me. I'm a total cross poster. It's the office job, aghhhhhhhh, I'm supposed to be a carpenter!!! Oct 6, 2009
Jay Knower
Campton, NH
Jay Knower   Campton, NH  
Hey Jon, I agree with Conway. Better to leave the routes as-is once they have been freed. I am definitely biased towards free climbing, but I think that freeing an aid route creates a higher standard for all future parties.

Most people who free aid climbs have put an incredible amount of work into the climb. A few errant whacks with a hammer (not all aid climbers are as precise as you) could render all of that FA toil worthless. These new-wave free routes (Candidus, Cecile, etc.) are works of art and should be preserved for future generations of climbers.

BTW Cecile is still waiting for the coveted SA--I never did it. Maybe someday. Oct 6, 2009
Newmarket, NH
  5.13b/c A3+
nhclimber   Newmarket, NH
  5.13b/c A3+
Jay(Knower), I totally agree about raising the bar and that seeing routes like these free is visionary. But look at Yosemite (I know it's not here) free climbers and aid climbers on the same routes. Zodiac been done free, but I still would have a selection of pins and heads. Magic mushroom, west face, el corazon (sp) (the free NA). And I was just thinking about using rumney as an example, what happened to the visionaries who opened those routes on gear only to see every climbable piece of rock grid bolted (I'm not knocking rumney, love it). But the idea is the same, is it only in the MWV? Only at cathedral?
(playing devil's advocate here)
What about he guys who first pioneered these routes, there is vision and boldness in aid climbing. It always kills me when I see bolts and/or rivets added to routes. It dumbs down the climbing that was done originally (pin snatcher, 1st P.of fanghorn, ball hog, etc.)
I'm just saying that there has to be a happy medium between the elite climbers and everyday joe (or jon in this case). Oct 7, 2009
jason seaver
Estes Park, CO
jason seaver   Estes Park, CO
I've always thought that one of the unwritten rules in climbing was that once a route is free climbed, climbers should no longer hammer things into it. Whether the route gets one free ascent, or a thousand, should make no difference.
I suggest that the grade of this pitch should be changed to 5.13b/c, and, if someone has aided it hammerless, a clean-aid rating could be included as well. The climbing on the leaning corner is "only" 5.12ish and protects better than you might think, and the 5.13 section once you join The British Are Coming is protected with a bolt.
There are still aid routes to nail on Cathedral. Has Reality Check even been repeated? Oct 9, 2009
Newmarket, NH
  5.13b/c A3+
nhclimber   Newmarket, NH
  5.13b/c A3+
I know the first pitch (of RC) has been repeated at least once (mike shore), but besides that I'm not sure. And once a buddy and I just did the first 2 of the british (he led the first, I the second) and he got the first pitch 'clean' (clipping fixed heads and pins after the traverse, maybe c3+)and I maybe had 4 nailed placements on the second, including the head you have to place after the penji. But it was our second time on the route and he almost had a body smashing winger that I don't know how he avoided. Two pieces pulled (including the one he was standing on) reaching up to the bolt on the end of the traverse. with a string of terrible gear behind him.

I definitly agree with the idea of a climb being left alone after being freed. But what happens when fixed gear deteriorates with time, does the 'free' climber get to replace the pin/head? Does he, heaven forbid, bolt it where a bolt is unnecessary? I think I mentioned up-thread the rumney example. What about all the climbs at rumney that were done sans bolts? Where does the climb being 'left alone' pertain there. Or, again, the yosemite example, now that the zodiac is free (and cleaned up), it can't be nailed?

Jason, I totally know where you are coming from and I really respect your climbing and have loved your routes that I have been on. But, I guess I just trying to make the point that there has to be some middle ground. Nothing in a recreational activity can be that black and white. I also hate to say it, but I think alot of us climb to get away from rules, even if unspoken.

As a side note, I really appreciate the dialog that I've gotten on this topic. Oct 9, 2009
Newmarket, NH
  5.13b/c A3+
nhclimber   Newmarket, NH
  5.13b/c A3+
"I think the line needs to be drawn to not alter the route once it has gone free. They way I think of it is that almost any piece of rock can be an aid route, but only some of those routes can go free."

Jay (Conway), I love the questions that are being raised, it making me think more about the hobby that I love so much. I personally don't think that a route should be altered period. That being said, I think that I take it with a grain of salt. A route to be a route needs to be climbed (free/aid). A route needs protection, I think the free bolts that have been added to the climbs we've mentioned we're done out of necessity and done judiciously, not at all over bolted. And again, I think that the 10 of us that are actually getting on these routes are all ascending in the best style that our abilities allow. I think that is what really matters, self policing.

I do disagree with any piece of rock can be an aid climb. I think that any piece of rock can be climbed with aid, but that does not make a route. The FA of an aid climb takes the same vision and tenacity that goes into any FA. Oct 9, 2009
john strand
southern colo
john strand   southern colo
Too bad I missed this one- shoullda been a forum. Some of these routes get done more frequently than people think. Remember seventh Sojourn ???? originally a5 (a3+ ? ) I worked this with Jimmie a bit and we were falling on fixed heads, hooks ,all kinds of crap. I have not done the free climb but , new fixed gear ??? Feb 8, 2010
jason seaver
Estes Park, CO
jason seaver   Estes Park, CO
That brings back a potent memory:
Steve Larson and I worked on that sick corner pitch on Seventh Sojourn one day in 1999. I remember swapping ends of the rope several times before we pushed it to the anchor. That was a great day! The handful of times I climbed with Steve were all learning experiences. That guy can stand on his feet like no one else. I wonder when Seventh Sojourn was last free climbed. Anyone know?

BTW: this pitch (Frenchman's Fury) is at least 70' long with it's traversing nature. Feb 16, 2010
Ben Maxfield
Parsonsfield Maine
Ben Maxfield   Parsonsfield Maine
First off , Jay you climb better then spider man on his best day ! And second , if the climb goes free then traditionally we stop nailing and in most cases a fixed piece should be within reach for the not so spider guy ... Having not climbed since 2001 in the white mountains and on cathedral I've noticed this past year that lots of aid lines have big free parts on the normal weekend . And yes there are still very hard nailing routes left to be done , just short sections on exposed parts. I plan on putting up new aid stuff this winter and into next year. Everyone should always remember that we are out having fun and need to play safe Nov 7, 2013

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