Type: Trad, Ice, Alpine, 1000 ft, Grade III
FA: W.L. Putnam and Andy Kauffman 1943; Underhill & O'Brien in 1929 climbed rock left of the steepest ice
Page Views: 13,379 total · 123/month
Shared By: Adam Wilcox on Jan 16, 2010
Admins: Jay Knower, M Sprague, lee hansche, Jeffrey LeCours, Jonathan Steitzer, Robert Hall

You & This Route


40 Opinions

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Description

The longest gully in Huntington's. If you belay each pitch, (or rope simul-climb it) rock gear will be very helpful.

Crampon your way up the steepening snow slope into the deep, narrow gully. After a few hundred feet you'll come to a short grade 3 / 3+ ice bulge. [Editor's note: The FA bypassed this on rock, the bulge was first climbed by a party led W. Putnam cica 1941-42; at that time it was probably the steepest single 15-20 feet of ice climbed in the Northeast. While Pinnacle Gully's 3 section is much longer, it is generally less steep. R.Hall] Surmount the ice bulge and continue on your merry way up more steep snow with intermittent icy or rocky sections. The gully splits near the top. Trending left will take you up snow and frozen turf to the lip of the ravine. Going right looks like tricky mixed climbing, though I'm sure it would go for the right person.

On my trip up there was a substantial cornice forming what looked like an unavoidable vertical to overhanging snow finish (possibly unstable?). Fortunately, with the help of a few rock moves and some frozen moss, I was able to bypass the cornice on the far left.

Also, (soloists especially!) beware of ice dams on this particular route when conditions warrant. An exploding pressurized ice bulge caused a fatality here a number of years ago.

Location

Second gully from the right. Starts very close to the bottom of North Gully.

Protection

A handful of screws and rock gear. (0.5 (purple) Camalot useful above the crux.) Perhaps some pickets. Some fixed gear here and there.

On a windy day on this route I was periodically showered with chunks of ice up to the size of a baseball. I was very happy to have my helmet.

Photos

Will Holets
Bethlehem, NH
 
Will Holets   Bethlehem, NH
 
When I did this back in 2012 I really, really wished I had a picket or two for the final belay. I ended slinging some janky schist horn and then parking my butt and heels in the snow for a little reassurance. Not optimal. Feb 20, 2014
adamsc
Cincinnati, OH
  WI3 PG13
adamsc   Cincinnati, OH
  WI3 PG13
Did this back in 2015, classic WI3 gully and a long run for the money. Watch out for ice dams in the center of the bulges for both ice pitches, a party before us punched through and had to bail. In light snow years, pro gets a little scarce after P3 'crux' if trending left. Jun 7, 2016
Did it a few times in the eighties. Pressure ice in the middle once, and once with that same sketch last pitch anchor and a 4 foot cornice at the top, yikes! Stoppers always worked great as a way to anchor standing up and quick, in the gully itself. Nov 8, 2017
Robert Hall
North Conway, NH
  WI3
Robert Hall   North Conway, NH  
  WI3
My favorite Huntington's climb...so "Alpine like" ! As Will said..gear above the crux is sort of marginal. You wouldn't think in a place like "upper Huntington" where nature has had eons to fracture the rock that this would be the case, but it is. Sometimes large slings around large boulders work; but in short: If you find good protection, consider making a belay stance here rather than running it out and being 60 feet above your last pro and out of options.

As Tom said, pressure ice builds up at the crux bulge (actually "pressure water" behind the ice is the issue: pull out your axe and get a very cold shower....or, if you're really unlucky the whole sheet pushes off at the moment your axe fractures the ice!) There's a nice, sunny, sheltered belay on the right above the crux and a fantastic rock crack (mid-sized cam) directly above the crux for a directional.

A historical note is that this crux section usually comes in actually steeper than anything on Pinnacle's easiest line, so for many years in the 1940's through 1960's this was one of the steepest sections of ice "routinely" climbed in New England, although much less steep than Statmuller's ascent of Cathedral Std or Odell's "Far Right", and, of course, Pinnacle was always considered, overall, the more difficult climb.

Andy Kauffman, who made the FA of the entire ice route along with William Putman, would later go on to become, along with Peter K. Schoening of Seattle the only Americans to make a FA of an 8000 meter peak: Gasherbrum I, (aka Hidden Peak) 26,470 feet, one of the 10 highest mountains in the world. Nov 26, 2017
Peter Lewis
Bridgton, ME
Peter Lewis   Bridgton, ME
I think "janky schist horn" is one of the coolest phrases on MP. Dec 4, 2017