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Stairway to Heaven

5.10b, Sport, 80 ft,  Avg: 3 from 46 votes
FA: Chris Smith 02/06
New Hampshire > Rumney > Main Cliff Right


Originally i was a little upset at this route cause it crosses over an historic climb (Wendell's Route 5.6) adding a bolt to an otherwise exciting section... Now having climbed the offending route i feel it's justified and worth while... more so, it's super fun!

Climb the corner above the anchor on the ledge... take a rest on a roomy ledge before getting cruxy with it... Climb the steep tight corner using all my favorite tricks, Kneebars, chimneying and even fingerlocks and handjams... Another rest above the corner leads to a final headwall involving a huge flake and a trick last move...

A great visit to this section would be to climb Charity Case 5.9 to the ledge... Take a run on this route and finish up by climbing the hidden jewel High Roller 5.11c.... enjoy...


Start at the base of Free Bird (5.11b) at a 2 bolt anchor (above Charity Case 5.9).... follow bolts a up a corner...


12 bolts to an elf sword for the spiders.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Stairway to Heaven
[Hide Photo] Stairway to Heaven
Dude found a happy rest nook
[Hide Photo] Dude found a happy rest nook
pulling outta the thingy
[Hide Photo] pulling outta the thingy
Jakob wedged in to the crux corner
[Hide Photo] Jakob wedged in to the crux corner

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] This is a cool, exposed, and varied route that definitely deserves to see more traffic. We approached from the left, via the first part of the first pitch of Rock du Jours. Leave that route at the obvious, broken, vegetated ledge that traverses right (along your way there is a big block you can sling before passing a small bush/tree at the grassy foot ledge that leads to a single bolt, then over to the 2-bolt anchor below Stairway to Heaven). The first few bolt hangers on the route are rust/red colored. Go straight up past tricky moves to easier ground before the obvious, overhanging, left-facing crack/corner. Long runners on the 3rd and 5th bolts (right before entering the corner) help reduce the drag. The corner is burly and is a distinct crux. Here you'll use your hand jam, layback, and body jam techniques, as well as a good dose of power and confidence! Easier face climbing leads to a final crux moving from the last bolt to the anchor. Enjoy the view, you've earned it! Two stars. Jun 17, 2010
North Wilmot, New Hampshire
[Hide Comment] I am very proud of this route. It required many snow-covered trips around to the top, and long solo scrubbing sessions. I tried to keep the bolts away from Wendell's Route as much as I could, and not make a hard clip. Great route, stuning location. I wish more people would climb it. Feb 28, 2011
Jeffrey LeCours
New Hampshire
[Hide Comment] This is a great route Chris :) Thanks! Mar 1, 2011
S. Neoh
[Hide Comment] I did this today and enjoyed it a lot. It is not free of lichen but, hey, nothing is better than some 'adventure' climbing (no chalk except near the finish) with lots of bolts. In fact, I ran short near the top and had to do some back cleaning to get draws for the anchors. A shoulder-length sling for the third bolt and a LONG draw for the last will keep rope drag manageable. Don't repeat what happened to me - heinous drag and had to back clean to get more draws and reduce drag.
Really fun and gets you really high up on Main Cliff but be warned - if you hated every foot of Smokestack, you will not like this climb.
Also, this climb follows the left-trending bolt line towards Rock du Jours Direct; do not hang a right after the third bolt. Use a 60m rope.
Definitely 2.5 star route. Thanks Chris for the enormous amount of work, we saw lots of scars where you had removed loose flakes. Jun 19, 2011
Chris Duca
Downingtown, PA
[Hide Comment] What a tremendous route! Climbed it today for the first time, and thoroughly enjoyed the chimney/flake/corner, not to mention the unnervingly hollow flakes near the top. Definitely needs for traffic to clean it up. Nov 5, 2011
Harrison Harb
[Hide Comment] can't say enough about this route, one of my favs in the 5.10 range for sure. def needs more traffic... Oct 24, 2012
[Hide Comment] Such a hidden gem! Somehow I had completely overlooked this section of the cliff until today. Charity Case is a great start, then just continue up left to the higher anchor on the ledge. Interesting moves, rock seems to be cleaning up from previous comments. Nov 11, 2012
Sam Fox
Burlington, VT
[Hide Comment] Do NOT try to climb this route if you are scared of spiders. I'm not usually afraid of spiders but after getting into a huge thick web filled with massive hairy white spiders I started looking around and realized that the entire route is just crawling with them. I ended up leaving a quicklink on freebird because I was just too horrified to keep climbing. Jun 25, 2014
M Bageant
Los Angeles, CA
[Hide Comment] If you approach via Charity Case, you'll have the option to break right toward White Toad to an anchor, or to climb higher and break left toward the anchor below Freebird on a spacious ledge. Do the latter if you want to climb Stairway to Heaven.

I second the long runner on the third bolt. I didn't and there was a little rope drag but it certainly wasn't horrendous.

The route is super good, my only regret is that I waited so long to get on it! May 6, 2015
Matt Levine
Concord, NH
[Hide Comment] Great route! I regret not getting on it sooner. This was a very satisfying onsight...that corner crux makes you work for it. May 17, 2015
Nick Grant
Natick, MA & Tamworth, NH
[Hide Comment] Sam, this route was spider-free in September. Get back on it, lad!

SPOILER ALERT: When you're tucked into the no-hands slot and wondering how you're going to escape, squirm upwards and place a full-on fist jam (right hand) straight up into the big crack above your head. It's super solid. Easy reach to the spike with your left hand after that. Sep 17, 2017
Daniel Kaye
Boston, ma
[Hide Comment] I found the 2nd bolt above the ledge after the overhanging/nook/bodyjam section to be the crux - maybe just because I was most scared here. Was hard to find an easy line directly up without going too far right (where you are at risk of falling onto the ledge below). Otherwise, sick route. Sep 26, 2017
S. Neoh
[Hide Comment] Got acquainted wih this route again today. Hot and humid feel every bit .10b to me. But FUN. Needs more traffic and luv to keep the lichen in check. Get on it people! Anchors are quick and you do not need to untie so stop making excuses! Refreshingly trad like moves with fat bolts close by. Sep 16, 2018