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Routes in 7. The Slabs

Beginners Direct T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
Beginners Easy Variation T 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
Beginners Route T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R
Black Jade T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Booklet, The T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Cormier-Magness Indirect, The T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Cormier-Magness Route, The T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Dark Horse T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Dike Route, The T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Fingertip Trip T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c R
Girdle Traverse of Whitehorse Ledge T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c A0 PG13
Interloper T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
Man O War T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R
Miner-Joseph-King Dike (aka Dike route left start), The T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
Ninth Wave, The T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
Pathfinder T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Sea of Holes T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Slabs Direct T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Sliding Board T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Slipshod T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
South Buttress of Wankers Wall T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Standard Route T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R
Stop if you Dare T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Tidal Wave T,S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Waiting for Comeau T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Wave Bye Bye T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a X
Wave Length T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Wedge T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
White Wilderness T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b X
White Zone, The T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Unsorted Routes:
Type: Trad, 1150 ft, 8 pitches
FA: FRA: Paul Cormier, Chris Magness. 8/31/12 ground-up, swapping leads
Page Views: 13,022 total, 203/month
Shared By: chris magness on Sep 2, 2012
Admins: Jay Knower, M Sprague, lee hansche, Jeffrey.LeCours, Robert Hall

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Description

A good deal of variety for the slabs with fun climbing on every pitch.

1) scramble to the pine tree at the end of the first pitch of Beginner’s Route.

2) “The Wheat Thin Arete” 5.6, 190’. Step right of the tree 10’ and head up toward a bolt. Climb past a horizontal to join a thin flake. Follow the flake to an arête on the right, passing 3 more bolts to a two bolt anchor.

3) “The Cajun Washboard” 5.6, 170’. Straight up off the belay through some bulgy areas passing one bolt to a steeper wall. Move up and right passing 2 more bolts to a two bolt anchor.

4) “The Open Book” 5.6, 200’. Climb a bulge off the belay into an open book. Pass one bolt before reaching the top of the book. Protect and climb rightward through a green licheny area. Climb a short flake and hand crack up to a tree with a blue tat anchor.

5) “The Northwest Passage” 5.5, 60’. Step up and left off the belay into a giant, steep flake. Trend up back right above the flake passing a small tree to a larger tree below a bulge with a horizontal.

6) “The Low Beer Light Pitch” 5.4, 180’. Use the horizontal to clear the bulge. Trend slightly rightward avoiding a dirty water groove to the left. Step back left to a tree belay.

7) “The Platinum Slab” 5.5, 190’. Follow a bulgy groove to an old ¼ bolt bolt and a new 3/8 bolt. Trend up and left passing a faint dike aiming for a white slab and another bolt. Belay at pine tree.

8) “The Top Out Pitch” 5.3, 60’. Climb easy rock straight up to the top.

NOTE the bold text, some climbers climb off route in these areas. If you head straight up from the Open Book, you'll find jungle land. Likewise, if you head straight up from the belay at the end of that pitch, you'll also find jungle land (and an easier variation). If you veer off route in these areas, climbing is feasible at a moderate grade, expect some shwacking!

Pitches 1-4 have fixed rappel stations and are set for rappel with two 60 M ropes. The upper pitches wander through Beginner's Easy terrain and there are trees with tat but it's best to top out after the 4th pitch. Lead with a 60, anything shorter and you’re hosed.

A two pitch, 5.10 variation now exists to pitches 6 and 7. See description in the route index: mountainproject.com/v/the-c…
Climbing the first pitch of this variation does not necessitate climbing the second pitch and will add another pitch more concurrent with those below, albeit a bit more runout.

Location

This route follows a line between Beginner’s Route and Beginner’s Easy and is a straight shot up to the head wall area before it veers to the right. An obvious arete 30' right of Beginner's marks the line.

Protection

The protection is generally good although there are a few typical Whitehorse runouts. Carry a standard Whitehorse rack to a #2 Camalot.
Northeast Alpine Start
Conway, New Hampshire
Northeast Alpine Start   Conway, New Hampshire
Guided this yesterday and I still am confused about P5... basically: 5) “The Northwest Passage” 5.5, 60’. Step up and left off the belay into a giant, steep flake. Trend up back right above the flake passing a small tree to a larger tree below a bulge with a horizontal.

I explored the almost overhanging flake directly above and left of the tree belay at the end of P4 and it did not appear to be 5.5 in nature... I went slightly up and "right" from the belay tree, squeezed between a tree and some awesome flakes, then stepped back left above what I think is the "small tree" before finishing up to the obvious large tree below the horizontal... that felt 5.5 or easier... did I miss some key features on that move more directly up and left of the belay tree that keep it at 5.5?

Also, I agree from the "Platinum" slab belay tree it would be ideal if this line could actually stay right out on all the quality rock rather than dipping back into a forested island and new erosion... I plan on looking closer at the options up there next time I'm not trying to beat incoming rain... my TR from the day is here:

northeastalpinestart.com/20… Oct 8, 2017
M Sprague
New England
M Sprague   New England  
Ideally, it gets a bolted anchor that gets people away from the tree. Popular routes should not be using trees this day and age. Sometimes you even have to bolt an anchor if there is gear available if human nature is going to cause people to still use the tree instead, which will just end up killing it and causing erosion. Oct 6, 2017
TDoyle
Milford, MA
 
TDoyle   Milford, MA
 
The tree belay at the top of the "low beer light" pitch is seeing quite a bit of erosion as more and more people climb this route. Instead of using the tree, I recommended going right to a horizontal crack below a small bulge (down and right of the tree) near the start of the 5.10 variation. I'm realizing as i write this that stopping early to build a belay would make the Platinum Slab pitch long enough that a 70m rope might not reach. (I usually do this route with a 60m so im only guessing that a 70m wont reach). Simul-climbing the Low Beer Light and Platinum Slab would be a way to avoid this all together but obviously Simuling is not an option for everyone. Anyone have any ideas on how to minimize climbers' impact on that tree? (Ideally not bolting it). It's position on the slab makes it very hard to not add to the erosion when getting over to it. Oct 6, 2017
Hobo Greg
My Van
Hobo Greg   My Van
Done this a few times, most memorably as two parties of two at night, rip roaring good time that was! Aug 31, 2017
Jay Morse
Hooksett, New Hampshire
 
Jay Morse   Hooksett, New Hampshire
 
Very fun and beautiful route.

Although this is definitely well-protected by Whitehorse standards, I can imagine climbers that have never done Whitehorse before stumbling on this route that might get the idea that as a 5.6 without a safety rating that this would make for the perfect beginner multipitch lead.

Just to be clear, you will often be facing 20-40' slab falls while climbing 5.5-5.6, and you will be facing very serious runouts (100-200' falls) while climbing the more moderate 5.2-5.4 sections of this climb. Totally fine if you're confident - I was perfectly happy with the protection. But you need to bring a cool head to Whitehorse, this route included. It would be R-rated on any other cliff in New Hampshire without any question. May 22, 2017
Dhane Knakkergaard
Intervale, NH
 
Dhane Knakkergaard   Intervale, NH
 
This has gotta be one of my favorite climbs around the slabs. Good for a quick cruise, or introducing someone to slab if all the other routes are clogged. Wheat Thin Arete is just wonderful. May 9, 2017
Glad you had fun dude!

The photos are helpful, people tend to get lost in those areas. Sep 22, 2016
John Gassel
Boston, MA
  5.6
John Gassel   Boston, MA
  5.6
Great route Chris! Finally got on it this weekend.

Added a few photos to show where the route goes on P3 and P4. If you'd rather leave some adventure and just have the hand drawn topo (awesome btw), just let me know and I'll pull 'em down. Sep 19, 2016
caesar.salad
earth
 
caesar.salad   earth
 
Loved this route all the way up. Sep 16, 2015
Travis Dustin
Hollis, NH
 
Travis Dustin   Hollis, NH
 
Very fun route. All the pitches had fun interesting climbing. It rained hard on us at the top of pitch 4 but we sat it out and continued up the wet rock to the top. We did the 5.6 variation for pitch 6. It was a great pitch to keep the climbing at a consistent grade. Cant name a favorite pitch. The nortwest passage was my least favorite but the start of it was still fun. Jul 21, 2015
There is a loose block toward the top of the Wheat Thin Arete that has been of concern to me; a small horizontal at it's base is a point of protection for many climbers. The block is stable. Not to the point, however, where it can provide reliable gear, and not wanting to create an unsightly (read: nasty!) scar by trundling said block, or change the route character by creating a small ledge, I chose the lesser of evils and added a bolt (on lead).

While I don't feel particularly good about this effort, it seemed like the best solution to preserve the rock.

I have adjusted the route description. Jun 15, 2015
Peter Lewis
Bridgton, Maine
Peter Lewis   Bridgton, Maine
A new full-length route on the slabs? Seriously? No doubt...awesome job! Love that hunk of stone. Jan 19, 2015
ben smith  
 
the rock quality on the last two pitches are as good as it gets! makes you wonder what the rock was like 50+ years ago(perhaps not as polished). not too keen on the "northwest passage" pitch or its pin, but it gets you where you want to be. Sep 16, 2014
Madeline
Cambridge, MA
Madeline   Cambridge, MA
this is a true classic. Aug 19, 2014
TDoyle
Milford, MA
 
TDoyle   Milford, MA
 
what a fantastic route! fun climbing on every pitch and some good run-outs. if you have no one behind you, great weather, and are in no rush, the belay ledge atop the "open book" pitch is a nice spot to relax and have lunch. the "low beer light pitch" and the "platinum slab" were probably my favorite 2 pitches. Jun 2, 2014
Robert Hall
North Conway, NH
  5.6 PG13
Robert Hall   North Conway, NH  
  5.6 PG13
I did this a couple of times last year (2013) and it is very nice.
Pitch 4 can easily be broken up by establishing a belay in the trees right of the green lichen and then doing the crack pitch as a short pitch.
The top pitches we didn't find the exact line described ( and hence didn't find the bolts either) but we were doing it without the route description.
May 27, 2014
T. Moon
 
T. Moon  
 
Wow - what a fun climb. I finally had the opportunity to climb it today. A very nice addition to the Slabs. The Wheat Thin Arete was my favorite pitch. Oct 12, 2013
Benjaminadk
San Pedro, California
 
Benjaminadk   San Pedro, California
 
did this route by accident mainly because it looked good. especially liked leading the cajun washboard pitch. the corner up higher to the right is fun also. first time climbing the slab at whitehorse and it did not disappoint. Sep 21, 2013
One 60 to top out, two to rap. Sep 1, 2013
Nick Grant
Natick, MA & Tamworth, NH
Nick Grant   Natick, MA & Tamworth, NH
How long a rope do you need to do this route? (I see that pitch four is 200' long.) The bolts on this route are sweet! Very un-Whitehorse (not rusted, the bolt hangers don't spin). Aug 29, 2013
Jcomeau
North Conway
Jcomeau   North Conway
Finally got back on this. Its a toss up which pitch i liked better, either the flake or the washboard. Leading the washboard pitch as awesome; We got lost on the 4th pitch, as we didnt know where it went. We went left after the bolt then up a little head wall. Then saw the anchor and traversed into it. Awesome fun. Also, that little traverse across the dirty spot on pitch 3 got my attention. May 8, 2013
JeanGClimbs
Reading, VT
JeanGClimbs   Reading, VT
Just did this also and really think it is of good quality. Nicely bolted to keep it safe but still in keeping with Whitehorse slab runouts. The Wheat Thin Arete pitch is stellar.

The Sea of Green lichen on Pitch 4 was completely wet so I downclimbed and went up and around it to the left. Never finished the upper pitches, (believe the 1st 4 pitches are really the best climbing). Met Chris Magness enroute - he says they still want to get that lichen cleaned up a bit more to make it better. Nice job though! Sep 24, 2012
chinos
  5.6
chinos  
  5.6
A great addition to the slabs. Thanks for adding it guys! Sep 18, 2012
joshua corbett
Wolfeboro NH
  5.6
joshua corbett   Wolfeboro NH
  5.6
I have to agree with Bob the second pitch is phenomenal. its the best route for a beginner's on the slabs. Sep 16, 2012
jimmi jazz
Denver co
jimmi jazz   Denver co
Did it today, well worth it. Nice job guys. Sep 16, 2012
Bob A  
That second pitch (Wheat Thin Arete) was my favorite.The third is great too.Really fun! Sep 16, 2012
It is an awesome feature.. Sep 7, 2012
john strand
southern colo
john strand   southern colo
if you look in the new guide, the P2 arete shows perfect. Base and I looked one time and he thought that you could die fallinginto the gulley Sep 6, 2012
nhclimber
Newmarket, NH
nhclimber   Newmarket, NH
ha, exactly john. My comment to him last night, was i thought most el cap routes had less named pitches. Still, great job guys finding a nearly indpendent line on the slabs put up in great style. Had a few repeats and sounds great. Sep 6, 2012
john strand
southern colo
john strand   southern colo
Just like El Cap Sep 4, 2012
nhclimber
Newmarket, NH
nhclimber   Newmarket, NH
You named every pitch...really...

jk, great job buddy. Sep 4, 2012
joshua corbett
Wolfeboro NH
  5.6
joshua corbett   Wolfeboro NH
  5.6
Sweet deal Chris I'm excited to get on this. Sep 2, 2012