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Routes in 3. Madigan Area

Brown School T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
DLM Memorial Route T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Forist Grump T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Happy Birthday T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Madigan S 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Nibroc T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Stone Dust Torture T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Type: Trad, 750 ft, 6 pitches, Grade II
FA: Matt and Kathy Barker - 2015
Page Views: 651 total · 36/month
Shared By: Robert Hall on Jul 27, 2016 with updates
Admins: Jay Knower, M Sprague, lee hansche, Jeffrey.LeCours, Robert Hall

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This is the furthest left route (climb #1) in the "guide pamphlet". Other climbs further left have now been put in; see "South End Area".

Pitches 5 & 6 are truly beautiful pitches.

APPROACH -About 75 +/- ft up and left from the start of Madigan. There is now a branch of the main climber's path that goes directly up to this climb.

START- on the face 15 +/- feet right of the large, right-facing corner composed of large flakes (photo).

Six pitches to the top. (See "Guide pamphlet"), or use our description:

P1 - Climb (unprotected-the pitch's crux) up to a small( 6-inch) overlap about 15-20 ft up (gear, TCU). Climb over easily up to the first bolt. Then follow bolts up, with some zig-zagging, to anchor. 100 ft 5.6 PG-13/R? There may be an easier/safer way to Bolt #1.

P2 - The Guide says "follow easiest line" and that's a good idea below the first bolt which is about 35-40 ft up! This first bolt is sort of in the middle of a small, very smooth slab. I climbed a couple of feet Left of the bolt on smoothed flakes (sort of dike like) and felt it 5.7+ / 5.8-. Partner went up the slab, basically directly over the bolt (5.8 / 5.8+?) or there may be an easier way several feet further right, then stepping back left to clip the higher bolt. We both felt this is the crux of the climb. A good place to use that quickdraw you have with two locking biners on it. Continue to anchor. 100 ft 5.7+/5.8

P3 - Up easy slab, through gap in bushes to another easy slab, step off top onto dirt (bolt ! , photo) to anchor. 85 ft 5.3-5.4

P4 - Up easy slab above, staying slightly right, then more right towards trees. Pass by a double bolt anchor [ optional belay, but anchor is predominantly for the rap line ] and continue another 30-35 ft right and up onto the "beautiful slab." 140 ft 5.3 - 5.4

P5 - (Variations 5a & 5b, There are three ways to do the 5th pitch) From the double bolt anchor at the base of the slab climb directly up passing a jutting, Right-facing flake [photo] (with bush just to the right) then onto the steeper, smooth slab above (bolt). Up the slab passing 2 bolts to a Left-facing flake (gear) and on to the anchor. Upper slab is very continuous 5.6 120 ft 5.6+

P5a - ("Rain in In" 5.8+ see COMMENT) From the dbl bolt anchor at the base of the slab, step 5-10 ft right and climb up sparsly-placed bolts (easier climbing slightly right), reaching a bolt 5-10 feet right of the bush mentioned in P5. Now follow bolts up the even steeper and smoother slab about 5-10 ft right of the line of P5. 120 ft 5.8

P5b - ("Sea of Bowls" see COMMENT 5.7, and goes to its own anchor below the headwall) From the dbl bolt anchor at the base of the slab, step 15-20 ft right and climb up via a quartz dike in pegmitite-type rock. Continue up easily to the start of the upper slab. Climb the clean, white-ish slab about 10 ft right of the line of P5a. To leave "Sea of Bowls" and return to DLM move left when you see the DLM anchor. 120 ft 5.6 - 5.7

P6 - From the anchor at the end of the 5th pitch, continue up the slab (bolts) to the headwall with 3 closely spaced bolts. Up this (5.7, considered the crux by FA party) and then walk 20 ft left in the woods to a double bolt anchor on a huge block. 125 ft, 5.7 See also COMMENTs about possible alternative headwall ending to the left of the bolted line.

Descent - Rap the route, can be done with a single 70m, possibly with a single 60m with one or two creative raps (most notably the rap down P5 would probably have to be split using the tree on climber's left (viewer's right) about half way up the pitch; and the very first rap might leave you a foot or two short of the top-of-P5 anchor; so perhaps(?) use a tree instead of the top-most 2 bolt anchor(?)


Draws for the bolts. Gear placements here and there. We used nothing larger than a 0.5 (purple) Camalot-sized cam.
Was able to link pitches 1 and 2, 3 and 4, and 5 and most of 6 to do as three pitches with a 70m. To make the last two work, I finished on the Sea of Bowls anchors, because we did not heed the 'do not belay below the trees beta' and it fully stretched a 70m. Didn't place anything larger than a .5 cam and no stoppers. Don't skip the rap station on the lower side of the trees that split the upper pitches from the lower. A 70m doesn't quite reach the pitch 3 anchors from above the trees (with some gymnastics you can make it work). Fun climbing. Oct 11, 2016
Ben Townsend  
Light rack to #0.75 Camalot. Don't bother with a lot of stoppers; I think we placed one small wire.

On the Sea of Bowls variation to p. 5, I strongly recommend cutting left and belaying at the DLM anchor instead of persisting up the gravel-covered, protectionless slab to the headwall anchor. Also, some long slings are nice on this pitch, as there's some decent trad gear that's not directly in line with the bolts.

Watch the rope ends on the p. 5 rappel.

This climb and the variations make for a great outing. Still a bit dirty in spots, and could use judicious pruning of tree branches, but the climbing is excellent and enjoyable. Oct 8, 2016
Ron Birk
Boston, MA
Ron Birk   Boston, MA
One can also do Stone Dust Torture (5.9) as a variation to the first pitch as they share the same anchor. The 5.9 part is very well protected and right at the start and the rest of the pitch much easier. Aug 3, 2016
Robert Hall
North Conway, NH
Robert Hall   North Conway, NH  
Thanks for the Beta on route names and P2's right-side "variant"; that's actually how Ralph lead it when we climbed it, but thought it a bit "off route":...pretty far off-the-line to the right...holds a bit dirty....BIG long reach back left to clip the higher (2nd) bolt.

Yes, that possible route through the P6 headwall on the left looked good. It should protect with gear too. Bring your wire brush! Can't believe someone hasn't done obvious. Aug 1, 2016
Ron Birk
Boston, MA
Ron Birk   Boston, MA
The crux (and overall grade) on p2 can remain at 5.6 grade if going to the right into the dirt, up and then back left to the bolt. The footholds needed in the dirt section are actually clean (maybe someone cleaned them?)

p5a is "Rain It In" 5.8+
p5b is "Sea of bowls" 5.7 and has bolts all the way to the head wall with its own anchor.

There is also an interesting direct option to the final anchor or p6 (on the boulder), if veering left after the last bolt and going up the headwall right under the anchor. Great gear and looks 5.5ish. Need to try it next time. Jul 31, 2016