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Routes in 1. Main Slab Area

Call of the Wild T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Ingy's Ice Cream T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
October Sundae T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Road North Start to Ingy's Ice Cream to "Orgasmo Slab" T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Road North, The T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Yowza T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Type: Trad, 7 pitches
FA: Paul Cormier& Wanda Allen - 2008
Page Views: 1,215 total, 74/month
Shared By: Ron Birk on Aug 4, 2016
Admins: Jay Knower, M Sprague, lee hansche, Jeffrey.LeCours, Robert Hall

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Description

Be aware that the Rap Tree used for the 2nd-to-last Rap (just beneath the big overhang) has toppled over and is no longer usable. It fell over with less than 50 lbs force when I sat on its lower trunk 8/19/16. Slings have been removed, lest someone grab them. The whole tree sits on the ledge with less than 10% of its (rotted) roots in the dirt. Use the double-bolt anchor 25-30 ft to "skier's/viewer's left on the slab. (scramble down, then up to the bolts, Class 3/4 "X" if unroped.) It has been reported that double 60m ropes "just make it" down to these bolts from the anchor above, but with variations in manufacturer's cut rope length and rope shortening ('shrinking') with use take extra care if you try this.

Submitted by Ron Birk, edited with permission by R Hall. The FA party did the climb in 5 long pitches, but we have broken P3 into two and their P5 into two, making it seven pitches.

A fantastic moderate route to the top of the cliff with great variety. Mostly 5.2-5.4 climbing with a few moves a grade or two harder spread out. Lots of options. You could probably do the route 3 or 4 times and never do it exactly the same.

P1. Climb the slab [photo] to the tree ledge. Not much protection in the beginning. You have two options:
  • Go straight up. While the first few moves after the flake on the white rock is the crux of the climb, probably by 2 grades, (5.7 PG-13/R) the thin moves continue at 5.6 or so well into the ground-fall zone before easing off and gaining protection. 130-140 ft 5.7 PG-13/R, 5.6 R/X
  • Just before the crux, go slightly left into the gray rock and stay there for a few moves. It’s a bit easier and has some features, but no protection either. 130-140 ft 5.5-5.6 PG-13/R

It has been reported by a reliable source that P1 of "Ingy's Ice Cream" (the next climb right) is better protected and one can then move back left to "October") It is also possible to start on the "Road North" and join "October" at the end of P2.

P2. Continue on featured climbing until about 35 ft below roof, then traverse on a rising diagonal to the right to a Gear belay. 140-150 ft 5.3-5.4

NOTE: As you traverse right at the top of P2 you'll probably see two double bolt anchors, one up left and high under the OH (belay for the DIRECT, and rap anchor for those headed down over the OH) and a 2nd anchor a few feet above the easiest traverse line. This 2nd is for an alternate rap that avoids the OH. Do not belay here as the next pitch would be both too long and too zig-zagging, but continue on 20-30 ft the gear anchor below the right end of the OH. )

P3. Climb the right side of the roof and traverse left till you see a slanting, low-angle crack (easy) above a small ledge. Continue traversing and slightly up. You may be able to see the beautiful "vertical" crack on a slightly bulging face that you are headed for. Gear belay.
If you're going to get lost on this route it will be on this pitch. Be sure to traverse low, well below the tree island that is above the right end of the huge overlap. The easiest route (one semi-exposed 5.4-5.5 move that is more "spicy" to follow than to lead!) is just above the "lip" of the OH. [ The route photo has been corrected and replaced and now shows both the traverse and the gear belay correctly.] 180 +/- ft 5.5

P4. Step left from the gear belay and climb the beautiful crack! [photos] One, or more, 0.75 Green "Camalot-sized" cams useful. End at a two bolt anchor on the slab to the right of a tree island. 110 ft 5.4 - 5.5

[The FA party ran P3 & P4 together, but how they did this with a 60m rope I don't know unless there was virtually nothing "in" between the middle of the traverse and the top of the crack, thus allowing the rope to run in a long diagonal. I don't even think a 70m would reach.]

P5. Veer left to the top right side of the tree island, then move up (5.5-5.6 +/-) to the steeper featured section with fun moves and continue up to another double bolt anchor. [There are two photos of this pitch, each a slightly different variation.] 160-170 ft 5.5-5.6

The FA party did not split the next pitch, but rather led it as one. A 60m rope just barely reaches the top anchor! We will describe it as split into two pitches, P6 & P7. This way results in two good things: one nice for the belayer, the other nice for the leader! If you split the pitch (as it will be described) then there's enough rope for the belayer to stand on the nice, flat, toppled-tree about 8 ft below the bolts (keeping the tie-in at the bolts, of course) and on the last pitch (P7) the leader will not have anywhere near the rope-drag/weight he/she would have in one, long 60m pitch.

With the belayer at the flat ledge a-top the toppled tree, you can just barely see the double quicklinks and rope of the top anchor, otherwise it is not visible until you reach it. [see photo of P7]

P6. Pad up the clean white slab, over the small overlap and then run it out (5.0-5.2 R/X) to the base of the headwall. Gear belay. 100 +/- ft 5.4

P7. Take your choice:
  • Move up a small corner, step left and then up the face and cracks via the easiest-looking line to the top anchor. "0.3 and 0.4 Camalots" very useful. RH & RW did this line, digging out every cam & nut placement so it probably hadn't been done before. 100+/- ft 5.4-5.5
  • Climb the slabs a bit to the left, less protection and maybe a bit harder. At the top, move right to the anchor. 110 +/- ft 5.6-5.6

October Sundae Direct
If you are interested in a more sustained variation using a more aesthetically direct line this is a nice option (?see topo?):

P2. Instead of going to the right of the roof / overhang as described above, go straight up (passing some smaller bushes) to the two bolt anchor, just right of the tree island. 180 ft 5.3-5.4

P3. Traverse up and left passing some gear placement and a bolt towards the left side of the overhang. At a weakness towards the left end (), do a bouldery move with good gear (easier if you are tall) and surmount the overhang. Continue straight up over easier and nice featured rock to a beautiful slanting crack for a gear anchor (same as described for P3 above). 110 ft 5.7

Descent: 5 raps with doubled 60m ropes. The 3rd rap goes over the big overhang. [but see "Alternate Rap, below] If you move a bit to rappeller's left before the OH you'll drop right down into the trees. Here used to be a tree to rap off, but it’s no longer there. See note above. You now have to use a bolt anchor [photo] about 10 ft to climber's right of the right edge of the tree ledge, (about 25 ft right of where you land) and at about the same level. Some will want a belay to get there.

An option is to rappel directly to the anchor. Double 60m ropes will just barely reach! Pay special attention when going over the overhang (cross around the middle of it) and make sure you have knots on the rope if doing this.

Alternate Rap avoiding the OH: On the 3rd rap, rappel with dbl ropes gradually to rapeller's right to a dbl bolt anchor located about 30 ft above the climber's right end of the overhanging section of the big overhang. [See photo "Rap Line(s)"] From here rap directly down; at the "lip" you pass a foot or two to the left of a jutting flake, then continue down to a 2nd dbl bolt anchor. When you pull the ropes from here they will be well left of the crack in the jutting flake. (If your 70m rope is cut long, this rap might be possible with it as a single rope rap.) Another rap (dbl 60m's or a rope-stretching, cut-long single 70m) takes you to the tree ledge and the final rap to the base.

Location

GPS: N44.466212 W71.068382

Left side of the cliff. It's a big cliff with thick vegetation, which makes it hard to locate climbs. You have two options:
  • Best option is to take the trail described in the "Main Slab Area". It leads directly to this climb. Also see picture in the North Bald Cap main page.
  • You can take the trail to the Lost Boys Area and bushwack along the cliff. There is not much traffic here and it can be a long arduous traverse.

Note: The cliff has multiple slab starts that look similar to each other, so pay attention. See pics in the Main Slab Area for other starts.

Protection

Standard rack. First three belays are natural/gear. The last three are bolt anchors.
Ron Birk
Boston, MA
 
Ron Birk   Boston, MA
 
I agree that a bolt on the first pitch would be nice. One can also do the first pitch of Ingy's to the right and move back to October. Doesn't have much pro either, but is much easier. Climbing wise October's first pitch is much nicer though. Oct 18, 2016
Nick Lambert
Bethel, ME
 
Nick Lambert   Bethel, ME
 
Long, fun, moderate route on great rock. We may not have set our gear belays in the recommended locations, but found manageable alternatives. Long raps, but we had no issue reaching the bolt anchors with two 60m ropes. I respect the choices of the FA party, but for a moderate route it might be nice to have a bolt protecting a ground fall on the first pitch crux, and on the 6th pitch runout (easy terrain, but potential for 100'+ fall past the anchor). Oct 18, 2016
Ron Birk
Boston, MA
 
Ron Birk   Boston, MA
 
I added a description to the direct variation through the roof/overhang on p3. See description above and photos. Aug 22, 2016