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Carter Ledge

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Carter Ledge Direct  T 
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Carter Ledge Rock Climbing 

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Location: 43.95893, -71.25396 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 4,500
Administrators: Jay Knower, M Sprague, lee hansche, Jeffrey.LeCours, Robert Hall, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Brad White North Conway on Oct 13, 2012

62° | 53°

72° | 58°

68° | 59°

68° | 55°

70° | 55°

72° | 58°
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Shot of the valley with nice fall colors. Taken w...


Carter Ledge is the often looked at south facing low angled looking slab seen from Rt. 16 while driving North near Chocorua Lake. Carter Ledge can be clearly seen looking east from the summit of Mt.Chocorua. This attractive cliff is located on the ridge leading to the Three Sisters peaks and has a hiking trail to its summit. This is an incredibility beautiful slab climb in a not too remote location with the spectacular backdrop of Mt. Chocorua over your left shoulder. The white granite is amazingly clean and solid with good natural protection where you need it.

Getting There 

Hiking Directions to Carter Ledge

You can approach Carter Ledge two different ways. Both ways involve a two plus mile hike so this climb is not for the belay off your bumper crowd. Start at the Piper Trail in Albany and hike 1.2 miles to the Nickerson Ledge Trail on the right. Follow the Nickerson Ledge Trail to its Junction with the Carter Ledge Trail in .8 miles.

The alternative is to start in the White Ledge Campground in Albany and follow the Carter Ledge Trail itself 2 miles to the same junction. This way seems a bit easier as it follows a gently rising trail the whole way. From the junction hike about .3 miles up the trail till an open slab can be seen just left of the trail. Hike up a few more steps till the trail turns sharply to the right. Move left up and across the top of the slabs in the woods just below another set of short slabs above. Bushwhack/traverse left (west) across the slope keeping at the same elevation for about 10-15 minutes and you will intersect the bottom of the slab. Do not drop to low on the hillside or you might hike right on by.

Carter Ledge is obvious when you see it as it is very clean perfect granite with occasional Jack Pines growing out of its open face. This cliff has been climbed before (possibly many times) but never officially recorded that I could find. The second time I climbed Carter Ledge an old fixed angle piton was found at half height. The approach takes between one and a half to two hours with the majority of the hiking on the trail.

RHall comment, June 2017 - Alternate Approach from the top. We stayed on the hiking trail and rapped down: From where Brad suggests traversing left we stayed on the hiking trail, which climbs steeply for 400 vertical ft (and about a 1/3 mile), then flattens out and then passes an old viewpoint on the left. A minute or two later you see, or "sense", the slab to your left, here break through the shrub and small trees 30-40 ft to the top of the slab. [see "Boulder Photo" and "Tree Photo". ] If you get to the wide open slabs and blueberry bushes on the trail you've gone to far.
We rapped as follows with a full-length single 70m rope:
Rap 1 - from the pine tree in center of slab [photo] 35-36m to a point 15 +/- ft climber's/rapeller's left of the start of the "pockets pitch". Here we established a temporary rap station with 2 small cams. (retrieved on the way up) If you have any doubt about the length of your 70m rope, extend the sling on the tree 10 or 15 ft. [Note: Even just Doubled 50m ropes would make it to trees 25-35 ft below.]
Rap 2 - 35m From the temporary station to a ledge with stacked blocks. We left a 8mm cord threaded through these blocks - back it up! (photo) The climb "Wanderings" passes over these blocks (and/or uses their ledge as a belay stance)
Rap 3 - 35 m From blocks down to a 12-14 inch diameter pine tree with bushes around it. This was another "rope stretcher", but a full-length 70m should reach to the bushes and dirt ledge around the tree. Here we dismantled an ANCIENT sling-with-single aluminum-ring "station" and left, then retrieved, our own sling.
Rap 4 - 30 m From large tree down to a single pine tree, 4-5 inches diameter, that is about 30-40 ft from the bottom of the slab. We started here.

Climbing Season

For the All Locations area.

Weather station 4.7 miles from here

4 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Carter Ledge

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Carter Ledge:
Living the Dream    5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 4 pitches, 500'   
Carter Ledge Direct    5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13     Trad, 3 pitches, 500'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Carter Ledge

Featured Route For Carter Ledge
Rock Climbing Photo: Matt Peer tops out on the short corner on P1 of Li...

Living the Dream 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a  New Hampshire : WM: Albany Area : Carter Ledge
P1 – Start eight feet up on a flat ledge at a small tree 70 feet left of the right end of the base of the slab. Step left then back right to a higher ledge then climb up 30 feet to a short left facing corner with a small pine branch growing out of the top. Climb the corner and then the slab above to a small tree belay on the left. 80’ 5.5P2 – Climb slightly left and up thru flakes and cracks in a short headwall. Climb straight up the slab above passing a block and thin corners to a belay at ...[more]   Browse More Classics in New Hampshire

Photos of Carter Ledge Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Carter Ledge Photo Topo
BETA PHOTO: Carter Ledge Photo Topo
Rock Climbing Photo: "Tree Photo" - we started our raps from ...
BETA PHOTO: "Tree Photo" - we started our raps from ...
Rock Climbing Photo: "Boulder Photo" - the 4 ft high boulder ...
BETA PHOTO: "Boulder Photo" - the 4 ft high boulder ...
Rock Climbing Photo: I made a great day climbing Carter Ledge and then ...
I made a great day climbing Carter Ledge and then ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting our 3rd rap with single 70m rope; note th...
BETA PHOTO: Starting our 3rd rap with single 70m rope; note th...
Rock Climbing Photo: The lonely Belay Tree on Carter Ledge Direct from ...
BETA PHOTO: The lonely Belay Tree on Carter Ledge Direct from ...
Rock Climbing Photo: View up the center of Carter Ledge from the lonely...
View up the center of Carter Ledge from the lonely...
Rock Climbing Photo: Bottom of the Slab on Living the Dream.
Bottom of the Slab on Living the Dream.
Rock Climbing Photo: The top of Carter Ledge near the trail.
The top of Carter Ledge near the trail.
Rock Climbing Photo: View of Chocorua from Carter Ledge
View of Chocorua from Carter Ledge
Rock Climbing Photo: Carter Ledge from near the summit of Mt. Chocorua
BETA PHOTO: Carter Ledge from near the summit of Mt. Chocorua

Comments on Carter Ledge Add Comment
Show which comments
By Ralph Weissleder
Jun 16, 2017
Please contact me if you retrieved a cam and sling on this slab between 6/1 and 6/10. Will pay for postage or pick up. Thanks.
By chinos
Oct 15, 2012
This is an excellent place to do some nice moderate climbing in a beautiful setting. The granite is excellent and naturally clean for the most part. It is easy to wander and link pitches that look desirable. A nice back-country feel!
By Robert Hall
From: North Conway, NH
Jun 3, 2017
Agreed ! It was far nicer than I had imagined.

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