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5. Slabs
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Beware of the Dog (Mid-Climb Variation) T 
Blockade Direct ? T 
Cirrus T 
Condescender T 
Condescending (Mid-Climb Variation) T 
Consolation Prize T 
Falling Aspirations T 
Fleabitten (Mid-Climb Variation) T 
Indented Slab (a "Mid-Cliff" Slab), The T 
Lakeview T 
Lima Bean T 
Micron T 
Odyssey of an Artichoke T 
Slip o' Fools T 
Snooky T 
Stretched On Your Grave TR 
unknown T 
Wag, The T 
Weissners Butress T 
Weissners Dike T 

Consolation Prize 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 900'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: tom lyman (2 pitches) al rubin and john waterman (whole route 1970)
Page Views: 6,752
Submitted By: lee hansche on Jul 11, 2011

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (23)
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BETA PHOTO: Start of Consolation Prize


A fun route right up the slabs under the "Old Man". [Re' photo - there is also an excellent photo, at a slightly different angle, of the route posted to the Lakeview route. ]

Pitch 1: 5.7 Climb up and right of the big Detached rocks traversing right to a left facing corner. Tricky, slippery moves up the corner with good pro. Head up and right in to an alcove of broken rock with a single bolt. Belay.

Pitch 2: 5.8 make a long step right and walk on small ledges continuing in that direction until you have to make a long move right in to the amazing crack that you cant see till you are in it. Climb this crack (wide fingers to perfect hands) until you hit fist size then head up and left on slab to broken corner. Step down and left to a small ledge with 2 bolt anchor. This is right above the alcove belay.

Pitch 3: 5.8 Move left and climb easy "stairs" with no pro to the overlap (pin). Pull over this and climb crumbly slab through broken overlap, move slightly right to a pin at a cruxy overlap. Make a tricky (reachy) move and gain the anchors (2 bolts).

Pitch 4: 5.5 Climb crumbly mossy rock (not as bad as it sounds) past a pin and move left through the overlaps and up to a 2 bolt anchor.

Pitch 5: 5.7 Climb the slab above by moving up and right then back left and finishing up a finger crack. then pick your way through the broken stuff above to a belay down and left of where the Old Man once was.

basically this is where it meets up with Lake view. The Last two pitches that are shared by many routes are some of the best i've done on the cliff. A pretty face with amazing cracks followed by a pretty corner that goes just left of the Old Man.


Toward the left side of the slab section locate 2 very large detached block/flakes. You will be looking right up at the Old Man Not On the Mountain.

start here and finish to the left of the Old Man, as for Lake View.


Regular Cannon rack.

Photos of Consolation Prize Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Consolation Prize, P7 (shared with Lakeview)
BETA PHOTO: Consolation Prize, P7 (shared with Lakeview)
Rock Climbing Photo: Consolation Prize, P6 (shared with Lakeview)
BETA PHOTO: Consolation Prize, P6 (shared with Lakeview)
Rock Climbing Photo: Consolation Prize, P5
BETA PHOTO: Consolation Prize, P5
Rock Climbing Photo: Consolation Prize, higher up on P4
BETA PHOTO: Consolation Prize, higher up on P4
Rock Climbing Photo: Consolation Prize, P4
BETA PHOTO: Consolation Prize, P4
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up where the Old Man used to be.
Looking up where the Old Man used to be.
Rock Climbing Photo: i cleaned all this junk/treasure off of Conso toda...
BETA PHOTO: i cleaned all this junk/treasure off of Conso toda...
Rock Climbing Photo: Consolation Prize, P2
BETA PHOTO: Consolation Prize, P2
Rock Climbing Photo: Fun alternate start to Consolation Prize. This rou...
BETA PHOTO: Fun alternate start to Consolation Prize. This rou...
Rock Climbing Photo: the red line is closer but not perfect... id love ...
the red line is closer but not perfect... id love ...
Rock Climbing Photo: I can't remember where I got this.  Maybe NEclimbs...
BETA PHOTO: I can't remember where I got this. Maybe NEclimbs...
Rock Climbing Photo: Higher res photo, note the crack on P2
Higher res photo, note the crack on P2
Rock Climbing Photo: Consolation Prize, higher up on P7 (shared with La...
BETA PHOTO: Consolation Prize, higher up on P7 (shared with La...
Rock Climbing Photo: Consolation Prize, P3
BETA PHOTO: Consolation Prize, P3
Rock Climbing Photo: Consolation Prize, looking down after P6 and some ...
Consolation Prize, looking down after P6 and some ...
Rock Climbing Photo: this is the rough line of the route.... if i find ...
BETA PHOTO: this is the rough line of the route.... if i find ...

Comments on Consolation Prize Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 30, 2017
By Michael Z.
Aug 7, 2011

P1 the "tricky" corner is 5.8, where a block fell out. The crack on P2 was at one time a sustained finger crack but has widened due to rockfall. The crack is now probably 5.6 with a hardish move entering it P2 5.7? that being said the crack is spectacular and well worth climbing.
By twellman
From: Cambridge
Aug 14, 2011

Pitches 1 and 2 are quite fun, and well protected. There is a little 15 foot section of 5.5ish slab without pro on pitch 2 above the crack, but it is over quickly and easy climbing. The hand crack on pitch 2 is wonderful.
By lee hansche
From: goffstown, nh
Aug 31, 2011

lily forgot her shoes today and climbed this route barefoot! nice work lillers!
By Brian
From: North Kingstown, RI
Sep 8, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

I think the top half of the line on your topo photo is too far to the right. Right about where you mentioned you got lost. I've done this route many times and always headed left on the fifth pitch up a bit of a run-out slab to meet up with Wiessner's Corner. The description on Chauvin Guides is accurate. I also added a beta photo that was updated after the rock fall.
By lee hansche
From: goffstown, nh
Sep 8, 2011

thanks that makes soooo much sence! i knew i was off... and i did it again and still couldnt figure it out but figured thats cannon for you.... ill make a note on my photo-map
By lin murphy
From: boulder
Sep 12, 2011

I managed to get off route on the 3rd pitch by going up to an old bolt just up and left of the pin.
Don't do it this way! Up and up with cams in an overlap I cleaned with the nut tool. It is down=climable, but definitely not worth it.

Also, avoid going straight up from the first belay. It looked interesting to climb to the top of the pod and then step right to bolted face. But, there is no pro at the top of the pod, and those hangers are smashed flat.
Finally, I dislodged a rock on the first pitch and it cut my rope.
no wonder it is a famous climb.
By Michael Z.
Sep 18, 2011

So Lee you may have been a little off route but it looks like you linked up with "Connection" The book says " a good way to avoid the loose rock on the upper pitches." so maybe that is the better way to go.

Lin, the slab you were looking at is Condicending (9+). Personally I don't think it is that bad Bolts can still be clipped "with skinny biners" or slung with nuts the bolts don't look bad just the hangers.

Finally I have been working on a topo of the slabs and am going to post it on the main page so please take a look. I would appreciate any more info anyone has :)
By lee hansche
From: goffstown, nh
Sep 18, 2011

Mike, i just checked out your topo and the line you have for Conso is exactly the way i climbed it so maybe my description was hard to follow or my picture sucked but its good to know we climbed the same route haha :)
By Robert Hall
From: North Conway, NH
Aug 14, 2014

Wow! 3 yrs without a comment...guess it's time. For what it's worth, when I did the climb the "green" line was closer to what I remember. Back then, P1 was 5.4, but the step-into-the-finger-crack (which then stayed a finger crack) was about 5.7-5.8. If the pin in the overlap at the end of the "5.2 stairstep" is a 1 1/2" angle driven straight into a "hole", then it's been there since D. Byers and I climbed it, the probable 3rd ascent in 1971.
By Sam Fox
From: Burlington, VT
May 25, 2015
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R

Climbed Conso yesterday, 5/24. I loved it!

The only thing I didn't like is that p1 & p2 climb a massive flake that seems to be pretty damn detached.

P1 was hard, my girlfriend led and good thing because my fat fingers could not fit in the thin crack. I however did not even consider hanging since the first belay is one bolt!?! The only option to back up the bolt that either of us could see was a huge gap between the belay and the surrounding flake that could take a #6. [Admin. comment - see COMMENT below for a way to back up the 1 bolt. R. Hall]

P2 was great, I reached out with my foot to gain the crack which made the "cruxy" move quite easy. The crack is spectacular, going from .75c4 to #3c4 sizes. Looking at pictures of the climb taken from the ground however I realize that this is a crack in the detached flake which seems like it will someday rip apart and destroy this pitch.

After p2 things settle into slab climbing with some overlaps. There are pins here but they look worthless, I would give p3 an R rating because if you slip anywhere you're going for a long, awful ride. The "angle" above the stairs on p3 is gone, the hole does not take pro, but there is a worthless pin there to clip. Don't let that scare you though, the climbing is easy enough. While I was on p3 an unseen party on lakeview sent a shitload of lose rock raining down on my belayer and I and I was struck by a baseball sized rock. Nothing like a fresh injury to get you climbing faster. I went out right through an overlap past a pin (backed up with a carefully arranged nut) and did an extremely reachy move (read: Dyno off of slab to a hold about 4' above the overlap). I'm not sure if this was the right way to go, it was hard, but I was in the mood to get out of the fall zone.

P4 is easy 5.5, crank up and out left tossing in a couple bomber cams to protect your belayer before you reach a bolt anchor.

P5 friction out slightly right and then straight up the the lip that's right above the belay. Follow obvious friction to a finger crack (.75) and then dance your way up to another bolted anchor just above.

From here it's kind of anything goes on easy class 3-4 terrain trying to keep your rope from knocking off lose blocks as you work your way up and left to the final two pitches of weissners/lakeview.
By Michael Lehner
Jun 28, 2015

Having recently climbed both Lakeview and Consolation Prize, I second Sam Fox's comments: don't climb Consolation Prize if another team is above you on the upper sections of Lakeview. Those upper sections are now entirely covered with scary loose rock from when the Old Man fell off and some rock is going to come down, no matter what, if someone is up there.

BTW, we backed up the single bolt at the top of the first pitch by slinging some jammed blocks just above it. Worked fine.
By petr07 Lindahl
Nov 26, 2015
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R

I'm also with Sam on the R rating.

Gave this a go last weekend but turned back on P3 due to wet and questionable rock with pretty serious runouts. Made it up the 30 feet of runout "stairs" (seemed harder than 5.2 to me but less than say 5.6 so whatever) to the first overlap. Definitely a worthless-looking pin there and perhaps the one Bob mentioned from 1971. If I'm remembering correctly, about 5-10 feet above that is a fold in the rock that takes pro reasonably well, but above that it looked like 30-50 feet of runout slab with flakey rock and wet that day. Decided it wasn't worth the risk. On a dry day probably would have been much less scary.

Point is, personally feel like the R should be advertised. FWIW, the Sykes' "Secrets of the Notch" has P3 listed as 5.2R due to stairs section but again, thought that was sandbagged and in any case not the end of the R-rating. The new Falcon Guide "Rock Climbing New England" has the route but doesn't mention R-rating at all. Feel like their description is based on old beta and maybe pre-Old Man falling.

On the good side, the leaning handcrack (5.6) of P2 is 50 ft of awesome!
By John Gehrig
From: Easton, PA
Aug 29, 2016

I climbed the route this past weekend (8/27/16). One of the fixed anchors is missing a bolt (P5?), which was taken out by rockfall. I cleaned off the dangling tat, and smashed hanger. The other SS bolt looks solid.
By Jay Morse
From: Hooksett, New Hampshire
Jul 30, 2017

A note on the Pitch 4 5.8 Variation listed in Jon Sykes's "The Notches" guidebook: The author does not give this variation a safety rating. He even mind-bogglingly goes out of his way to call this variation "safe". This pitch is 5.8R by anyone's definition. Even with optimal protection on this pitch you will be climbing about 40' of sustained 5.8 friction slab looking at a huge and very nasty swinging fall, even if the available protections holds - which is questionable. Just for perspective, this pitch is significantly harder and scarier than anything on Sliding Board. It is good quality and has clean rock and I recommend it to really good slab climbers. Bring a yellow metolius mastercam or equivalent to back up the hilariously loose pin. But don't even think about this variation without a lot of experience on friction slab, a really cool head, and dry conditions.

I can't speak for the "standard" pitch 4 or pitch 5 since I didn't do them, but the rest of the route was great quality with interesting climbing and pretty good pro. Pitch 3 had some R, but it was never harder than 5.4 at most IMO and those sections were always over before I knew it.

All anchors that I used were in great shape

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