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7. The Slabs
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YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b R

Type:  Trad, 7 pitches, 1000'
Original:  YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b R [details]
FA: Many people put up the different pitches before they were linked
Page Views: 3,100
Submitted By: lee hansche on Oct 20, 2009

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (11)
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BETA PHOTO: the line of interloper is in red...


A thrill-ride of a route.... It just keeps you on your toes the whole way (no pun intended) with equal parts technical difficult moves and spooky run outs that demand your attention... A whitehorse must do if you like hard slabs but dont get in over your head...

Pitch 1: Same as Sliding board, climb moderate but unprotected slabs to the same double bolt anchor as Sliding Board... Located at the base of a steep swell about 180-200ft up and left of the launch pad...

Pitch 2: 5.10a Move slightly right and up to a lone bolt on the steep swell above the anchor... Clip the bolt and head straight up (a bit hair-raising to say the least)... The steepness eases off and you head up to the right a good run out way on more moderate slab to a 2 bolt anchor that is often used on Sliding Board...

Pitch 3: 5.8 This gets an R rating in Websters book and it deserves it but so do all the other pitches in one spot or another... I think if you made it through the 5.10 slab this will feel like a breeze... Just climb the white streak straight up past 1 bolt... 120 ft...

Pitch 4: 5.10c Crux time... Do a scary slab traverse to the right that gets harder the farther right you go... Gain a solid stance and a bolt and get ready for "the move"... If you are tall you are a little better off but it's not easy however you are built... Using slippery feet and a badish undercling you must reach a finger crack above... Very fun crux and not too scary... Continue up and belay at an overlap...

Pitch 5: 5.5 Pull over the overlap and climb easy unprotected slab up and right to belay at a fixed pin at a stance below the right end of the steep bulge above... Here you have the oportunity to link up with sliding board (which might be smart if you like clean rock)...

Pitch 6: 5.8 Climb up to the bulge above the belay and find the path of least resistance... Pull some hard foot based moves over the bulge (this was the spookiest part of the climb for me) and on to some more moderate slab... Follow a dirty ramp up and left until a juggy rail leads back to the right... Get good pro for a change and pull a tricky move on to low angle climbing... One more easy overlap out right heads on to the summit slabs where you can run it out to a nice belay stance...

Pitch 7: Easy slabs above run out to the summit...

Exausting... But nice...


To the left of Sliding Board...


Regular rack... I saw no real need for the tricams that are so useful on many of the routes on the slabs...

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 28, 2016
By lee hansche
From: goffstown, nh
Oct 21, 2009

I kinda mentioned this a little in the description but I figured I'd reiterate, the Webster book only give an R rating to one or 2 pitches and the Handren book makes no mention of scary climbing... I found every pitch to have either pg13 or R rated climbing on it... Thats what i came for, thats what i expect on a slab route but make sure you are ready for it... and have some fun...
By E thatcher
From: Plymouth/ North Conway (NH)
Oct 21, 2009

Lee, I agree on the bit O' R on every pitch. First real pitch, the .10a, crux is kind of a little ways above the bolt, I took a "runner" (what a whipper is like on slab if you're lucky) on to the belay before the first bolt, and onto the bolt from the crux, certainly one of the scariest moments of my life, but safe none the less. The 5.8 felt like cake walk after that despite only having one bolt. The .10c pitch is the only one that I actually felt at threat of injury on. I feel like if you fell from the crux there you would most likely hit the slab below it pretty hard, which ankles tend not to like. Super fun route none the less. Glad to see it on MP.
From: Keswick Cumbria.UK
Oct 27, 2009

Amusing how grades have jumped over the years as climbers have become more conservative.When Mike Heintz and myself did the first ascent in 1977 of pitch three we graded it 5.6 (now 5.8R) and the Crux pitch four we graded 5.9 (now 5.10c).See description in 1978 Ross/Ellms guide.If NH climbers would like some runout slab practice we suggest they make a trip to the Eastern Reef area of the San Rafael Swell,Utah.
By E thatcher
From: Plymouth/ North Conway (NH)
Oct 27, 2009

That's funny to hear. The 5.8 pitch did feel much easier, easier even then Sliding board I would say. But I couldn't tell if that was because I had just done a .10a slab pitch, or if it actually was that easy.
By john strand
From: southern colo
Oct 27, 2009

Ya paul, but you and mike prolly had EB's on which everyone knows made climbs easier !The first pitch (was that Albert ?) is a good way to learn rope reelin' technique. Another good route on the slabs with some runouts is Black Jade 10-ish
By lee hansche
From: goffstown, nh
Oct 27, 2009

Note that even though i posted the route those were not my opinion of the grades but rather the ones in the book... Grades are so different everywhere you go i take them very lightly and use them only to get a general idea of weather i have any business being on a climb...

Its a fun and scary route and i am really impressed that you did it before i was born with the gear you had regaurdless of what you rated it... nice work!
By Mike C. Robinson
From: Rumney, NH
Jun 25, 2010
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R

love this kind of route! The bolts are just barley where you need them. On the other hand, they are old 1/4 inch bolts. What is the consensus on retro bolting or bolting new routes on this slab?
By Gabe13 Flanders
From: Eaton Center, New Hampshire
Sep 11, 2010

On the upper crux (undercling/reach over the swell)it is possible to get a nice medium nut in the flake you're reaching for- Which makes cranking the next move far less nerve-wracking.
By Peter Lewis
From: Bridgton, Maine
May 22, 2012

This has one of the best and most perplexing crux moves on the Slabs. It's all about the feet...really. And watch out how you orient the rope when meking the .10 moves---if the rope is over your right leg you can easily be flipped upside-down if you fall (with real head-smacking potential).
By bradley white
From: Bend
Sep 28, 2012

Bolts and any fixed gear should be as safe as the FA party had it. Bolt failure is not optional. Older fixed gear gets less strength over the years. Having fixed gear come out onto your fingers is too late for replacement unless prepared. Being prepared means having and the know how to use a bolt kit on the lead.
Or have a group effort to do a premeditated and expensive upkeep to the entire North Conway area. Not my neck of the woods and theirs for ethical conduct.
By Allan-sf
Mar 28, 2016

Upgraded to 5.10c R. kickass! I led it about 1991 when it was just 5.10a.
I have no idea where we went on the 3rd and 4th pitch but all 3 pitches felt like hard 9-10a-ish terrain above sliding board. (counting 2nd pitch from base of arch, though we and most people walk up to the arch). It was scary in the crappy shoes of the time. I hate to think of it in original rubber. I suspect we missed some of the bolts. Luckily took the slider 10' above the good 2nd pitch bolt.

We yoyo'ed some and did Tidal Wave and Black Jade (which had a whopping
3x 1/4" bolts--we toproped it). We ran into Marc Chauvin at the top of the
3rd pitch belay overlap. He remarked that we were squeezing in all the best pitches on the slabs in one climb.

Please tell me someone has replaced the bolts. They were old in 1991. Ethics mean "keep the same bolt locations" not "keep the same bolts"

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