Bradley's Main Slab Route
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Admin's NOTE: This route was initially submitted by Bradley White as the "Standard" route. In the 1980's to the mid 00's Brad was prolific in climbing routes, many of which were/are first ascents on far backcountry slabs, both partnered and solo. Many of these would have been lost forever, except that he put them into Mountainproject, but often from memories that were decades old.
Prior to Brad's leaving the Plymouth NH area he gave me general permission to modify and/or correct these routes. An e-mail contact returned the response from Bradley that he had "... basically went up where the ice is in the winter. Summer Cinema Gully. That's a descriptive name." This would indicate that he basically followed much of the line of the "Left variant" of the Standard route on the main (lower) slab.
However, whereas Bradley describes moving right to finish the climb, which is a perfectly reasonable (especially for someone soloing, since the angle of the upper tier decreases as you move right on the Big Tree Ledge) all old route descriptions indicate the original Std Route went up and left through the Big Tree ledge to reach the base of the Upper Tier. (aka "Upper Wall")
It remains unclear whether the 2nd paragraph of his description describes a long traverse all the way to the north, i.e. to the "East Slabs" Ice Climbing area, and a subsequent ascent somewhere near the line of the 1966 route "A Night Climb...", or a lesser traverse to the right which would put his ascent of the upper tier near the "Devil's Cave", i.e. possibly in the area of the aborted attempt by Robert Underhill, where he used a top rope from above to climb the final pitch.
I have re-named this route "Bradley's Main Slab Route" for two reasons: 1) to avoid confusion with the actual "Standard Route", which will soon be posted, and 2) because Brad's description, at least in the upper part, is a bit vague.
Bradley's Original Submission:
Enter at a weakness in the lowest point of the slab's tongue of rock and follow this line of least resistance up a depression for a rope's length. Belay, then head left and up (crux)to the tree ledge. [Editor's note: These must be very long pitches, (70M?) since most climbs take 4 pitches to reach the tree ledge.]
Travel right traversing on tree ledge to it's northern side. Climb slab to cave like outcropping. Head up and right following short slabs traversing up and left but not going into the trees. I gave it 2 stars only because it's a bit mossy from being an ice route in the winter.
Where the slabs bottom out to the ground and the center of the cliff. Follow railroad tracks west until you're below this section and scramble up talus and trees to cliff. DESCENT: Go down Willard Trail, 2 mile hike to car.
traditional rack pro is okay on the lower slab. the crux is run out. There are bolted variations to cave upper section or go for it without clipping bolts to cave. Not much of anything for pro wandering up to the top of the cliff.
By bradley white
Oct 10, 2016
The climb was free soloed. I guessed at rope lengths. Top tier came to devils cave from the left diagonally into it. Above the cave easier climbing but pro none but short knarly pine.