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7. The Slabs
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Cormier-Magness Indirect, The T 
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Unsorted Routes:

The Cormier-Magness Route 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

Type:  Trad, 8 pitches, 1150'
Original:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: FRA: Paul Cormier, Chris Magness. 8/31/12 ground-up, swapping leads
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 12,394
Submitted By: chris magness on Sep 2, 2012

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BETA PHOTO: RW enjoys the fabulous P2 ("Wheat Thin Pitch&...


A good deal of variety for the slabs with fun climbing on every pitch.

1) scramble to the pine tree at the end of the first pitch of Beginner’s Route.

2) “The Wheat Thin Arete” 5.6, 190’. Step right of the tree 10’ and head up toward a bolt. Climb past a horizontal to join a thin flake. Follow the flake to an arête on the right, passing 3 more bolts to a two bolt anchor.

3) “The Cajun Washboard” 5.6, 170’. Straight up off the belay through some bulgy areas passing one bolt to a steeper wall. Move up and right passing 2 more bolts to a two bolt anchor.

4) “The Open Book” 5.6, 200’. Climb a bulge off the belay into an open book. Pass one bolt before reaching the top of the book. Protect and climb rightward through a green licheny area. Climb a short flake and hand crack up to a tree with a blue tat anchor.

5) “The Northwest Passage” 5.5, 60’. Step up and left off the belay into a giant, steep flake. Trend up back right above the flake passing a small tree to a larger tree below a bulge with a horizontal.

6) “The Low Beer Light Pitch” 5.4, 180’. Use the horizontal to clear the bulge. Trend slightly rightward avoiding a dirty water groove to the left. Step back left to a tree belay.

7) “The Platinum Slab” 5.5, 190’. Follow a bulgy groove to an old ¼ bolt bolt and a new 3/8 bolt. Trend up and left passing a faint dike aiming for a white slab and another bolt. Belay at pine tree.

8) “The Top Out Pitch” 5.3, 60’. Climb easy rock straight up to the top.

NOTE the bold text, some climbers climb off route in these areas. If you head straight up from the Open Book, you'll find jungle land. Likewise, if you head straight up from the belay at the end of that pitch, you'll also find jungle land (and an easier variation). If you veer off route in these areas, climbing is feasible at a moderate grade, expect some shwacking!

Pitches 1-4 have fixed rappel stations and are set for rappel with two 60 M ropes. The upper pitches wander through Beginner's Easy terrain and there are trees with tat but it's best to top out after the 4th pitch. Lead with a 60, anything shorter and you’re hosed.

A two pitch, 5.10 variation now exists to pitches 6 and 7. See description in the route index:
Climbing the first pitch of this variation does not necessitate climbing the second pitch and will add another pitch more concurrent with those below, albeit a bit more runout.


This route follows a line between Beginner’s Route and Beginner’s Easy and is a straight shot up to the head wall area before it veers to the right. An obvious arete 30' right of Beginner's marks the line.


The protection is generally good although there are a few typical Whitehorse runouts. Carry a standard Whitehorse rack to a #2 Camalot.

Photos of The Cormier-Magness Route Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Improved topo.
BETA PHOTO: Improved topo.
Rock Climbing Photo: history lesson
history lesson
Rock Climbing Photo: Wheat Thin Arete
Wheat Thin Arete
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 3
Pitch 3
Rock Climbing Photo: Low Beer Light Pitch
Low Beer Light Pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down at the Cajun Washboard pitch, 5.6
Looking down at the Cajun Washboard pitch, 5.6
Rock Climbing Photo: Tom (16 yrs old) on lead up the Platinum Slab
Tom (16 yrs old) on lead up the Platinum Slab
Rock Climbing Photo: Upper 3 pitch's as seen from the Guides Wall
Upper 3 pitch's as seen from the Guides Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: A little beta on where to go for P4.
A little beta on where to go for P4.
Rock Climbing Photo: Tom (16 yrs old) on lead up the Top Out pitch
Tom (16 yrs old) on lead up the Top Out pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: John Garlough on the Open Book pitch
John Garlough on the Open Book pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Belay Sean up the Low Beer Light Pitch
Belay Sean up the Low Beer Light Pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Belay Tom up the Wheat Thin Arete
Belay Tom up the Wheat Thin Arete
Rock Climbing Photo: A view of the top of the Open Book pitch, merging ...
BETA PHOTO: A view of the top of the Open Book pitch, merging ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Off the Anchor P4 "Open Book"
BETA PHOTO: Off the Anchor P4 "Open Book"
Rock Climbing Photo: The Cajun Washboard.  Dave Lottman photo.
The Cajun Washboard. Dave Lottman photo.
Rock Climbing Photo: The Wheat Thin Arete.  Dave Lottman photo.
The Wheat Thin Arete. Dave Lottman photo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Open Book Pitch Exit Cracks
Open Book Pitch Exit Cracks
Rock Climbing Photo: Platinum Slab
Platinum Slab
Rock Climbing Photo: The Platinum Slab
The Platinum Slab

Comments on The Cormier-Magness Route Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 31, 2017
By joshua corbett
From: Wolfeboro NH
Sep 2, 2012
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Sweet deal Chris I'm excited to get on this.
By nhclimber
From: Newmarket, NH
Sep 4, 2012

You named every pitch...really...

jk, great job buddy.
By john strand
From: southern colo
Sep 4, 2012

Just like El Cap
By nhclimber
From: Newmarket, NH
Sep 6, 2012

ha, exactly john. My comment to him last night, was i thought most el cap routes had less named pitches. Still, great job guys finding a nearly indpendent line on the slabs put up in great style. Had a few repeats and sounds great.
By john strand
From: southern colo
Sep 6, 2012

if you look in the new guide, the P2 arete shows perfect. Base and I looked one time and he thought that you could die fallinginto the gulley
By chris magness
Sep 7, 2012

It is an awesome feature..
By Bob A
Sep 16, 2012

That second pitch (Wheat Thin Arete) was my favorite.The third is great too.Really fun!
By jimmi jazz
From: Denver co
Sep 16, 2012

Did it today, well worth it. Nice job guys.
By joshua corbett
From: Wolfeboro NH
Sep 16, 2012
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I have to agree with Bob the second pitch is phenomenal. its the best route for a beginner's on the slabs.
By chinos
Sep 18, 2012
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

A great addition to the slabs. Thanks for adding it guys!
By JeanGClimbs
From: Reading, VT
Sep 24, 2012

Just did this also and really think it is of good quality. Nicely bolted to keep it safe but still in keeping with Whitehorse slab runouts. The Wheat Thin Arete pitch is stellar.

The Sea of Green lichen on Pitch 4 was completely wet so I downclimbed and went up and around it to the left. Never finished the upper pitches, (believe the 1st 4 pitches are really the best climbing). Met Chris Magness enroute - he says they still want to get that lichen cleaned up a bit more to make it better. Nice job though!
By Jcomeau
From: North Conway
May 8, 2013

Finally got back on this. Its a toss up which pitch i liked better, either the flake or the washboard. Leading the washboard pitch as awesome; We got lost on the 4th pitch, as we didnt know where it went. We went left after the bolt then up a little head wall. Then saw the anchor and traversed into it. Awesome fun. Also, that little traverse across the dirty spot on pitch 3 got my attention.
By Nick Grant
From: Natick, MA & Tamworth, NH
Aug 29, 2013

How long a rope do you need to do this route? (I see that pitch four is 200' long.) The bolts on this route are sweet! Very un-Whitehorse (not rusted, the bolt hangers don't spin).
By chris magness
Sep 1, 2013

One 60 to top out, two to rap.
By Benjaminadk
From: San Pedro, California
Sep 21, 2013

did this route by accident mainly because it looked good. especially liked leading the cajun washboard pitch. the corner up higher to the right is fun also. first time climbing the slab at whitehorse and it did not disappoint.
By T. Moon
Oct 12, 2013

Wow - what a fun climb. I finally had the opportunity to climb it today. A very nice addition to the Slabs. The Wheat Thin Arete was my favorite pitch.
By Robert Hall
From: North Conway, NH
May 27, 2014
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13

I did this a couple of times last year (2013) and it is very nice.
Pitch 4 can easily be broken up by establishing a belay in the trees right of the green lichen and then doing the crack pitch as a short pitch.
The top pitches we didn't find the exact line described ( and hence didn't find the bolts either) but we were doing it without the route description.
By TDoyle
From: Milford, MA
Jun 2, 2014

what a fantastic route! fun climbing on every pitch and some good run-outs. if you have no one behind you, great weather, and are in no rush, the belay ledge atop the "open book" pitch is a nice spot to relax and have lunch. the "low beer light pitch" and the "platinum slab" were probably my favorite 2 pitches.
By Madeline
From: Cambridge, MA
Aug 19, 2014

this is a true classic.
By ben smith
Sep 16, 2014

the rock quality on the last two pitches are as good as it gets! makes you wonder what the rock was like 50+ years ago(perhaps not as polished). not too keen on the "northwest passage" pitch or its pin, but it gets you where you want to be.
By Peter Lewis
From: Bridgton, Maine
Jan 19, 2015

A new full-length route on the slabs? Seriously? No doubt...awesome job! Love that hunk of stone.
By chris magness
Jun 15, 2015

There is a loose block toward the top of the Wheat Thin Arete that has been of concern to me; a small horizontal at it's base is a point of protection for many climbers. The block is stable. Not to the point, however, where it can provide reliable gear, and not wanting to create an unsightly (read: nasty!) scar by trundling said block, or change the route character by creating a small ledge, I chose the lesser of evils and added a bolt (on lead).

While I don't feel particularly good about this effort, it seemed like the best solution to preserve the rock.

I have adjusted the route description.
By Travis Dustin
From: Hollis, NH
Jul 21, 2015

Very fun route. All the pitches had fun interesting climbing. It rained hard on us at the top of pitch 4 but we sat it out and continued up the wet rock to the top. We did the 5.6 variation for pitch 6. It was a great pitch to keep the climbing at a consistent grade. Cant name a favorite pitch. The nortwest passage was my least favorite but the start of it was still fun.
By caesar.salad
From: earth
Sep 16, 2015

Loved this route all the way up.
By John Gassel
From: Boston, MA
Sep 19, 2016
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Great route Chris! Finally got on it this weekend.

Added a few photos to show where the route goes on P3 and P4. If you'd rather leave some adventure and just have the hand drawn topo (awesome btw), just let me know and I'll pull 'em down.
By chris magness
Sep 22, 2016

Glad you had fun dude!

The photos are helpful, people tend to get lost in those areas.
By Dhane Knakkergaard
From: Intervale, NH
May 9, 2017

This has gotta be one of my favorite climbs around the slabs. Good for a quick cruise, or introducing someone to slab if all the other routes are clogged. Wheat Thin Arete is just wonderful.
By Jay Morse
From: Hooksett, New Hampshire
May 22, 2017

Very fun and beautiful route.

Although this is definitely well-protected by Whitehorse standards, I can imagine climbers that have never done Whitehorse before stumbling on this route that might get the idea that as a 5.6 without a safety rating that this would make for the perfect beginner multipitch lead.

Just to be clear, you will often be facing 20-40' slab falls while climbing 5.5-5.6, and you will be facing very serious runouts (100-200' falls) while climbing the more moderate 5.2-5.4 sections of this climb. Totally fine if you're confident - I was perfectly happy with the protection. But you need to bring a cool head to Whitehorse, this route included. It would be R-rated on any other cliff in New Hampshire without any question.
By Hobo Greg
Aug 31, 2017

Done this a few times, most memorably as two parties of two at night, rip roaring good time that was!

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