REI Community
The North End
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Bail Safe T 
Be Sharp Or B Flat T 
Big Plum (the Girdle Traverse of Cathedral Ledge), The T 
Bird's Nest T 
Childs Play T 
Exiles in Babylon T,S 
Generation X T,TR 
Jack The Ripper T 
Kiddy Crack T 
Knights in White Satin S 
Liger, The T 
Mantleshelf Problem T 
Merrill's Variation T 
Possessed, The T 
Post Mortem T,S 
Raising The Roof T 
Recluse T 
Recluse Traverse T 
Roof aka The Corner, The T 
Slot, The T 
They Died Laughing T 
Thresher T,S 
Unsorted Routes:

They Died Laughing 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 100'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Barber and Cote 1972
Page Views: 12,124
Submitted By: Guy H. on Jan 17, 2007  with updates from BPC

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (249)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Love this route....


This one pitch classic follows a beautiful finger and hand crack exiting a triangle shaped hole in the rock. It is one of the best 5.9 finger/hand cracks that you will lay your hands on.

Long move for short people at the start, sustained section in the middle.

FA was done, of course, only on nuts.


Std Rack
You can set an anchor on the wall on the top ledge, there a little crack for little gear or go behind the block there's a pin.

Photos of They Died Laughing Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Just under the crux
Just under the crux
Rock Climbing Photo: Nice, clean line with good rest stances.
Nice, clean line with good rest stances.
Rock Climbing Photo: They Died Laughing
They Died Laughing
Rock Climbing Photo: They Died Laughing climbs this awesome hand crack....
BETA PHOTO: They Died Laughing climbs this awesome hand crack....
Rock Climbing Photo: The line...
The line...

Comments on They Died Laughing Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 20, 2016
By Ladd
May 11, 2007
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I placed my ENTIRE standard rack (30 odd pieces) in this climb(on a bet), It sucks up gear and each placement is solid.
Perfect lead for the trad leader looking to break into 5.9
By Jay Knower
From: Campton, NH
May 11, 2007

Was it really a bet Ladd, or was it beacuse of "the fear?"
By Ladd
May 11, 2007
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

It did result in some substaintial pump, a lot of downclimbing to find placements and strange beta due to the lack of holds as I filled the crack with gear.
By CTYankee
May 5, 2009

And "They died laughing" do to the ridiculous amount of gear that you can easily place in this crack. 5.9 doesn't come any safer!! Amazing to see someone outdid me. This was my first 5.9 lead, and I placed 28 pieces, mostly in the middle section. It is very popular, so be respectful and don't siege it as your first 5.9 lead on a Saturday morning....late in the day or mid-week will win you more friends.
By Mike Thompson
From: Manchester NH
Jun 2, 2009

i just did this yesterday being my first 5.9 trad lead! WICKED FUN! and i got a #12 nut booty out of it too! but i differ from the others in that i didnt place alot of gear... i think it was cuz i was having so much fun int the locks and jams that every once in a while i was like.... oh s**t i neet to place gear dont i! lol :) great climb!
By Jason Antin
From: Golden, CO
Jun 15, 2009
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Much agreed. We had never been to the North End, and decided to swing by on our way to the cars and climb the best "looking" routes without consulting the guidebook. We sure picked a winner! We had a blast climbing this at around 930pm.
By Tradiban
May 25, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Classic, I sewed it up just carrying two sets of stoppers. FYI, falcon guide lists bolted anchors but all I found was a old wedge piton to rap off.
By E thatcher
From: Plymouth/ North Conway (NH)
May 26, 2010

Hey Nick, The bolts are no longer there because of the wishes of the first ascentionist and the possibility for a fine anchor back by that pin. Standard procedure is to give a top belay or TR off your anchor, and then walk over to the tree rappel to the right. Awesome route tough!
By AWinters
From: NH
Feb 10, 2011

led this thing sopping wet the first time... felt like 5.11
By Kurt Prond
From: Bozeman, MT
Apr 5, 2011

When I did it it was called 5.9+, which everyone knows could be anywhere from 5.9 to 5.11. It was stout for a .9 I thought. I onsighted, and then toproped it again, and was very perplexed as to how I onsighted. I struggled on TR. Great route though!
By K Baumgartner
Jul 24, 2012

As of July 2012, there was a fixed nut about 3/4 of the way up.

Super fun, continuous line.

Bolts are gone. Bring an extra #4 to help create a safe anchor around a pin at the back of the block. Rap from the tree near Kiddy Crack.
By Nate Solnit
From: Bath, NH
Jul 6, 2014

There's a lovely wide fingers type crack right in front of the topout. It sucked up a .5 C4 and a few nuts (no pin). IMHO I wouldn't haul a #4 up this except as training weight.
By gblauer Blauer
From: Wayne, PA
Jun 23, 2015

I was inspired by the comments to lead this as my first climb of the day, right out of the car. Alas, it was occupied so I did Bird's Nest first. I found this climb to be fun, well protected and challenging in a spot or two. I agree, it's a great climb for someone breaking into the grade as it protects rather well. I probably could have placed 30 pieces too.
By Peter Lewis
From: Bridgton, Maine
Jun 17, 2016

Regarding the 30 piece of pro alluded to by gblauer, I can attest that yes, that can indeed be done. ;-)
By Steven James
From: Portland, Maine
Jun 20, 2016

Really enjoyed this climb. Just did it for the first time today and I can't believe I have been to Cathedral as many times as I have without doing this. I felt like it was easier than Pine Tree which I have climbed several times.

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About