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YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b

Type:  Trad
Original:  YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b [details]
FA: Henry Barber and John Bragg, 1973
Page Views: 4,981
Submitted By: Jay Knower on Apr 17, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (54)
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Clipping stance


Vultures is the striking thin finger crack that splits a blank wall to the left of the obvious roofs. If you aren't into sport climbing or you want a warm up before the harder stuff, Vultures is probably the route you came here to do.

It doesn't look that bad, really, as the wall is a bit undervertical and there seems to be many options for your feet. The crack is splitter, and it looks like it offers some good fingerlocks. You might think to yourself that Vultures could be a quick tick, that it's massive reputation as one of the harder 5.10s in New Hampshire is a bit overblown.

I thought these things, that is, until I found myself ten feet up, with one gray TCU in, blindly groping at the crack that most decidedly would not accept my fingers. And those footholds that looked so great were just bad small enough, or polished enough, or something, that they did not inspire confidence at all. In a word, I underestimated the crack.

This is what I think Vultures really is: a standing testament to the climbing skill of its first ascentionists and a testpiece that is sure to test climbers from any era.

Yeah, so climb the thin crack to bolt anchors. It doesn't look too bad, does it?


Thin. TCUs and stoppers. I didn't use anything bigger than a yellow TCU.

Photos of Vultures Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Vultures manages to somehow stay dry in the rain!
BETA PHOTO: Vultures manages to somehow stay dry in the rain!
Rock Climbing Photo: Beginning of vultures.
Beginning of vultures.
Rock Climbing Photo: Almost through the crux section.
Almost through the crux section.
Rock Climbing Photo: Mike W. stylin the bottom moves of Vultures.
Mike W. stylin the bottom moves of Vultures.
Rock Climbing Photo: Vultures

Comments on Vultures Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 18, 2017
By lee hansche
From: goffstown, nh
Apr 18, 2007

i couldnt agree more with this description... however when i went for my onsight my belayer told me about the groundfall potential and how desperate it felt when you got in to it went well... a must do for anyone who wishes to climb hard thin cracks...
By Brad Parry
Oct 25, 2007

Fantastic single pitch line- aesthetic and climbs great. I found that it protected quite well off the deck with small nuts and larger BD micros; then up to a purple or green C4.
By Chris Duca
From: Havertown, PA
Mar 8, 2008

There is an extension to this route called "Carrion" (FA--Nick Yardley) and clocks in at about 11c/d. It protects well with a couple a pins, a nut placement, and a couple of small cams. It begins at the anchor of Vultures, steps up then climbs out to the right to another set of anchors about 40 feet away.
By Kayte Knower
Jun 5, 2008

I'm a lady with small fingers and an affection for finger cracks. I don't know if I missed something, but I barely jammed the crack at all until after the crux--which for me, was all face moves. I agree that Vultures is a well protected route, but the pro was a lot harder to place than I had expected. I wouldn't call it an easy tick, regardless of finger size. Definitely a great route, but not a good one to underestimate with the crux so near the ground.
By john strand
From: southern colo
Jun 12, 2008

A classic NH finger crack- your fingers don't fit and the route becomes largely face climbing and footwork. Also try the Tr just to the right, nice moves.

By Richard Dana
From: Eugene, OR
Oct 4, 2012
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

Great description, great climb.
By burado
From: New Hampshire
Oct 12, 2015

Not a crack climb, rather face climbing with trad gear. Still, really fun movement. The gear is really good, especially if you are used to climbing on rusted pins and the other outdated equipment at Cathedral. It was very wet at the top after rain, all of 5.8 up there, but made the big ledge very slick.
By frank minunni
From: Las Vegas, NV
Dec 3, 2015

I was told it was 5.9 when I did it. I thought it must be the hardest 5.9 in the world. Even at 5.10 it's pretty stiff.
By Andy Casler
From: Plymouth, NH
Oct 10, 2016
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c PG13

Gear beta: I found it very useful to stem between a nearby block and the footholds on vultures in order to reach a solid nut placement as my first pro, clip it to the rope with a single carabiner, step down, and then restart the route with the beginning protected. I found the start solidly PG13, maybe even R, without that beta.
By john strand
From: southern colo
Oct 10, 2016

Yikes ! R..? really? it's bit thin but takes good gear all the way.
By Andy Casler
From: Plymouth, NH
Oct 11, 2016
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c PG13

I think it could be R without a nut protecting the opening sequence, definitely.

Though it does take great gear the whole way, getting protection for the cruxy start is problematic. You have to be about 6' tall to reach the first possible nut placement from the ground, and I don't think it's possible to get a stance to place that first nut while climbing the route. However, stemming off the nearby block got me high enough to place it.

Without that nut protecting the start, the first gear is a cam at the lip (where the finger crack starts, about 12 feet up). Getting to that point is insecure 10d, and the stance you have to place the cam is tenuous. Falling to the ground from here could cause an injury.
By S. Neoh
Oct 11, 2016
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

See for how a relatively short person (wonderwoman is about 5'8") could place the gear protecting the start which is admittedly rather thin for .10+. I am 5'5" and when I lead the route 20 years ago (gasp!), I did something similar to protect the thin start. After it was sent in '73, I am sure the climb was rated 5.10+ G. Almost ridiculous by "modern standards" but it is what it is.
By john strand
From: southern colo
Oct 12, 2016

Sorry all, I'm not buying an R rating. You foot is maybe 3-4' off the deck,,use a spotter if you think you'll fall off.

It's crack climb, not a sport climb.
By Will McFarland
From: Lebanon, NH
Jul 18, 2017
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

I walked up the ramp to the right to place a 0 TCU, the TR'ed the bottom face. I found there to be great jams in the crack with bad footholds. The crux about 15 feet up is over quickly.

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