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Is Cathedral Ledge in New Hampshire dry enough to climb on in late November?
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RudyB


Oct 28, 2010, 7:24 PM
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Is Cathedral Ledge in New Hampshire dry enough to climb on in late November?  (North_America: United_States: New_Hampshire: Carroll_County: Cathedral_Ledge)
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I've been building up my trad rack for much of this past year, and I want to try it out on my first multi-pitch trad lead on the route "Thin Air" in Cathedral Ledge in November. I've heard that "Thin Air is a 5.6, 5.8 crux, which is well below my grade; a good thing, because I'm still new at leading, and I've chosen it in particular because that is where I followed on my first multi-pitch as a freshmen in high school. I have three potential climbing buddies, all of whom I've introduced to climbing and taught myself, and who I know won't have trouble following me up such an easy line. What I'm wondering about is whether climbing there is feasible around Thanksgiving (we all go to different universities, so that is when we would have time off together), or if I will need to wait until this spring to climb it. Any locals familiar with the place who can tell me what it is generally like this time of year? We don't mind if it is freezing with snow on the ground, as long as the route generally stays clear of ice.


(This post was edited by RudyB on Oct 28, 2010, 7:33 PM)


Partner epoch
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Oct 28, 2010, 7:32 PM
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Re: [RudyB] Is Cathedral Ledge in New Hampshire dry enough to climb on in late November? [In reply to]
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It could go either way, really.

As long as you don't mind suffering if it were cold then, sure it's doable. On the other hand, a wet climb is not a fun climb. As the weather is temperamental you'd be best off paying close attention to the forecasts as your planned time gets nearer. Check out NEClimbs, the webcam there will get you the best remote conditions report aside from driving to the base. Often, the Prow is climbable year-round. So again, back to the first statement, it all depends on how much you want to suffer.


jaablink


Oct 29, 2010, 3:58 AM
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Re: [RudyB] Is Cathedral Ledge in New Hampshire dry enough to climb on in late November? [In reply to]
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It was last year.... You want a couple of days with nice dry conditions for the face of cathedral to dry out if they have not been getting downpours all week. The There may be a couple of wet spots here or there, but thatís the nature of that beast.

A general rule or two... , the upper buttresses will dry fast. You can rap in and do the last pitch of many climbs within a couple of hours after the rain.

The lower faces (p.1p.2) take a good day or two to dry and will usually have some seepage.

The cracks take some time to dry. Some take weeks others only days.

Again,...That is also relative to the amount of rain that has been falling .
If the conditions were dry and they get a little rain, the dry time is fast .
If they have been getting a good rain all week . That wall will seep for days and the cracks for weeks.

have a good time ...


Partner devkrev


Oct 29, 2010, 6:23 AM
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Re: [RudyB] Is Cathedral Ledge in New Hampshire dry enough to climb on in late November? [In reply to]
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I don't know where you are located, but if you are looking for good, easy, shorter multipitch stuff in November, you should go to the gunks.


shoo


Oct 29, 2010, 7:28 AM
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Re: [RudyB] Is Cathedral Ledge in New Hampshire dry enough to climb on in late November? [In reply to]
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RudyB wrote:
I've been building up my trad rack for much of this past year, and I want to try it out on my first multi-pitch trad lead on the route "Thin Air" in Cathedral Ledge in November. I've heard that "Thin Air is a 5.6, 5.8 crux, which is well below my grade; a good thing, because I'm still new at leading, and I've chosen it in particular because that is where I followed on my first multi-pitch as a freshmen in high school. I have three potential climbing buddies, all of whom I've introduced to climbing and taught myself, and who I know won't have trouble following me up such an easy line. What I'm wondering about is whether climbing there is feasible around Thanksgiving (we all go to different universities, so that is when we would have time off together), or if I will need to wait until this spring to climb it. Any locals familiar with the place who can tell me what it is generally like this time of year? We don't mind if it is freezing with snow on the ground, as long as the route generally stays clear of ice.

Let me be the first to express some hesitation. There are a few issues I see with this, none of which are terrible by themselves.

1) Person who is new to leading at all is taking on multi-pitch
2) N00by leader is playing guide to partner(s) who is(are) even less experienced
3) Cold, number fingers from November weather can make things more difficult
4) No one else will be around if something goes wrong

Ideally, you should being doing your first multi-pitch stuff with an experienced partner in decent weather.

That being said, go for it as long as you both understand the additional risks you are taking on.


RudyB


Oct 29, 2010, 11:52 AM
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Re: [RudyB] Is Cathedral Ledge in New Hampshire dry enough to climb on in late November? [In reply to]
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epoch and jaablink--thank you both for the great beta. I'll keep in mind what you said about the rate at which different parts of the face dry, jaablink, and only go if its been a dry week. Epoch, I didn't know about that site you referred me to, NEClimbs; it's great, I'll certainly be using it.

Devkrev, I live on Cape Cod, so NH is a bit closer to me than the Gunks. Most of my climbing is done in the Adirondacks though, since I go to school at St. Lawrence University in northern New York.

shoo; I appreciate your politely stated concern. I do understand where you are coming from. I should be clear that this is not my first multi-pitch stuff; I first learned multi-pitch climbing more than five years ago at Cathedral with a guide from the IMCS in North Conway. Since then I've followed on a number of multi-pitch routs, and I've gotten some good instruction from more experienced climbers on placing gear on single-pitch leads. I also have a very good understanding of the principle theories and practices of anchor building, and have endlessly practiced building all different kinds of anchors. I take my safety and the safety of those that I climb with very seriously. I agree that ideally, my first multi-pitch lead should be done with an experienced second, especially because they would be qualified to help with any potential self-rescue scenarios, but at the moment nobody I know who fits that category is really an option. It is either one of these three folks, or finding some random dude online. Personally, I would far rather teach these three what I know and then trust my life to them than climb with somebody who I don't know. Also, part of the reason that I chose Thin Air is because it is close to the road and there are always other climbers around if something goes horribly wrong (not that I like to count on others coming to my rescue as my contingency plan, but not being in the wilderness does help.)

However, your point about things being made more difficult for a relatively new trad leader by cold, stiff fingers is very relevant. I'm going to definitely practice some more short leads once the temperature drops below freezing to see how much of a risk factor this adds before I decide whether to take on this rout in November or hold off until the spring.


tks


Oct 29, 2010, 12:27 PM
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Re: [RudyB] Is Cathedral Ledge in New Hampshire dry enough to climb on in late November? [In reply to]
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Thin air is casual and well protected. After the first 30 feet there isn't one spot on the whole climb that is too hard for you to stick a hand in a pocket to warm it up. Besides that, this part of the thin air face dries in half an hour (except for the one streak at the end of the "2nd" pitch).


If the weather is within your acceptable window (mine is above 45 degrees) and it's not actually raining, just go for it.


olderic


Oct 29, 2010, 12:49 PM
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Re: [RudyB] Is Cathedral Ledge in New Hampshire dry enough to climb on in late November? [In reply to]
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Just remember it faces due east and what is fun in the sun at a balmy 11AM is going to become nippy in the shade by 2PM. And the sunsets early at that time of year.

I assume you are ok with rapping. With a couple of normal length routes you can get off from the end of the traverse - so you should be able to get down efficiently from any point.


AntinJ


Oct 29, 2010, 2:58 PM
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Re: [tks] Is Cathedral Ledge in New Hampshire dry enough to climb on in late November? [In reply to]
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tks wrote:
Thin air is casual and well protected. After the first 30 feet there isn't one spot on the whole climb that is too hard for you to stick a hand in a pocket to warm it up. Besides that, this part of the thin air face dries in half an hour (except for the one streak at the end of the "2nd" pitch).


If the weather is within your acceptable window (mine is above 45 degrees) and it's not actually raining, just go for it.

Don't forget to protect your second(s) on the P2 Traverse!



Wink


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