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edge


May 7, 2013, 11:47 AM
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New Hampshire's Secret Cragging
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In the good old Granite State of New Hampshire, there is a lot of, well, granite. While areas like Cathedral and Whitehorse, Cannon, and Rumney (schist, but not enough to warrant a new state nickname) get all the attention, there are a ton of smaller crags scattered throughout the state that warrant notice.

One of the newest developed areas in the state has been receiving some well-deserved attention, despite a long and sporadic history. The crags of the “New Durham Area,” located in the heart of the Lakes Region, offer excellent cragging on walls from 30-170’ tall. A myriad of climbing styles can be found at the various cliffs of Devils Den, Mt Molly, Rines Hill, Rand Mtn, and Pleasant Valley, including routes from 5.3-5.13a.


Meaghan Smith on the Outback Wall, Devils Den


The region’s premier crag is Longstack Precipice in Alton, which contains 65 mostly new routes from 5.5 – 5.11+ on granite that climbs curiously like the Gunks. With steep slabs, a plethora of horizontals, and unique features untypical of the mother stone, there is something for almost everyone.


Edge walking into Longstack Precipice, "30 years after..."


The majority of climbs are trad, with occasional bolts to fill in the blank sections; a handful of the routes are fully sport bolted, but in general are a bit more run-out than the routes at Rumney and not as steep in general.


The top of Longstack offers exceptional views of Lake Winnepesaukee, Knights Pond, and the Belnap Range.


I first climbed at Longstack in the late 70’s, skipping out of classes to pioneer a dozen or so of the more obvious lines. Even then we ran across the odd ring angle pin indicating previous explorations, but the lines were all covered with a thick coat of lichen. The crag sat largely unexplored for the next three decades, mainly due to sketchy ownership and access, but in 2011 a group of local climbers who called themselves the “Chinos” for their workmanlike approach to scouting out and developing new cliffs and routes received the blessing of the landowner to use the rock for recreation, the only caveat was to be responsible stewards and not cut down any of the large trees below that he used for logging.


"Still Gettin' Booty" 5.10a


Almost all of Longstack’s routes can be climbed as a single pitch with a 60M rope, although many are equipped with intermediate belays and fixed anchors to facilitate rapping off or toproping with a single line. The approach involves a 20 minute walk along logging roads marked with cairns before picking its way up the final slope to the cliff and base trail solidified and maintained by the Chinos.


Jim Dickson on the mega-classic roof of "Coyote Rain" 5.6

The wall is divided into three main sections, each with its own unique character. The left hand wall is known as the “Indigenous Wall” for the early explorations of local climbers and the glut of Native American inspired names; routes here range from 100-170’ tall in the 5.5-5.11 range. Somewhat reminiscent of the lower, left end of Cathedral Ledge, it contains steep slabs and great face climbing mostly with trad gear and the occasional bolt. Classics include “Spirit Guide” 5.5, “A Toltec Dream” 5.7, “Islands” 5.7, “Hanta Yo” 5.8+, “Earth and Sky” 5.9, the ultra-classic “Strychnine” 5.9, and “Still Getting’ Booty” 5.10a.


Sarah Arsenault follows the FA of the Direct Finish to "Raven Song" 5.7


The central, or “Big wall” section, is generally steeper and taller at a full 170’. Littered with roofs, horizontals, and short corner systems, the adventure factor is high. Big Wall classics include “Layback Route” 5.7, “The Arete” 5.8+, “ Riptide” 5.9+, “Locals Only” 5.10a, and “Wet Lichen Dreams” 5.10+.


Jon Garlough on his route "The Arete" 5.8+


The far right end is known as the “Wonderland Wall” and contains fully bolted routes and some of the cliff’s most classic lines up to 90’ tall. Must do routes include what may be the best pitch of 5.6 in NH, “Coyote Rain”, as well as “Trifecta” 5.9, “Winter Classic” 5.10a sport, and “Gentle Violence” 5.11+


Jon Garlough on "Gentle Violence" 5.11+


Getting There: From route 28 in Alton take Rines Road on the right (east). Drive down Rines Road for 1.1 miles until the road comes to a fork and turns to dirt. Stay left at the fork and follow the dirt road for roughly a mile. You will pass two gates on the left. After the second gate (sand pit) there will be a pull off on the left and another small sand pit with a shooting range just beyond it. Park here or any of the other pull offs. Walk behind the shooting range and follow the logging road and cairns to a climber’s trail which will lead you to the base of the cliff. There are many ways to approach the cliff depending on where you park. The approach is approx. 20-30 minutes.

Guide book: Local hardman and new route activist Jon Garlough has just self published the "Chinos Guide - Climbing in the New Durham Area". Copies can be found for $20 at IME in North Conway and at Indoor Ascent gym in Dover; he is currently working on an on-line version.

Mountain Project has a complete list of routes for the entire New Durham area along with additional photos and route comments at http://mountainproject.com/...nipesaukee/107145595


(This post was edited by edge on May 7, 2013, 11:53 AM)


potreroed


May 7, 2013, 4:14 PM
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Re: [edge] New Hampshire's Secret Cragging [In reply to]
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This is not a very good way to keep a secret.


Gmburns2000


May 7, 2013, 6:23 PM
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Re: [edge] New Hampshire's Secret Cragging [In reply to]
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edge wrote:
In the good old Granite State of New Hampshire, there is a lot of, well, granite. While areas like Cathedral and Whitehorse, Cannon, and Rumney (schist, but not enough to warrant a new state nickname) get all the attention, there are a ton of smaller crags scattered throughout the state that warrant notice.

One of the newest developed areas in the state has been receiving some well-deserved attention, despite a long and sporadic history. The crags of the “New Durham Area,” located in the heart of the Lakes Region, offer excellent cragging on walls from 30-170’ tall. A myriad of climbing styles can be found at the various cliffs of Devils Den, Mt Molly, Rines Hill, Rand Mtn, and Pleasant Valley, including routes from 5.3-5.13a.

[image]http://www.mountainproject.com/images/42/79/106694279_medium_e13ad8.jpg[/image]
Meaghan Smith on the Outback Wall, Devils Den


The region’s premier crag is Longstack Precipice in Alton, which contains 65 mostly new routes from 5.5 – 5.11+ on granite that climbs curiously like the Gunks. With steep slabs, a plethora of horizontals, and unique features untypical of the mother stone, there is something for almost everyone.

[image]http://www.mountainproject.com/images/30/10/107733010_medium_5fcd57.jpg[/image]
Edge walking into Longstack Precipice, "30 years after..."


The majority of climbs are trad, with occasional bolts to fill in the blank sections; a handful of the routes are fully sport bolted, but in general are a bit more run-out than the routes at Rumney and not as steep in general.

[image]http://www.mountainproject.com/images/7/35/107850735_medium_e89a62.jpg[/image]
The top of Longstack offers exceptional views of Lake Winnepesaukee, Knights Pond, and the Belnap Range.


I first climbed at Longstack in the late 70’s, skipping out of classes to pioneer a dozen or so of the more obvious lines. Even then we ran across the odd ring angle pin indicating previous explorations, but the lines were all covered with a thick coat of lichen. The crag sat largely unexplored for the next three decades, mainly due to sketchy ownership and access, but in 2011 a group of local climbers who called themselves the “Chinos” for their workmanlike approach to scouting out and developing new cliffs and routes received the blessing of the landowner to use the rock for recreation, the only caveat was to be responsible stewards and not cut down any of the large trees below that he used for logging.

[image]
http://www.mountainproject.com/images/23/8/108112308_medium_c40350.jpg[/image]
"Still Gettin' Booty" 5.10a


Almost all of Longstack’s routes can be climbed as a single pitch with a 60M rope, although many are equipped with intermediate belays and fixed anchors to facilitate rapping off or toproping with a single line. The approach involves a 20 minute walk along logging roads marked with cairns before picking its way up the final slope to the cliff and base trail solidified and maintained by the Chinos.

[image]http://www.mountainproject.com/images/3/4/107740304_medium_237b40.jpg[/image]
Jim Dickson on the mega-classic roof of "Coyote Rain" 5.6

The wall is divided into three main sections, each with its own unique character. The left hand wall is known as the “Indigenous Wall” for the early explorations of local climbers and the glut of Native American inspired names; routes here range from 100-170’ tall in the 5.5-5.11 range. Somewhat reminiscent of the lower, left end of Cathedral Ledge, it contains steep slabs and great face climbing mostly with trad gear and the occasional bolt. Classics include “Spirit Guide” 5.5, “A Toltec Dream” 5.7, “Islands” 5.7, “Hanta Yo” 5.8+, “Earth and Sky” 5.9, the ultra-classic “Strychnine” 5.9, and “Still Getting’ Booty” 5.10a.

[image]
http://www.mountainproject.com/images/22/57/108112257_medium_932c89.jpg[/image]
Sarah Arsenault follows the FA of the Direct Finish to "Raven Song" 5.7


The central, or “Big wall” section, is generally steeper and taller at a full 170’. Littered with roofs, horizontals, and short corner systems, the adventure factor is high. Big Wall classics include “Layback Route” 5.7, “The Arete” 5.8+, “ Riptide” 5.9+, “Locals Only” 5.10a, and “Wet Lichen Dreams” 5.10+.

[image]http://www.mountainproject.com/images/91/83/108049183_medium_f287c7.jpg[/image]
Jon Garlough on his route "The Arete" 5.8+


The far right end is known as the “Wonderland Wall” and contains fully bolted routes and some of the cliff’s most classic lines up to 90’ tall. Must do routes include what may be the best pitch of 5.6 in NH, “Coyote Rain”, as well as “Trifecta” 5.9, “Winter Classic” 5.10a sport, and “Gentle Violence” 5.11+

[image]http://www.mountainproject.com/images/44/52/107654452_medium_8b7bea.jpg[/image]
Jon Garlough on "Gentle Violence" 5.11+


Getting There: From route 28 in Alton take Rines Road on the right (east). Drive down Rines Road for 1.1 miles until the road comes to a fork and turns to dirt. Stay left at the fork and follow the dirt road for roughly a mile. You will pass two gates on the left. After the second gate (sand pit) there will be a pull off on the left and another small sand pit with a shooting range just beyond it. Park here or any of the other pull offs. Walk behind the shooting range and follow the logging road and cairns to a climber’s trail which will lead you to the base of the cliff. There are many ways to approach the cliff depending on where you park. The approach is approx. 20-30 minutes.

Guide book: Local hardman and new route activist Jon Garlough has just self published the "Chinos Guide - Climbing in the New Durham Area". Copies can be found for $20 at IME in North Conway and at Indoor Ascent gym in Dover; he is currently working on an on-line version.

Mountain Project has a complete list of routes for the entire New Durham area along with additional photos and route comments at http://mountainproject.com/...nipesaukee/107145595

quote the post people! quote the post!!!


edge


May 7, 2013, 8:36 PM
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Re: [potreroed] New Hampshire's Secret Cragging [In reply to]
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potreroed wrote:
This is not a very good way to keep a secret.

Once the local crew started developing the cliff, routes went up fast and furious with limited discussion; Longstack alone probably saw 50+ new routes just last year.

Now that the plums have been picked, including the small and blemished ones, it's time to share the wealth. Ideally we will increase traffic to help keep the routes clean without getting to the point of having to wait in line very long for anything.

I just got back from the crag tonight, and there were 3 parties of two who all climbed Coyote Rain, along with some neighboring lines while they waited. The cliff caters to the intermediate trad climber with a ton of high quality routes in the 5.7-5.10 range.

And Burns, why do you need to quote the post? I'm not pulling it, all of the info is already publically listed on the Proj... It makes no sense here.


Gmburns2000


May 8, 2013, 6:59 AM
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Registered: Mar 6, 2007
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Re: [edge] New Hampshire's Secret Cragging [In reply to]
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edge wrote:
potreroed wrote:
This is not a very good way to keep a secret.

Once the local crew started developing the cliff, routes went up fast and furious with limited discussion; Longstack alone probably saw 50+ new routes just last year.

Now that the plums have been picked, including the small and blemished ones, it's time to share the wealth. Ideally we will increase traffic to help keep the routes clean without getting to the point of having to wait in line very long for anything.

I just got back from the crag tonight, and there were 3 parties of two who all climbed Coyote Rain, along with some neighboring lines while they waited. The cliff caters to the intermediate trad climber with a ton of high quality routes in the 5.7-5.10 range.

And Burns, why do you need to quote the post? I'm not pulling it, all of the info is already publically listed on the Proj... It makes no sense here.

Hey man, you never know. This was a super secret crag until yesterday.


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