Overview: Cathedral Ledge, New Hampshire
Exposure. Soaring granite cliffs. An alpine feel—yet minutes from the road. Cracks—everything from pin scars to the dankest chimneys imaginable. Thrilling face climbs and, above all, a continuing and inspiring local community. If you’re looking to leave your name on a cliff on the East Coast, Cathedral still has plenty of aid routes left to free.
Specific description of climbing style
Bolts can be found but the majority of Cathedral will see you plugging trad gear.
Autumn is the best season. Cathedral is located in the midst of an otherwise homogenous forest, and there’s no better way to enjoy the foliage than halfway up a multipitch route.
Climbing grade range
You can find everything from 5.4 – 5.14 at Cathedral. The majority of routes are in the 5.10 – 5.12 range.
Best local spot
Rick Wilcox and the staff at International Mountain Equipment (IME) have to rank amongst the most friendly and gung-ho people I have ever met. It doesn’t matter if your route of choice could be done barefoot and blindfolded; regardless of difficulty, they are psyched, and they have an excellent stock of all things climbing related.
Top climbs in area
- Funhouse (5.7, 2 pitches)
- Bombardment (5.8, 2 pitches)
- Dierdre (5.9+, 5 pitches)
- They Died Laughing (5.9+)
- Recombeast (5.9+, 3 pitches)
- Airation (5.11-, 2 pitches)
- Camber (5.11b, 2 pitches)
- The Prow (5.11d, 6 pitches)
- Women in Love (5.12-, 3 pitches)
Best kept secret
You can’t camp at the ledge, but if you’re more than 1/4 mile off the road in the White Mountain State Forest (so, everything surrounding Cathedral), anything goes! Go out there and have a wilderness experience.
How stiff is the grading?
75%. It’s not a total bag of sand, but if you’re used to racking up with quickdraws, best to add a full number to the grade of your intended route.
Get above tree line in the summer. The bugs are never terrible but the best escape is to be on the wall!
Now to you
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