cathedral header

cathedral info


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

cathedral climbing style

Bolts can be found but the majority of Cathedral will see you plugging trad gear.


Best season

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

cathedral 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

cathedral 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

cathedral top climbs

  • 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?

cathedral stiff 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.


Other Information

cathedral secret

Get above tree line in the summer. The bugs are never terrible but the best escape is to be on the wall!


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