The New Hampshire Division of

Cathedral Ledge climbing


Cathedral Ledge is the epicenter of Trad climbing in New Hampshire. Because of its easy access and routes of all grades and styles, Cathedral has been deservedly popular for decades. Its proximity to North Conway assures that Cathedral has its own scene and it is not uncommon to be sharing the cliff with old timers who put up routes back in the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

Though new route potential exists, the classic lines receive most of the attention. Routes like Thin Air (5.6), Recompense (5.9), and The Prow (5.11) may see many ascents each weekend. Cathedral has something for everyone as the cliff offers long multi pitch routes, face climbs, splitter cracks, and even a few quality sport routes. From short practice climbs at the North End to the soaring Yosemite-style aid routes of the Central Wall, everyone can be happy at Cathedral Ledge.

Guidebooks for Cathedral abound, but Jerry Handren's 2012 guidebook is probably the most useful. Ed Webster's Rock Climbs of the White Mountains provides excellent history for the area.

A webcam trained on the cliff can be found at as can notes about conditions, routes, etc.

For gear and/or beta spray, head to either IME or EMS in North Conway. Both outfits offer guide services and climbing gear. The Frontside Grind has great coffee.

The seasons at Cathedral Ledge mirror those of all the areas in New England. Fall is the best. Summer can be good, as the cliff gets shade in the afternoon. Spring often brings seeping rock, so there is a 50/50 chance that your route will be dry. Winter offers amazing ice climbs.

5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a New Hampshire : *Cathedral Ledge : The Prow Area

Women in Love, a Joe Cote aid route, is one of the classic crack climbs in the NE. Steep, clean and exposed climbing with airy belays. Ratings go back and forth for the crux pitch-12a is probably appropriate.Pitch 1. Easy but awkward climbing leads to a fierce thin section (11d). There used to be a tree to get past the last crux. A good ledge is just above. 70'Pitch 2. Continue up the easier finger crack to an exposed hanging belay in the vicinity of the top of the Beast Flake (5.11b). 70'Pitch...[more] Browse More Classics in New Hampshire

a great view of cathedral's right side and a littl...

Brian and I on lunch break between climbs, at the ...

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