New Hampshire Climbing Guide -- Mountaineering Instructor -- Member of The North Face Climbing Team

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Mark Synnot - AMGA Certified Rock Guide
AMGA Certified
Rock Guide


This 500-foot granite wall towers over North Conway, and is equally popular both with climbers and tourists. There is something unique about topping out on your climb to the cheers of tourists who are safely protected behind the fence that runs along the lip of the cliff. (Just be ready for lots of questions, like “How long did it take?” and “How did you get the rope up there?” It's ok if you want to share our secrets: tell them we use grappling hooks and those bolt guns like Stallone had in “Cliffhanger” – they’ll walk away nodding their heads…”Yeah, that’s what I thought!”)

Perhaps the most distinctive thing about Cathedral Ledge is the rock quality. The white granite is similar to Yosemite, and indeed many climbers use this area specifically to train for the big walls found out west. The only difference is that New Hampshire granite is usually more featured than Yosemite granite, meaning there are more holds to choose from. Plus, in more than 20 years, I’ve never seen a spontaneous rockfall at this cliff; it’s one of the most stable crags around.

Cathedral Ledge faces east, and depending on the time of year, it will get sun first thing in the morning and then go into the shade somewhere between 1-2pm. The wall has several different areas you can explore: the Barber Wall, the Prow, the Airation Buttress, the Thin Air Face, the Mordor Wall, the Cathedral Roof, the Diedre Area and the North End. Among these different areas, you can find everything from multi-pitch 5.5s to overhanging single pitch 5.13+. In other words, Cathedral has a little something for every climber, regardless of ability. Here’s a quick list of some of the classic routes you might climb if you sign up for some instruction from Synnott Mountain Guides:

Upper Refuse (5.5)
Child's Play (5.5)
Thin Air (5.6)
Funhouse (5.7)
Kiddy Crack (5.7)
Still in Saigon (5.8)
Bombardment (5.8)
Black Lung (5.8)
Recompense (5.9)
Diedre (5.9)
They Died Laughing (5.9)
Bird’s Nest (5.9)
Chicken Delight (5.9)
Nutcracker (5.9+)
Intimidation (5.10)
The Slot (5.10)
Missing Link (5.10)
Synnott Mountain Guides Climbing Courses
Intro to Mountaineering - 2 day with overnight
Custom Private Mountaineering Program
Mt. Washington Guided Hike
Mt. Washington One Day Winter Ascent
Intro to Mountaineering - 3 day with overnight
Intermediate Mountaineering
Mt. Rainier Prep
Mt. Washington Observatory Overnight
Presidential Traverse
Lion's Head Winter Route Overview
Tuckerman Ravine Winter Climbing Overview
Intro to Rock Climbing
Family Rock Climbing
Cathedral Ledge Overview
Whitehorse Ledge Overview
Custom Private Rock Climbing Course
Advanced Rock Climbing Techniques
Toprope Set-ups
Learn to Lead course
AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Courses and Exams
Youth Rock Climbing Overnight Camp June 24-27,2016
Maine - Acadia Rock Climbing
Mt. Katahdin Alpine Rock Climbing
Custom Backpacking Overnight
Custom Private Ice Climbing Course
Intro to Ice Climbing
Intermediate Ice Climbing
Advanced Ice Climbing
Grafton Notch Ice Climbing
Mixed Climbing 101
Aid Climbing Instruction
Introduction to Self-Rescue
Intro to Backcountry Ski
Advanced Backcountry Skiing
Huntington Ravine Gully Skiing
Mt. Washington Avalanche Awareness Course
AIARE Level 1
Cotopaxi Expedition
Mexican Volcanoes Expedition
Aconcagua Expedition