Right next door to Cathedral are the monolithic slabs of Whitehorse Ledge, which rise apron-like from the woods behind the White Mountain Hotel. Some of the longest routes on Whitehorse are upwards of 800 feet and six pitches, yet there are also many one and two pitch climbs that can be done as crag routes along the base. Like Cathedral, Whitehorse is broken up into different areas, namely the Slabs, the Echo Roof area and the South Buttress. Regardless of which area you choose to explore, you’re sure to find a great adventure. At the top of the cliff there is a beautiful trail leading down the back of the mountain. But before heading down, take a break and have a snack on the huge flat ledge at the top which provides a spectacular vantage on North Conway and the surrounding mountains.
The route I guide the most often on Whitehorse is Standard Route, a seven pitch outing that takes you up an arch system that splits the middle of the main slab. Take a look at Whitehorse and you can’t miss this beautiful feature. The “Brown Spot,” as the crux is called, involves a balancy friction move with almost no handholds. You simply have to believe that your feet will hold. Above the Brown spot, on the same pitch, is a second crux which takes you up a steep layback corner with a tricky high step mantle for an exit. All together, the climb involves more than 1000 linear feet of climbing, which gives you an awesome sense of acomplishment when you get to the top. And on the way up, you can get a good vantage on two of the slabs other classic routes which run on either side -- Sliding Board and Beginners Route.
Another of my favorite outings at Whitehorse is a climb called Children’s Crusade. The first three pitches of the climb go at 5.9 and involve fun face climbing protected by bolts. And unlike the routes over on the slab section, this climb ascends the edge of the South Buttress and as such is a lot steeper. If you’re really feeling good, at the top of pitch three you can continue up the direct finish, a tricky 5.11a, which has just enough fixed pins to make it feel comfortable. The best way to get down from this route is to rappel with two ropes.
If you continue along the base of the south buttress past Children’s Crusade you will eventually come to a steep gully. Don’t try and climb it. Instead, drop down to the left below a short steep wall with some bolts on it, and look for a steep and scrappy climber’s trail that breaks right up the left side of this cliff. This trail is a little obscure and hard to follow, but it will take you to the base of the South Buttress proper. From here you can access a number of different classic routes, such as The Last Unicorn (5.10), Lost Souls (5.10a), Atlantis (5.9+), Inferno (5.8), Hotter than Hell (5.9) and Tranquility (5.10). Many of the routes on this part of the South Buttress can be rappelled with two ropes, or you can walk off on a scruffy climbers trail which drops down the side of the mountain to the south.
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