Author Topic: Top rope  (Read 356 times)

Offline iclimb

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Top rope
« on: July 26, 2017, 12:05:08 PM »
Hey all - another top rope question - I had a decent day bouldering and top roping at jockey cap last week. Although the top roping is obviously limited it was ok, and is helping me build my skin and experience Before hopping on lead.

Where else would you recommend I top rope to continue my experiences on rock? I lead 9 or 10 inside, and lead WI 3 and steep snow mountaineering stuff. I want a little more time on top rope on actual rock before I lead later this year.

Maine or New Hampshire, where is easy access to top rope stuff. For now before leading and building a an anchor at the top of a sport route, being able to access trees or top anchors via a walk about or scramble is preferred.

Thanks so much for your knowledge and advice

Offline CarpeLiam

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Re: Top rope
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2017, 05:11:43 PM »
Lost Horizon at Sundown is dense, easy to access and has a myriad of very moderate climbs that are great to mock lead/top rope.

There are a lot of options on cathedral to top rope if you are able to manage/belay from above. Consider going over to the Barber wall for some harder climbs or check out the newer classroom area to climbers right of Airation Buttress for mellower grades. While you're there the North end has some great moderates that I'm sure you could get someone to bring your rope up for you or share theirs.

Tumbledown Dick just between Bethel maine and Gorham New Hampshire has some good, less crowded climbs with easy access. Particularly the lower right slabs with some great fingercracks.

There are some other crags scattered around the valley like Square Ledge in Pinkham, Saco Crag in conway along the river, and Attitash crag that with a bit of walking around you'll have tons of top rope access.

If leading is your goal I'd suggest following a hefty amount of traditional climbs to sharpen your eye for gear and build rope management/transition skills. Hang out at the bottom of cathedral long enough and someone will let you tag along. If you'd like get in touch with me and we'll see if we can link up.





Offline iclimb

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Re: Top rope
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2017, 07:06:08 PM »
Thanks man - when you say north end of cathedral, are you referring to he pillar area where top rope ice climbing is very easy to access? Are there any rock climbs there, or is it further left?

I'm relatively new to outside routes on rock so I'm still figuring out where everything is

Offline z.st.jules

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Re: Top rope
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2017, 12:35:24 AM »
Where do you live iclimb?

Offline Jeff

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Re: Top rope
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2017, 08:14:55 AM »
In answer to your question re: the North end of Cathedral-- no it is not the area where the "pillar " ice climbs are, but further left--left of the Thresher climb-- there is a steep wall with half a dozen crack climbs, all hard for their relative grades ( 5.6 to 5.10 and quite polished) As advised it is better, if you don't have solid lead skills, to join others who are climbing in the area with TRs already set up or who are able to lead to set them up-- there have over the years been a number of Serious Accidents, including at least one fatality of a group "leader" scrambling up mossy ledges to set up TRs for his group-- Access to the top is not trivial, and ground fall is to be avoided-- As someone who has over 40 years  climbing experience in the area, I am not being a "wise guy" but rather trying to prevent serious injury by reminding you of how RISKY this sport can be.

 Another so far unmentioned possible TR spot is the Little Mona Lisa and Artist Bluff areas across the street from the Echo Lake parking lot at the head of Franconia Notch (junction of rte 3 and 93). Little Mona Lisa climbs are quite easy and easy to set up-- Artist Bluff set ups (and climbs) are more difficult, and it can be hard to determine which climbs are which if you are unfamiliar with the area. I hope this helps.

One final suggestion, as mentioned above: if you haven't found others while climbing at your gym who have more experience in the area, hanging out at the crags can be a way of finding partners/mentors-- Word to the Wise-- don't let someone you've just met "sell you a used car" in describing his abilities-- remember my warning above-- NO AREA of this activity is without RISK, as the disclaimers in every guidebook indicate. Good Judgement and Caution are key qualities to keep in mind as you gain more experience. A day with one of the local guide services learning TR set up Best Practices, while perhaps seeming "pricey", is far cheaper and more useful in the long run than ANY emergency care! I don't want to be "Debby Downer" but in my decades of experience climbing and instructing, I've seen too many people taking serious risks ignorantly or casually. Be safe, Have fun and welcome to a lifetime of great days on the hill. Jeff Lea

Offline iclimb

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Re: Top rope
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2017, 12:25:30 PM »
Jules - Portland Maine area

Offline iclimb

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Re: Top rope
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2017, 12:37:07 PM »
Jeff thanks for your words of wisdom and for responding to me. I'm certainly not experienced on rock, but lead ice and has some multipitch transition and rope management experience in that realm. I'm really just brand new to rock outside so my big issue is simply not being familiar with areas and where to find stuff. I'm singularly focused on safety. I don't over estimate my abilities and don't give people more trust Han they've earned. I also never take a climb and it's dangers for granted - a 5.5 can easily kill you and I never forget that.

For me it seems like a very good idea to link up with someone who knows the area well so they can show me where the more accessible top rope areas are. While I may be leading later this summer, it would be sport only as I don't have much for trad gear yet or the experience to use it safely. However I do have the draws and other rack pieces needed for sport, building anchors at bolts, cleaning anchors, rapping, building top rope anchors off trees, etc

If there are any top rope walk up dense areas someone wants to introduce me to, I'd be very grateful and will buy someone a beer. I can also safely belay a lead climber is at the same crag someone wanted to jet up any easy sport.

I think a guide for eventual trad experience will be my route there, and I will probably link up with Erik E whom I've already spoken with.

Offline Nick Grant

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Re: Top rope
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2017, 09:07:56 PM »
Jules:   Rumney, NH, would be a great place for you to become comfortable on rock real fast.  You can easily climb ten one-pitch sport routes in a day there.  The problem is that it's a l-o-n-g drive from Portland.  It's definitely not a good area for setting top-rope anchors from the top of routes, but if you know someone who owns draws and can clip bolts, you're all set.




Offline Admin Al

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Re: Top rope
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2017, 05:16:42 PM »
the Other Classroom, a.k.a. Wall Of The Hurley Morning Light, at the top of Cathedral is a nice TR area.
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Offline frik

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Re: Top rope
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2017, 02:10:01 PM »
I'd say for top-roping, the Pawtuckaways may give you the most bang for the buck. For a start, I'd check out the "lower slab", "Upper cliff" & "lakeside" areas, they are all in close proximity and should have enough stuff to keep you busy for a while. The tops of the ciffs cliffs are easily accessible and top-roping is probably the predominant activity.  There's plenty of other stuff around too. As a bonus, a lot of the climbs are decent/safe leads for when you make the transition. It's about an hour and a half from Portland ... Mountain project has a lot of info.