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North Central Vermont - New Routes

Prospect Rock - Left Side

Slabby Slab Slab 5.5 55'  
A cleaned strip on the low angled face about 100' downhill and right of Peavy. Climb the slab past two bolts into a right facing corner then up a small crack and finish on the face at a two bolt rap anchor. FA Bill Mitchell, Jessica Sherman, & Matt Farney May 2015

Deception 5.6 55'  sport
Around the corner from Chossoholic, scramble right up a grassy ramp to the base of a small tree 15’ left of the upper wall of R U Urban. Climb the face past 5 bolts to a chain anchor on a sloping ledge. Try to avoid getting drawn to the left. FA Bill Mitchell, Matt Farney Nov. 2015

R U Urban 5.7 110'  sport
Begin halfway across the bench trail out to Prospector, just left of a fixed anchor, above a short slab. Climb up the a long clean strip of low angled rock (5.4 PG) to a rising ramp with a big red pine. Pull onto the steeper face above and enjoy fun face climbing, through two steep bulges, to a chain and ring anchor. 10 bolts. A single 60m rope will barely reach the ground to the left of the belay if you rappel. Lowering off is probably not the best option, but if you do, make sure to tie a knot in belay end of the rope to prevent lowering off the end. FA Bill Mitchell, Matt Farney Nov. 2015

In the spring of 2012, Prospect Rock had a large SUV-sized block fall from Piece for Fantasy effectively eliminating the route as it was originally climbed. The "enormous detached flake" is now an "actually detached flake" and the hiking trail below was trashed. Kris Barrowman investigated the area and established new lines in the location the lost route.

Piece to Remember 5.5 145'  sport
This route is a reborn version of Piece for Fantasy after the the rockfall. The original route escaped from below the huge block and went up along the crack formed by its right edge. The route is now easier than the original and has had bolts added making it a sport climb.There are now two bolts making a belay anchor above the small section of rock exposed at the top of the Lower Cliff trail. Traverse slightly right after clipping the second bolt to gain a short blunt arete. Pass two more bolts across an easy slab to a dirty ledge. From the ledge climb a left-facing dihedral to a stance. Clip the right-hand bolt and exit the dihedral onto an easy slab. Continue up the rock forming the right-hand edge of the dihedral and join Got My Piece. Pass disconnected cracks and two more bolts to finish at the anchors above. FA Kristian and Lief Barrowman, Summer 2012. Variation: Got my Piece 5.9  sport Climb Piece to Remember to the stance at the 5th bolt. Clip the left-hand bolt and continue up the dihedral past two more bolts. FA Bruno Choiniere and Kristian Barrowman, Summer 2012.

Prospect Rock - Right Side

Buy the Farm 5.7+ 80'  
Start about 15 feet down and left of Charge the Farm! at a slab that leads to an overlap/left-facing flake. Climb through a couple of overlaps following bolts until easier rock and protection allows you to trend right of a shallow ledge and some vegetation to some interesting flakes. Here a devious #2 Camalot slot leads to a left-trending incipient shallow crack system (TCUs and/or tri-cams helpful). Thought provoking moves lead up to the shared anchor of Charge the Farm! FA Greg Kuchyt and Janika Chartrand, Jun. 7, 2014.

Smugglers' Notch - ENT Gully

Judy's Ridge 5.5 80'
Climb the bolted face and ridge to the right of Low Rent. 5 bolts. ACB and bolts added by Marc Couper, Tracey Eykelhoff, Oct. 12, 2014

A's Arete 5.5 R 100'
Locate the right-side toe of the ENT gully, downhill from Low Rent. Face climb up the low angled arete, past widely spaced protection to a stance above a deep fissure in the cliff. Pull over the fissure and continue up to the fixed anchor on Low Rent. Long runouts and some loose rock. ACB Seth Maciejowski and Alaire Diamond

Smugglers' Notch - Quartz Crack

The Diagonal: Left Finish 5.8+ R 290' 

Tim Farr, Alden Pellett and Andrea Charest added an airy third pitch to The Diagonal in August, 2013. This variation is shown as the red line in the image on the right.

P.3 From the anchor atop P.2  move up and traverse left about 15' to a steep bulge with a crack. Pull over the bulge, then trend left to an exposed stance above the steep wall below. Make a committing series of moves up and right to better holds and protection. Continue up to a left-arching quartz undercling corner. Pull through and climb more easily up the face to a bolted anchor on a comfy ledge. 5.8+ R 90'. FA Tim Farr, Alden Pellett, Andrea Charest, Aug. 20, 2013. 

Descent : The easiest way to descend is to rappel to the base of the route with two 60M ropes. 60M ropes will just barely reach the ground while rappelling with 2 shorter ropes can be done in two rappels using the P.1 anchor on The Diagonal. It may also be possible to It's also possible to descend with a single 60M rope by rappelling to the anchor atop P.2, walking off to the right, scrambling up through the brush and climbing a short 5.5 section to the anchor on the top of the winter route Pub Crawl. Three rappels down the brushy gully with a 60M rope brings you back to the ground.

The Diagonal: Right Finish 5.9+ 300' 

This variation is shown as the yellow line in the image on the right. Some fairly unaesthetic, brushy and blocky climbing leads to some excellent rock and a wild position at the finish.

P.3 Climb up and left from the belay then move up to a good stance. Clip a bolt placed straight down in a ledge (use a long runner), then mantle up avoiding the loose blocks. Head up and right into a cleft being careful to avoid loose rock. Pass another bolt, then run it out roughly 20' over a big block. Climb steeply passing 2 bolts (crux) to easier ground, then move left onto a small mossy stance. Place a couple small nuts and make an airy step right, onto the arete. Run it out up to a big ledge and belay from gear. 5.9+ 90'

P.4 Continue up, trending left to a fist crack. Climb the crack and top out on a large flat ledge. Build a gear anchor and belay. 5.7 40'

Descent: Hike off to the right and locate the Bedouin trail. Follow this down, take a hard right under a ledge, and rappel the winter route Pub Crawl. Alternately, head back to the top of P.2 of The Diagonal and make a 2-rope rappel to the base of the route. 

ACB Tim Farr, Jess Simon, Sep. 4 2013. Portions of this finish had been climbed before, including the final wide crack.

 The Diagonal area

Jess Simon on P.4 of The Diagonal: Right Finish
"Epicormic" 5.9 120' 
This route is shown in orange on The Diagonal area image above.
Begin down and right of the The Diagonal at the major ramp/corner at the base of the winter ice route Pub Crawl. P.1 Climb up a short corner and low-angled face to a roof with a finger crack. Layback and jam over the roof, then continue up more easily and belay from gear under another roof. 5.9 50' P.2 Traverse right around the roof, then up easier ground to where things again steepen. Make challenging moves out yet another roof, then move up and left across the face above, following a thin seam to a shared belay at the top of P.1 of The Diagonal. 5.8+ 70' Rappel with two 60M ropes, or finish up The Diagonal.  ACB Nathan Vince, Ben Massey, Sept 2011. 

Walking on Air 5.6 80'
A small cliff exists tucked into the woods about 300-400 feet above the winter ice climb Pub Crawl. Walk the big ledge at the top of Pub Crawl with the two sets of anchor bolts (1 set with rap rings) back into the woods and bushwack your way up and left to the cliff. Locate obvious dirty crack's that trend up and right. Make a few moves up to the first weakness and get a small cam and nut in before stepping left to another small cam placement. Gain the crack and continue up past two small tree's in the crack. Step right and make a few face moves before bashing up into the tree's above. FA Matt Bressler and Tim Farr, Jun. 22, 2013

Smugglers' Notch - Bat Cave Buttress

The Residents 5.9 60' sport
Climb the first pitch of Steep Jugs, or scramble up the ledges on the left to the "Bat Cave". Belay at a small grouping of trees on the left side of the buttress's prow below a steep roof. Surmount the roof using sharp quartz holds; stick clipping the first bolt might be helpful. Clip a second bolt at stance above roof, then pass 2 more bolts on the easy face above. Belay at a shared anchor atop the 2nd pitch of Steep Jugs. Descent: Rappel the route with a single rope. FA Marc Couper, Andrew Ruschp, Aug. 29, 2015. 

Steep Jugs! 5.9 150' sport
Start at the toe of "The Bat Cave Buttress", 100 yds to the climbers right of The Diagonal
P.1 Climb easy terrain past 3 bolts; clip the last with a long draw to reduce rope drag. Step left and climb steep jugs up the face past 4 bolts being careful to avoid the loose blocks on the arete. Run it out to a two bolt anchor on the right side of the Bat Cave's roof. 5.7+ 90'
P.2 Make boldery moves off the ground and move up the face above the anchor. Pass one bolt, to gain a stance and a second bolt. Swing out onto the prominent arete and follow it to the top, cruising past two more bolts. Gain the party ledge and a two-bolt ring anchor. 5.9 60'
Descent: Rappel the route with a single rope. 
FA Greg Petrics and Christian Theberge, Sept. 15, 2013. On the first ascent, the second climbed the route with a can of beer in one hand. At the top of the route, more beers were quaffed as Petrics and Theberge celebrated their success and, undoubtedly, the prospect of not having to hand-drill any more bolts.

Smugglers' Notch - Beanstalker Buttress

Lil Bean 5.10d 195'  
Start about 60' left of the start of BeanstalkerRack up to 4" with a few extra cams in the 3-4" range. 
P.1 Head up trending right on low angle terrain (5.5 PG) towards the obvious wide crack. Follow this to a horizontal crack, place gear and step back left. Pull onto a big ledge under a large roof and a bolted anchor. 5.6 120'
P.2 Climb a wide crack behind a large block up to a huge roof. Jam, lock off, and layback a crack through the roof (hand to finger size gear). Pull out and over the edge making a committing and awkward move. Place a 2" cam, then move left around the corner (small gear) to a bolted anchor. One rappel with a 60M rope barely makes it to the ground; a shorter rope will not reach. 5.10d 75'
FA P.1 Tim Farr and Jess Simon, Sept 25, 2013. P.2 Steve Charest, Tim Farr, Oct 2, 2013.
 Steve Charest on the FA of Lil Bean 5.10d

Smugglers' Notch - Easy Gully Buttress

Bushmaster 5.8 570'
A full-value adventure climb to the top of the diving boards. The route comes complete with good, bad, and ugly. Pitch 2 detracts, and the FA party is looking to re-route to a better line, but pitches 4, 5 and 6 are reported to be really good. Full rack to 4" with a double set of cams in the 2-3" sizes. Watch for loose rock, especially on pitch 5.

P.1 Locate the ice climb The Slot, 100' right of Hidden Gully. Climb low-angle slabs right of the slot to a steeper face with good gear under an overhang to the left. Move up and right across the face to a bushy left-facing corner. Climb the bushy corner with good gear to a mossy and grassy top out and set up a belay. 5.5 140'

P.2 Move right, avoiding an enormous loose block, into an open low-angle dihedral. Carefully climb a grass filled corner (nasty). Climb straight up into increasingly thick and frustrating brush, trending generally to the right. At the top of the corner, find a nice shelf and belay in a crack. 5.5 80'

P.3 Move right 10', then step up and back left onto blocks up and right of the belay. Place gear, then move right around a blunt arête into an open right-facing corner. Climb the grass-filled corner staying left to avoid the dirtiest sections. Pull into thick, low-angle brush. Continue bush whacking straight up until you arrive underneath a pleasant corner/crack system. 5.6 100'
P.4 Climb the excellent corner above. Break right just before the top to avoid a dirty top out. Climb up and right on easy ground to a nice belay on a shelf under a roof. Beware of loose rock at the belay shelf. 5.7 80'

P.5 Climb the corner above the belay to the roof. Move right around the roof (awkward). There is a good jug right at the end but also a big loose block right at the end of the roof. Continue up face and cracks to a big block on the left and belay.
 5.8 100'

P.6 From the belay move up across a pilly slab and place gear under a big overlap. Move right on the overlap until you can easily step onto it at a big detached flake. Continue right to the anchor at the top of The Deep End.

Descent : Rappel The Deep End, making four rappels with a  single 60M rope.

ACB Alden Pellet and Seth Maciejowski, Aug. 25, 2013

Smugglers' Notch - The Hunter and His Dog
"A chosspile, yes. But the traverse onto it from right to left, across a very narrow and committing ledge awakens mountaineering feelings in any eastern climber, placing one pretty far up the buttress and giving a feeling of “instant exposure”. Though it is not long (1 pitch), the clean rock encountered above is very worthwhile. The route is not difficult (5.6-5.7 range), but I have to think for the very moderate climber looking for adventure in the Notch, it is a worthy objective. Finally, when you drive through the Notch with your friends, your girlfriend, or your Mother you can point up to it, describe to them how it is a Hunter and Dog, and then say “I have climbed it”. That has value."
- Bud Keene

Smugglers' Notch - Elephants Fight Wall
Elephants Fight is a small wall in the woods down an climber's left of Elephant's Head. Park just over the top of the highest point of the notch on the Stowe side (Blind Fate ice climb approach). Walk down the road about 100 yards and, after passing a collection of boulders, pick up a faint trail on the left side of the road. The trail winds uphill, trending somewhat right under a short, scrubby wall, before heading up steeply to the cliff. Celeste and Babar the King are obvious cracks on the first wall encountered and When Elephant's Fight is on a buttress 50 feet to the right. Approach time is about 10 minutes.

Twisted Fate 5.9 35' 
Climb the nice left-leaning hand crack to a stance under an overhang. Pull the overhang and continue up to the trees. FA Bud Keene, Jeff Grogan, Rick Bothfled, 1990s

"Babar the King" 5.11b 30' 
A short but excellent crack. 15 feet right of Celeste, climb the vertical, left leaning finger crack (hard, bouldery  start). Bring small steel nuts (RPs) and a #0 Alien for the top. ACB Travis Peckham and Dennis Delay 7/21/2012. Route was fairly clean of loose rock but mossy and dirty in places. Difficult to tell if there had been a prior ascent, but certainly possible.
When Elephants Fight 5.10c 60' 

On a narrow buttress 50 feet right of Babar and Celeste, Climb a hand crack though a wide section to easier ground and a stance. Climb up the face and arête on the left to a fixed anchor. FA Dennis Delay, Derrek Anderson, Travis Peckham. (Early July, Derrek led the Poached Ivory variation (also 5.10c) climbing right, then traversing back left at the second and third bolts in the beginning of July 2012. Dennis subsequently moved the second bolt and climbed the arête directly with Travis Peckham on 7/21/2012.

   Dennis Delay on When Elephants Fight 5.10c

Smugglers' Notch - Elephant's Head

Airavata 5.12b 300’    sport
A wildly exposed 4-pitch route up the left arête of Elephant’s Head. Begin on the left side of the buttress about 30’ left of Elephant’s Head Crack at a low bolt under a huge overhang.

P.1 Pop up to a shelf and step up into an alcove under the huge roof. Traverse right around the arête to a stance and jugs. Power up over a bulge and climb a difficult vertical face past interesting letterbox slots and sloping edges. 5.11a 80’

P.2 Move left from the belay and climb up easily to a high bolt. Climb the steep left side of the arête on good holds until it is possible to rock over onto to a good foot on the very edge of the arête. Move up and left onto big jugs on a disconcertingly detached block, then move up and swing over onto the front side of the arête a second time using thin feet and hard-to-find holds. Make several challenging moves up the front of the arête to easier ground and the anchor. 5.10c 80’

P.3 Step right from the belay and tiptoe up the edge of the arête. Move up to an in-cut flake, then make long, powerful moves up to a quartz jug. More big moves lead to another jug before easier climbing leads up to a big ledge. Clip a final bolt, step left, and move up to the huge ledge atop P.2 of Elephant’s Head Crack. 5.11b 70’ 

P.4 Start on stacked blocks on the left end of the ledge and move up and right onto the face. Climb up and left with increasing difficulty (scary 4th clip- may want to clip bolt 3 short with a locking biner). Above, a long crux leads to jugs and easier ground. Move easily up and left, with huge exposure, on in-cut holds to an overhanging bulge. Make a few 5.9 moves to pull the bulge up onto a slab and make a belay with slings on the small trees above. Note that the rock on the top bulge is somewhat detached and may be suspect. 5.12b 70’
 Airavata shown in yellow as route "A".

Descent: Walk right through the brush and locate a cord anchor on small trees. Rappel to the big ledge below, then rappel the route with a single 60M rope. 

FA Travis Peckham with a number of partners including Seth Maciejowski (p1, p2) and Dennis Delay (p3) FFA complete Travis Peckham, David Crothers Sept 25, 2012

Smugglers' Notch - Ragnarock

Yggdrasil 5.8+ (5.8 PG-13) 350’   
A full-length Smuggs' adventure; very alpine with some loose rock, runouts, a challenging descent, and huge exposure. The third pitch is excellent. Begin at low-angled rock that leads to a streaked slab and face left of huge corner system that defines the winter ice route Ragnarock; about 200 yards right of Elephant's head in an open area with no trees. High above looms a huge, intimidating, ship's prow arete.

P.1 Scramble up and left on easy low-angled rock to the base of the streaked face. Move up and pass two bolts in dark brown rock (often wet), then step left and move up passing a third bolt with a flattened hanger that was probably crushed by falling ice. Run it out up easier ground, make a hard clip to your right, then continue up the steepening face. At the top of the steep face, step left to short hand crack in a detached block. Pull this, then wander up and right to another bolt and a brushy finish at a two-bolt anchor in an alcove below a huge dike. 5.8 PG-13 120' 

P.2 Climb up and right from the belay passing loose blocks and taking care not to dislodge them onto your belayer. Climb a short, wide-crack behind a block (4" cam helpful) to a stance. Traverse back left over the belay, then climb unusual, fine-grained quartzite dike to a grassy terrace. Step up and clip a bolt on the arete to protect your second, then walk left through the brush about 20' to a good crack and a fixed pin and belay from gear. 5.7 PG-13 80'

P.3 Walk back right about 15' and climb up into the major corner, passing a pin. Climb an excellent finger crack with solid locks and good stemming to the top of the corner. When the corner ends, work out right good horizontal holds to a bolt. Follow bolts up and right along the edge of the arete to a very exposed finish. Two-bolt belay. 5.8+ 150'

 Yggdrasil shown in yellow

 Seth Maciejowski on the first ascent of Yggdrasil
The descent is challenging should be managed very carefully or a major epic could quickly ensue. To descend, rig a two-rope rappel down and left over the arete with two 60M ropes; ropes shorter than 60M will not reach! This rappel is a rope-stretcher so knotting your ends is highly recommended. Look down to make sure the ends of the rope have reached the rock in the corner below, then make a wild, 200' free-hanging rappel into the void. As soon as your feet touch down on the rock below locate a ring bolt anchor in the corner to your left and pendulum in. Make another two-rope rappel down the brushy corner and back to your packs.

FA Yggdrasil is an integral route linking together previously climbed and unclimbed sections of the cliff. P.1 was first climbed by Dave Furman and Travis Peckham in Sept. 2001 and dubbed Ragnarette. P.2 was cleaned and climbed by Travis Peckham and Seth Maciejowski in Aug. 2013 as part of Bifröst. Seth Macisjowski and Travis Peckham climbed the upper bolted arete, avoiding the corner, by traversing in from the right in Aug. 2013. The corner on P.3 had been free climbed as the mixed route Freeze Dried and may have seen prior summertime ascents. FA of the complete route, as described, was done by Seth Maciejowski and Travis Peckham on Sept. 19, 2013.

Heady Topper 5.10a 100'
Begin about 50’ left of Better Living Through Chemistry at the base of a featured, black slab. Climb the slab, passing several bolts, then continue up the face aiming for the left-side of a roof. Skirt the roof to the left, passing more bolts to a two bolt anchor. Light rack to 2". To descend, rappel the route with a single 60M rope. 5.10a 100’. 
VariationHeady Tradster 5.9 100’ At the third bolt on Heady Topper, work up and right, targeting the center of the roof above. Pull the roof and gain a right-facing corner. Climb this to the shared anchor on Heady Topper. Light rack to 3". FA Nathan Vince, Troy Carnworth Aug 2, 2012

 Heady Topper - topo by Nathan Vince