ApproachEasiest way to start is from the former Old Man of the Mountains pullout on the southbound side of 93. Walk south along the base trail for a few minutes, until you see a giant boulder, with s sign next to it; at that point a climber's path head off right uphill. Follow that up the talus slope til you reach the base of the cliffs. Turn right, walk along the base until you reach an off-vertical butress (about 70 degrees) split by a prominent hand crack. This is Reppy's Crack (5.8), one the best 5.8 hand cracks in the White Mountains. The original start to Moby Grape is a little further left along the wall, along the edge of the slab, but climbing Reppy's as the first pitch is a good quality, sustained, and more direct alternative.
Route DescriptionPitch 1 (Reppy's): Climb Reppy's Crack to its top (5.8, fairly sustained, crux just above the peapod at 2/3 height), move right to avoid overhangs, then back left up a pair of v-grooves (awkward) to a nice two-bolt belay. 180 feet, 5.8
Pitch 1 (original): Start on the left side of the buttress; climb the left-facing corner (wet, dirty and awkward) until you can mantle right onto the cleaner rock of the buttress. Continue close to its left edge, following a series of cracks and flakes, until it's possible to move right by puling over a steep headwall. After that, follow more cracks (there are several) to a nice ledge with a good belay. 160 feet, 5.8.
Pitch 2: 4th class to a short right-facing corner; up this to a short but awkward squeeze chimney (5.7, can be avoided by climbing around on the left). Climb past the fixed rap anchor directly below the Triangle roof, move slightly left to a nice belay ledge (there is a good flake that you can put a sling around). 120 feet, mostly 4th class with one 5.7 move.
Pitch 2 for original start: Follow a prominent crack to the top of the buttress, pass the 2-bolt belay used for Reppy's, continue as described above. 150 feet, 5.7.
Pitch 3: Follow the right-trending crack toward the slab at the base of the Triangle Roof. Here, either climb directly up onto the slab near the corner, or traverse right about 15 feet, then climb up and back left to the corner (easier, but more rope drag if you place gear). Surmount the roof via the obvious crack and corner (5.8). Follow the crack above the roof up to a ledge. Belay either right there (better for climbing the next pitch, but has some loose rock), or move about 30 feet left to some fixed gear (safer). 100 feet, 5.8
Pitch 4: Move right onto a small blocky butress, then up a right-facing corner with an undercling crack. At the top of this, start trending back left, into another corner. At the top climb slightly right onto a ledge (watch out for the big loose block - don't pull on it!) with a fixed anchor. Alternatively, don't trend left after the undercling section, instead continue straight up until you get to a ledge with something like a cave just to the right. This is probably a better spot to belay for the next pitch. 125 feet, 5.8
Pitch 5. Traverse right, downclimbing at one point, aiming for a huge flake pointing left. Once you reach this flake, mantle up onto it and climb up towards the right side of the Fickle Finger of Fate. Gear can be placed high up on the right. Climb left along the Finger to its tip and continue up the slab above to a big, grassy ledge. It's also possible to surmount the Finger on the left, via the squeeze chimney behind it, but this is much harder. 130 feet, 5.8.
Pitch 6: Move the belay about 70 feet left, to the base of a shallow crack. Make some short, difficult moves (5.7+) then follow an easy dike trending gradually right. Belay either on a grassy ledge, or continue up trending slightly right again, aiming for a small but comfortable ledge at the base of a huge left-facing corner with a cave along the bottom section. Above the grassy ledge the climbing gets interesting once again. 135-170 feet, 5.7+
Pitch 7: Layback for a few meters up a crack near the corner, then make a committing move (5.7+) over a roof onto the face on the right. Continue up and right along the slab. There is some interesting climbing back and forth along horizontal cracks as well as some delicate friction moves. Belay at one of a number of good ledges. 150 feet, 5.7+
Pitch 8: Climb to the top of the slabs and then up over the final overlaps through one of the many cracks, chimneys and corners that you'll find there. Finish up 4th class and belay on top. 5.6 or 5.7, depending on where your previous belay was.
Descent: From the top of the slabs, where the scrub begins, locate a small climber's trail that leads right, roughly parallel to the edge of the face. After a couple of minutes you should be able to locate a helicopter landing pad some distance below; start heading toward it. If you are following the trail carefully, looking for cairns and other hints of its existence, you should be able to stay on it all the way. Once past the helipad, continue down and left towards the top of what used to be the Old Man of the Mountains; once you reach that a regular hiking trail leads down through the woods towards Profile Lake.
Rappelling the route is fairly straightforward until the Fickle Finger pitch (fixed rap stations are close enough apart to easily rappel with 2 ropes without leaving any gear). After the Finger, it can be quite problematic, as the line of ascent zigzags, and there are no more rap stations. I wouldn't recommend rapping from above the Finger except in an emergency.
Essential GearRack to 3", 60-m rope (consider twins if you think retreat will be necessary), helmet, appropriate footwear for approach and descent, extra clothing, food and water.
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