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Cannon Cliff

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0. Henderson's Buttress 
1. Whitney-Gilman Area 
2. Duet Area etc 
3. Big Wall 
4. Moby Grape Area 
5. Slabs 

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Cannon Cliff  


Photos: Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 4,100'
Location: 44.159, -71.6847 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 405,506
Administrators: Jay Knower, M Sprague, lee hansche, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Jay Knower on Oct 23, 2011
Forecast:
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Mike Peloquin and John Bragg below Canon preparing...

Description 

Cannon Cliff is the tallest and most respected cliff in New England. The climbs are long, the weather is bad, and the rock is exfoliating. Every climber who heads up to do a route on Cannon understands that the undertaking is a considerable one.

This is not to say that the routes are bad, however. The popular routes ascend pristine granite and can be over ten pitches long. Just don't stray from your chosen route, as you may find yourself in one of Cannon's many heavily eroded vertical gullies.

Rockfall is a common occurrence on the cliff. The Old Man, a natural outline of a face in the rock and New Hampshire's famous state symbol, fell off the cliff a few years back. An entire pitch, the Whaleback Crack, parted from the face in the 1990's and created a swath of fresh talus at the base.

This is the rough estimate of the areas i split cannon in to...
This is the rough estimate of the areas i split cannon in to...


Located in Franconia Notch, the cliff faces east and many a climber has been caught unawares by fast-moving storms coming from the west. Plus, a long talus approach leads to the base and can be heinous if the talus is wet or snow covered.

Do not let the above description dissuade you. Cannon offers the chance for the experienced climber to find alpine serenity on a remote, unforgiving, and challenging wall.


Getting There 

All roads lead to Interstate 93 and I-93 runs through Franconia Notch. The big cliff is on the west side of the road. You can't possibly miss it.

The parking area is on the north end of the cliff. It is only possible to access the lot from the southbound side of 93. If you are coming from the south, head past the lot and get off on the next exit (the Tramway exit). From here, reverse directions and head south into the lot.


Winter climbs 

For descriptions of Cannon's excellent winter climbs, including the super-classic Black Dike, see Cannon Ice Climbs.


72 Total Routes


['4 Stars',13],['3 Stars',39],['2 Stars',11],['1 Star',6],['Bomb',3]
['<=5.6',9],['5.7',9],['5.8',15],['5.9',15],['5.10',11],['5.11',7],['5.12',5],['5.13',1],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Cannon Cliff :
Lakeview   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches   5. Slabs
Lightning Crack    5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 150'   2. Duet Area etc
Whitney Gilman Ridge   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 600'   1. Whitney-Gilman Area
Duet   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches, 260'   2. Duet Area etc
Moby Grape   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches   4. Moby Grape Area
Consolation Prize   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 900'   5. Slabs
Ambrosia   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 90'   1. Whitney-Gilman Area
Slow and Easy   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 80'   2. Duet Area etc
Union Jack   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 400'   4. Moby Grape Area
Raven Crack   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches, 300'   2. Duet Area etc
Moonshadow   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 600'   4. Moby Grape Area
The British Were Coming   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13     Trad, Alpine, 8 pitches, 800'   2. Duet Area etc
Vertigo   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A0 R     Trad, Aid, Alpine, 4 pitches, 500'   4. Moby Grape Area
Sticky Fingers   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches, 100'   2. Duet Area etc
Duet Direct   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches, 200'   2. Duet Area etc
VMC Direct Direct   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches, 800'   3. Big Wall
Tip Trip   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 90'   4. Moby Grape Area
Condescender   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R     Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches, 300'   5. Slabs
Labyrinth Wall Direct   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 800'   3. Big Wall
Peppy's Face   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R     Sport, Alpine, 1 pitch, 140'   4. Moby Grape Area
Browse More Classics in Cannon Cliff

Featured Route For Cannon Cliff
Start of the crux pitch at the end of the grassy ledge.  The pink tat was fixed.  The other climbers are at the bottom and top of Vertigo's Half Moon Crack.  Photo by Paul Dale.

Moonshadow 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a  NH : Cannon Cliff : 4. Moby Grape Area
150' of sustained liebacking make this a memorable adventure. Pitch 1, 5.7, 150' (or, in the words of a guide, "Only 5.6 but be sure to send up your strongest leader.") Climb either corner to the top of a pillar (about 70'), then traverse 25' left under the large overhang, and pull the layback flake and exit right and build a belay level with a pointy flake. Look down and realize you are standing on top of the same massive flake you were underclinging on the traverse.Pitch 2, 5.7, 110'. Step...[more]   Browse More Classics in NH

Photos of Cannon Cliff Slideshow Add Photo
a full-moon lit canon.
a full-moon lit canon.
Long exposure at night, 2001.
Long exposure at night, 2001.
Whitney Gilman with the moon over top. A beautiful day in September.
Whitney Gilman with the moon over top. A beautiful...
canon in the summer
canon in the summer
P.Ross on the bivy ledge during first ascent of Labyrinth Wall July 1971
P.Ross on the bivy ledge during first ascent of La...
First ascent of The Ghost. July 1971
First ascent of The Ghost. July 1971
Cannon Cliff from Mount Lafayette. The stark Whitney Gilman Ridge can be seen on the left side.
Cannon Cliff from Mount Lafayette. The stark Whitn...
summer morning canon
summer morning canon
This is a topo of the slabs I've been working on. As much has changed since the Old Man indecent, any additional beta would be appreciated.
BETA PHOTO: This is a topo of the slabs I've been working on. ...
The "new" man on the mountain... Cromagnum Man? (Photo: Brian Aitken)
The "new" man on the mountain... Cromagnum Man? (P...
a shot from the adjecent peak of hay stack
a shot from the adjecent peak of hay stack
Cannon, and its talus field, from afar.
Cannon, and its talus field, from afar.
cannon
cannon
Another shot of Cannon, from Mt. Liberty
Another shot of Cannon, from Mt. Liberty
What a beautiful cliff!
What a beautiful cliff!
Grade V
Grade V
The central wall of Cannon
The central wall of Cannon
approaching Cannon
approaching Cannon
PINK
PINK
Looking up from the top of Boise Rock. The Whitney-Gilman Ridge is the obvious fin in the opening of the trees.   <br /> <br />Photo by Richard Wallace.
Looking up from the top of Boise Rock. The Whitney...
This is the view looking north from high up on the Whitney-Gilman ridge... pretty.... Eagle cliff is in the back ground....
This is the view looking north from high up on the...
me and jakob peering over the drop in to the black dike...
me and jakob peering over the drop in to the black...
Cannon Cliff from Boise Rock. Franconia, NH. Jan 31, 2012. Composite of 13 images. <a href='http://www.bagleyheavybags.blogspot.com' target='_blank' rel='nofollow' >www.bagleyheavybags.blogspot.com</a>
Cannon Cliff from Boise Rock. Franconia, NH. Jan 3...
The Ghost Cannon Cliff with Jon Sykes on jugs
The Ghost Cannon Cliff with Jon Sykes on jugs
This is the waterway that was built to divert water away from the Old Man of the Mountain... apparently Tim thought he was transported to Water Country.
This is the waterway that was built to divert wate...
This is the rough estimate of the areas i split cannon in to...
This is the rough estimate of the areas i split ca...
looking south from the top of Slow and Easy at the Whitney-Gilman ridge...
looking south from the top of Slow and Easy at the...
Some of the remains of the effort to sustain the Old Man.
Some of the remains of the effort to sustain the O...
From Campton "Up on the hill"
From Campton "Up on the hill"
Nothing in NH beats Cannon exposure... This is mike above the roof pitch on Moby Grape...
Nothing in NH beats Cannon exposure... This is mik...
lee looking up at the black dike in fat conditions
lee looking up at the black dike in fat conditions...
Cannon Mountain (Photo: Brian Aitken)
Cannon Mountain (Photo: Brian Aitken)
Taking a break with Jon Sykes on The Ghost C2 fall 2013 Anyone up for a re-bolting and pin revamp? This old classics needs it bad:(
Taking a break with Jon Sykes on The Ghost C2 fall...
The first traverse of Canon .The Magical Mystery Tour AUG 1973 .Paul Ross on the rap pendulum to reach the flake on the Labyrinth wall. The first traverse took Ross and Barber a few minutes under 6 hours.The lenth of the traverse is about 6000'
The first traverse of Canon .The Magical Mystery T...
Comments on Cannon Cliff Add Comment
Show which comments
By Ladd Raine
Administrator
From: Plymouth, NH
Oct 12, 2007

Check out the article in Alpinist vol. 21

By Jay Knower
Administrator
From: Campton, NH
Feb 15, 2009

Basilisk has scanned an old guidebook for Cannon. You can download it here.

By Mike McLean
Oct 13, 2011

I was told there was a way to descend from the bottom of the cliff face by going to the right of Lakeview and following a trail.

Last Sunday, I was up at Lakeview at about 10AM and it was jam packed and backed up by a slooooooooooow group; looked at Weisner Dike and there was a sllllloooooow group there as well.

Considering there was bound to be a huge clusterf*ck at the last pitch, I figured I'd just walk back down and go somewhere else; there is something that looks like a trail for a few hundred feet ... then nothing. I ended up bushwhacking straight down for 95% of the descent and ended up directly on the left side of the parking.

Anyway; word to the wise: That trail is somewhat overgrown.

By lee hansche
Administrator
From: goffstown, nh
Oct 24, 2011

Im in the middle of redoing Cannon Cliff's organization. I just have to move the photos now. As you look around let me know if any routes are out of place. The area descriptions are just rough drafts so far.

By john strand
From: southern colo
Oct 24, 2011

I was about to add lab Wall- it's been quite a while and my meager notes are somewhat sketchy. Anyone else ??? It's such a great,demanding climb.

By Ian Dibbs
Jun 22, 2013

The wind blowing down through the Franconia Notch can be strong and cold, a windproof jacket and maybe even a light hat is probably a good idea even in the summer.

By Rich Brereton
From: Somerville, MA
Aug 9, 2013

Anyone feel like posting info on Benedictus? Can't say I'm qualified.

By cstolz
Oct 20, 2013

I found a rope on Cannon on Saturday. If it's yours, tell me where you left it and what color it is, and I'll get it back to you.

By Jeffrey LeCours
From: New Hampshire
Apr 25, 2014

There is an awesome Gigapan of Cannon Cliff taken by Jim Surette on the Museum of the White Mountains website. It's fantastic how far you can zoom in! This is a great resource when planning out your climb at Cannon.

MotWM's viewing area is 400 pixels tall but gigapan allows up to 800 pixels tall. Here is a direct link to a larger viewer. I tried to get it full screen but it took just enough effort for me to lose interest -- this one's good enough. :)

https://www.gigapan.com/gigapans/148041/options/nosnapshots,>>>

So Mark... how many beers do you think it will take to get Jim to gigapan Green's?