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By Jay Knower
From: Campton, NH
Nov 13, 2012
Here is more info from Bradley White:
On your way to Waterville Valley there is an area that encompasses Cone Head Mt. (private property) Two pitches of lichen and dirt slab/face schist and outside corners. One ice climbing gully. Dicky Slab a two pitch friction slab west from Welch Mt. and the the Acteon Range across route 49 from Welch Mt. The last peak east of the range has bolted routes up it now. In Waterville Valley is Noon peak a 150ft stacked giant block ledge with two crack climbs.
Take Waterville Valley-Route 49 off of interstate 93. Travel north about 10 miles to turn left across Mad River and in a mile or so turn right onto a road that'll take you to Welch and Dickey hiking trail parking lot. To get to Conehead Mt. continue past this parking area and drive up hill keeping to the right but not exiting this road. At the top of the road is a turn around. Park here and leave a large note on your car inside the windshield that you are rock climbers going to Conehead and when you will return. Do not camp or you will be arrested. The owner used to climb. He's okay with rock climbing happening but is very protective of his land, so leave no trace of you being there. The house on the left at the top of the hill is his. If the hour is reasonable you can check in with him first. I have permission but I don't know how far his invitation to the crag being climbed is acceptable. So far I'm the only person that goes here. Head into the woods by a big boulder and head uphill 1/4 mile until you can veer right and where the right side hill gets moss covered ledges. Head uphill right to the base of the crag.
All the routes on Cone Head ledges have poor protection and there are no bolts. There is always dirt, lichen and mossy wet places on any the climbs except the central left side buttress. Cone Head is all that an outback rock climb should be. Virgin rock and great views. A lightly added assortment of gear on the climbers rack including some medium sized friends will get a climber anywhere up Cone Head ledges but pitons donít work. All the cracks are too shallow for pins.
Wherever the climber on Cone Head finishes the climb there will be in the mist of it, where naturally the rock and the woods unite into being one environment, the living rock with dirt, lichen, plants and sometimes even algae organisms on and in the cracks of it. On Cone headís summit donít go down fast or fall off somewhere while walking down off of it. The summit environment is often wet, dirty and with loose footing. Cone Head Ledges or anywhere else for that matter the walking off at top of the cliff is sometimes more difficult than the actually rock climbing was.
On the east side just below the summit of Welch are three short cracks through a ceiling above a long slab.
Dickey slabs are reached by Dickey trail. Before the trail enters the slab scramble down to base of the slab. Deal with crossing a perpetual wet slab and walk along the base of the slab to routes.
The Acteon Range last hump is furthest north east. After a mile or so on Smarts Brook Trail heading for Sandwich Mt. The dome hump will be visible. There is a faint trail to the base of the crag. Climb up north side (5-5 one move) slab to summit rappel down to climbs and top rope or pull ropes and lead. The Acteon Range is within the Sandwhich Designated Wilderness area.
Noon Peak is hard to find. Take the Drakes Brook Trail and cross the brook, follow trail 1/2 mile? or so and diagonal up and east until at the base of this crag. The crag in the early morning can be seen at the golf course. This is helpful in getting your bearings before entering the forest. It is difficult to find. If the slope gets very steep you missed it and are heading to the summit of Noon Peak. Rappelling from the summit of Noon Peak doesn't work. It isn't directly above the crag.
-original area submission by Bradley White
From: New Hampshire
Oct 1, 2013
|It seems like the climbing on Cone Mountain is actually in the WMNF. However, the best parking (on the Orris Rd roundabout) is NOT part of the WMNF and the above mentioned private property warnings are an issue. It's cool to hear that the land owner up there is open minded to respectful climbers.|