The Kancamagus Crags Area comprises all of the cliffs on the eastern end of the Kancamagus Highway. This includes: Sundown Ledge, Woodchuck Ledge, Painted Walls, Rainbow Slab, and many other less-visited cliffs spread throughout the woods. Greens and Owl's Cliffs, though prominently visible from the Kanc, have their own sections since they are best approached from Sawyer River and Bear Notch Rds.
Many of these crags are singularly interesting. Combined, this area represents a worthy destination in its own right. From the steep sport climbs at Sundown's Main Cliff, to the splitter crack of Crack in the Woods, to the easy but incredibly runout climbs of the Rainbow Slab, the Kancamagus Crags have enough rock to entertain every climber.
The Kancamagus Highway runs east-west through the middle of the White Mountains. Most of the climbing is concentrated on the eastern stretch of the highway, about 10 miles from the town of Conway.
The Albany Covered Bridge is a good reference point. This connects the Kanc with Passaconaway Road (aka Dugway Road), on the other side of the river. Many areas are approached off Passaconaway Road.
The area is well covered in Ed Webster's Rock Climbs in the White Mountains. Ed devotes over 100 pages to this area.
Jerry Handren's North Conway Rock Climbs finally does justice to this area by including great photos, good directions, and thorough route descriptions.
Big Papa is a route that was hiding in plain sight until its first ascent this fall. It climbs the striking, overhanging crack just to the left of Banana Head in the middle of Sundown's Main Cliff.Start by climbing up blocky rock, clip a bolt, and do a few face moves to gain the crack. The crack is very steep, angling, and offset. These three characteristics conspire to create a physical and gymnastic crack climb. To finish, top out on a sloping ledge and clip a two bolt anchor. ...[more]Browse More Classics in NH
The Kancamagus Crags are little pockets of wilderness climbing along the Swift River in the White Mountains. While Sundown Ledge sees more consistent traffic than the rest of these crags, the area as a whole offers a remote climbing experience compared to the usual NH destinations of Cathedral, White Horse, and Rumney.
The approaches to many of these crags are hard to find and strenuous. (Despite repeated attempts, no one I know has actually made it to Crag-Y.) However, this adventurous hiking is well worth the effort as the area offers a variety of classic cracks, engaging mixed routed, and steep bolted lines. Some of the more remote cliffs are home to five-star granite routes that see few ascents, and the rock here still carries the flavor of an untouched line--grainy, rain-washed, and brushed with lichen.
i was wondering if anyone could help me.im coming through the K and i was wondering how far is the bridge when you get on the K from Loon mountain side.i wanna climb lost ledge,and was wondering is the bridge on your left or right from the way im coming
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Sep 7, 2010
The bridge would be on your left. I don't know the milage , though I bet you could figure it out from a map.