BETA PHOTO: Mt Willard in Early Winter Season
NOTE: The winter ice routes for this area are found as a sub-area in the "area "NH ICE and ALPINE CLIMBING".
A multi-faceted area. The main slab has multi pitch slab and crack climbing in a nice sub alpine setting. Recent "revisited" climbs such as "Hugo's Horror" and "Time Traveler" have had widly-spaced bolts and secure double-bolt belays added to the APPROXIMATE (but not exact) line of the original route. These, as well as some of the older lines, now make for pleasant outings and a somewhat different experience from slabs like Whitehorse.
The recently developed Willey Brook Ravine, and "rediscovered" Butress No. 1 AREAs provide interesting 1 pitch climbs of a different, steeper sort. Buttress No. 1 "sports" several newer, bolted, NON-SPORT routes in the 5.6 - 5.8 range, as well as several trad climbs in the same grade range. Of course, there's an "X" ...."R/X" or two as well!
For years the classic approach was to drive west on NH Rt. 302 and park across the street from Elephant's Head, then walk back south east along the tracks over two trestles to where a short gully nearly reaches the tracks. (This approach, at least in the summer and fall when the sightseeing train runs, is, technically, trespassing.) Hike up 75 ft to the base of the slabs in the woods. "Standard" and "Hugo's" start at the low point, "Time Traveler" and "Across the Universe are up and to the right 100 ft. "Star Trek", etc., are further right.
Another approach, and clearly the best for Willey Brook Ravine and Buttress No. 1 , and probably even for the Main Slab, is to park on Rt 302 at a gravel pullout on the west side of the road about a half mile above the Willey Slide pullout (coming from the south/east) or 1 1/2 miles below the AMC's Highland house (from the north/west). Coming from the south/east on Rt 302 this pull-out is on the left beyond a small stream (Willey Brook) comes in from the left, and JUST before the Saco River crosses underneath Rt 302.
A rocky logging-road starts from the rear of the parking, but quickly turns into a trail. Hike up the well-cairned trail to the actual "Hattie's Garden". (about 10-12 min)
To get to Willey Brook Ravine: From Hattie's Garden walk "down tracks" (south) to the big bridge and cut right into the woods. Follow the climbers trail for 2 min to the crag. (To be honest, this "trail" is obscure.)
To get to Buttress No. 1 and Main Slab, walk "Up-Tracks" (towards the cliff)
For Buttress No 1, walk about 1 to 2 minutes and look for the first little (8-inch) drainage channel through the tracks. About 30-40 more RR ties, and look for a cairn and steep climber's path up to the base of Buttress No.1, another 10-12 min. (More details, and photo of the "8-inch channel, in the But. No.1 AREA)
For Main Slab continue another 4-5 minutes to a boulder-gully with vegetation. (A wider, flat area with much poison ivy is on the right [south] side of the tracks here.) Up this "gully" 50-75 feet (any further and you may have the wrong 'gully'.) to the "toe" of the main slab.
Weather station 4.5 miles from here
19 Total Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',11],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',0]
Browse More Classics in Mt. Willard
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Mt. Willard:
Featured Route For Mt. Willard
Star Trek with 5.7+ Variant ? 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
: Mt. Willard
: Main Slab
Just a bit of poor rock at the top of Pitch 1 and start of P2 keeps the "stars" at only 2, otherwise a nice way to get to the clean, white slabs above, and otherwise a 3 star climb for sure. Route is described climbing the first slab reached, but one can move further right and descend 50ft (or so) and start on an even nicer slab. Or, read of more adventures in the DESCRIPTION for the climb "Celestial Path"! P1- 100 ft 5.2-5.4 Easily up the slab, when confronted with a mossy wall, I climbed...[more] Browse More Classics in NH
Latest Regional Forum Messages
By burlap submariner
Sep 14, 2009
There is a new route on willard that was put up sometime in early 2007 that climbs the face and overlap thats about 50 feet down hill from the start to across the universe, if you walk left from across the universe's bolted start there will be an immediate drop off where the toe of the cliff starts to come down toward the train tracks, at that drop off look to your left and you will see one bolt, start for that bolt and follow your nose & lots of new bolts along the way to the tree ledge that splits the lower and upper cliffs....this is an excellent and quick way to get up to the tree ledge if someone else is on the universe....
By Robert Hall
Jul 25, 2014
See the 7/25/14 COMMENT to the climb Hattie's Garden for Beta on the "path" to "Gulley#1 Buttress".
By M Sprague
From: New England
Aug 5, 2014
Per Rob Hall's suggestions, I broke Mt. Willard down into sub areas. I have only climbed here once, so am not so familiar with the area. If anybody has any suggestions, corrections or more route information, let us know. Don't forget you have that blue 'Improve This Page' button. The area descriptions and directions could use some filling out.