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A Cathedral Ledge classic, this route ascends the central buttress known as The Prow. Follow the Recompense/Prow trail from the road, up to a ledge at the foot of the prow.
P1- 5.7- 180'- Climb the obvious crack system heading slightly left to a good ledge with a two bolt anchor.
P2- 5.9- 100' - Step left off the ledge and up to a birch tree. continue up the somewhat awkward chimney (crux) and set up an anchor below the final sweeping dihedral.
P3- 5.9- 100'- Climb the curving dihedral, and up to a big ledge. It is possible to walk off from here, but there are some fun finger cracks off the ledge that will take you to the tourist overlook.
A set of nuts (bomber nut placements on the last pitch) and cams. Bring long runners and cordelette for anchors. The route is fairly popular, so a helmet is advised.
Brian working the laybacks up the last pitch of Th...
The first pitch of Recompense....
The best moves on the first pitch of Recompense......
Pitch one again...
Brian reaching through the high traverse variation...
Looking up at the high traverse variation on pitch...
The Recompense chimney looking down.... I recommen...
Looking down The Beast flake....
Dead tree as some natural pro, why not?
Ladd stemming and running it out a bit up the clas...
Scott Hadley on the final moves.
The Beast Flake and saddle
Upper Dihedral Awesomeness
Looking up the wandering first pitch of Recompense...
Doug Sabetti on crux of last pitch of Recompense
Doug Sabetti placing gear at crux of P3, Recompens...
Local climber and photographer Anne Skidmore on th...
The upper dihedral. Shortly (seconds) after this ...
John Gassel emerges from the flake
BETA PHOTO: The dreaded chimney downclimb transition from the ...
From: at large
Dec 19, 2006
Great route, and a great description. Wearing a helmet is a good idea here (especially on the weekend). A cam fell out of the sky while i was roping up for this. The last pitch can be toproped pretty easily.
Aug 15, 2007
The flake that made the "high-traverse" is now gone... Sadly, I ripped it off a few weeks ago. As I committed to it, it grumbled, I stepped back left and with two-fingers, ripped it off the cliff. It was one of the most magnificent "trundles" I have ever whittnessed. It was a good thing that we were doing the route in the pooring rain, because it crossed the approach trail 4 times and nearly made it to the flats below the talus slope. We followed the craters and downed trees until we found it. We humped it back up and laid it to rest, on display, on the side of the trail. If you are familiar with the flake and keep your eyes open, you will see it.
I assure you I didn't pull "too hard" or place gear behind it. I've climbed that section nearly 40 times and have always been aware of its fragility.
It might still be climbable, but its going to be in the 5.12 range...
|By Joe Lee|
From: Las Vegas
Jul 25, 2010
On the approach trail, make a right at the base of the cliff. And then continue left up the stone steps. After the first wood staircase, turn left onto a flat granite area with a slab above it. This is the start. The second pitch is actually pretty good. The third pitch is badass.
|By kevin fox|
Sep 7, 2010
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a
for what it's worth the 3rd pitch felt harder than 5.9. I don't know if it was the humidty and the grease factor of my hands literally sliding out of the crack.
Sep 21, 2010
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a PG13
damn that offwidth is hard!
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 26, 2010
Joe Lee Wrote:
"On the approach trail, make a right at the base of the cliff. And then continue left up the stone steps. After the first wood staircase, turn left onto a flat granite area with a slab above it. This is the start. The second pitch is actually pretty good. The third pitch is badass. "
This is good beta for the traveling climber without a guidebook. Right on the money.
I agree, the second pitch is pretty good, very nice actually, not too hard if you've suffered through some wide pitches. There is bomber gear so that helps. We did it after a rain and it was a bit wet in places, but overall excellent climb, all three pitches are quality.
Jun 24, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a
There was what looked to be a dried up pool of blood at the belay before the 3rd, dihedral pitch when I climbed this Wed 6/22/11. Anyone know what happened? Did Dracula drop his Nalgene while gettin ready for the dihedral?
An absolutely wonderful, and very well-protected climb.
|By M Sprague|
From: New England
Jun 24, 2011
Yes, there was an accident. A guy fell and broke his leg..compound fracture. There is a little about it at NEClimbs.com.
|By S. Neoh|
Jun 24, 2011
Just wondering - is the dead stump still there just b4 the start of P3? I imagine not. We rapped off this bugger to escape an impending storm back in the early 90's. That was exciting and obviously memorable.
|By lee hansche|
From: goffstown, nh
Jun 24, 2011
it was still there last year... it makes a good seat when used just right and helps with rope management :) i would not rap from it however :)
|By Peter Lewis|
From: Bridgton, Maine
May 21, 2012
I've lived and climbed in N. Conway for over 30 years and visitors always ask "What's the best 5.9 on Cathedral?" Yup, it's Recompense. (And here's a hint, the hardest move isn't on the 5.9 pitch!). Funny comment, below, John, you just don't want to admit that you were wearing flannel pajamas when you did it (LOL)
|By john strand|
From: southern colo
May 21, 2012
i, like paul Ross am rumored to have never done the last pitch
|By Kevin D.|
From: Palo Alto, CA
Nov 20, 2012
Is there a runout section with bad fall potential on this route? I'm wondering because of the accident in 2011; I couldn't find any details on what exactly happened.
|By chris magness|
Nov 20, 2012
There is no runout. However, Recompense has had it's fair share of accidents-- a pro or go scenario for some where the leader pumps out and pitches off onto the sloping belay ledge. Stop and place gear, you'll be fine.
|By James Simone|
Mar 10, 2013
I've never actually climbed all of recompense proper - opting for the Beast flake variation ever time. My partner and I had a bit of an epic actually finding the route the first time we went to Cathedral; with no prior knowledge of the base of the cliff and only old Webster's bible, we climbed a variety of other routes before finally finding this classic.