||Ice, Alpine, 6 pitches, Grade III
|Consensus: ||WI2 [details]|
|Page Views: ||15,118|
|Submitted By: ||BrianWinslow on Feb 3, 2008|
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BETA PHOTO: WI3 finish, just before the gully heads left (This...
The route starts as an easy snow gully over boulders. After approximately 1000 ft the gully narrows and gets steeper. [NOTE: The beauty of this climb is its alpine nature, really confined walls, especially the right wall. The easiest line over most of the ice is on the right side, usually then moving to the center. Directly up the center is usually 3- to 3. The climb's submitter indicated "Climb six pitches of water ice 2, steps split between easy snow gullies." I guess if you belay each pitch from the first ice to the top it's 5 or 6 pitches, but in normal snow years many of these pitches will be only about 1/4 to 1/3 ice, the rest high-angle snow. R. Hall]
If the trail is broken a quick party could complete the climb in half a day, but if conditions are poor it could take quite a bit longer.
There are a few variations at different points of the climb.
The Southern most gully on the mountain. Park along the east side (Webster-side) of rt 302 about 1/2 mile north of the Webster Cliff Trail, and about 1/2 mile south of the "Willey House". There is an old sign frame and usually a plowed pull-out. You should be directly below the gully, which is really only visible for a narrow stretch of road about 1/8 mile in each direction. If you're lucky a trail will be broken in the snow and easy to follow, and the stream crossing (the Saco "river") will be easy. (It's done at an old broken dam.)
Once across the stream, you'll cross the Saco River Trail and continue in the woods to the gully. Usually, 200-300 vertical ft of snow gives way to the main ice flow, which is easiest on the right, crossing to the left. More snow, and occasional ice, leads to the top. The total climb is about 2000-2400 vertical feet from the car.
There are at least two "usual" alternate endings: a 5.5 rock on then right just above the main ice, and an easier NEI WI3 (or rock) "shallow corner" higher up, also on the right.
To descend, hike straight up into the woods from the top of the climb for a few minutes and intersect with the popular Webster Clif trail. Turn right (South) and hike out to the road. You will likely need to hike North once on the road to your car. It would be possible, though difficult, to rappel the route.
A light rack of screws, maybe snow pickets depending on conditions. I didn't use any rock gear though there are some options.
BETA PHOTO: this pic looks up the standard rock finish from th...
BETA PHOTO: Climbers above the main ice flow
BETA PHOTO: Top out horn anchor on the 5.5 mixed variation. So...
a team finishing up the upper section where we tur...
my dad waiting at the start of the gully proper...
the crux ice section on Shoestring...
Shoestring, upper gully detail
1st pitch... great conditions
The approach can be BRUTAL after a fresh dump if n...
Dad dry tooling the top out of the rock finish... ...
The upper reaches of Shoestring Gully.
dad (ernie) in the rock chimney...
BETA PHOTO: Shoestring from the road
Pops in front of Shoestring on a cold day
Mike Hancock topping out the 5.5 mixed pitch! Plen...
ernie (dad) lower down in the chimney...
Chris on the beginning/middle of shoestring. I th...
in the actual ice section
Amanda Doing a "Look MA! NO HANDS!" hal...
Just before the start of the Ice Section. Such bea...
BETA PHOTO: Shoestring gully from the parking spot on rt 302
2nd pitch... or 3rd depending on where you make be...
Amanda Topping out the WI3 Finish... (finishing he...
By lee hansche
From: goffstown, nh
Jan 27, 2009
my dad and i did shoestring the other day and i just wanted to add a few things...
thank you, whoever packed out the trail cause i wouldn't have found the gully on my own without a compass...
we did a few variations cause there were a few parties climbing at the same time and all were fun and a little harder than the standard route...
my favorite pitch was the Rock finish chimney... i did it with just my gloves and a rack of nuts... it would be easier and less scary to dry tool (as my dad did when he followed) and bring a couple cams and long slings to sling blocks as the chimney steepens and other gear is hard to find... the climbing is moderate though so don't sweat it just go for it...
From: plymouth, nh
Jan 27, 2009
has anyone gone up this in the summer?
By Devin Krevetski
From: West Woodstock, VT
Jan 28, 2009
Considering the amount of rockfall on the snow during the winter, I wouldn't want to find myself in this area in the summer when the rock isn't frozen in place
From: plymouth, nh
Jan 28, 2009
fair enough it prob is a good idea if i stay away then..
From: Corvallis, OR
Dec 28, 2011
Climbed this yesterday with my dad. It isn't in yet, but there are a couple WI2 steps that have some decent WI2 on them. Plenty of options for slinging trees for belays. The rock looks like it could take some KBs but i didn't feel the need to place any.
By Andrew Blease
From: Damascus, VA
Dec 25, 2012
I climbed this on the 22nd of December. It had been warm-ish and rained the day before. Down low was wet, and the small ice steps were rotten, but up high the ice was good and snow conditions were great for kicking steps and moving quick. Don't get discouraged if the ice down low isn't in great shape.
Jan 14, 2013
Hey all, A beginner climber here. Have done 2-3 climbs (rated WI2-4) as follower. I am planning to do this climb with partner with similar skill on jan 19th-20th. We have all the gear & skills to use it. Wanted to check on the current conditions of the gully. Solid thick ice / stable snow and any mix of those two should be good for us.