Stonehouse is arguably the most impressive of the little cliffs in southeastern NH. Situated on the shore of a beautiful clear pond, it is remarkable for this part of the state. There are a good range of routes from 5.5 - 5.13 including 8 sport routes. The cliff is composed of pegmatitic granite and is about 100' at its tallest. It generally faces east and northeast making it a good afternoon destination in hot weather. There's also a great swimming hole along the access trail.
ATTENTION: The cliff and the surrounding 241 acres was purchased in 2010 by the Trust for Public Land, Strafford Rivers Conservancy, New Hampshire Fish and Game, the Town of Barrington and other partners. The conservation of this land is the result of years of hard work. After decades of access issues this has been a gift to all who value this natural resource. Remember, this could just as easily have been a housing development. Please treat the area with respect and do your part to keep it clean. Pack out all of your trash. Better yet, make the extra effort and pack out what others have left behind. Answer nature's call far from the shores of the pond and trails and bury any human waste.
For more information see Todd Swain's Southern NH Climbing Guide due out later this year.
The cliff is located in Barrington NH.. There is a 10 minute approach hike along the eastern shore of the pond.
Not really a route, but halfway up the main 5.7 corner there is a finger crack that shoots out left on the overhanging wall. Great moves, done it on TR and tried to lead it several times and no send yet. My guess is mid.11 with awkward moves and kinda campusy. Might need one bolt to make it comfortable, but I bet you could take the fall without any real consequences. Anyone done it?
I looked at this the other day. Could probably be lead fairly easily with a single cam in the middle of the traverse. I don't think that there is much need for a bolt there although I admittedly have not been on it.
Hey Will, the couple times I've tried it i place a few 2-3 cams in the crack (you realize how low angle the .7 is when you move away from it)to keep from hitting the slab. from the end of the crack i thought that up the arete would be the and proud aesthetic line. Hence the bolt comment. You can continue around the corner and link into the top of the joke or joke book fairly easily. That's the only way I have finished the route. maybe mid .10.
will, John and I had talked about this at length but I really feel like it can go all on gear, the first couple of pieces are tricky to get it but make it safe enough to keep from smashing the corner on the roost, yellow and red aliens abound, good luck its a pretty stiff 11.
It was only a matter of time before one of these clowns killed himself or was seriously hurt. Here's the story:
He was on the face called Son of Snake between The Roost and The Nose and was about 8 ft from the top when he fell. I was belaying Mark Richey on a route to the left called Geezer Pleaser when we heard him falling and his friends start screaming. Pretty grim hearing him bounce all the way down the face. I quickly lowered Mark to the ground and rushed to the base of the cliff to find the guy. He was nowhere to be found so I scrambled up to the ledge above and found him hanging part way over the edge of the big ledge at the base of the routes mentioned above. I was the 1st guy to reach him. He was about to fall again down the last 15' to the water so I grabbed on to his harness and waited for Mark to assist me in pulling him up. He was conscious but clearly out of it and in a lot of pain. He had fallen about 70'. 911 was called and a rescue ensued. Our good friend and climbing partner Will Carey rushed to the pond on his way home from Rumney and assisted us in getting him into a litter when the Barrington rescue arrived and down the steep 4th class terrain to the ground. Shortly after that he was in the chopper headed for Boston.
Will and I have over the last 2 months been climbing a couple of days a week at Stonehouse, usually after work. On probably 8 or more of those evenings, these same 3 guys would show up to set up a top rope in the Nose area. They always canoed across the pond so that they could more easily transport their cooler full of beer. This was to be consumed on whatever route they were climbing. We'd see them rapping down with Bud Light ( only the good stuff) in hand all the time. The empties were to be left behind for Will and I and other climbers to pick up. In fact it was a bit of poetic justice that Jack Rigel, the guy who fell, landed on top of a couple of their empties. On this particular evening they ratcheted up the idiocy a bit and Jack decided to solo because he was "getting into soloing". During the whole evac he kept saying "Why me? Why me?" Well lets see, Do you think it has anything to do with the fact that you're a novice who can't climb for shit and that you were soloing near your top roping limit while half in the bag? WTF ? Don't get me going about Aaron.
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Sep 17, 2012
Woo Hoo! LOL. Good thing you guys were there or he probably would have been floating face down in the pond. I love how in the news they call him an "experienced rock climber" and don't mention the fact that he was a drunken slob.
Hi Mark, Yeah, the experienced climber bit sent me over the edge and was enough to get me to call the newspaper today and give them the real story. Hey, At least I got to use my favorite line from the Big Lebowski. Don't worry Jack - "Help's chopperin' in"
Hoping to take my 1st trip into Greens cliff this fall. Awesome looking stuff you've been doing up there.
Well done, Joe, both on the rescue and on setting the paper straight. News stories about this sort of thing are notoriously inaccurate, and only serve to paint the larger climbing community in a bad light.
Just to backup Joe's story, there is no question that this was an alcohol induced accident more than a legitimate climbing accident. A couple of the police and rescue personnel agreed that they thought they smelled some boozy breath on those boys. I wasn't there until the guy had already taken his inevitable plunge but I think that it's safe to assume that they didn't change up their beer quota on that particular day. I would feel compassion for him if he was just some beginning climber (which he was contrary to the newspaper article)who just made a bad decision and got himself in over his head. We all start somewhere and I've made my fair share of poor climbing choices. No sympathy here however. "Why Me?"
This is meant as no disrespect to the person whose homemade hangers grace Desperation and the North Face route but Joe and I will be replacing your homemade hangers with real/tested/store bought hangers over the next few weeks. If you would like the handmade stuff back you are welcome to it just tell me how to get it to you. Your hangers while impressive are thin and sharp and by placing them you end up taking a certain responsibility for them that you may not have thought about. Real hangers only cost $3.50.
In order to reduce the visual impact of the bolts at the pond in the more well traveled areas such as where the hiking trail is, I was planning on painting the hangers. We used painted hangers on the route The Amazing Schlingazi just to the left of Desperation and if you weren't looking for them, you would hardly know that they were there.
Rock and roll, way cheaper than getting those enviro hangers. I 'm sure Burlap would think it's a great idea too, as he had a hand in getting the state to get the property. In light of everything happening there recently, I think anything we can do as a community is killer.
Joe, sorry I didn't get back to you. Doing well with just the 1 beautiful girl, she just turned one. Sarah and I just bought a place in Newmarket, I figured I had too much free time. Anyway, hope to see you out this fall. So local stuff would be great to.
not permitted at Stonehouse Pond: bait fishing and ice fishing (anything but fly fishing); ATV and off-road vehicle usage; swimming; and unauthorized camping. Rock climbing is not condoned, but due to the difficulty in enforcing, is left strictly up to the participantís own risk. Electric motors are permitted on the water, but not petroleum-fueled motors. Horseback riding is not advised because the footpaths are not likely to hold up well to such heavier usage. Horseback riding and mountain biking are potential activities on the adjacent snowmobile trail
i have been to stone house a few time its a great place to climb truly beautiful. any ways my climbing partner moved away and id like to climb it again so if theres any one out there looking into climbing stone house let me know i like about 10 min away.