Conquering Cathedral Ledge
THE THRILL OF STARTING FROM THE BOTTOM
By Trisha Cloutier
If you have ever been to North Conway, you have seen Cathedral Ledge.
Although it doesn't dominate the landscape like Mount Washington, it holds its own. Just beyond the village to the Northwest, you will see it - standing 500 feet tall, a sheer rock face of beautiful, New England granite. Visitors can drive to the top and take in the breathtaking views of the White Mountains. Well, that's one way to get to the top.
Our campers from last year's North Conway climbing camp opted to take the more difficult route to the summit to get those stellar views. Over the course of a few hours, these intrepid kids and their guides made the journey from the ground to the top - a climb more than 10 times the height of Salt Pump's indoor walls which adds a whole new meaning to Drake's lyrics "started from the bottom, now we're here." Which one camper reports singing proudly as they crested the final ridge of the climb.
When the group conquered the final ledge and made for the fenced in viewing area they were tired, sweaty, and feeling joyful. Although it took only a few hours, a lot had happened. They had spent the morning in their harnesses living in a vertical world, tied to the wall and one another.
"It's unlike anything else I've done," one climber said of her experience, "it's just you, your climbing partners, and a lot of air." An appropriate observation as the route our campers took to the top is named Thin Air.
They took their obligatory group photos and prepared for the short hike down. It had been a long, sometimes scary, journey to the summit but they all agree... it was totally worth it!
Is your kid ready to conquer a few cliffs?
Learn more about our 2019 Outdoor Climbing Camps to the legendary climbing areas of Rumney and North Conway, New Hampshire, and Acadia National Park, Maine!
"It's just you, your climbing partners, and a lot of air."
To get to the top of Cathedral Ledge climbers have to employ special skills and techniques to conquer the large cliff. Collectively, these skills are called multi-pitch climbing. Multi-pitch climbing is required when one length of rope isn't enough to get to the summit of an objective. Instead of using one really, really long rope climbers use a shorter (usually 60-70 meters) rope and create stations along the route where they can pull the rope up to them and start again.