NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 1:30a on 07/05/22 - Temperature: 55.1 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 55.1 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.979 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Steady - Humidity: 61 %
BugCON 4: almost too intense for climbing, DEET required
4 out of a possible 5
Climbing Area Index / North Percy Peak / South West Face of North Percy Peak (5.4)
South West Face of North Percy Peak
Brad White
Photo by Matt Peer
Directions:  A small wet 40 cliff may be encountered on the approach that will need to be circumnavigated on the right to reach the slabs bottom, otherwise, the terrain tends to force you downhill and left until you run into the lower-angle slabs over there. The usual North Country bushwhacking will be encountered but it is not a prolonged thrash. Allow 1.5 to 2 hours to reach the slabs toe of rock, possibly much less if you are a fast hiker.
Description: The neat thing about this climb is that you can combine a worthwhile hike with a technical rock climb and reach a real summit. Even though the overall difficulty is somewhat low the climbing is clean and entertaining. The views are some of the best in all the White Mountains and on a clear day can reach 50-100 miles in all directions. Do this climb for the pure experience of moving over wonderful rough granite in a superb location.

The cliff is at a uniform angle and difficultly the entire way with many locations for climbing protection in both vertical flakes and overlaps. The climbing varies between sections of 5.4 and 5.3 climbing that are always interesting and on attractive rock. The rock is very coarse, naturally clean granite that offers excellent friction. This is a perfect climb to do in your sticky rubber approach shoes. It is possible to climb anywhere on the face but the route described below links the best rock and the longest pitches on the slab.
    Pitch 1: Start at the lowest point of rock. Climb straight up stepping over a few overlaps to a belay just down and right of the biggest overlap in the center of the face. 200

    Pitch 2: Diagonal up and left under the center overlap eventually stepping over at a break Follow flakes and cracks past cool holes in the rock up and left around the prominent bush island in the center of the slab. Belay 30 feet up and left of the island at a good overlap. 200

    Pitch 3: Step right and climb straight up the beautiful clean rock past flakes and cracks till at the right side of another bush island. Belay here from a small spruce tree. 200

    Pitch 4: Scramble easily to the top and move right to the trail. 100

Gear: Bring a full set of cams from .3 to #2 Camalot size and a few tri-cams. The majority of the gear is in good horizontal cracks under overlaps. There is no fixed gear of any kind on the climb and none is needed. A single thin 60 Meter rope will suffice as good belays can be established almost anywhere on the face and you will be walking down. Three full 60 meter pitches and a short scramble pitch will get you to the top of the slab.
Descent: Walk off... Once at the top of the slab hike slightly right and up and you will soon cross the trail. You can be at the summit in 5 minutes of easy hiking with 360 degree views as a reward. The trail can then be followed back to the saddle and the road in 2.2 miles.
History:  This climb was most likely climbed many years ago by North Country adventurers but Matt Peer and Brad White felt that writing it up for others to enjoy was a good idea.


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