Efforts to conserve the site were made approximately 15 years ago, but the native timber used for structures has rotted away. Work will entail constructing approximately 20 linear feet of stone stairs and a 117-foot wide retaining wall to stop the erosion of the earthen bench where climbers stage, as well as building belay staging areas, rock steps, tread hardening, re-routes around eroded areas of vegetation, re-vegetation, and other trail infrastructure improvements.
The project site will require highline rigging, stone splitting and shaping, and dry stack stone work skills. Working on staging areas requires unique considerations, such as limiting grade changes at the base of routes and avoiding the creation of fall hazards. Climbers also travel through and utilize sites differently than traditional user groups, providing an opportunity for crews to learn about considerations for managing climbing sites. Work is expected to take 8-10 weeks to complete.
Background & History
Whitehorse Ledge is a huge chunk of granite that is host to a wide variety of climbing styles, from face climbs to cracks to stellar slab climbing — often bold and always what climbers think of when envisioning slab. Routes like Standard Route (5.5), Interloper (5.10c), and Sliding Board (5.7) set the standard in New England for slab climbing.
In 2021, Whitehorse Ledge will celebrate its 100-year anniversary : in 1921 Leland Pollack "worked out a legitimate central portion for the now standard route up Whitehorse Ledge" — free climbing the brown spot and boilerplate sections using only pitons for protection. This route set the pace for annual excursions made to New England as it became a climbing mecca known by the world's best climbers.
Today, Whitehorse Ledge is still renowned for its slab style climbing and has birthed many of today's epic and well-known climbers. It is an iconic destination for groups and beginner climbers, as well as a great area used to introduce youth to climbing and outdoor recreation.
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