Northeast Ridge of the Pinnacle

Yesterday’s weather forecast called for 94 degrees in the valley’s. I wanted to climb, but I didn’t want to cook, so I called up my old friend Rob to see if he would be in for a morning climb up this classic alpine ridge. He agreed, and asked if his girlfriend Stephanie could join us. While we wouldn’t be setting any speed records as a party of three I liked the idea of a more mellow social climb, so the plan was made and off we went.

We reached the base at 9:30 and I was surprised no one else was on route even though it was a Monday. I took the first 3 pitches leading on doubles and while we swapped racks for Rob to lead the 4th pitch we saw the first of two other parties arrive behind us.

Two parties arriving below us

Two parties arriving below us

The first party of two was making good time but stayed to the right on the more direct 5.9 variation. Rob cruised the 5.8 variation (does anyone ever climb the Allis Chimney anymore?) and I took us up and right to link up with the “Fairy Tale Traverse” pitch. This is one of the coolest pitches in the White Mountains.

Classic exposure!

Classic exposure!

Stephanie inches here way along the traverse

Stephanie inches her way along the traverse

Around this time I discovered this was Stephanie’s first multi-pitch climb, having only climbed once or twice at Square Ledge. Great job on the route Stephanie, hope you and Rob are still together 😉



We coiled the ropes and started the hike up to the top of the ravine.

iPhone Panarama

iPhone Panarama

Wildcat Ski Mountain in the background

Wildcat Ski Mountain in the background


A “moment” that had to be captured

I hope to climb this a few more times this season. It had been a few years since I had been up there and I had almost forgotten what a great route this is. It is definitely a great option when valley temps are forecast-ed to be scorching!

Coming up this week: Product Review of PETZL Cordex Belay Gloves

See you in the mountains!


About David Lottmann

David grew up skiing in the Whites and started climbing at a summer camp just north of Mt. Washington when he was 16. Those first couple of years solidified climbing as a lifetime passion. From 1996-2000 he served in the USMC, and spent the better part of those years traveling the globe (18 countries). After returning to civilian life he moved to North Conway to focus on climbing and was hired in 2004 as a Rock and Ice Instructor. Since then Dave has taken numerous AMGA courses, most recently attaining a Single Pitch Instructor. He has completed a Level 3 AIARE avalanche course, is a Level 2 Course Leader, holds a valid Wilderness First Responder and is a member of Mountain Rescue Service. When David isn't out guiding he enjoys mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, backcountry skiing, trying to cook something new once a week and sampling new micro-brews. He lives in Conway, NH with his wife Michelle, son Alex, and daughter Madalena.
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