Last Friday I headed to the sport climbing gem of the Highgrade Wall in Marshfield, VT. There was a pretty good crew of five headed there and we were surprised by some pretty wintery conditions upon arriving!
Courtney warming up on the highgrade
One of the coolest things about climbing at this wall is that it is located about 300 feet up a giant slab reminiscent of Whitehorse Ledge in North Conway. Amazingly there is a massive ledge to hang out on which makes for one of the coolest sport climbing hangs I've ever experienced. I had been up here a few random times in the past but it took a couple of burns to re-figure the moves on the route. The routes on the wall, save Peter K's futuristic project, all start the same which can be tricky with a crowd. The climbing is amazing on crisp granite edges with big moves between! I had my eye on sending the Highgrade Direct 13b and made some pretty good progress during the day. I was also excited to figure out new beta for the highgrade 13a which I had always avoided due to what I thought was a pretty un-enjoyable crux. With the new beta my friend Brian Bittner, new to route climbing but a stone cold crusher on the boulders, sent High Grade and I gave it one last go, punting on the low crux. Bummer!
Brian off the crux of Highgrade
I'm planning on going back on Saturday although Brian told me that on Sunday our friend Steve Potter may have broken the hold I was using in the crux. Hopefully that info is wrong and it will go down next go!
Check out some photos!