North American Classic Climbs

prev climb next climb


Whitney-Gilman Route

(Cannon Mtn.)

Beta Images Slide Show

There are many classic climbs east of the Mississippi, notably in the mountain regions of the Eastern Seabord. Although the eastern classics may present climbing of equal quality, very few qualify for this collection because they are too short to compare favorably with climbs on the western half of the continent. This route is an exception. It has an interesting history, a striking line, excellent climbing, and a length exceeding 500 feet, which is typically divided into 5 interesting and varied pitches. Expect company, of course, because this famous route is a 30 minute-approach from an Interstate Highway, and is known throughout the eastern climbing community as a "must-do." Expect also excellent granite and relatively safe climbing on a cliff known otherwise for loose, dangerous rock. Expect most of all dramatically exposed situations. The exposure factor on some sections of this climb rivals any route on the continent in its difficulty class. Consider while climbing the crux moves the first ascensionists in 1929-vintage boots, with no safety equipment but a hemp rope. Pitons had not yet come into use in this country.


Lowland Rock




Franconia State Park, New Hampshire



G34, W38


II, 5.7


Route Descriptions & Maps:

Route diagram

First Ascent:

B. Gilman, H. Whitney, 8/03/29



Trip Reports:

Voyer, 06/04
Hamilton, 02/81