Ravine Mt. Washington, NEI 1 - 3
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There are 9 main gullies in Huntington Ravine. They are; The Escape Hatch, South, Odell's, Pinnacle, Central, Diagonal, Yale, Damnation, and North. Below is a short climbing description of each of these gullies except for The Escape Hatch and Diagonal which are more often descended than climbed, these two gullies will be discussed in the descents section.
South Gully NEI 1: This north-facing snow gully is one of the easiest climbing gullies in Huntington Ravine. With only a small ice bulge at the halfway point, this pleasant snow climb is often overlooked. This is a great alternative to Central if that route is crowed. South is often used as a descent route, often because people mistake it for the Escape Hatch. Although it is an easier descent than Central, it requires good cramponing technique and may be require a rappel in icy conditions.
Odell's Gully NEI 2-3: This east-facing gully has one of the widest sections of ice in the ravine. It has one entrance, but depending on which line you take up the ice it can have up to three snow gullies radiating above it. In general the steeper the ice line you climb, the lower angle the snow climb will be above. For the most consistent line, climb more or less up the center.
Pinnacle Gully NEI 3: This northeast-facing gully is one of the most sustained and sought after climbs in the ravine. Done in 4 or 5 pitches with the first one being the crux, this climb is more like the waterfall climbing New Englanders are used to. Hidden behind a buttress, one cannot see the climb from the ravine floor. The climb ascends leftward splitting the steep rock buttress (this is the pinnacle buttress rock climb) separating Odell's from Central. Although the second pitch is mainly snow, the climb does not require the extensive snow climbing the other gullies do. Soon after the ice ends so does the gully. At the end of the route you are dropped off at the top of the buttress. A short hike above leads to the Alpine Garden.
Central NEI 1: This east-facing snow gully follows a striking line right up the center of the ravine. Soon after the start of the climb a 50-degree ice bulge about 50 to 75 feet long is encountered. After this crux follow the snow to the top. This gully is sometimes used as a descent but the bulge often requires a rappel.
Yale NEI 2-3: This south-facing gully is the least distinct gully in the ravine. It is characterized by a wide triangular shaped snow slope in the middle with thin snow lines radiating from it giving it a spidery look. Upon closer inspection, one can see a distinct gully radiating straight up from the center snow slope. It's start is an ice slab located to the right of an impressive looking frozen waterfall coming off of the buttress to the right of Central Gully. This slab is called the Harvard Slab and harkens back to the Ivy League rivalry in mountaineering's days past. This slab can be avoided by climbing on either side of it. In fact almost all the ice in a good snow year can be avoided in one way or another. Despite this, between the sunny exposure, the open situation and the length, this climb is one of the classics. Above the mid climb snowfield a narrow steep snow gully leads to the Alpine Garden.
Damnation NEI 3: This south-facing gully is one of the great routes of Huntington Ravine. This route is clearly visible from North Conway and takes a striking line up the large south-facing wall of the ravine. Pitches of snow and ice lead you to the Alpine Garden, just slightly west of the summit of Nelson Crag.
Damnation Buttress Variation NEI 3: This interesting and moderate mixed rock and snow route follows a faint break, up through the middle of the top third of the buttress between Damnation and Yale. About two thirds of the way up Damnation look for a break out left. Then make an angling traverse leftwards to a line that breaks through the center of the buttress. Follow that up two or three pitches to the Alpine Garden.
North Gully NEI 3: This south southwest-facing gully can have the hardest single bit of ice of the Huntington gullies on it's first pitch. After the first pitch though, the climb turns into a pleasant snow gully that peters out disappointingly 2 to 3 hundred feet below the rim of the ravine.
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