I have climbed at the central slabs hundreds of days over the last 16 years. I love this area so much and I hope to continue climbing its perfect lines until I am old and grey and unable to slip on climbing shoes.
This small area is locating at the east end of the South wall (AKA Precipice) and offers climbers a taste of somehigh quality moderate climbs on the best rock in New England. It is home to the ultra classic 5.5 Wafer Step and offers amazing views of Frenchman’s Bay.
A few years ago I spied a potential new line between the two classics Recollections of Pacifica and Madame Lebois’ Troubled Lunge. I climbed the line on a top rope a few times and thought it would be a great addition to the area. This independent line protects naturally with cams and nuts but would need one protection bolt and a little bit of cleaning for it to be ready. I submitted a proposal to the Climbers Advisory Group and after a trip to the site it was approved. It was also decided to place a rappell station at the top of the pitch in hopes of alleviating the traffic jams that are often found on the Wafer Step anchor.
In the fall I spent a day cleaning the route up and figuring out the best place for the bolt. I was at the top of the pitch cleaning out a beautiful crack when I realized it was actually part of a large loose block that was not attached to the wall. Thus began a few hours of dirty difficult digging trying to unearth and remove this large boulder. By the time I trundled it I was exhausted and covered in dirt!
I let some months pass and allowed the wind and rain to clean up the line. This winter I had a few buddies climb the route on a top rope to see what they thought. Everyone seemed to like the line and each time I climbed it I enjoyed it more and more.
Today my buddy Max and I equipped the route with it’s one protection bolt and placed a two bolt rappell anchor at the top of the pitch. The line climbs well and has two tricky slab cruxes. I am calling the route Star Faced Mole 5.10+
The name is a playon the Star Nosed Mole which is an amazing digger and lives in Maine. Because of the extensive digging I encountered and that the climb is more or less a face climb, I thought the name was a great representation of my overall experience on the route. I also love strange critters. I am excited to have another quality line at the Central Slabs and encourage folks to go check it out. A huge thanks to ACS guides Ryan Scott, Richard Parker and Noah Kleiner for their help and incite, as well as Max Blanford for facing the cold today (15 degrees when I left the house) and joining me.