When I lived in North Conway in the 1980s and 90s it was not at all uncommon for climbers to get lost in the woods. Jimmy Dunn once got lost when walking over to Whitehorse from the top of Cathedral with a client. They ended up bushwhacking south for 5 miles, eventually stumbling out onto the Passaconaway road as darkness fell, covered in cuts and with their clothes in tatters. Pretty much everyone who climbs around North Conway has gotten lost at one time or another. This was always a particular source of anxiety when exploring some of the more remote or hard-to-find crags, such as Owl's Cliff, or the Outback Cliff at Sundown.
It came as a bit of a revelation then, when I came back to North Conway to work on this book and started to use a GPS for the first time.
A GPS is an incredibly useful tool when climbing in this area. Its correct use virtually assures that you'll find your intended cliff, and more importantly, your way back to the car. There is more than enough information in this book to find every cliff and climb without using GPS; in fact one crusty old local veteran once suggested that if you need a GPS to get there, then you probably shouldn't be there. Nevertheless, if for nothing more than peace of mind, I would recommend that any climbers new to the area familiarize themselves with these devices and use them for any backcountry climbing. Having said that, no gizmo is a substitute for good judgment, and remember; that batteries get low and devices get lost, wet, and broken. In the text, I have included GPS data for almost all of the cliffs. Generally, this includes key junctions on the access roads, the parking area, key points on the approach trail, where the approach trail hits the cliff, and key routes and features on the cliff.
The GPS coordinates in this book were collected on a Garmin Oregon 450 using the following formats:
Datum: WGS 84
Position Format: Lat/Lon hddd°mm.mmm'
Download GPS information:
Extra beta. Photo's, topo's, etc. that didn't make it into the book.
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