New Hampshire Climbing Guide -- Mountaineering Instructor -- Member of The North Face Climbing Team

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Mark Synnot - AMGA Certified Rock Guide
AMGA Certified
Rock Guide

Maine – Grafton Notch State Park

Grafton Notch is Maine’s most popular ice-climbing destination, providing a backcountry-climbing atmosphere with a full range of ice climbing and mountaineering. This unique climbing destination is steeped in natural history and impressive geologic features. Situated east of Bethel, ME, on route 26, this quiet climbing gem is just minutes away from Sunday River ski area. Bag some climbs and hit the slopes afterwards, or just spend the day with one of our guides climbing in quiet alpine paradise…that’s right, this region has escaped the New Hampshire crowds.

Depending on where you’ll be coming from, we can meet you at the Appalachian Trailhead parking lot, Sunday River Brew Pub, or a decided upon destination in the town of Bethel or Rumford. During the short drive into the notch, many diverse ice and alpine climbing objectives will grab your attention on both sides of the road, all of which are just a 5-25 minute walk.

Here are a few selections:
Ice Slabs- the three prominent north-facing ice slabs are an excellent low-angle ice- climbing venue. The classic right slab (Slab 1, NEI 2+) is 700’ and at times interspersed with snow. The left slab (Slab 3+) 500’, offers steeper ice up to 80 degrees. Descent options include a combination of rappels, walking down low-angle ice and trails systems. Combine all three slabs in a day for 1700’ of elevation gain.

The Streams- two prominent streams flow from Maine’s third tallest mountain, Old Speck (4180’). Situated in the far northern aspect of the Mahoosuc Mountain Range; known for the hardest section of the Appalachian Trail. The streams are ideal for learning the full gamut of crampon and single axe techniques as well as excellent steep ice routes NEI 4-5 and mixed climbs. Old Speck Stream, NEI 2+ is a fantastic alpine objective, as it continues to the summit of Old Speck and descends the Eyebrow along the Appalachian Trail for a total of 2800’ elevation gain and 6 mile round trip. The Eyebrow Stream, 2+ climbs parallel to the Appalachian Trail for approximately 1000’ before taking a tributary detour up a short snow and ice gully to the base of the Chimney, NEI 4+. This classic four-pitch climb finishes with great views of the Notch. Just around the corner lies The Smear, NEI 3+, and Hanging Gardens, NEI 5, making for an excellent day.

The Amphitheater- is Maine’s answer to New Hampshire’s Frankenstein cliff. It contains nearly a dozen classic one to two-pitch ice climbing in the NEI 2-5 range. This is quite possibly the most popular ice crag in Maine; you don’t want to miss it.

The Notch has many fantastic moderate to hard mixed climbs on the Eyebrow’s 800’ cliff face, as well as on table rock. Perhaps Grafton’s most ephemeral route is the Hackett-Tremblay, NEI 5. It’s parasol effect makes for one of the most exciting objectives anywhere. There are several other ice amphitheaters, snow and ice gullies and slabs abound. There’s no shortage of adventure!

Synnott Mountain Guides Climbing Courses
Intro to Mountaineering - 2 day with overnight
Custom Private Mountaineering Program
Mt. Washington Guided Hike
Mt. Washington One Day Winter Ascent
Intro to Mountaineering - 3 day with overnight
Intermediate Mountaineering
Mt. Rainier Prep
Mt. Washington Observatory Overnight
Presidential Traverse
Lion's Head Winter Route Overview
Tuckerman Ravine Winter Climbing Overview
Intro to Rock Climbing
Family Rock Climbing
Cathedral Ledge Overview
Whitehorse Ledge Overview
Custom Private Rock Climbing Course
Advanced Rock Climbing Techniques
Toprope Set-ups
Learn to Lead course
AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Courses and Exams
Youth Rock Climbing Overnight Camp June 24-27,2016
Maine - Acadia Rock Climbing
Mt. Katahdin Alpine Rock Climbing
Custom Backpacking Overnight
Custom Private Ice Climbing Course
Intro to Ice Climbing
Intermediate Ice Climbing
Advanced Ice Climbing
Grafton Notch Ice Climbing
Mixed Climbing 101
Aid Climbing Instruction
Introduction to Self-Rescue
Intro to Backcountry Ski
Advanced Backcountry Skiing
Huntington Ravine Gully Skiing
Mt. Washington Avalanche Awareness Course
AIARE Level 1
Cotopaxi Expedition
Mexican Volcanoes Expedition
Aconcagua Expedition