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Holt’s Ledge

Holt’s Ledge is a long, rising escarpment that bounds one half of the Dartmouth Skiway in Lyme, New Hampshire. For decades it has been one of our most accessible ice-climbing destinations, with thick flows that form reliably each year. Some of these are quite low-angle, short, and perfect for learning.

A very small number of rock routes have been done on Holt’s. Much of the rock has a firm exterior patina and is solid for climbing, but some is suspect: highly weathered and crumbly in places. As you meander the cliff’s base you’ll note some impressive roofs and a monster left-facing dihedral (these are roughly above the split “boxcar-boulder” in the woods below). The outside of this dihedral is a nice top-rope line at 5.10+. Several hundred feet uphill (left) of the big roofs there is an appealing eighty-degree wall with two direct lines which have been cleaned and toproped: Serenity (11A) starts with an obvious mantle right off the ground (just left of a left-facing corner); and (to its left) Another Road (10c/d) goes easily up a leftwards-rising ramp and then takes corners and steep face above on the right.

Farther uphill, there is a large, unappealing, low-angle, broken section where peregrine falcons breed (please keep well away during spring-summer breeding season). Much further up the cliff-line there are a couple of intermittent, high-quality butresses. Several hundred yards to the right of the boxcar is a short, dirty class-3 gulley which provides access to the woods above the main wall. It is also possible to access Holt’s by hiking up the ski-hill and then descending — either to the cliff’s base or the top of the main wall.

Note that several houses are located in the woods near the cliff’s base, and that sounds “carry” easily here, especially with the amplification of the rock wall behind. Therefore please respect the desire of the local people for quiet.

N.B. Permission from Dartmouth is required for any bolting on Dartmouth property and it is very important not to trespass on private property surrounding the cliff. Please respect any notices from landowners and the Town of Lyme, NH. 

At its regular meeting on April 27th, 2017 the Select Board voted unanimously to pass the Holt's Ledge Management Plan Ordinance as presented at the public hearing on April 13th, 2017. The Board also voted that the area will remain POSTED. NO Trespassing will be allowed on the Town Land until 1. New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau – DRED – Division of Forest & Lands has completed its survey of endangered and threatened plant species and 2. The bolts which were illegally placed on Town Property have been cut off or removed. Once these two items have been completed the posters will be removed by the Town.


How To Get There: 
Park at the Dartmouth Skiway and then make your way to the cliff as unobtrusively as possible (learn the most up-to-date approach-beta from the DMC).

Last Updated: 10/9/17