Episode #28

Credit Photo Courtesy of:
Brian Poon


About this Episode

The guest for this month’s episode is Sarah Garlick. Based in North Conway, New Hampshire, Sarah serves as the board president of Friends of the Ledges, an advocacy group that covers the White Mountains of New Hampshire and Maine. Perhaps the most well-known climbing area in the region is Cathedral Ledge, home to some of the most classic and iconic routes in the Northeast. Friends of the Ledges is a fairly new climbing advocacy group, but it has had an incredible impact during its short tenure. It has seen multiple conservation wins in recent years and has replaced a significant amount of hardware through a rebolting initiative.

Friends of the Ledges is in a unique position, tasked with managing year-round climbing opportunities at places like Cathedral Ledge. Cathedral offers it all: rock, ice, mixed, and drytooling. During the winter months, winter routes often overlap with summer rock routes. This has led to permanent damage to the rock from crampons and ice tools. Defining ethics on how to tread lightly when it comes to climbing summer routes in the winter is something that Sarah and the rest of the board are working hard on. Follow along as Sarah passionately talks about how Friends of the Ledges is managing this issue and about other important work the organization is doing to steward and preserve climbing in the White Mountains.


5:07- Sarah’s Intro
10:13- Sarah as a “science communicator”
14:30- Friends of the Ledges
19:56- Friend’s management area
21:47- A “friends group” vs. an LCO
23:44- Managing winter climbing
26:35- Winter climbing ethics
32:31- Cryokenesis
35:48- Land management and access
36:47- Cathedral and Whitehorse Ledges conservation wins
42:14- Band M Ledge conservation win
46:11- Bolt replacement
50:36- Sarah’s definition of advocacy

Friends of the Ledges website: https://www.nhledges.org/

Sarah’s Instagram: @sarahgarlick

Rock & Ice article, “Style Matters”:

Mount Washington Conservation Win: https://www.accessfund.org/news-and-events/news/a-win-in-the-mount-washington-valley

Band M Ledge Conservation Win: https://www.accessfund.org/news-and-events/news/climbing-access-restored-at-new-hampshires-band-m-ledge