What do you know about New Hampshire? Yeah, same! Unless you’re from New Hampshire or the surrounding area, I think most people would respond to that question with silence, or maybe say that it’s pretty in the Fall. But WOW New Hampshire is a real jewel.
Famous New Hampshirites include Sarah Silverman, Mandy Moore, Adam Sandler, Phineas Gage, and Robert Frost. New Hampshire is home to the first US public library and it’s the location where the first potato in the US was planted. It’s also home to Polly’s Pancake Parlor, which is considered the restaurant with the best pancakes in the world, and to top it all off, New Hampshire is nicknamed The Granite State.
New Hampshire had me at granite and pancakes, the perfect combination for cragie and snackie!
New Hampshire comes to us with 6,580 noted climbing routes and literally tons of rock still untapped all over the state. Today we are going to stick with the White Mountains, and more specifically the WM Francona Notch Climbing. There are nearly 200 distinct routes here including trad, aid, sport, bouldering and alpine climbs.
Two sections in particular that anyone heading to the WM Francona Notch Climbing area should check out are The Eaglet, and The Falcon Wall. Both walls are located within the Hounds Hump Ridge. The Eaglet is a 200’ prominent free-standing spire with four routes. All four routes are trad and range in difficulty from 5.7 – 5.11a. If the altitude doesn’t take your breath away the views are sure to do the trick. Even if you aren’t climbing, the scenery will be worth the hike in.
About thirty minutes past The Eaglet, you’ll find The Falcon Wall composed of eleven sport routes ranging in difficulty from 5.10a – 5.13a. The crown jewel of The Falcon has to be the 4 star 5.13a called Love Triangle. This route is described as ‘the absolute best sport climb the Notch has to offer’. It’s a 110’ route with fifteen bolts, that could take up to thirty minutes to simply redpoint (make it from the bottom to the top without any falls). The Falcon is the spot to test endurance and work up an appetite, and you’ll be happy you did, because just twenty minutes away you’ll find the best pancakes in the entire world!
Polly’s Pancake Parlor isn’t like other pancake joints. It’s the best pancake joint! Now, there are a lot of options on the menu that don’t happen to be pancakes, but unless you’re local and have eaten at Polly’s hundreds of times, then there is no reason to avoid perfection.
So, what makes Polly’s pancakes so special? Well let’s start with the fact that they stone grind the wheat, buckwheat, and cornmeal right on site, guaranteeing the freshest ingredients possible. Your pancake order is then prepared fresh by your server and topped with locally sourced maple syrup, and Polly’s homemade maple sugar and maple spread. You can pick your own batter (plain, buckwheat, gingerbread, whole wheat, cornmeal, oatmeal buttermilk, and cornmeal rice), your own add-ins (blueberry, walnuts, coconut, chocolate chip), and toppings (maple syrup, maple sugar, maple spread). If you’re more of a waffle person you can get similar options for your waffle. But back to the pancakes. Knowing that it would be impossible to pick just one, Polly’s offers a pancake sampler in which customers can choose up to three batters with an add-in for each one. Now you don’t have to choose between oatmeal buttermilk pancakes with blueberries, cornmeal with coconut, and gingerbread with walnuts, because you can get all three!
Polly’s also offers wine, beer, and alcohol, so if you are in need of a breakfast margarita and an Irish coffee, then Polly’s has you covered.
If you’re sitting at home or on the road, reading this and thinking to yourself ‘I love pancakes, too bad New Hampshire is 1,397 miles away’ worry not, Polly’s has an on-line store where you can buy their pancake mix, syrup, spread, sugar, and candies. The site also has a webcam where you can watch customers sob in exhilaration after tasting their first bite of a Polly pancake (this isn’t true, but there is a (sometimes working ) webcam, it’s actually pointed at the beautiful mountain backdrop).
After loads of deliberation, this is would be my ideal order… Pancake Sampler (6 pancakes 3 styles, 2 of each style) 2 plain, 2 cornmeal coconut, 2 gingerbread walnut, Syrup, sugar, and maple spread on the side, a pile of maple whipped cream on the side as well, and a maple steamer (maple steamed milk) to wash it all down.
Polly’s and the White Mountains go together like pancakes and syrup. A combo made in Cragie and Snackie heaven!
Location: White Mountains, New Hampshire “The Granite State”
Crag: Hounds Hump Ridge
Restaurant: Polly’s Pancake Parlor
Distance: 18 Miles