Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Adirondack Climbs: Jeff's Favorites

I’ve always been a hiker, but about 10 years ago peak-bagging and slide climbing followed a natural progression that led me into rock climbing. Living north of Albany, most of my climbing has been done in the Adirondacks. Following are a few favorite Adirondack climbs.

Long low-angle routes in a spectacular setting make the Chapel Pond Slabs one of the most popular climbing spots in the Adirondacks. The climber on lead in the photo above is probably ascending Empress, one of several routes that lie next to each other. Empress, like most of the other routes on the slab, runs for about a half dozen rope lengths. All routes on the slab feature outstanding views of Chapel Pond and Giant Mountain.

Davie reaches for a hold

Also in Chapel Pond Pass, the Jewels and Jems crag is one of my favorite mini-crags. The climber in the photo above is top-roping Diamonds and Coal, a fun 5.6 climb up clean rock with nice horizontal pockets. Just out of sight to the left is a beautiful (and popular) 5.6 right-leaning handcrack, North Country Club Crack.

Beth on The El

Near the top of Cascade Pass, and clearly visible to drivers on Route 73 below, is the Pitchoff Chimney Cliff. The El is a 3-pitch 5.8 route that traverses out the horizontal ledge visible in the photo above, rounds the spectacularly exposed corner, and then continues for another 40 feet or so before heading straight up the cliff through a crack and corner system capped by a small overhang. As a bonus after climbing The El, you can do Pete's Farewell, a classic 5.7 diagonal handcrack and the most popular climb on the cliff.

Chapel Pond Ice

Above, Nick Wakeman of Saratoga Springs shows how it's done while guiding on Lions on the Beach, an ice climb in Chapel Pond Canyon. But then again, why mess around with clawing your way up a frozen waterfall when there's powder to be skied?

1 comment:

  1. 8 Archived Comments:November 3, 2010 at 9:22 PM

    Jason said...
    Up until last year . I used to do a lot of Ice Climbing in the ADK's too. I have climbed almost every major/famous climb. My favorites are Powerplay,Chounards,Multi Gully , RBF and anything off of Pitchoff.
    I have never climbed Chapel Pond Slab , to many stories about getting the fire hose because of water pressure under the slap..
    I'm a lousy crack climber so , I do all my rock climbing in the Gunks..
    Keep the climbing and hiking TR coming.
    June 16, 2010 6:50 AM

    Jamesdeluxe said...
    Look at Jeff setting up his shots like the ones on that other ski site!
    June 16, 2010 7:26 AM

    Ted said...
    Haha Nick Wakeman? I'm really good friends with his cousin, Alex. He's a climber as well but as of now he's only gone indoors. We're looking to do an anchor building/cleaning course sometime soon to start outdoor climbing.
    June 17, 2010 12:50 AM

    Harvey44 said...
    Jeff ... This is great stuff. Awesome photos. More please. Beth - YOU GO GIRL!
    June 17, 2010 10:15 AM

    Jeff said...
    Jason, my one-and-only time on ice is the day I took the photo above. Wouldn't mind doing more, though skiing is my #1 winter pursuit.

    James, I only wish I could get photos like that "other" site. Good climbing photos are even harder to get than good skiing photos - for every decent climbing pic I've taken there are a hundred unflattering butt shots.

    Ted, do some outdoor top-roping (Beer Walls is great), get some solid instruction in leading and anchor building (Adirondack Rock & River does excellent instructional courses) and make safety your #1 priority.
    June 17, 2010 12:54 PM

    Ted said...
    My friends and I have been climbing RockSport pretty much weekly for the past few months now. Well they have moreso than I. We were gonna have Doc and Joel take us out for a day of instruction to Stewart's Ledges I believe. I definitely need to get back into my old climbing routine
    June 18, 2010 12:21 AM

    Ted said...
    Well we finally got some outdoor climbing in! 5 of the crew plus two guides from RockSport headed up to Stewart's ledges today. Lot's of info in a short amount of time, but it was fun.
    June 28, 2010 9:14 PM

    Jeff said...
    That's great that you got in some outdoor climbing Ted. Go a few more times and become comfortable with setting up top ropes, and you'll find a whole world of climbing options opening up for you. Also in the Lake George area, the New Buck cliff has some excellent top rope climbs at moderate grades. As a bonus, there's an enjoyable 2 to 3 mile approach hike. Consult Jeremy Haas' & Jim Lawyer's recent guidebook, Adirondack Rock. As always, stay safe.
    June 29, 2010 11:07 PM