Eagle Falls


Heading for the Thousand Islands, we chose to swing by Eagle Falls, an area I’ve wanted to visit since I saw the pictures in the latest guidebook. In this case, “swing” meant a long, roundabout trip from the east, driving twisty, winding roads through Big Moose, past one “ROAD CLOSED” sign, dozens of scary LOGGING TRUCKS! signs, around potholes reminiscent of WWI trench warfare, a coyote, and a turkey to get there. No matter, it was time well spent, both in reaching the destination and in giving said locale time to dry.

Read the directions in the guidebook carefully if you choose to reach Eagle Falls from the east (probably equally true from the west); it is easy to miss one key turn and end up lost.

Robin heads for the cliff

We reached the parking lot and headed in to look things over, then rushed back to the car to get gear. One look made it clear we would be climbing here.

Ra at the steps running under the penstock

The approach ducks under the penstock for one of several hydroelectric generators along the Beaver River, turns right, heading upstream past a nice swimming hole, to a narrow point in the rapids, where a board makes crossing safe (without it, this section would be potentially deadly, since the water is very fast and is above the final cascade).

The “bridge”. During boating season, don’t forget to pull it up after using it!

Today may have been the busiest day ever at Eagle Falls. A group from Syracuse was visiting, along with several smaller parties. We chatted with a few people in the group, who invited us to utilize their top-ropes. We quickly availed ourselves of that opportunity, hitching a ride each on a nice 5.7 called Dobson Fly (not in the guidebook yet, but posted on the new routes page of the website).

Ra on her turn for Dobson Fly

…and me on mine

We then wandered down to the left end and climbed Ranger Rick. This route proved trickier and harder than the first, in part because it was a bit difficult to protect, partly due to being a tad dirty, and the last move was reachy. I would grade it a 5.7.

The tricky, unprotected start of Ranger Rick

We finished up on another borrowed TR, this one strung on Stihl Water, and wonderful 5.9+ just right of our first route. Ascending a short easy face, it swings left to dodge a roof, then works upward via cracks, face, and arete moves to reach a handy set of anchors.

Heading out, we wound down miles more twisting dirt roads before gradually shifting to pavement and civilization as we left the blue line behind. Tomorrow, we reach our main destination, where I suspect climbing will not be the main attraction, but we had it good in that regard today!



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