Archive for the ‘Climbing Areas’ Category

2016 Rock Season Recap

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

This is a post that sat in the Drafts pile for over a year.

Several places to review for 2016; sadly many of them are not-yet ready for disclosure. Expect changes in the next couple years to reveal what amounts to several years of activity.

Crane Mountain

This one won’t go down in the record books, at least not for Crane Mountain or me. It wasn’t a bad year, as things go, with a sprinkling of decent new routes, a lot of cleanup, and it seems, Crane’s continuing evolution into climbers’ consciousness as a bona fide Adirondack destination. But many projects remain uncompleted, and the nagging suspicion that 2017 will not provide ample opportunity to remedy that situation personally lends the past year’s efforts an air of unfulfilled frustration.

There are many things to be thankful for, and a few noteworthy, if not newsworthy, tasks accomplished.

Prominent among the good memories are the many new faces I met here on the mountain this year. As already noted, Crane seems to be getting more climber traffic each year, and increasingly, these climbers are strangers to me. This was not the case in the “old days”, when I introduced most comers to the mountain. I have a bevy of friends I’ve made here through those introductions, but now I find myself making new ones while passing through. These are not only friends of friends or indirect acquaintances; they are people who’ve heard about the mountain through the Guidebook or websites like Mountainproject.

A climber on the footwork-intensive route Action Steps

A climber on the footwork-intensive route Action Steps



Friday, October 20th, 2017

After three years of struggling, I finally sent my longterm project at the IRC.

Eschewing cams, I chose to attempt this short line with only passive gear. My rack included some oldies: two small wired Hexcentrics and two Wedgefast chocks (look ’em up kiddies, they were the Bomb for a brief time in the late 70s/early 80s); plus the now-famous DMM Offsets, both brass and aluminum. Round it out with a couple BD Stoppers and I had everything needed.

It would be easier with a few cams, but not a lot easier; as many of the placements take chocks better than cams. A single set of cams from 1/4″ to 1″, plus a double set of small to medium nuts would do.

No Springs Attached 5.10d G 55′

Stem up using the obtuse right-facing corner to the left and the wide crack on the right (the start of Mile-Long ) to the overhang. Pass the overhang via the left of two parallel cracks, then follow cracks to the point where the face steepens from less than, to more than vertical. Continue up the crack and corner, stepping back and forth around the bend, to reach easy angle rock sloping to a large ledge.

It is possible to walk off to climber’s left. There is cliff above, but it is a series of short (15 – 20′) steps. It is possible to traverse right to reach the upper part of Mile-Long if desired.

This brings the count of IRC up to 10 routes. Steve O. has two projects awaiting completion, and Tom seems to have latched onto a possible variation project. Hopefully these get sent soon, but it is hard to say what the weather will provide for us this late in the year.

Thank you Tom, for willingly sacrificing gas and time to this project!

Old Forge Preview 2: In-depth on Bald Mountain

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Bald Mountain Expedition

Tom nears the top of the stellar route Branches at Bald Mountain's Main Face

Tom nears the top of the stellar route Branches at Bald Mountain’s Main Face

In preparation for this year’s Southern Adirondack Rockclimbers’ Festival, I spent 3 days at Bald Mountain’s main face, exploring, scrubbing, and putting up a new route. (more…)

Another February Jammer Day

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017
Tom on Provando's Direct third pitch

Tom on Provando’s Direct third pitch

Having just pushed over 700’ of ice climbing each of the two previous days, I still couldn’t pass up heading to the Jammer Wall on such a nice day as I awoke to on Wednesday. Calling Tom, we arranged to meet up there. I would provide the rope, he the rack. Racing through a minor amount of housework, I was soon on my way. (more…)

Premature Expectations

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

Saturday morning, the sun shone unhindered from a cloudless bluebird sky. I packed my regular winter gear, but stuffed a pair of rock shoes in as well, thinking to break trail to the Jammer Wall. We’ve had a lot of snow over the last three weeks, gradually building from a few crusty old inches left from January to over a foot and a half on the ground. I knew the trek would be difficult, but this sudden warmth made me too antsy to sit around. Shortly after 9a, I was on my way.

Looking up at the Animal Charm Wall in February 2017

Looking up at the Animal Charm Wall in February 2017

It may be early yet. (more…)

Snowstorm Hike Take Two

Monday, February 13th, 2017
Nathan nears the top of the Access Slot

Nathan nears the top of the Access Slot

Almost ten years ago, Nathan and I hiked up Crane Mountain in a snowstorm. With a wild nor’easter ripping around the mountain on his birthday, this seemed like a good weekend to reenact that adventure. (more…)

Moxham Recon II

Friday, May 6th, 2016

Back again, and soon. Despite the long approach, we returned to Moxham Mountain for another climbing reconnaissance.

Mr. Hazard hanging out at the Lower Slab of Moxham Mountain

Mr. Hazard hanging out at the Lower Slab of Moxham Mountain


Outlet Falls 2016

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016
Jason leads up the left-side option of the Outlet's first pitch

Jason leads up the left-side option of the Outlet’s first pitch

For the first time since 2010, we climbed the entire Outlet Falls. Back then, I’d dragged Bruce Monroe with me, this time Jason Brechko made the trip.


Afternoon at the Northeast Cascade

Monday, February 8th, 2016
Jay takes his turn up the corner.

Jay takes his turn up the corner.

A day after walking out to inspect conditions on Crane, I returned with friends for an brief afternoon run on the only feasible ice left on the mountain: the Northeast Cascade.


Latest Crane Ice Report 6th Feb 2016

Saturday, February 6th, 2016

And it isn’t a good one. I packed enough gear to climb any casual ice that was in – which meant I took my gear for a walk today.

Waterfall Wall 6th Feb 2016: Not In

Waterfall Wall 6th Feb 2016: Not In

The photo looks better than it truly is: the thickest ice at the steep part of the Waterfall Wall is currently under current: there is water cascading along that sole thick swatch. The pitches above look even worse.

Having confirmed my suspicions, I continued NNE along the base of the mountain, to see if perhaps the NE Cascade is in.

NE Cascade: Barely Doable

NE Cascade: Barely Doable

It is, though barely. A way could be made up the easy right side, though my guess is there is no ice on the uppermost slab, so the route would have to bend right to escape.

The good news is, the left side of that cascade is in very well. While leading it may not be feasible, top-roping both the corner and the sheer face would be fine.

Steep options on the left of the NE Cascade are in fine condition

Steep options on the left of the NE Cascade are in fine condition

For those who might be tempted to walk even farther, the news is bad. I did go awhile longer, but everything I saw was out: Gem’n’I, Ramps (why bother anyway?), Three White Rappers are all no-go. I did not get in sight of Nightshade or Leap of Faith, but doubt they are in (the latter is definitely not in; I can see that from the road).

Fifi’s is probably in enough to top-rope. Tier Drops is not, By Golly Gully is not in (could probably hike up it with occasional tool-use and a lot of weaving to avoid bare slabs); in short nothing else is in.

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