Archive for the ‘Climbing’ Category

PREVIEW: OLD FORGE CLIMBING!

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

SAdkRF 2017 Preview

Eagle Falls Cliffs

Eagle Falls Cliffs

We spent a long weekend in Thendara, taking a look around the western fringe of the Adirondacks to get a feel for the upcoming Rockclimbers’ Festival that takes place the Friday through Sunday, after Labor Day, September 8 – 10 this year. Here’s our take on this corner of the park.

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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…)

Two Visits to Pitchoff North

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017
The top pitch possibilities of Screw & Climbaxe

The top pitch possibilities of Screw & Climbaxe

Day One

With a forecast spelling doom for North Country’s ice season, JB’s second day out options were limited. The remaining reliable sanctuaries of ice left in the Adirondacks would be busy places this day, so we had to decide where to go and get there early. JB’s choice: Pitchoff North. (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…)

Blue Mountain Ice

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017
Jason starts out leading the Blue Mountain Ice

Jason starts out leading the Blue Mountain Ice

…nothing that you’d travel for.

Thus spake the master; and he is write, er, right. The ice along the Tirrell Pond trail listed in Blue Lines 2 won’t, and shouldn’t, draw a crowd. But for two intrepid ice-scratchers, it did provide a pleasant  amount of climbing surrounded by an even more pleasant forest setting. (more…)

Hoffman Notch Ice Climbing Trip 2017

Monday, February 6th, 2017
Steve heads up to the Trailside Wall

Steve heads up to the Trailside Wall

Hoffman Notch harbors a lot of ice. Outside of the traditional venues around Keene Valley and Lake Placid, this is probably the best climbing locale in the Park, with a lot of different flows to climb, a wide range of difficulty and style, and almost-guaranteed solitude. Other than the occasional skier passing by, a climbing party here will probably meet no one else.

The approach explains the lack of crowding: it is relatively long, two to two and a half miles; so the majority of ice-seekers will congregate elsewhere. But the trail leading in is easy and the time it takes – about an hour – passes quickly. It first enters a conifer woodlot, descends to cross the Branch, meanders through a sparsely-wooded floodplain, then heads into and up Hoffman Notch itself. The ascent is very gentle, with occasional gullies to cross or blowdown to circumvent; but nothing greatly hinders snowshoes and stout trekking poles. It would indeed make a great ski-through trip but for those obstacles. (more…)

A Day on Coney

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

Ra and I spent the Fourth of July wandering off-trail on Coney Mountain. Robin and I discovered this little mountain’s incredible scenery a couple years ago, and I’ve since brought some climbing buddies to explore its technical potential. We’ve been up the mountain this year already, hiking to the top with one of our daughters on a cloud-shrouded, damp day. This day’s foray was in some ways a make-up for our weather-blocked plans of that day, and also another stab at finding decent rock climbing there.

Robin making her way up pitch one of our Independence Day Route.

Robin making her way up pitch one of our Independence Day Route.

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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

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Our First Moxham Ridge Expedition

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016
Tom belays on the lower trailside slab, with the Summit Dome in the background.

Tom belays on the lower trailside slab, with the Summit Dome in the background.

In ancient times (the early 1990s), I climbed once or twice on Moxham Dome, a large roadside slab near Minerva. As I would wind my way homeward, I always looked up to the summit dome and wondered if there was good climbing up there. Well, a few years ago, the DEC built a hiking trail to it. Mike P. and Tom L. headed up there shortly after it opened up, and told me it was fantastic. So we just had to put a posse together and give it a go… (more…)

Pilot Mountain NC

Monday, March 14th, 2016

Frigid Weather thwarts the sole climbing item of our trip to North Carolina

Looking out at the upland plateau from Pilot Mountain's ridge

Looking out at the upland plateau from Pilot Mountain’s ridge

A few years back, Ra and I made our first trip to North Carolina. With family now ensconced there, it is likely we will be visiting the state more frequently each year, so we figured it wise to get to know the climbing options available in the region. After visiting with our kin for a few days, we set off in search of vertical playgrounds. Our second stop placed us in the town of Pilot Mountain, near its namesake prominence, a location we hadn’t known of but had spotted from the highway. After spending the night in town, I’d garnered one significant fact: there is climbing on the mountain, but it is strictly verboten on the outstanding summit promontory itself. At the time, this was a big turn-off, enough to send us onward, looking elsewhere. We never even drove up the road to the upper ridge to glance at the permitted climbing area.

On this trip, we gave it a second glance. What a glance it was, revealing how very shortsighted we’d been. That main promontory still beckons – and it’s a shame climbing isn’t allowed there – but the scraps left us vertical crawlers is well worth the trip.

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