Archive for the ‘SAdkRF’ Category

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…)


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.


SAdkRF 2015: Abridged but Beautiful

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015
Some of the Gang enjoying the nice weather of Saturday, SAdkRF 2015

Some of the Gang enjoying the nice weather of Saturday, SAdkRF 2015

Rain cut a day from the festival (again) this year, but we were fortunate to have sunshine for the start, and fair weather for all of Saturday.


SAdkRF 2015 on Crane Mountain

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Summer is suddenly coming to a close. It’s Southern Adirondack Rockclimbers’ Festival time!

Crane Mountain in colder days. At least the cliffs are obvious!

Crane Mountain in colder days. At least the cliffs are obvious!

Crane Mountain is this year’s closest venue. With over 300 routes, there are plenty to choose from. The climbing options here run the gamut: trad, sport, and aid;first-timer easy to world-class hard, crag-style convenience to uber-extreme bushwhacker’s delight.

Climber on The Underworld Roof

Buzz rehearses the Underworld Roof, an unsent project.

Since the second edition of Lawyer & Haas’ Adirondack Rock, more than fifty routes have been added to the mountain, including Crane’s first official 5.13, Dave Buzzelli’s The Drop, on the previously-undeveloped Underworld Crag. Buzz and Jim have been visiting there this season, posting that route and two other solid 5.12s. These await second ascents, as does Mike Farnsworth’s epic arête, Four Ounces to Freedom, so if you’ve got the guns, these could use some company.

A handful of 5.11s rounds out the hard side of the scale; many of these have yet to see a second ascent as well. Kirby Girard came out and worked the long-time project Tom’s Roof with Lukasz Czyz, and Lukasz was able to send the roof just this past week, redubbing it Logging Flight Time, for the many falls this line has caused.

Lukasz clipping the key cam on Tom's Roof

Lukasz clipping the key cam on Tom’s Roof

The Measles Wall now boasts a fine, short 5.11, fittingly dubbed Rocksport 5.10, after the local gym’s penchant for sandbagging their routes. Be sure to hop on this if you are into sport climbs that require fancy footwork.

Ben Brooke leads up Action Steps

Ben Brooke leads up Action Steps

For mere mortals, Crane has a bevy of stellar 5.10 routes. All the usual classics: Critical Crimps, Black Arch Arête, Torcher, Oddy’s Crack of Horrors, and more, plus some new lines that are well worth roping up for. Be sure to take a stab at Second Amendment’s neighboring line, Second Helping.

Climber on the Jammer Wall

Bruce sampling the buffet at the Jammer Wall

Tom Lane heads up the FA of Goosesteps, 5.10b

Tom Lane heads up the FA of Goosesteps, 5.10b

Intermediate climbs abound, both well-established, popular runs and fresh additions. At 5.8, Paul Cerone’s Saratoga and Ben Brooke’s I Don’t Want No Scrub are two of the nicest new lines. If you’ve not yet climbed Stand Your Ground, at 5.7-, this is a must. Its neighbor Action Steps ups the ante to solid 5.8 and is also a must-do.

Tom follows Ben on the FA of I Don't Want No Scrub

Tom follows Ben on the FA of I Don’t Want No Scrub


Paul on the FA of Bart, Springfield Slab, Crane Mountain

Paul on the FA of Bart, Springfield Slab, Crane Mountain

Beginner Routes are sprinkled across the mountain. Closest to the trailhead, the lines at the Below-the-Measles Wall are great places for timid or very young climbers on their initial excursions. Newly-developed Springfield Slab adds another beginner crag, with routes ranging from 5.2 to 5.7, easy TR setup, and a spectacular view at the top. Finally, Peter Whitmore’s On the Fence has been thoroughly scrubbed, clocks in as perhaps the best 5.3 in the Adirondacks.

Climber near the top of the route On the Fence

Enjoying the view near the top of On the Fence

Jody heads up Waterfall Center, with The Tempest headwall crack looming above her.

Jody heads up Waterfall Center, with The Tempest headwall crack looming above her.

During the festival, we are opening a shortcut to the Waterfall area, cutting an hour off the approach to this and the other far-flung crags on the mountain. The Waterfall boasts several good slab climbs and a short classic 5.10a revived from the days when it was top-roped off a tree limb. The branch is gone, but a fixed anchor takes its place, and I’ll Fly Away is now a lead route, a very good one at that. An aid route breaks through the overhangs guarding much of the Right-Steep side of the crag; Keymaster is an open invitation to strong climbers looking to free strenuous, technically-difficult terrain. Finally, for those who’ve longed to look at Crane’s most remote crags, this is the chance to cut out a big chunk of the approach. No guarantees: the routes and cliffs out there are true wilderness adventure destinations.

Tom TRs I'll Fly Away

Tom TRs I’ll Fly Away

As always, the Southern Adirondack Rockclimbers’ Festival takes place the week after Labor Day, which for 2015 is September 11 – 13th. We will meet at Mountainside Adventures’ parking at 116 Ski Hi Road, Warrensburg NY (more accurately, the town of Thurman), beginning at 430pm. Campfire there, bring your own meal for the grill. SRCFC is arranging a meal for the event again. There are a slew of camping and lodging options available nearby, though if you plan to seek lodging, you may want to reserve now. And as always, the event is FREE.

Free, primitive camping is available at the Crane Mountain trailhead. Slightly farther afield, there are primitive sites along the east branch of the Sacandaga River along Route 8, a free primitive campground on Thirteenth Lake in North River. Several private commercial campgrounds lie nearby; the closest being Daggett Lake and Glen Hudson campgrounds. Hotel lodging is available in North Creek and Warrensburg, though there is a popular local event this same weekend, so check on availability in these places.

You can get more information by emailing:
See you soon!

Crane Breaks 300

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

This season, the route count on Crane has passed the 300 mark; one of my life-long, bucket-list items is now complete. My gratitude goes out to all the folks who spent so many of their recreational hours, days, and seasons searching, scrubbing, working, and sending up here.

Climber on Cliff

Heading up the final pitch of Full Recovery


Cedar River’s Sugarloaf Mountain

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

In preparation for this year’s Southern Adirondack Rockclimbers’ Festival, we’ve been making sporadic visits to the town of Indian Lake, scoping out the nearby climbing areas – of which there are many. Much of the surrounding land in this region was acquired by the State from Finch-Pruyn in the past year or so; as such, there are dozens of crags previously off-limits to climbers that are now open and accessible. Sugarloaf is the premiere example of these.

Garth leading up the crux of pitch one.

Garth leading up the crux of pitch one.

It’s a long drive, but a relatively short twenty minute approach to the base of this mountain’s 450′ slabs. There are over a dozen routes here, most of them established either surreptitiously or under the mistaken belief that the cliff was public property, way back when (a few of them from the 1970s). We set our sights on a modified version of these oldies, an incredible route put up on lead solo by Tad Welch, and updated by him with the enthusiastic assistance of Jim Lawyer and Dave Buzzelli as the land entered public domain.


Southern Adirondack Rockclimbers’ Festival 2012

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

Rocky points the way to the 2012 SAdkRF

HERE is the lowdown on what went down during this year’s Southern Adirondack Rockclimbers’ Festival. Those of you who missed it, missed a great time, fantastic climbing, and an incredible storm...

SAdkRF 2011 Wrap-Up

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011


Once again, the Festival has come and gone. The weeks of preparation, planning, and fretting paid off well this year, and the weather was wonderful. We had a great turnout on Saturday; Justin reported 40 contestants signed up for the bouldering contest, at least a dozen spectators also attending; and I counted over 30 people coming and going at Lost T that day. Basecamp was filled past capacity Saturday night, and this year, I can squeeze in the hyperbole that a climber from Germany attended (OK, Gabe happened to be visiting family in the States, but that’s where he lives now)! (more…)