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Dacks versus Squamish
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Jul 11, 2013
Hi guys - I'm a Squamish climber and I'm making a trip to the Dacks this summer. Just wondering if anyone has experience in both areas and can comment on the grades in each area. I've heard that Squamish is soft (or that the east coast is stiff). I'd like to plan out some climbs but need this info first. Thanks! AJV
Joined Jul 4, 2013
115 points
Jul 11, 2013
Yeah, depends on the route in Squamish, some of the older "sandbagged" stuff might be up to Dacks standards, but in general for stuff in the 5.6 to 5.10 range I would add 1 number grade to the Dacks to get the equivalent Squamish grade.

I will jump on just about any Squamish 5.10, but I would definitely be hesitant in the Dacks, still might jump on if the pro looks good.
DannyUncanny
From Vancouver
Joined Aug 27, 2010
78 points
Jul 11, 2013
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Strut...
We spent a month at Squamish last year and took for granted that 5.10 was a nice time. In the Dacks, we approach that grade with trepidation. Maybe it's stiffer, but maybe the rock climbs a little differently.

lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Joined Apr 1, 2009
316 points
Jul 11, 2013
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Strut...
I love how you put it: Dacks vs. Squamish. That's like Mike Tyson versus Glass Joe. Squamish is the best place we've ever climbed. Dacks are nice and all, but... lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Joined Apr 1, 2009
316 points
Jul 11, 2013
Rumney
lucander wrote:
I love how you put it: Dacks vs. Squamish. That's like Mike Tyson versus Glass Joe. Squamish is the best place we've ever climbed. Dacks are nice and all, but...


lol exactly
Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Joined Jul 10, 2010
1,269 points
Jul 11, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on
With all this rain, maybe we're securing our reputation as the Pacific Northwest of the Atlantic Northeast? Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Joined May 4, 2011
700 points
Jul 11, 2013
Since I used to live in PNW and I now live in NE here are my thoughts, I was thought squamish was weird with grades because 90% of stuff is accurate and 10% is butter in the hot sun. The dacks I think are mostly accurate to only a slightly stiff, I won't say they are sandbagged. So you might notice it a little, but shouldn't be a a major issue.

My best guess is that Expasperator would still be 10c in the Daks, while Seasoned in the Sun would be 10a instead of 10b.
Eric8
From Framingham
Joined Nov 2, 2007
293 points
Jul 11, 2013
Living in Squamish, I have noticed some grade inflation creep going on in the newer "Squamish Select" guidebooks on established routes. Some of my established routes have had their grades adjusted upwards in the newer guidebooks. There seems to be a movement in Squamish at present on new routes being established to bring grades in line with other areas. Chris Small
Joined Jan 29, 2013
0 points
Jul 11, 2013
Thanks guys! I guess I'll go with the assumption that the Dacks will be similar to the "stiff" grades in Squamish. Squamish certainly has an amazing concentration of climbing, but the Dacks (from pictures at least) looks excellent. Poke-o-moonshine, spider web and chapel pond all look awesome. If anyone has suggestions for classic climbs (especially multi-pitch) in the 5.10/11- range I'd be grateful. AJV
Joined Jul 4, 2013
115 points
Jul 11, 2013
I have only climbed a few days in each location, and at easier grades (5.8 & below). But I can speak as an outsider, since I think that often locals find the climbing on their home crags easier than visitors, since they are accustomed to the rock there, its friction properties, the type of pro it offers, etc.

With that said, I would agree that in Squamish a route would probably be graded one number higher than the same route in the Dacks -- at least among the easier grades. Relative to other east coast destinations, I would say the grading was on a par with the Gunks or Seneca, and a little stiffer than major areas in NH.

If you are heading off the beaten track in the Dacks, don't underestimate it! It is legit backcountry... and I'm from BC originally.
Don MacKenzie
From Seattle, WA
Joined Apr 18, 2009
20 points
Jul 11, 2013
Poko and Moss Cliff (falcon closures end around August 1st) PeterW
From Dryden, NY
Joined Mar 2, 2010
53 points
Jul 11, 2013
Bolton, VT
Do the Fastest Gun at Poko, excellent in your grade range, also the Great Dihedral (STIFF 5.9). Nick Votto
Joined Jul 27, 2008
276 points
Jul 12, 2013
anything in the keene area will be worth checking out. johnthethird
Joined Jan 6, 2012
12 points
Jul 12, 2013
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Strut...
For me, Poke-O is the showpiece crag: 1-4 pitches, cracks, bolted and mixed gear faces, and thoughtful intricate climbing. Fastest Gun has already been mentioned, and for good reason - it would stand out any any destination crag. At the same cliff, do not miss Maestro (.10, 160' of sustained edging and crimping). At Chapel Pond, Hesitation (.7, 4 pitches) is well worth the long steep walk. It takes a proud old line from the toe of the buttress to the top. The Spider's Web is arguably the best single-pitch trad crag north of Endless Wall at the New. Any of the steep sustained routes there will make your day. Ubu Ale seems to be the unofficial beer of the Adirondacks, stop by their brewery in Lake Placid when it rains. lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Joined Apr 1, 2009
316 points
Administrator
Jul 12, 2013
El Chorro
lucander wrote:
For me, Poke-O is the showpiece crag: 1-4 pitches, cracks, bolted and mixed gear faces, and thoughtful intricate climbing. Fastest Gun has already been mentioned, and for good reason - it would stand out any any destination crag. At the same cliff, do not miss Maestro (.10, 160' of sustained edging and crimping). At Chapel Pond, Hesitation (.7, 4 pitches) is well worth the long steep walk. It takes a proud old line from the toe of the buttress to the top. The Spider's Web is arguably the best single-pitch trad crag north of Endless Wall at the New. Any of the steep sustained routes there will make your day. Ubu Ale seems to be the unofficial beer of the Adirondacks, stop by their brewery in Lake Placid when it rains.


Arguably? I'd love to hear that argument. The Spider's Web us one of the beat trad crags I've ever been to!

Can't go wrong in the Dacks. Amazing climbing. Grades felt perfect to me, but I haven't climbed at Squamish so I can't offer anything more.
Ryan Williams
From London (sort of)
Joined May 10, 2009
1,468 points
Jul 12, 2013
Rumney
Hesitation is 5.8, and it's worth noting the 5.5R pitch (most leaders don't forget it!). Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Joined Jul 10, 2010
1,269 points
Jul 12, 2013
Rumney
Ryan Williams wrote:
Arguably? I'd love to hear that argument. The Spider's Web us one of the beat trad crags I've ever been to!


There's that New Hampshire place (Whites). They have some decent climbing too... ;-)
Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Joined Jul 10, 2010
1,269 points
Jul 12, 2013
Finishing up Elusive Dream at the King Wall.  Adir...
Poke-o will give you the most bang for your buck. The climbing is similar in nature to the Apron area at the base of the Chief, if not a tad steeper. The Web is outstanding, and I'd recommend almost every route there. Moss Cliff should not be misses, and Upper Washbowl is a big, delaminating onion, and , in my opinion, should be avoided. Chris Duca
From Havertown, PA
Joined Dec 16, 2006
2,351 points
Jul 12, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on
Moss Cliff is awesome! Followed Simon up Hard Times (9+) last fall, and it was an amazing climb. Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Joined May 4, 2011
700 points
Jul 13, 2013
fall foliage 5.7+ slab
Black Arch arete on Crane mountain. Tparis
From Pottersville,New York
Joined Jan 19, 2007
277 points
Jul 18, 2013
Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenste...
Was in Squamish yesterday.. going back tomorrow.. The high yesterday was 80F. The low around 60F. There's a breeze everyday around noon. Oh.. It's rained twice in the last three weeks.. Just thought you guys back on the east coast should know. Haha. Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Joined Jul 21, 2012
116 points
Sep 6, 2013
Just did my trip and wanted to follow up in case anyone is interested. We did poke-o, pitch off, spiders, moss ands chapel pond slab (3 times!). Climbed from 5.5 to 11a. I would say that the biggest difference in grades comes in the easier routes. 5.7-5.9 in Squamish are easy. In the Dacks they can be tough. 5.9+ is an especially stiff grade. The second pitch of Bloody Mary felt 10b to me. As the routes get tougher the grades get closer. Drop fly or die felt 11a/b to me, although locals called it soft at 11a.

Beautiful area and great climbing. We had a great time and really enjoyed the adventurous wilderness vibe and ethic. Thanks for all the replies.
AJV
Joined Jul 4, 2013
115 points
Sep 6, 2013
Rumney
AJV wrote:
Just did my trip and wanted to follow up in case anyone is interested. We did poke-o, pitch off, spiders, moss ands chapel pond slab (3 times!). Climbed from 5.5 to 11a. I would say that the biggest difference in grades comes in the easier routes. 5.7-5.9 in Squamish are easy. In the Dacks they can be tough. 5.9+ is an especially stiff grade. The second pitch of Bloody Mary felt 10b to me. As the routes get tougher the grades get closer. Drop fly or die felt 11a/b to me, although locals called it soft at 11a. Beautiful area and great climbing. We had a great time and really enjoyed the adventurous wilderness vibe and ethic. Thanks for all the replies.


Super awesome post. Always curious to hear how my 'home' area compares to such epic places in terms of climbing quality and grading.

I'm willing to bet those 5.9+ are OLD routes (or were at Moss, which is considered some of the most sustained multipitch climbing in the ADKs). The Gunks are infamous for their "+" routes too. :p
Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Joined Jul 10, 2010
1,269 points
Sep 11, 2013
On top of Noonmark, 'Dacks
AJV, mind if i ask for a list of the routes you did in addition to the ones you listed? Was the 9+ the great dihedral at poke-o or hard times at moss? and did you get on fastest gun? Mark Trotta
From Latham, NY
Joined May 20, 2008
61 points


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