McMartin cliff is one of the cliffs, along with Lost Hunter, Lost T, The Annex andGood Luck Lake, in the southern edge of the town of Arietta. I (GCT) found thecliff by reading one of Barbara McMartin’s guide books (Walks and Waterways,Adirondack Mountain Club, 1974). We have named the cliff after her; you will not see this name on other maps.McMartin is a fabulous cliff (or series of cliffs) and will eventually probably have 40 or 50 climbs on it. As an added benefit, climbs should be available in a range of skill levels, including the modest 5.7 to 5.9 range. McMartin is a maze of arętes, dihedrals, cracks, spires, roofs, ceilings and faces at both positive and negative angles, so any type of climb you like should be there. The longest climbs will probably be about 160 ft. As of August 2010 there were 9 completed climbs. These climbs were put in by the two authors and their many helpers, Rachel Breidster, Ping-Kwan Keung,Jimmy Diliberto, Keegan Griffith, Brett ***, Peter *** and Caleb ***. That group is the McMartin team.
McMartin cliff was not initially easy to approach and it took us five trips to find a way to get to the top of the cliff.This first access to the top was later abandoned when a better one was found. The path from the parking lot into the cliff is 2.5 km (1.6 mi). This is a long enough distance that it is nice to have a good walking surface. For the first part of the approach the existing path to Lost Hunter was used; an additional path of length 1.2 km(.75 mi) was laid out. The problem with walking through the woods with a pack on is all the branches and stuff you trip over and all the blowdown you have to walk over or around. We have tried to pick up or rake off all the nuisances so the walking will be fairly easy. There is no “Trail” into McMartin; to build a trail on state land requires prior approval. The path, however, is pretty easy to see and walk; approach time to the cliff should be 45 minutes to an hour. There is some elevation change, but nothing steep like the last part of the hike to Lost Hunter. The development of the path and the access to the top of the cliff ended up taking a lot of time; fortunately it will not have to be done again.
To walk to the cliff, drive to the parking area for Chub Lake on Highway 10. If you take Highway 10 north from the area of Caroga Lake, a couple of miles north of the Stoner Lakes the highway will cross over the West Branch of the Sacandaga for the first time. Go about a mile further as the road swings to the left (west) and park in the small lot on the right. If you cross the river a second time you have gone too far by a couple tenths of a mile. From the parking lot walk northeast on the established trail. It will turn to the left to go to Chub Lake. About a hundred feet before you get to the Chub Lake shore, turn right on a narrow trail. You are on the right trial if about 50 ft later you have to step over a very large log. Follow this trail around the eastern side of the lake and continue north. Just after you start climbing steeply there is a trail junction; the trail straight ahead (north) goes to the Annex and Lost T – the trail to the left to Lost Hunter and McMartin. For today’s trip you obviously go left. Follow this trail for about a half mile until you cross two very small streams; there will be a large beaver pond to your right (east). At this point there is another trail split. The path to Lost Hunter goes east along the north edge of the beaver pond. The one to McMartin continues on north from where you cross the second stream; there should be some flags marking it. Continue following the path north through a long but not too steep climb and then a bit of descending. As you get closer you will start seeing rock formations on the right Page 2 (east). The path will go past a nice 40 ft cliff that is not yet developed; continue on. A couple hundred feet later the path will turn right and climb sharply and then turn back left and approach one of the main cliffs. Continue on the path; it will suddenly turn right and climb sharply again alongside a north facing wall and end at a west facing wall. Look up this west facing wall and you should see the view/climb shown on the cover. You are there.