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New York  

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Submitted By: Jay Harrison on Feb 26, 2006
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The 5.7+ third pitch of Cascading Crystal Kaleidos...


Rock Climbing in New York State consists of three main regions: the world-famous Gunks, properly called the Shawangunks; the Adirondacks, a vast state park with dozens of crags scattered across an area the size of Rhode Island; and Moss Island, a small crag near Little Falls. Several other areas exist, e.g. bouldering in Central Park, the Timp in Harriman Park, as well as many places of questionable access and/or worth.

The main rock climbing venues are near the eastern side of the state, so folks out in Rochester, Buffalo, etc. have a tough time of it - they're either traveling a long ways, pumping plastic, sneaking into the Niagara gorge, or driving across the border to climb in Canada.
Ice climbing is a bit more evenly spread out. The Adirondacks holds the most reliable and extensive ice, but the Catskills generally forms a lot of good ice as well, and the Finger Lakes Region boasts a few lesser-known classic lines (many of which, alas, are not legal to ascend).

Alpine climbing is limited to the Adirondacks, though a few Catskill peaks come close. None of the mountains are particularly tall - Mt. Marcy, at 5,344' is the highest - but the weather is capricious and runs the extremes. Winter ascents of the High Peaks can be very serious endeavors, especially when climbing a classic line such as the Trap Dike or Gothics North Face.

Although a small state compared to the big West, travel in NY, especially to its mountainous regions, can be tricky. Public transport is decent within two hours of NYC along the major transport corridors, but off these or farther away, and car rental, good maps, and good luck are required.

The great majority of visitors arrive in New York City; for those who do, the Gunks is a 2 hour bus ride to reach, and is definitely the place to go for rock climbing. The Catskills is a bit farther north, and having a car is almost mandatory, particularly during ice season. The Adirondacks is 4 to 5 hours away, and also requires a car. Moss Island lies along Interstate 90 and busses stop in the neighboring town of Little Falls

Climbing Season

Weather station 3.7 miles from here

2,215 Total Routes

['4 Stars',201],['3 Stars',709],['2 Stars',819],['1 Star',342],['Bomb',15]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for New York:
Gelsa   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, 3 pitches, 195'   The Near Trapps : a. Beginning of cliff to Ge...
Horseman   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 1 pitch, 120'   The Trapps : a. The Uberfall
Frog's Head   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 160'   The Trapps : c. Frog's Head - the Arch
High Exposure   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 250'   The Trapps : i. High E
Madame Grunnebaum's Wulst   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 3 pitches, 210'   The Trapps : f. The Guides' Wall (Madame...
Shockley's Ceiling   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 3 pitches, 275'   The Trapps : d. Strictly - Shockley's
Limelight   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 180'   The Trapps : h. The Arrow Wall - CCK
Yellow Ridge   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   The Near Trapps : a. Beginning of cliff to Ge...
Something Interesting   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   The Trapps : e. The Mac Wall (Something ...
Son of Easy O   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches, 170'   The Trapps : c. Frog's Head - the Arch
The Diagonal   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 7 pitches, 860'   High Peaks Region : Wallface
Arrow   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   The Trapps : h. The Arrow Wall - CCK
Cascading Crystal Kaleidoscope (CCK)   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13     Trad, 3 pitches, 250'   The Trapps : h. The Arrow Wall - CCK
Modern Times   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches, 250'   The Trapps : h. The Arrow Wall - CCK
Directissima   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 120'   The Trapps : i. High E
MF   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 180'   The Trapps : e. The Mac Wall (Something ...
Ants' Line   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   The Trapps : i. High E
Bonnie's Roof   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 250'   The Trapps : i. High E
Directississima   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 200'   The Trapps : i. High E
The Yellow Wall   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a PG13     Trad, 2 pitches, 125'   The Trapps : j. The Yellow Wall (Airy Ar...
Browse More Classics in New York

Featured Route For New York
Steve Brady nearing the top of the first pitch of ...

Romano's Route 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a  NY : Adirondacks : ... : The Spider's Web
(P1) A full value pitch! A series of burly moves up a steep, stout, finger crack (11c) gains a steep ramp† that leads to a sloping rest ledge (ca. 40’). Continue up the stellar hand crack (10+) to an alcove (ca. 40’). Traverse right across a ledge to the anchor shared by On the Loose/White Knight (60 m single rope rappel). Alternatively, continue up another 40’ of cracks to a bolt anchor. [I have not done this upper pitch/link-up, so any info would be useful.] †Tip: A directional placed to th...[more]   Browse More Classics in NY

Photos of New York Slideshow Add Photo
Try Three Philosophers.  Photo by Blitzo.
Try Three Philosophers. Photo by Blitzo.
J Mo belaying Dan on the FA of Killer Pillar... so...
J Mo belaying Dan on the FA of Killer Pillar... so...
I'm the little red dot up top.
I'm the little red dot up top.
returning from the Gunks
returning from the Gunks

Comments on New York Add Comment
Show which comments
By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Aug 17, 2006
When ya'll gonna post some Spiders Web stuff???
By trumpeterfrodo
Apr 27, 2007
Someone should post some topos on McKenzie Pond Bouldering in Saranac Lake. I recently moved from the area, but it was my bouldering home. Anyone who has been there knows what a treasure it is! The Dacks are the BEST!
By RobHudson
From: Boulder
May 17, 2007
True True, McKenzie Pond is a hidden treasure when its dry!!
By Mike O
Jul 6, 2007
I like the adirondack's secrets. ;)
By AdamB
From: Chattanooga, TN
Aug 14, 2008
I'll 3rd that McKenzie comment
By Eric Thomson
Jul 29, 2009
There used to be a online guidebook for McKenzie Ponds but I can't find it anymore unfortunately.
By AdamB
From: Chattanooga, TN
Aug 16, 2009

there ya go.
By Bronson
From: Estes Park, CO
Feb 10, 2010
Dear Trumpeterfrodo,
I agree with you that McKenzie Pond bouldering is a treasure. There is the guide that Adam mentioned, which gives a nicely detailed map of the boulders and their names. The only incorrection it has is that many of the boulder problem names have been renamed in the early 2000's. Depending on when you began bouldering there, it may be a bit weird reading new names for many of the routes.
Hope you get to go back there and boulder.

By Jaysen Henderson
From: Bronx NY
Dec 12, 2010
adirondackrock.com is the guidebook for the region
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