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Poison Ivy Wall

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
"49" S 
Done Broke the Code S 
Dr Death S 
Gunkish S 
Happy Falling to You S,TR 
Hot Wire S,TR 
Iím Going ... Oh Iím Going Nowhere! S 
Knob and Chain S 
Know The Code S 
Laws of Physics are strictly enforced, The S 
May the net Forces be with You S 
Message to Garcia S 
Nose S 
Not So Fast S 
Opposition AKA Here it comes S,TR 
Perfect Face S 
Pink Butt Tights S 
Razzle Dazzle S 
Reach of Faith  S 
Rock Hard S 
S&S Right S 
Sally S 
Savage Within aka Bloody Sister 1, The S,TR 
Side Pull Plus S 
Spank-A-Saurus S 
Triple Banger Overhanger S 
Window on the Hudson S,TR 

Poison Ivy Wall  

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 41.37754, -73.9596 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 3,883
Administrator: Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Giuseppe Cavallo on Oct 11, 2011  with updates from Byron Igoe
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Railroad Ties are numbered on East side of tracks at PI Wall for easy route identification.

Getting There 

ĺ mile south of South Dock along the RR tracks
Currently no parking is allowed at the Marina or McDonalds. Recommended parking is at the Visitor Center.

Climbing Season

Weather station 0.6 miles from here

27 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',11],['2 Stars',14],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Poison Ivy Wall:
Know The Code   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Sport   
Gunkish   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Sport, 1 pitch   
Pink Butt Tights   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Sport, 1 pitch   
Window on the Hudson   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, TR, 1 pitch   
Reach of Faith    5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch   
Nose   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch   
Triple Banger Overhanger   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   
Browse More Classics in Poison Ivy Wall

Featured Route For Poison Ivy Wall

Iím Going ... Oh Iím Going Nowhere! 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b  NY : West Point : Poison Ivy Wall
The historic "official" difficulty grade is 5.6The historic route description was: "Go up slab and go over tiers clipping 2nd and 3rd bolts out to the right. Straight up to ramp. Go left to beneath a prow of rock at top. Up small left facing corners to the prow and rap/belay station."...[more]   Browse More Classics in NY

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By kenr
Nov 4, 2012
Getting There
. (for those lacking US military ID) . (as of 2012):
Take route 9W then route 218 to Highland Falls NY. About 0.1 mile (200 meters) south of Thayer Gate of the U.S. Military Academy ("West Point") is a McDonalds restaurant. If driving from the south, then immediately before McD, turn Right (East) on Station Rd, which goes down a steep hill with a sharp curve or two. Just before reach railroad tracks at bottom of hill, see private parking on Right (south) -- Park there:
GPS latitude/longitude approx (N41.3748 W73.9608)

Pay $5.00 parking fee to someone in the building by the sign saying "Highland Falls" (for the old train station), on south side of Parking.
. (of course tougher folks can find legal parking in the village of Highland Falls and walk down the hill, then walk back up the steep hill after climbing) .

Walk north alongside the railroad tracks about 0.4 mile (700 meters) to reach the PI Wall:
GPS latitude/longitude approx (N41.3810 W73.9581)
By kenr
Nov 4, 2012
The PI Wall is a bolted sport-climbing cliff.
There are roughly 65 single-pitch routes (as of 2012).
I think some of the routes might be higher than 80 feet / 25 meters, but most are less than 100 feet / 30 meters high.
Names of most of the routes are carefully painted on the rock at the base (as of 2012).

Difficulty Grades -- my opinion is that the historic "official" difficulty ratings (which have been copied into most of the route descriptions so far here on MountainProject as of 2012) are a bit tough compared to the Gunks (and the Gunks are already a bit tough compared to the general USA "Yosemite" grades).
So a comment on a route which says like,
"The historic official grade is 5.7"
I'm thinking that can be taken as a suggestion that this route might be significantly tougher than 5.7 routes at many other places.

Loose rock -- it happens here sometimes: I'd recommend that belayers should wear a helmet.

The cliff is at low altitude (alongside the Hudson River) and faces roughly East.

Ned Crossley pioneered or designed most of the routes at the PI Wall.
By kenr
Nov 4, 2012
As of November 2012, the sequence (Left-to-Right) of eleven out of the routes on the PI Wall given here so far on MountainProject is mostly opposite to the actual sequence on the cliff.
e.g. "Hot Wire" is given as one of the Left-most routes here on MountainProject.
But on the actual cliff (which faces East), "Hot Wire" is the North-most and therefore Right-most route.

So for now I think a more reliable way to determine the sequence of climbs on the PI Wall here on MountainProject is to use the
"Railroad Tie count" - abbreviation

Each route description or its Comments includes a Railroad Tie count number. The ties are counted from north to south (because USMA climbers normally reach the PI Wall from the north). The north-most route is "Hot Wire", so that has RRT# 0
The higher the Railroad Tie count given in a route desctription, the farther south it is -- so farther toward the Left end of the cliff. The lower the RRT# the farther toward the Right end.
By kenr
Nov 7, 2012
my impressions so far ...

  • Texture of the rock surface is not as coarse as the Gunks, so it can feel slippery to the hands, but I find that the friction is generally pretty good with clean dry climbing rubber on the feet. (Though if you're not accustomed to carefully placing and really trusting your feet on small slopy holds, be prepared to stick-clip the starts of some of the climbs, especially the slab routes near the north end.)

  • Not recommended for a first outdoor sport Lead for those who learned to climb at indoor walls -- because the demand for confident skillful footwork is so radical.

  • Some of the easier routes have interesting slab/friction moves.

  • Some of the 10s are pretty interesting: e.g. Triple Banger Overhanger, Message to Garcia, Spank-A-Saurus, S&S Right.
By Eddie2170
From: Orange County, NY
Dec 5, 2012
This was my first crag, I've spent a good amount of time here, and have spent time with WP Cadets and climbed with them here. This is a great area for local sport climbing and due to the great nature of the bolts, walk offs, and scrambles to the top for retrieving gear or setting up TR, is great for honing skills.

If anyone would like to meet up here, would like some info, or even a full list of climbs please contact me.

As stated above the rock quality is probably the only downside to this crag, due to the rock being blasted and the constant trains going by, but other than that and the rockfall potential it is worth some day trips for the local climber.

The easiest time to climb here is in October for Climbfest the yearly fundraiser for the West Point Cadet Climbing Team who also maintains the area and bolts, they set up every climb as a toprope climb and it's run like a friendly competition, seriously check it out, it is the teams only fundraiser and they rely on it because it is a club sport and is not supported by the Academy, and it is honestly a great time.
By AnJ
May 3, 2013
This Official Guide from west point is over 10 years old but it does still have plenty of relevant information.
By sw050421
May 27, 2014

As of May 1, 2014 - Parking at railroad tracks (below Mcdonald's) is no longer available.

Stoped by Poison Ivy yesterday (Mem Day 2014) and was given an update on parking.

The great gentleman that owns the dock and parking area has new insurance that does not allow him to have visiting climbers park in his area, as of May 1, 2014. This is the option that use to cost $5 per car.

In addition, he mentioned that several climbers had been "chased" out of the Mcdonald's parking lot.

Recommendation is to find street parking and take the hike down. FYI, most main st parking has a 2 hour limit, check out the side roads to find open spots.

have fun, be safe!
By Chris6190
May 30, 2014
FYI guys - parking at the marina is no longer an option - there was a sign there on May 29th of 2014 saying that as of May 1, 2014 parking was no longer allowed there. On the upside, we did still have a great day clinbing there. It's no Gunks, but what is? In my humble opinion the ratings are totally sandbagged, but if you go in with that bit of knowledge you can have a great day. No one from the Academy bothered us at all and we actually had a truck from CXS drive right by us, we waved at him, said hi, he waved back and drove on. No issues at all. My first time there, so we will see how future trips go.
By kenr
Jun 5, 2014
Parking change as of May 2014 ...
Sharon and I drove down to the marina on the train tracks alongside the River (south of the cliff) to park. Saw a new sign said parking is no longer allowed as of May 1, 2014. Just a couple weeks ago before in April I had paid the guy $5 and parked there.

I went over and talked to him, and he said his insurance would no longer allow parking. Suggested we park up at the West Point Visitors center instead.

So I left Sharon and our rope and draws and packs at the marina, drove up and easily found parking at the Visitors center, jogged back down to Sharon. We had a nice day of climbing. Afterward I hiked up and drove the car down to pick up Sharon and our gear.


P.S. No point in parking illegally in the McDonalds lot. The Visitors Center parking is only another 30-60 seconds walking.