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Chapel Pond Slab
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Bob's Knob Standard T 
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Regular Route 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a PG13

Type:  Trad, 8 pitches, 700', Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a [details]
FA: Ben Poisson, 1960s (var.)
Season: Summer, when its dry
Page Views: 13,146
Submitted By: Matt Swartz on Apr 21, 2009

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (80)
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Looking up from pitch 3(?)


As per "Climbing in the Adirondacks" by Don Mellor

P1: From the base of the major left-facing corner that begins Empress, rises a dike that leads up to a belay on low-angled rock. 5.0 150'

P2: Climb up and slightly right to a ledge at the base of a huge right-facing, arching corner. 5.2 110'

P3: Step out onto the face on the right and head for the low point in the wall above. Step through this dish and belay 30' higher at a fixed angle(1979). This can be backed up with camming devices. 5.3 130'

P4: Head up and left to a left-facing corner. This leads to the twin crack belay at 145'. 5.4

P5: Climb the right-hand crack (5.5) and head to the birch tree belay at the base of the Bob's Knob wall. The direct friction route is about 5.7; its easier off in the bushes to the right.

P6: Climb the black wall (5.5) for 20' to a huge terrace.(It is also possible to skip this by finishing off left on friction.)

P7-8: Walk right around the corner and climb two class 4 pitches to the top.

Variation Cave Finish: 5.6 120'. From the terrace, climb into the black cave and finish via a vertical jam-crack.


Normal rack. There are no bolts, some fixed gear, and no anchors.

Photos of Regular Route Slideshow Add Photo
regular route, emress, greenleeves
BETA PHOTO: regular route, emress, greenleeves
Climbing the crux corner towards Bobs knob
Climbing the crux corner towards Bobs knob
Leading up to P6 belay.
Leading up to P6 belay.
Beautiful views.
Beautiful views.
Looking down from the twin crack belay
Looking down from the twin crack belay
Harder starting options are on the right of the "regular" start and meet with the updrifting crack, "standard" start is just out of sight on the left of picture.
Harder starting options are on the right of the "r...
Cave finish. Very fun.  <br /> <br />Note: the start of this pitch is normally a little to the left on juggy holds with better pro.
Cave finish. Very fun.

Note: the start of this p...
Climbed this route earlier this year
Climbed this route earlier this year
Paul Deagle - Regular Route - the best pitch in my opinion
Paul Deagle - Regular Route - the best pitch in my...
Working our way up.
Working our way up.
Paul Deagle - Regular Route pitch 1
Paul Deagle - Regular Route pitch 1
Looking down the slabs from atop the 5th pitch (after topping out the chimney variation)
Looking down the slabs from atop the 5th pitch (af...
Approaching on trail. Regular Route starts in middle an hooks right following the obvious 2-0'clock groove-crack.
Approaching on trail. Regular Route starts in midd...
Natasha sitting atop of the 5th pitch.  Her first multi-pitch climb and we took her up the chimney variation.  A beautiful day in the ADK! :D
Natasha sitting atop of the 5th pitch. Her first ...
Natasha heading up the 2nd pitch
Natasha heading up the 2nd pitch

Comments on Regular Route Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 19, 2013
By derek nabozny
From: Mohawk Valley, NY
Jul 12, 2010
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13

Climbed with Adam Rivera Jun 27,2010 did in 5 pitches Simulclimbed the 5.6 (v2), while the other team in our party climbed off the 5.7 (v3) till the pins just before the bulge on P2 then swung leads after. Climb was a lot of fun esp the crack in corner and the left crack at the twin crack's. The cave finish looked wet and dirty
By Mike McLean
Oct 3, 2010
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13

The route description seems off to me (but I'm a Adirondack Rock fanboy).

Following the same route, Adirondack Rock has it in 6 pitches.

Although the last pitch is easy, I wouldn't call it 4th class.

For us, the descent took almost as long as the climb. The north gully was wet, wet, wet. We never did find the fixed rope, but still got away with a single double rope rappel.
By Yacov
May 27, 2011

Do yourself a favor and do the starting variation on Pitch 1 (to the right). Standard start looked less like climbing and more like hiking.

Due to all the rain this Spring, the walk down is wet and washed out.
By Matt Glue
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 5, 2011

Catch it dry and the cave finish is awesome! The ~5.7 move out of the cave/chimney is hard to figure out and exposed but well-protected (save your bigger cams).
By Kevin Heckeler
From: Upstate New York
Jul 24, 2011

Adkrock description was spot on, although books and leaning cracks can get jumbled at certain pointsin the climb. Money pitch was 3 with the crack running along the left facing corner. Last pitch had great position and there were harder variations on the 5.2 sections. Class 4? Not by today's standards...

Fwiw, i feel The Empress and anything on Rogers Rock was pitch for pitch better than this "classic". Other than pitch 3 i didnt think there waws anything here worthy of ever repeating (although ive heard the 5.7 chimney is a good variation).
By Matt Baer
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 12, 2012
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13

A nice beginners route for those getting into multi-pitch climbing. Easy slab climbing, I climbed the first 5 pitches in my approach shoes. The 5.6 variation up the chimney makes for an exciting and slightly heady finish.
By Luc
From: Montreal
Apr 16, 2012
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13

Not for a beginner climber, he'll have issues with the 20ft+ run-outs.
Instead of heading straight up from the belay up the ramp/black wall to the terrasse on P6 I mistakenly went left on the slab to the corner below the chimney variation. That little mishap will bring you to an enjoyable 5.7 variation (just below the chimney leading to the terrasse ledge).

Major issue I had was with the description and map in the guidebook on how to get to the north gully descent, I ended up taking the first gully which had a nice amount of loose blocks of ice and rock.
By Mike McLean
Apr 16, 2012
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13

@Luc I agree; the descent is the crux. Both times I made it to the top (regular and empress), the descent was longer than the ascent ... There is a jambalaya of heard paths up there.
By Kevin Heckeler
From: Upstate New York
May 20, 2012

A tree at the second rappel is gone/damaged. There is now a slung block that appears safe. Someone might want to bring another piece of 20+ foot webbing since there's only one right now. Lots of loose rocks, beware as they will tumble very far down this gully.

If this climb had a better, bolted rap it would be considered one of the best climbs in the northeast. The descent really limits its appeal.
By Jim Lawyer
May 22, 2012

I think people are missing the descent. The Regular Route has been soloed car-to-car in nearly 10 minutes. Really.

From the top of Bob's Knob, you follow cairns to a narrow gully. The entrance to this gully appears unlikely from the top, but it's very easy scrambling once you're in it. There's a fixed rope part way down to use as a hand rail when its wet. From the bottom of this narrow gully, walk down to a fork in the trail. Take the (skiers) left fork and follow the trail downhill and left across a couple exposed sections to a rappel tree. No need to rappel; walk back 20' and find a hidden birch tree with another fixed rope with knots. Hand-over-hand down this for 20', then rock-hop the stream back to the base of the slab.

Irene dirtied the descent a little, but it still goes easily.

Once you've done it, it's trivial.

[edited to add this...]
I should say that the birch of the second fixed line is not hidden, but rather the rope tied to its base is hidden. The birch is nearly dead, so perhaps [hopefully] this can be upgraded soon.
By Logan Schiff
From: Brooklyn, NY
Jun 18, 2012


I just tried the North Descent this weekend using the guidebook description. I made it to what I thought was the first rappel tree after going down the gully but couldn't find the hidden birch tree. Ending up doing two rappels, the second of which required a full 70m rope and a little scrambling to get to the next set of rings, followed by rock-hopping on the stream as described in the book.
By Jim Lawyer
Jun 18, 2012

I posted a photo showing EXACTLY where the fixed lines are. You need to explore a little to find them. If you're rappelling, you're in the wrong place.
By Logan Schiff
From: Brooklyn, NY
Jun 19, 2012

Thanks. That photo is quite clear.
By Richard Stohlman
Jul 2, 2012

Missed it at first but photo has been moved to front so available for all Chapel Pond routes. Thanks Jim, great resource as is your book.
By Logan Schiff
From: Brooklyn, NY
Jul 22, 2013

Did the walk off yesterday using the map Jim posted. Was indeed quite easy. We made it to the car in 30 minutes at a modest pace. Fixed line appeared to be in fine shape and was easy to descend.

Chimney variation is very worthwhile and protects well with a #3.
By Kevin Heckeler
From: Upstate New York
Aug 19, 2013

Past couple times on Regular Route we've been using a 2 rapel line that is very clean/easy, and puts you out near Tilman's Arete.

We follow the paths off the last technical pitch of the Regular Route that head into the woods (climber's right) following this contour while heading down, SKIP the first rapel you reach which is about 20 feet off the trail (skier's right) on an exposed tree overhanging a long wet corner and walk for a bit more until you reach a rap station on a small rock outcrop/ledge (tree slung at end of ledge). From this station you can clearly see the next rap station below you, which uses two trees.

Once down from the second rapel walk down 50 feet or so and slightly left through a few large boulders, following the gully down with the cliff on your left. This spits you out in 5-10 minutes at Tilman's Arete, and from there you can head to the road which is the fastest way to walk back to the base to retrieve gear. There might be faster ways, but this descent is easy to find and follow.

Taking the first rap on the right is HORRIBLE, leading down a wet corner to a chossy section.

We haven't tried Jim Lawyer's suggested walkoff yet.