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Waterfall Wall 

WI3

   
Type:  Trad, Ice, 6 pitches, 730', Grade II
Consensus: WI3 [details]
FA: 
Season: Dec - Feb
Page Views: 3,282
Submitted By: Jay Harrison on Dec 9, 2009

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Peering out from behind the last pitch's ice curta...

Description 

Don't let the rating fool you, this is mostly WI2, the only difficult spot being the very last pitch, which is avoidable and easily TR'd.
P1 WI2 120': Climb the ice slab through the bulge on its left to a tree ledge.
V1 WI3: when "in" the steep, short curtain in the rock bulge right of the regular line is exciting.
V2 WI 2-: climb the ice to the right of the rock bulge. This is lower-angle and easier than the standard route.
One can rappel with a 60m rope, from an oak tree 25' climber's left of the top-out by moving away from the flow, into a gully toward the bottom.

P2 WI2 130': A bit of steep ice leads to a low-angle WI1 slog to a good ledge below another steep bit.
V1 M1: Directly above Pitch 1's Variation 2 is a low-angle, R-facing corner running up the slab. This is typically almost iceless, but a good crack allows tool-jams up to easy ground.

P3 WI2 70': Climb either the easy notch on the left side of the slab or straight up the short, steep wall to easy ice slab to a wooded area.
Walk-off is possible at the top of this pitch: head south down a ramp until the boulder-choked bottom ravine is close by, then curl back north to the base of the ice.
This is also the point where climbers cut off to head for Fifi's Frozen Fingers, walking as for the descent, but cutting up a ledge system at the top of the ramp.

P4 (non-technical): The streambed levels off here. After walking up it ~100', leave it, walking 120 yards uphill (climber's left), aiming for an obvious cliff high up on the left with an ice flow spilling down its center. You will reach an ice slab about 140' below the upper cliff.
V1: One can continue up the streambed, negotiating small flows along the way for almost a quarter mile, before coming to a ~35' flow that signals the end of interesting ice climbing for this flow. This alternative finishes up "in the middle of nowhere." Either return to the top of P3 for descent or make a brutal bushwhack along the drainage climber's left to reach the Diagonal Ramp at the top of the Black Arches Wall.

P5 WI2 160': Climb the ice slab - often a bit thin on the upper half - moving right along a corner to easier going with occasional trees up to the steep wall's base above.
From the top of this pitch, it is also possible to get to Fifi's Frozen Fingers. Walk climber's left below P6, to a steep gully that leads to a downsloping bench, which runs below Fifi's in about 200 yards.

P6 WI3 120': The flow directly above is intimidatingly steep; to the left, an easier ascent works up, climbing through a forked birch tree and along ledges and short faces, providing a method for setting a TR on the variation at a huge pine tree.
V1: WI4 100': The climax of the route, this short, steep wall includes a curtain one can crawl behind and regain composure before launching into the hard stuff. This "variation" lies directly above the belay tree for the pitch; it was finally climbed on lead in 2008.
V2: WI 3 M3 90': Climb steep ice 20' right of the block splitting the main flow (i.e. Variation 1), to the point where the ice tapers away to nothing at the base of a vertical crack. Climb the crack to the top.
V3: WI 4- 40': A final smear of ice forms 25' right of V2. It is often not thick enough to climb, and never well-bonded. We snuck this in during the good weather of Jan. 2013.

Location 

Coordinates: 43.543530 N 73.949417 W.
Follow the 2008 Adirondack Rock guidebook instructions for reaching the Waterfall area. A ridge parallels Crane's SE corner slopes, walk this down to where it levels off. The waterfall comes down the mountain's flank at this point.
Descent is possible from most pitches:
from top P1: rappel w/70m rope or two ropes. There is a funky downclimb to climber's left, but it is not recommended.
from top P3: walk south down a ramp to the ravine, then curl north back to the base.
from top P5: walk south to a sloping, wooded bench until one can work down thru a cliff band to the terrain of descent for P3.
from top P6: walk south, cutting down ramps where possible to connect with P5's descent route.

Protection 

Standard screws, with a few stubbies for P5 and the end of P6, plus a few slings for trees.


Photos of Waterfall Wall Slideshow Add Photo
Todd Paris jogs up the final feet of the first pitch.
Todd Paris jogs up the final feet of the first pit...
Jamie McNeill styles the top pitch.
Jamie McNeill styles the top pitch.
Maurice Corrigan sets out on P1 of the <em>Waterfall</em> on Crane Mtn's SE slope.
Maurice Corrigan sets out on P1 of the Waterfa...
Todd follows on the FA of the top pitch's variation 3.
Todd follows on the FA of the top pitch's variatio...
Maurice Corrigan leads out on P5 of the <em>Waterfall</em> ice route.
Maurice Corrigan leads out on P5 of the Waterf...
Ascending the variation to P1.
Ascending the variation to P1.
Jenn comes up P1 of Crane Mountain's <em>Waterfall</em> ice route.
Jenn comes up P1 of Crane Mountain's Waterfall...
Lukasz rippin' up through the bulge of the 1st pitch.
Lukasz rippin' up through the bulge of the 1st pit...
Pitch 1. 2/11/2012
Pitch 1. 2/11/2012
Jamie McNeill single-tools up pitch one.
Jamie McNeill single-tools up pitch one.
Pitch 6. 2/11/2012
Pitch 6. 2/11/2012
Alysia C. on her first ice climb.
Alysia C. on her first ice climb.

Comments on Waterfall Wall Add Comment
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By Tparis
From: Pottersville,New York
Jan 10, 2010

P1 V1 is short but quite steep I would say WI3+ in the conditions we climbed today. (very easy to avoid)

Awesome climb for an aspiring ice leader!
By Kevin Heckeler
From: Upstate New York
Jan 17, 2011
rating: WI3

I learned how to ice climb here back in December. Now I've been out every good day since! lol

Returned yesterday to an even fatter wall. Variations on the right side looked like great fun but we didn't have time to top rope. Even though it's short, they look mean (4-ish?). Second and third pitch were easy, but we never made it to the final pitch which is supposed to be great (traversed to Fifi's Frozen Finger after P3 instead).

Look forward to another return in a few weeks!
By Michael John Gray
From: Queensbury, NY
Feb 11, 2012

climbed the waterfall wall at Crane today with Lukasz Czyz in thin conditions. We placed a lot of cams. 3 #1's a .75 and a red tricam. Did a new crack variation to pitch five now my hands tools and cams are all yucky with crane muck. 20' right of the start of pitch 5 climb the gulley to the crack directly above and send the thin hands crack to the tree 5.8 (M5). 02/11/12