Elevation: 2,339 ft
GPS: 41.968, -74.443 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 3,700,354 total · 23,768/month
Shared By: Jay Harrison on Feb 26, 2006 with updates from kenr
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Description

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.

With the rise of Sport Climbing, several places once illegal and/or dangerous to climb at now bristle with gleaming metal, providing another facet to NYS's menu. Many of these places still exist under tenuous legal conditions, so check with the locals and be discrete.

A few crags relegated to the dustbin of history have been revived. These include places like the "Powerlinez", a crag that saw occasional traffic up to the early 80s but then became off-limits and fell into obscurity; and Thacher State Park, which finally opened to legal climbing in 2017.

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 mountainproject.com/v/power… mountainproject.com/v/thach… Thacher State Park

3,835 Total Climbs

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Location: New York Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at New York

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 1,137
High Exposure
Trad 2 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 556
Madame Grunnebaum's Wulst
Trad 3 pitches
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
 108
Quadrophenia AKA Bara Bara
Trad 4 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
 400
Cascading Crystal Kaleidoscope (…
Trad 3 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 465
Son of Easy O
Trad 2 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 285
Modern Times
Trad 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 330
Directissima
Trad 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 418
Bonnie's Roof
Trad 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13
 171
CCK Direct
Trad 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 132
Frosted Mug
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
 114
Welcome to the Gunks
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 174
Directississima
Trad 2 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 102
The Fastest Gun
Trad 4 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 127
Erect Direction
Trad 3 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 80
Carbs and Caffeine
Trad 2 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
High Exposure Gunks > Trapps > i. High E
 1,137
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 2 pitches
Madame Grunnebaum's Wulst Gunks > Trapps > f. The Guides' Wall (…
 556
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 3 pitches
Quadrophenia AKA Bara Bara Adirondacks > C: Keene Region > Hurricane Crag
 108
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13 Trad 4 pitches
Cascading Crystal Kaleidosc… Gunks > Trapps > h. The Arrow Wall - CCK
 400
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13 Trad 3 pitches
Son of Easy O Gunks > Trapps > c. Frog's Head - the…
 465
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
Modern Times Gunks > Trapps > h. The Arrow Wall - CCK
 285
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
Directissima Gunks > Trapps > i. High E
 330
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 2 pitches
Bonnie's Roof Gunks > Trapps > i. High E
 418
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 2 pitches
CCK Direct Gunks > Trapps > h. The Arrow Wall - CCK
 171
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13 Trad 2 pitches
Frosted Mug Adirondacks > … > Beer Walls > Upper Beer Wall
 132
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Welcome to the Gunks Gunks > Trapps > e. The Mac Wall (Some…
 114
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13 Trad
Directississima Gunks > Trapps > i. High E
 174
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad 2 pitches
The Fastest Gun Adirondacks > … > Poke-O-Moonshine > Poke-O-Moonshine Main…
 102
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad 4 pitches
Erect Direction Gunks > Trapps > h. The Arrow Wall - CCK
 127
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad 3 pitches
Carbs and Caffeine Gunks > Trapps > j. The Yellow Wall &…
 80
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad 2 pitches
More Classic Climbs in New York »

Weather Averages

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JJ Schlick
Flagstaff, AZ
JJ Schlick   Flagstaff, AZ  
When ya'll gonna post some Spiders Web stuff??? Aug 17, 2006
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! Apr 27, 2007
RobHudson
Boulder
RobHudson   Boulder
True True, McKenzie Pond is a hidden treasure when its dry!! May 17, 2007
Mike O  
I like the adirondack's secrets. ;) Jul 6, 2007
AdamB Bunger
Chattanooga, TN
AdamB Bunger   Chattanooga, TN
I'll 3rd that McKenzie comment Aug 14, 2008
There used to be a online guidebook for McKenzie Ponds but I can't find it anymore unfortunately. Jul 29, 2009
AdamB Bunger
Chattanooga, TN
AdamB Bunger   Chattanooga, TN
newenglandbouldering.com/me…

there ya go. Aug 16, 2009
Bronson
Estes Park, CO
Bronson   Estes Park, CO
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.

Feb 10, 2010
Jaysen Henderson
Brooklyn NY
Jaysen Henderson   Brooklyn NY
Adirondackrock.com is the guidebook for the region Dec 12, 2010