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Areas in High Peaks Region

Algonquin 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Avalanche Mountain 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 3
Big Slide Mtn. 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Boquet River Crags 2 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Cascade Mountain 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Courthouse, The 5 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Dix Mtn. 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Giant Mountain 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 4
Gothics 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Mt Colden 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Noonmark Mountain 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 4
Panther Gorge 32 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 33
Porter Mountain 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Pyramid Peak 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Ragged Mountain 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Rooster Comb Mtn 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Valleyland 0 / 0 / 0 / 24 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 24
Wallface 9 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 10
Wright Peak 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 4
Elevation: 2,802 ft
GPS: 44.171, -74.099 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 123,437 total, 1,003/month
Shared By: Rafiki on Nov 6, 2007
Admins: Jim Lawyer

Description

The High Peaks Wilderness is home to the highest mountains in New York State. This pristine wilderness area is comprised of over 300,000 acres. The landscapes of the High Peaks include rocky summits, alpine lakes, meadows, countless streams and some of the densest vegetation you could ever imagine. For these reasons, the High Peaks is the epicenter of outdoor recreation in New York State, with backpacking being the most popular. Other outdoor pursuits include backcountry skiing, ice/rock climbing and trail running.

Climbing in the High Peaks is very diverse and can range from a trailside boulder to an alpine ascent of Gothics 1100ft North Face. The rock type of the area is Anorthosite, which is very much like granite. In stark contrast to the Gunks (NY's most popular climbing area), approaches in the High Peaks are measured in miles rather than minutes and often require nasty bushwhacks. Cell phone coverage is severely limited and emergency personal might take quite some time to reach you if need be. The trails may be crowded on the weekends, but you will most likely be alone during your climb. Some of the routes may have seen only a few ascents, so loose rock and lichen are a possibility. The point of these warnings are not to scare you away, but to make you aware the High Peaks is not your ordinary crag, it is a genuine backcountry area. By having a long approach, incredible views and superb climbing, routes in the High Peaks offer a "complete", almost magical climbing experience. Bring self sufficiency and an adventurous attitude!

Throughout the climbing history of the High Peaks, routes have been vaguely and sparsely documented. Some routes have been described in journals as early as the late 1800s. Don Mellor's modern guide purposely left out many details of backcountry routes to maintain a adventurous and somewhat mysterious atmosphere. This attitude may change with the printing of the new guide by Jim Lawyer and Jeremy Haas adirondackrock.com/ . The possibility of over-crowded climbing in the High Peaks is unlikely though considering the lengthy approaches and other variables. By adding this area to MountainProject, I hope to inspire the weekend warrior to try a climb off the beaten path. Those seeking pure adventure can still study photographs and choose their own adventure.

Getting There

The High Peaks are located in Essex County west of Keene Valley. There are five different trailheads for the area, each with their own regulations. They are: The Garden, Upper Works, ADk Loj, Ausable Club and Elk Lake. The most popular trailhead is The Garden off of 73 in Keene Valley, which fills up quickly on summer weekends. A shuttle surface may be available from Marcy Field if this is the case. What trailhead you should park at depends on your objective, get yourself a High Peaks map.

Regulations

Over the past few years, the High Peaks has seen a significant increase in foot traffic, most notably backpackers. It is very important that climbers follow LNT principals and do everything within our power to limit our environmental impact. The High Peaks area has filled me with the greatest sense of freedom I've ever felt. By following current NYSDEC regulations, we can ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy this freedom in a beautiful backcountry setting. The regulations are more than fair and follow a "no bullshit" attitude.

You can find current regulations here.

Bear canisters are now mandatory if you're staying overnight in the Eastern High Peaks (from Apr 1 - Nov 30). This is the area east of the Northville Lake Placid Trail, and west of the Adirondack Mountain Reserve. Bear Canisters are not required in the Giant Mountain / Dix Mountain Wilderness areas.

116 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at High Peaks Region

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a
Bottle slide
Trad, Alpine
4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b
Trap Dike (summer)
Trad
4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b
Eagle Slide
Trad, Alpine
4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b
Cascade Mountain Slide
Trad
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
The Hole, Lizard Head Variation
Trad, Alpine
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Wiessner Route
Trad, Alpine
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
The Diagonal
Trad 7 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Something Wicked
Trad, Alpine 3 pitches
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Freudian Slip
Sport 3 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Ragged Kittens (linkup)
Trad
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13
California Flake
Trad 8 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Invasive Species
Trad
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13
South Face Gothics Direct
Trad 3 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Free Ride
Trad 8 pitches
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a C1
Mental Blocks
Trad, Aid 6 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Bottle slide Giant Mtn 3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a Trad, Alpine
Trap Dike (summer) Mt Colden 4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b Trad
Eagle Slide Giant Mtn 4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b Trad, Alpine
Cascade Mountain Slide Cascade Mtn 4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b Trad
The Hole, Lizard Head Varia… Wright Peak 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, Alpine
Wiessner Route Noonmark Mtn 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Alpine
The Diagonal Wallface 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 7 pitches
Something Wicked Avalanche Mtn 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Alpine 3 pitches
Freudian Slip Big Slide Mtn. 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Sport 3 pitches
Ragged Kittens (linkup) Ragged Mtn 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
California Flake Mt Colden 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13 Trad 8 pitches
Invasive Species Ragged Mtn 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
South Face Gothics Direct Gothics 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13 Trad 3 pitches
Free Ride Wallface 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad 8 pitches
Mental Blocks Wallface 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a C1 Trad, Aid 6 pitches
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Chris Duca
Havertown, PA
Chris Duca   Havertown, PA
Thanks for posting such a comprehensive and inspiring area description. I hope your words DO inspire some climbers to head back there and explore what this grand area has to offer. Nov 17, 2007

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