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Areas in Crane Mountain

Beaverview 10 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 11
Belleview 18 / 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 19
Black Arches Wall 37 / 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 38
Blueberry Ledge 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Boulderwoods 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Caterpillar Cliff 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Diagonal Ramp Wall 7 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7
Eastern Nose 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7
Firecamp Wall 1 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Height Of Land Walls 12 / 1 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 13
Left of Ladder 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Long Play Wall 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7
Measles Walls 21 / 6 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 30
Pinnacle Overlook 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Pond View Slab 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Right of Ladder 4 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Sky High 12 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 12
Slanting Cracks Wall 13 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 16
Sweeper Wall 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
TeePee Wall 10 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 11
Upper South Corner Cliffs 30 / 1 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 31
Viewpoint Slab 6 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 9
Waterfall Wall 15 / 1 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 16
Wayout Wall 4 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5

Description

In the foothills of the Adirondacks lies this subtle mountain, far enough to feel remote yet still close enough to civilization that you won't be completely isolated.

The summit used to house a fire tower. The support blocks are still visible in the rocks, along with a few mountain markers dated around 1946. Remnants of the care-taker's house are also visible behind the summit. When reading up on the area, you may notice that a "ladder" is mentioned. There are two physical ladders (made of wood) on the summit trail: the lower, shorter one passes a small steep slab, the taller, upper one breaks through the summit cliff.

The largest town nearby is Johnsburg. However, you'll get more accurate weather reports by searching for Thurman, NY.

Crane Mountain is not one climbing locale, but many small crags spread across several miles of mountainside. Starting points and approach routes for many of these locales varies greatly. Currently, the most popular areas lie along an unofficial trail known as the East Path. The summit cliffs also see a fair share of climbers.

Crane has cliffs up to 320' tall, though most are a pitch or less. Until 2009, none were very concentrated with climbs; a few have now become destinations in and of themselves. The rock is solid, but dirty due to little climbing traffic. The bases of climbs can also be a gamble between slanted ground, several inches of brush, pine needles and sticks, rock, dirt, moss, or a mixture of all.

Approaches can be long if hiking from the base (approx. 1.4 miles). To the pond is 1.1 miles. Give yourself an hour to reach the summit cliffs. Most of the summit climbs can be approached from the summit via rappel, which may be easier than bushwhacking.

The surroundings are spectacular. One of the most notable hiking destinations is Crane Mountain Pond, which lies halfway up the mountain. On a warm summer's day, you may even enjoy a swim. The floor is largely rocky, and the water is very clear.

There's prime real estate for camping on this mountain. The ground is soft, and the water near the pond offers a good source of H2O. The downside is that camping at the pond offers a one-hour hike to the summit, and isn't central to any of the climbing destinations. There ARE spots to camp near the summit. Explore for these, and it makes the adventure that much better. Be advised that in the Adirondacks, camping is allowed on State Land if you are 150' away from roads, trails, and water, unless otherwise posted. Crane Mountain isn't in the Eastern High Peaks Region, meaning that a bear canister is not legally required (although it's still a good idea.)

Bugs are BAD in the spring, particularly May and June. The summit offers slight relief from the swarming fury at the base, but attempting to climb during the height of bug season adds significantly to the difficulty.

Getting There

From the south or north: Take Interstate 87 (Adirondack Northway) to Exit 23, Warrensburg. Head toward Warrensburg, turning right to head north on State Route 9. From there, drive into Warrensburg and turn L on Highway 418. Take 418 across a bridge (over the Schroon River) and immediately turn sharp right. Do not go straight uphill after the bridge! Drive ~3-1/2 miles out of town. Take Rt. 418 across another bridge (over the Hudson River), then cross a RR track and swing sharply left.

Turn R on Athol Road (this turn is easy to miss). Athol Road curves a lot, swinging sharply right and passing through the hamlet of Athol, then swings left and goes uphill for about a mile. At the top of the hill turn R on Mountain Rd. Stay on Mountain Road its entire length, until you come to a stop sign. Here, you go left (-ish, it's almost straight ahead) onto Valley Road. Drive about a mile and turn L on Garnet Lake Rd. Drive about 1-1/3 miles and turn R on Sky High Rd (which may be spelled Ski Hi)

NOTE: if the bridge is out, continue past Sky High Rd. 1/4 mile and turn sharply right onto Putnam Cross Road to regain it.

Drive to the bitter, rough end of the road. At the end, about 1 1/2 miles up, is a parking lot.

From the trailhead, there are two official trails and one climber's trail. One official trail heads straight up the mountain, the other goes west along the base before turning upward to reach the pond. The climber's trail heads east along the base of the mountain.

Crane Mountain has many climbing areas scattered along its SW and SE flanks, and of course, along its summit ridge. For places like the Wayout Wall and Beaverview Walls, the west hiking trail is the best access. For the Viewpoint Slab, Brown Slabs, and Summit cliffs, the summit trail is used. Since 2007, much of the development on Crane has focused on the South Corner Cliffs and Black Arches Wall, which are accessed via the climber's path.

The new Adirondack guidebook Adirondack Rock by Jim Lawyer and Jeremy Haas is extremely helpful, a "must-have" for this and many of the lesser-known Adirondack climbing areas.

257 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Crane Mountain

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
 7
On the Fence
Trad
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 20
Belle Bottom Crack
Trad
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 18
Recuperation Boulevard
Trad
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 21
Stand Your Ground
Trad
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 16
Moe-hammed, Larry, & Curly
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 4
Bodhi Tree
Trad
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 23
Amphitheatre Crack
Trad
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 18
Broken Broom
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 19
Critical Crimps
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 16
Parallel Passage
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
 15
Long Play
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
 15
Black Arch ArĂȘte
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 4
Torcher
Trad, TR
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 23
Oddy's Crack of Horror
Trad
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 7
Plumb Line
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
On the Fence Sky High > Sky High Wall
 7
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad
Belle Bottom Crack Belleview > Belleview Slab
 20
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad
Recuperation Boulevard Black Arches Wall
 18
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Stand Your Ground Upper S Corner Cliffs
 21
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Moe-hammed, Larry, & Curly Long Play Wall
 16
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Bodhi Tree Long Play Wall
 4
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Amphitheatre Crack Black Arches Wall
 23
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad
Broken Broom Black Arches Wall
 18
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad
Critical Crimps Black Arches Wall
 19
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Parallel Passage Black Arches Wall
 16
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Long Play Long Play Wall
 15
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13 Trad
Black Arch ArĂȘte Black Arches Wall
 15
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13 Trad
Torcher Black Arches Wall
 4
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, TR
Oddy's Crack of Horror TeePee Wall
 23
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Plumb Line Black Arches Wall
 7
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
More Classic Climbs in Crane Mountain »

Weather Averages

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Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
There are many new routes on the mountain since Lawyer & Haas' guidebook publication; however, they've done a fantastic job keeping up with this (and the burst of activity throughout the Adks) on their new routes web page:
adirondackrock.com/newroute…
Adirondack Rock New Routes
In particular, check out the bevy of new stuff at the Black Arches Wall.
Aug 18, 2010
kenr  
Note that the shortest easiest trail access to the SouthEast area (from a different start point along the access road) is now rather different from the map + directions in the latest print edition of the Adirondack Rock guidebook. (I leave it to the local experts to decide how to give details for this.) Aug 7, 2012
Ben Brotelho
Albany, NY
Ben Brotelho   Albany, NY
The name of the final road is spelled "Ski Hi" Feb 25, 2013
The East trail has more cairns than I have ever seen .. and they are needed. There are numerous rocky outcropping everywhere and fallen leaves make the trail challenging to follow without the cairns. Thanks to those who have "worked" the climbing routes, someone has done a huge amount of work cleaning the rock.
The final mile of the "road" is extremely rough and pitted, be warned if you have a nice car Oct 5, 2017

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