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Eagle Falls

New York > Adirondacks > I: Old Forge Region

Description

This crag runs alongside the Beaver River just downstream from Beaver Lake. The rock is brittle in some places, but has unusual hidden holds that make the faces, aretes, and roofs very climbable. The natural crack lines tend to be chossy and, due to the nature of the brittle rock, a bit suspect.

This cliff is in a pleasant, remote area with open woods and great swimming holes a mere feet away. There is no road noise; in fact, the sound of the pounding rapids is so load that communication with a leader is often impossible.

The cliff is packed with high quality lines, most of which were put up since 2008; they are in the second edition of Adirondack Rock. This cliff has also seen another wave of new route activity in the last few years not yet in print.

Highlights are Class Five and The Hydrofax, two of the largest climbable roofs in the Adirondacks that sit above noisy rapids, Promiscuous Girl, a stunning arete, Go to Bread, delicate face climbing, El Supremo, a tricky, super-exposed face, and No Fun at Camp No Sex at Breakfast, Eagle Falls' hardest climbing.

Getting There

From Lowville, follow Number Four Road to near its end. About 1/2 mile east of the intersection with Stillwater Road, turn left onto Soft Maple Road. This road is unmarked but there is a brown sign that says, "Beaver River Canoe Route." Go about 2.5 miles, then turn right onto another dirt road signed "Beaver River Canoe Route". Drive 1/2 mile along the large green pipe on your right and park on the left.

Cross the road, walk down the stairs under the penstock, then follow a trail south to the cliff.

River Crossing

One of the most beautiful parts of climbing at Eagle Falls is the river. Unfortunately, it also presents one of the greatest hurdles to climbing access.

Board Crossing:
In late summer and fall the river is usually low enough to be crossed using a board that is stashed along the river a few hundred feet upstream from the falls. Look for a boulder on the far side with a nice flat spot. Make sure to pull the board back up for our paddling friends!

Tyrolean Traverse
In summer of 2017 a fixed tryolean line was added to the cliff. From spring until mid-summer the water is usually too high to use the board crossing. It is a few hundred feet upstream from the usual board crossing. Make sure to use a pulley instead of a carabiner to reduce wear on the rope. It may need tightening for a few years as it is a new rope!

Canoe Crossing
If the river is high and the line is down or you don't feel like using it you can always bring some kind of boat and launch from the beaver river canoe run launch 1/8 mile north of the parking area into Beaver Lake and boat across the lake above the damn. It's about a 3 minute canoe ride and leads to a very obvious heardpath that brings you south to the top of the cliff.

Routes from Left to Right

5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 1
Grumpy Racoon
Trad
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 20
Red Book
Trad
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 3
No Fun at Camp, No Sex at Breakfast
Trad
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 6
Monkey Bars and Geetar Stars
Trad
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 6
Fipi Lele
Trad, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 23
Naked Truth
Trad, TR
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 6
Go to Bread
Trad
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 13
Face of a Thousand Cracks
Trad
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
 14
Adsite Arete
Trad
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
 3
The Tower of Babel
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 2
The Cross
Trad
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 4
Soft Maple Times
Trad
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 2
Gypsy's Curse
Trad
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 2
Hooker Heels and Crimp Pimps
Trad
5.1 2 6 II 7 MD 2a
 2
Easy Ramp
Trad, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 1
Open for Business
TR
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 2
Call Ya Motha
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 1
Fast and Loose
Trad
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 1
Let The Wild Rumpus Start
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 6
El Supremo
Sport
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 2
Good Housekeeping
Trad
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 14
Dobsonfly
Trad
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 14
Stihl Water
Trad
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 15
The Eagle Has Landed
Sport
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 8
Ravenous
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 14
Lloyds of Lowville
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 5
Lichen or Not
Trad
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 7
Promiscuous Girl
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 3
The Tasp
Trad
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 3
Three Raccoons in a Patagonia Fl…
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 9
Prey Tell
Sport
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 1
Rolling Stone
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 8
Hot n' Stanky
Trad
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 19
Seventeen
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 1
Perky Andrea
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 1
Jaw Gains
TR
5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 2
The Hydrofax
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 3
Class Five
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 3
Sammy-Jo Traceyville
Trad
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
 1
Oral in the Dark
Trad, TR
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 1
Trap 'em!
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Grumpy Racoon
 1
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Red Book
 20
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
No Fun at Camp, No Sex at B…
 3
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Trad
Monkey Bars and Geetar Stars
 6
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Fipi Lele
 6
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, TR
Naked Truth
 23
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, TR
Go to Bread
 6
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad
Face of a Thousand Cracks
 13
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad
Adsite Arete
 14
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad
The Tower of Babel
 3
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad
The Cross
 2
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Soft Maple Times
 4
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad
Gypsy's Curse
 2
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad
Hooker Heels and Crimp Pimps
 2
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad
Easy Ramp
 2
5.1 2 6 II 7 MD 2a Trad, TR
Open for Business
 1
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a TR
Call Ya Motha
 2
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Fast and Loose
 1
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad
Let The Wild Rumpus Start
 1
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
El Supremo
 6
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Good Housekeeping
 2
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad
Dobsonfly
 14
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Stihl Water
 14
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad
The Eagle Has Landed
 15
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Ravenous
 8
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Lloyds of Lowville
 14
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Lichen or Not
 5
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad
Promiscuous Girl
 7
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
The Tasp
 3
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Three Raccoons in a Patagon…
 3
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Prey Tell
 9
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Rolling Stone
 1
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Hot n' Stanky
 8
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Seventeen
 19
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Perky Andrea
 1
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Jaw Gains
 1
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a TR
The Hydrofax
 2
5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
Class Five
 3
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Sammy-Jo Traceyville
 3
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Oral in the Dark
 1
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R Trad, TR
Trap 'em!
 1
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

One of the most impressive roof systems in the Adirondacks. The Hydrofax (12b) punches through the roof on the right.
[Hide Photo] One of the most impressive roof systems in the Adirondacks. The Hydrofax (12b) punches through the roof on the right.
The Swimming hole at the entrance of Eagle Falls Cliff.
[Hide Photo] The Swimming hole at the entrance of Eagle Falls Cliff.
The Tyrolean traverse, pic taken in the fall of 2018 just before the Tyrolean was taken down. Only a bit of the raging river can be seen.
[Hide Photo] The Tyrolean traverse, pic taken in the fall of 2018 just before the Tyrolean was taken down. Only a bit of the raging river can be seen.
Looking at Rolling Stone (more center)/Seventeen (right of center)  prominence.
[Hide Photo] Looking at Rolling Stone (more center)/Seventeen (right of center) prominence.
That roof …. I wonder how often chunks fall out ?
[Hide Photo] That roof …. I wonder how often chunks fall out ?
Very pretty but also noisy. If you use the Tyrolian, bring appropriate gear, the rope is tight but there is inevitable sag in the middle when weighted.
[Hide Photo] Very pretty but also noisy. If you use the Tyrolian, bring appropriate gear, the rope is tight but there is inevitable sag in the middle when weighted.
These flowers are all over the top of the face.
[Hide Photo] These flowers are all over the top of the face.
Right side
[Hide Photo] Right side

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

SwineFlew
Watertown, NY
[Hide Comment] In the Spring the river really flows strongly and can easily sweep you off your feet. Instead of crossing the river where the guidebook says, bring an extra pair of shoes and just walk across the river where it widens. THe easiest spot I have seen is directly in front of you when you walk down the stairs under the green pipe. Your feet will get wet & cold, but thats better than falling in a deeper area and getting swept into the swimming hole.
Mar 19, 2012
Alex Mitchell
Phoenix, AZ
[Hide Comment] A very cool area with lots of great climbs on solid, mostly clean rock. We did not know they were doing a release of the river so the river was about 2 feet higher when we left as when we came. I ended up dropping my rope in the river and getting pretty wet to the amusement of the about two hundred people swimming and watching the kayakers. Sep 3, 2012
[Hide Comment] There was a rock climbing accident on route number 23, Stacked. The rock broke under the pressure of the cams in the crack. There are a lot of newly developed and rarely climbed routes here. Be careful with your gear placements and especially anchors. consider using a tree to be extra redundant.

A helmet saved my sister's life without a doubt. Her head hit a downed tree and the helmet caught it and jerked to the side instead of her skull. This is a first hand account. If you have a helmet wear it, if you don't have one get one. May 29, 2013
[Hide Comment] katyg628: That's terrible about your sister's fall. I second the helmet advice at this cliff. (And, well, for pretty much any cliff.)

In my experience, the rock at Eagle Falls is friable and brittle. I've seen gear placements blow apart cracks that seemed solid. The original routes (and most of those documented in Adirondack Rock) were put in ground-up, have had no additional cleaning, and see very little traffic. Most need a session with a pry bar and scrub brush.

The newer routes (those documented here) have all been meticulously cleaned, prepared, and bolted and are a much safer option. But even on these routes, I recommend following your advice and wearing a helmet. May 30, 2013
NickG
Syracuse/Keene, NY
[Hide Comment] Flows can be checked here.

americanwhitewater.org/cont… Sep 9, 2013
Shane Kenyon
Canandaigua (city), NY
[Hide Comment] Looks like the bear carcase is gone. Great climbs, didn't find it chossy at all. Looking forward to climbing here several more times this season! Aug 26, 2015
PeterW Whitmore
Dryden, NY
[Hide Comment] Hornets nests at the cruxes of El Supremo and Welcome to the Machine on 4/16/16. Apr 17, 2016
Richard Beck
Fayetteville, NC
[Hide Comment] Have there been any routes put up between "Papa Don't Preach" and "El Supremo"? Seems like there are a lot of possible climbs all along the cliff. Apr 27, 2016
[Hide Comment] As of May 10, 2017, The river is still too high to safely cross. Need a canoe to cross above the dam. The entire area is flooded with sooo much water.

Routes are dry, though. May 11, 2017
[Hide Comment] As of July 30, 2017, the river is still too high to cross without a canoe. There is now a tyrolean upstream of the normal board crossing. Bring a pulley. Aug 1, 2017
[Hide Comment] I used the Tyrolean for the first time on Monday. Getting off on the climber side is really hard for a short person. Make sure your PAS that is attached has a long sling so your feet can reach the rocks. BTW there is only one crossing board left. Jul 14, 2018
[Hide Comment] More approach beta … don't expect to "rock hop" across the river unless there is an exceptionally low water level, usually you'll have to wade, Tyrolian or plank. The Tyrolian has been installed extremely well and provides some "excitement" (and a great photo op) while crossing the raging river underneath. If you "walk the plank" .. be brave and well balanced, the plank is short, the river is fierce underneath you, and a fall would be ugly
. Walking across the river at the parking point is relatively easy with poles or a stick, the water went just past my knees, it's fast, safe, and it gets you about 5 mins away from the beginning of the cliff line. Oct 11, 2018
[Hide Comment] As of Nov 2018, don't count on the tyrolean hardware. The land manager has deemed this nonconforming and has most likely removed it. Looks like we're back to (a) walking/wading across near the parking lot (bring ski poles!), (b) using the board when the water is low enough, or (c) canoeing across the still water upstream of the dam. Also, due to a recent lawsuit, the swim holes are now "no swimming". Nov 23, 2018
Jonathan Tedrow
Rochester, NY
[Hide Comment] As of April 18th the water is low enough to use the board crossing to cross the river, not sure if it will stay like that tho. Most of the snow was gone tho so there shouldn't be to much more run off. Also the Tyrolean cable is gone so you'll have to use the board or wade across downstream, which looked like there might be rocks that you can hop across if your bag isn't to heavy. Apr 19, 2019