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Routes in Garrett Mountain

Elevation: 330 ft
GPS: 40.901, -74.173 Google Map · Climbing Map
Shared By: David Hessler on Aug 24, 2012 with updates
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Description

The Flakes area at Garrett Mountain contains several distinct features that make this a unique bouldering area in New Jersey. The area is just below a 50 foot tower at the top of the cliff line overlooking Paterson. Parking can be found either at the top of the cliff in a small parking lot just off of a loop road which runs through Garrett Mountain Reservation. Drive on the loop road and park at the parking lot across the street from the obvious tower. You can also park below the cliff in the parking lot for Lambert's Castle.

Please note the access issues here. If you're a New Jersey resident and would like to advocate for better access, check out this Access Fund Initiative
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Getting There

From the northbound Garden State Parkway, take exit 153B to Route 3 West. Stay on this road for about two miles or less. Just after going under a bridge exit right down an exit to a right turn on Valley Road. Take Valley for about 1.5 miles to Lambert's Castle. You've gone too far if you cross a highway and enter Paterson.

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It is important to note that there are two main areas of bouldering development at Garrett MOuntain: Boulders on top of the cliff near the tower, and the cliffs/boulders below the tower. Most of the photos included here are on top. They are mostly vertical and, to date(2012, contain problems in the V0-V2 range. I developed a number of boulder problems below the tower (assuming nobody else climbed them) during the period from 1998-2012. The bouldering is some of the best I've seen in NJ because of the uniqueness of formations: 25 foot flakes with aretes, overhanging face climbs. Beautiful clean holds. I believe I was the first to climb many of these problems because there was a lot of poison ivy to clean off and clearing of some landings. By the way, one of the best features is a small buttress of rock that sticks out of the hill and contains some great problems including the Inchworm Traverse. Note: one of the photos calls this formation the caveman boulder but I named it the Inchworm Boulder. Maybe that name predates what I called it. I was able to boulder here for many years by going early in the morning and staying out of sight. I was stopped only once and left immediately. Jul 31, 2017
cms829
NJ
cms829   NJ
FYI - Climbing isn't "legal" within the park. County Sheriffs will fine and potentially confiscate your gear if caught. If they're feeling frisky they may even drag you in and charge you for trespassing.

I grew up within a mile of the area and way back when put up a ton of routes, but that was a long time ago. Some of my favorite hard climbs are within the park. And they only got harder over time as key holds broke off. lol. The rock isn't very dense.

There' also a lot of other super fun bouldering if you hike/mtn bike around.

Poison ivy is HORRIBLE, and there is a lot of loose/weak rock. The potential for a good crag is there, but the politics and other aspects of the area will prevent it. Sep 23, 2015
AJ W.
Montclair, NJ
AJ W.   Montclair, NJ
I've returned to GM a few times this summer and did some more recon with my microscender, especially at the walls south of the tower. I've included some pictures but that only tells half the story. There are more faces and they look great!

There are a lot of trees one can set a top rope to, and some boulders at the top. With a 50 ft static rope you'll have no problem climbing any portion of the wall.

As for conditions, the rock is solid where it looks solid and loose where it looks loose. On a rappel I kicked loose a torso sized rock and on my way up one climb I threw plenty of soft ball sized rocks down. So helmets are encouraged. But as I said, where it looks solid it totally is.

Overall the area has a lot of potential for great climbing. Tall walls. Varying features. It just needs more traffic than me to get cleaned up.

One more thing. BEWARE of poison ivy. It's at the top, it's at the bottom, it's even on some parts of the wall.

There are also walls at the south side of the reservation. Maybe only 2-3 routes worth. It is a lot blockier, I've been calling it the Ice Berg. It's on the outer rim trail, passed the abandoned swing set park.

If ever anyone is interested in checking GM out, just send me a message. Jul 31, 2015
AJ W.
Montclair, NJ
AJ W.   Montclair, NJ
I climbed here for the first time last summer. The bouldering is not on individual boulders really but on a ring of short vertical rock (8-20 FT high).

It is a pretty cool feature and I look forward to driving up again when I return this August to NJ. I might take some more photos for this page. If anyone wants to join let me know. May 2, 2015

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