Panther Gorge Rock Climbing
|GPS:||44.112, -73.908 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
|Page Views:||8,781 total · 197/month|
|Shared By:||Kevin MudRat MacKenzie on Jul 16, 2014|
DescriptionLast route added: Sept. 16, 2017 (Panther's Pinnacle). Description updated 11/2/17: added new routes to history and updated ice lines.
Panther Gorge lies between New York's first and third highest mountains, Mts. Marcy and Haystack. This area hosts some of the most remote backcountry traditional climbing in the Adirondacks. As a dayhike, you’ll amass nearly 19 miles, 5,000 feet of elevation gain over 13-22 hours depending on conditions (yours and nature’s). Once there, the rock quality is excellent with a view that's awe-inspiring.
There are a total of 53 routes in Panther Gorge; 43 new routes have been added on Marcy and Haystack during the last few years including 11 ice climbing routes. Rock climbing routes range from 5.3 to 10a YDS with most falling between 5.7 and 5.9.
For detailed descriptions of the gorge, trip reports and other resources visit Adirondackmountaineering.com .
Route Line Photoscourtesy of ADK Rock & MudRat
- Interactive Aerial to view dozens of photos linked to various areas of the gorge.
- Mosaic Collection : High resolution distance photos or aerials with inset detail photos and route line may be displayed or downloaded. This also includes about 70 slides, but you may display by filename and scroll to the technical lines. Each route begins with panther_gorge. The naming convention generally follows this layout: “panther_gorge_AREA (Marcy or Haystack)_ASPECT_ROUTE NAME.jpg” .
Articles on Panther Gorge
- The Secrets of Panther Gorge in the Sept./Oct. issue of Adirondac Magazine
- "The Wild Side-Rock Climbing on Haystack and Flash Flood at Slant Rock". Adirondack Outdoors
- "New Highs: Backcountry Climbing in Panther Gorge." Adirondack Life 2016 Annual Guide to the Great Outdoors. 10-13. Print.
- "Panther Gorge rocks." Wechsler, Alan. Sept/Oct Adirondack Explorer. 58-61.
- "Panther Gorge: The Remote Adirondack Moderate Mecca You've Never Heard of." Wechsler, Alan. November Climbing. 18-21.
Ice Climbing in Panther Gorge
Ice routes are listed on the Panther Gorge Ice Climbing page. Climbs are listed in left to right order below.
- Pi Day WI3+
- Agharta WI4-
- Sorry, Kevin WI4
- Orson's Tower WI3+
- Fly By WI3
- Skip the Lightning WI3+
- Ride the Lightning WI5-
Copyright Kevin B. MacKenzie and Adirondack Rock
North End Access
From the Garden Trailhead in Keene Valley: Follow the Phelps Trail past Johns Brook Lodge and Slant Rock. Slant Rock Lean-to and the nearby campsites are the most convenient bivy sites from which to attack the gorge from the north. Continue to follow the Phelps Trail to the State Range Trail junction (7.8 miles). Begin bushwhacking a few hundred feet beyond the junction at the top of the pass where the Phelps Trail veers right.
To Marcy's Cliffs
Descend south from the Marcy/Haystack col and stay to the right and above the drainage to avoid extensive talus and ledges. You’ll reach the Panther Den, the first wall on Marcy, after about 20 minutes of hard bushwhacking (.2 miles). A 300 foot long glade along the cliff’s base leads to a faint herdpath on the left. The path stays moderately close to the cliffs for about 250 feet until reaching the Feline Wall which is characterized by steep slab with a deep gully to its right. The now intermittent path curves to west over the next 300 feet to the Agharta Wall marked by an obvious cliff below a vast slab. From Agharta continue downhill about 125 feet then make a hard right around a buttress. Bushwhack 200 feet up a drainage stream to the Huge Scoop—the last of Marcy’s north-end climbing walls.
Chimney Wall (named in 2017): Continue on contour about 700 south to a glade below the Overhang Slide, a slide with 2 distinct roof systems. Look for the huge chimney on a cliff uphill. Bushwhack up to a gully and follow to wall.
To Haystack's Cliffs
Descend south from the Marcy/Haystack col and stay to the LEFT and above the drainage for everything down to the Ramp Wall. Locate the V Wall by following the "Marcy's Cliffs" herdpath to the Agharta Wall and bushwhacking to a large boulder at (N 44 6.7511’ W 73 54.4918’). Follow the V Wall drainage stream to its base. Expect to spend 60-90 minutes navigating through moss-covered talus, blowdown and dense tree growth.
South End Access
- From Adirondack Loj: Park at the Loj (parking fee applies) and hike 8 miles to 4-corners between Mt. Skylight and Mt. Marcy. Descend 1.2 miles into Panther Gorge.
- From Elk Lake: Park at the public parking lot near the end of Elk Lake Road in North Hudson. Follow the Elk Lake to Marcy Trail 9 miles to the south end of Panther Gorge.
Several campsites and Panther Gorge Lean-to make excellent sites to overnight--probably my favorite area to camp in the High Peaks.
Restrictions of Note:
- Bear Canisters: Required from April 1-November 30.
- Lean-to Rules: Lean-tos mentioned are built to accommodate 8 people. You are OBLIGED to share them if another group comes along.
- Fire: No campfires allowed in the Eastern High Peaks.
Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season