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Routes in Hoffman Notch

Elevation: 1,653 ft
GPS: 43.929, -73.857 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 1,879 total · 46/month
Shared By: Jim Lawyer on Dec 18, 2014 with updates
Admins: Jim Lawyer
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Description

Hoffman Notch is a remote, narrow notch containing many winter routes. Several cliffs have been explored containing a range of routes from long WI2 soloes to challenging WI5+ M7 mixed routes. At the Waterfall Area of the Trailside Wall is one of the showcase routes, luckily the easiest to reach and most reliable.

Getting There

From Exit 29 on the Northway (I-87), drive west on CR 84 (aka Blue Ridge Road) for 5.2 miles to the Hoffman Notch Trailhead on the left. It's sometimes plowed and has room for 4 cars. (When unplowed, it's easy to miss. Look for the yellow DEC trailhead sign.)

The first 1.5 miles of the approach crosses private property (no camping, fishing, etc.). The trail hosts an annual snowshoe race and is popular with skiers; climbers should extend the same courtesy as those who approach the North Face of Pitchoff on the Jackrabbit Trail: use snow shoes or skis!

From the trailhead, showshoe or, better yet, ski for 45 minutes. The terrain is flat, crossing several streams on bridges. After 30 minutes you reach the remains of an ancient track machine (which is easy to miss depending on who established tracks before you). From here the trail climbs gently into the notch. Once in the notch, you'll see some boulders on the right. The first ice is 100 yards up and right (the Wall of Excuses, marked by several colums through a low overhang). Continue on the trail another few minutes to where the trail goes tightly through large boulders. The right end of the Trail Wall is about 100' uphill on the right; a good landmark for finding routes is the sheer, slightly overhanging, 90'-tall wall with right-leaning cracks, home to the Joe Szot classic Adventure Party. Uphill and left of this is the Waterfall Area with an absurd amount of ice; like Positive Reinforcement (Chapel Pond Canyon), but higher, wider, and (in places) steeper.

7 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Hoffman Notch

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
WI3
 3
Rejects and Beggars
Ice
WI4+
 3
I Can't Avoid It
TR, Ice
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Rejects and Beggars
 3
WI3 Ice
I Can't Avoid It
 3
WI4+ TR, Ice
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Photos

Under the best of trail conditions, it takes me an hour to reach the Waterfall Wall. On snowshoes in significant snow depth, it can be closer to 90 minutes. The other areas mentioned, starting with the Wall of Excuses, are several minutes closer. Mar 9, 2016

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