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Routes in Tinker Falls (ice)

Main Falls TR WI2-3
Tinker's Pillar TR WI4
Elevation: 1,414 ft
GPS: 42.783, -76.033 Google Map · Climbing Map
Shared By: TheIceManCometh on Dec 18, 2014
Admins: Jim Lawyer
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Description

Tinker's Falls is a small ice climbing area in Labrador Hollow Unique Area. It has a short approach, and when "in", is a popular toproping spot for locals and nearby university groups. It is the closest, most accessible ice to Syracuse and Ithaca.

Unfortunately, it is small (40' tall) and, in most years, there are only a couple options.

The falls is at the head of a box canyon. The river pours over a limestone shelf, which is hollowed underneath (this makes a dry area behind the ice to sort your gear). Most of the ice that forms here free hangs from this shelf to the ground. As such, there needs to be an extended freeze to make these columns form into climbable shape. The main falls itself is slow to freeze due to the volume of water; it usually forms into a hollow cone barely attached at the top.

Starting on the far left to right:

Left Side: A short ice-covered wall on the far left side of the amphitheater.

The Pencil: The leftmost pillar.

Tinker's Pillar: This is the reliable pillar left of the main waterfall. It forms 4'-6' in diameter.

Main Falls: This is the wide waterfall that forms as a hollow, wide, cone.

Trinity: This is the highest, free-hanging (very rarely free-standing) column that hangs from the inner tier of the double-tiered roof right of the Main Falls.

Elfin Magic: This is the next pillar to the right, and just left of the right-most ice-covered wall.

Right Side: Another short, ice-covered wall, typically used for toproping.

Getting There

From I-81 Exit 14, go east on Route 80 (Clinton St) through Tully and Apulia Station. At 4.2 miles, turn right (south) onto Route 91 and drive 3.3 miles to a large parking area on the right. There is a DEC sign on the left for Tinker's Falls.

The parking area is often unplowed, and tourists are always getting stuck. There are two other pullouts on the right (one before and one after) that may be plowed.

Be aware that further down the road is Labrador Mountain Ski Center, so people zoom down this road.

Cross the road and walk 5 minutes to the waterfall. Usually, you can walk up a snow slope on the right to the right side of the amphitheater, then walk behind the curtains to stash your gear. Walking directly up the river to the ice (and then into the cave) requires crampons.

Access

To access the top, walk (climber's) left behind the falls to the far left end of the cave, then up the slope to the left. Switchback right up over a short ledge (be careful!) to a trail that leads rightwards to the top of the falls.

Crampons are a must.

2 Total Climbs

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