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Routes in Panther Gorge

Agharta T WI4-
ByTooth and Claw T WI4 PG13
Chimaera T WI3- R
Fly By T WI3 PG13
Just Nickel and Iron T WI4-
Needle in a Haystack T WI3
Orson's Tower T WI3+ PG13
Pi Day WI3+ PG13
Ride the Lightning T WI5- PG13
Skip the Lightning T WI3+ PG13
Sorry, Kevin T WI4
Elevation: 4,000 ft
GPS: 44.112, -73.911 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 2,529 total, 116/month
Shared By: Matt D on Feb 29, 2016
Admins: Jim Lawyer

Description

One of the most remote areas to climb ice in the high peaks - this area received very little attention until 2015. Some of the longest sustained routes in the area live here - for those who enjoy "adventure climbing", this is a destination.

Conditions can vary a lot - so ask around and please post comments and conditions photos here so that others can be forewarned.

Many of the areas (Agharta, Feline walls) build ice quickly in early months (Nov/Dec) of winter, then can back off when the days get longer in Feb March. The gully lines should last longer.

Getting There

Park at the Garden near Keene Valley (get there early - the parking lot fills up, even in winter. The shuttle does not run in the winter. The next-nearest parking is a long ways away).

Follow the Phelps trail past John's Brook lodge (1.5 hours) and continue up hill to Slant rock (3.5 hours from the garden - a pleasant hike). There's a lean-to here that offers the last legal camping spot before the Gorge (camping above 3500' outside of designated areas is not allowed in the high peaks). Bivy gear can be dumped here. The lean-to has a great view and gets southern sun most of the day.

Follow the trail an additional 45 minutes to the Marcy-Haystack col. Continue up the Marcy trail about 200 feet, then break off the trail ( GPS: 44.116116 north, -73.905566 west = WGS84 UTM 18T 587574 4885351 ) South bushwacking into Panther Gorge. It's easiest to contour down and south to the drainage, then contour up hill (west) to the Panther Den rock that becomes visible on the right hand side (20 minutes of solid bushwacking from the col).

The cliffs can be followed (going into the bush occasionally) south from Panther Den past Feline wall and eventually reaching Agharta wall (another 20 minutes from Panther den).

See the description of the gorge, and great overview photos by Kevin MacKenzie in the rock climbing section of Mountain Project: mountainproject.com/v/panth… Adironacks .

Most parties choose to use snowshoes and/or microspikes for the approach. The narrow/steep/wooded trail and bushwack means that using skis for the approach would add to the overall adventure/excitement of climbing in the gorge. Parties climbing multiple days in the gorge may want to cache their ropes and hardware in the Gorge for a light and easy hike back to the lean-to.

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