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Panther Gorge

New York > Adirondacks > Adirondack Ice… > E: Interior High Peaks

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.

Routes from Left to Right

WI4-
 1
Panther Gorge Falls
Trad, Ice
WI4
 2
Apex Predator
Trad, Ice 2 pitches
WI4+
 1
Spiritus Draconis
Trad, Ice
WI3+ PG13
 1
Pi Day
Trad, Ice 2 pitches
WI4
 1
Charybdis
Trad, Ice 3 pitches
WI4 PG13
 1
Scylla
Trad, Ice
WI4-
 1
Just Nickel and Iron
Trad, Ice 4 pitches
WI4-
 1
Agharta
Trad, Ice 4 pitches
WI3- R
 1
Chimaera
Trad, Ice 2 pitches
WI4
 1
Sorry, Kevin
Trad, Ice 2 pitches
WI4 PG13
 1
ByTooth and Claw
Trad, Ice 2 pitches
WI3+ PG13
 1
Orson's Tower
Trad, Ice
WI3 PG13
 1
Fly By
Trad, Ice
WI3+ PG13
 1
Skip the Lightning
Trad, Ice
WI5- PG13
 1
Ride the Lightning
Trad, Ice
WI3
 1
Needle in a Haystack
Trad, Ice 3 pitches
WI4
 1
John 3:16
Trad, Ice
WI4
 1
PG-13
Trad, Ice
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Panther Gorge Falls
 1
WI4- Trad, Ice
Apex Predator
 2
WI4 Trad, Ice 2 pitches
Spiritus Draconis
 1
WI4+ Trad, Ice
Pi Day
 1
WI3+ PG13 Trad, Ice 2 pitches
Charybdis
 1
WI4 Trad, Ice 3 pitches
Scylla
 1
WI4 PG13 Trad, Ice
Just Nickel and Iron
 1
WI4- Trad, Ice 4 pitches
Agharta
 1
WI4- Trad, Ice 4 pitches
Chimaera
 1
WI3- R Trad, Ice 2 pitches
Sorry, Kevin
 1
WI4 Trad, Ice 2 pitches
ByTooth and Claw
 1
WI4 PG13 Trad, Ice 2 pitches
Orson's Tower
 1
WI3+ PG13 Trad, Ice
Fly By
 1
WI3 PG13 Trad, Ice
Skip the Lightning
 1
WI3+ PG13 Trad, Ice
Ride the Lightning
 1
WI5- PG13 Trad, Ice
Needle in a Haystack
 1
WI3 Trad, Ice 3 pitches
John 3:16
 1
WI4 Trad, Ice
PG-13
 1
WI4 Trad, Ice

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Photo from the cliffs on Mt. Haystack-the Agharta and Feline walls with thin ice in November of 2015.
[Hide Photo] Photo from the cliffs on Mt. Haystack-the Agharta and Feline walls with thin ice in November of 2015.
Two ice climbs halfway down the Gorge on Mt. Marcy.
[Hide Photo] Two ice climbs halfway down the Gorge on Mt. Marcy.