Moxham Mountain Rock Climbing
|GPS:||43.752, -73.995 Google Map · Climbing Map|
|Page Views:||1,072 total, 59/month|
|Shared By:||Jay Harrison on Jun 15, 2016|
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DescriptionMoxham Mountain forms the long, rocky ridgeline visible on the north horizon from the town of North Creek. While much of it is posted, private property, a 2.5 mile public trail leading to the State-owned summit dome was constructed in 2012, providing access to some excellent climbing.
Be aware that all the cliffs east of the trail's upper end are on private property. This includes Sherwood Forest, the Cartoon Wall, the New-New, and Moxham Dome, the latter being the slab looming above nearby Route 28N. These are all posted and off-limits.
The summit cliffs are predominantly low-angle to moderate slabs, in a below-treeline-but-alpine environment. As such, expect long runouts, dirt, lichen, and loose rocks to be part of the milieu. Climbers should be familiar with self-rescue techniques, cautious of rope run (to avoid knocking off loose blocks), and capable of making good judgment calls without expecting assistance. If thunderstorms seem imminent, leave the ridge immediately.
The surroundings are surreal wilderness, akin to being in a gondola floating in the sky. Far below the ridge, an upland beaver meadow contorts its drainage down a series of small ponds on its way to the Hudson. Centered in the view lies the hamlet of North Creek, with the ski trails of Gore Mtn. lying above it, and Crane Mountain's northern flank dominating the southern horizon. To the right, the tailings of Barton's Ruby Mtn. Mine underscore the cliffs of remote Slide Mtn., with Puffer lying to the left, Snowy peeking out from the right side. Acoustically, the screech of falcons, the hoot of a barred owl, or the hysterical cacophony of a coyote pack occasionally breaks the silence.
Moxham Ridge has a long history of climbing, but most of the story centers around the private land cliffs. Moxham Dome, which lies near the road, saw the first recorded climbs, with Tom Rosecrans leading the charge, but locals like Rick Villaneuve and Jim Harrison were also plying the long runouts there, and on the cliffs farther west. These latter two bushwhacked to the summit cliffs as well, though they did not climb a complete route to the top. Given the era (mid-1970s) and the effort required to reach those cliffs (bushwhacking in from Rt. 28N), just reaching the summit dome was an accomplishment. Mike Emelianoff and Rick Beardsley ushered in a quiet era of bolted sport routes in the quarry (private) during the 1990s. Access became spotty by Y2K, then verbotten shortly thereafter, and has continued to be questionable to the present day.
Getting ThereFrom the South:From the Northway, I-87, take Warrensburg Exit 23, go left at the stop sign, right onto Rt. 9 through town. About 3 miles out of town, turn left onto Route 28. Drive to North Creek, then turn right onto Route 28N, heading toward Minerva. Drive about 7 1/2 miles, swinging around the tempting slabs of Moxham Dome (private and posted).
From the North: Take the Northway exit 26, Pottersville, and turn left at the end of the ramp. Take a right onto Rt. 9, heading south. Just after passing under the Northway, veer right onto Olmstedville Road. Take this all the way to its end, where it meets Route 28N. Take the straight direction onto Rt. 28N (don't turn left onto it). You can see Moxham Dome off to the left at this intersection.
Coming from the East or West, take any of the major E-W roads (Routes 8, 28, 28N, etc.) and follow directions above depending on whether your route brings you N or S of the mountain.
As you enter the town of Minerva on Rt. 28N, turn at the first four-way intersection onto Fourteenth Road. This is a left coming from the south, a right from the north.
Drive along this road, avoiding all side roads, to the point where the pavement ends. Go down a steep hill and park in the small parking lot on the left, the trailhead for Moxham Mountain. Note that this parking area is only large enough for 4 or maybe 5 cars; if you arrive late you may not have a parking place.
Hike the trail for two miles to the Lower Slabs, all the way to its end for the Summit Dome.
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