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Routes in Summit Cliff

Green Mountain Boys T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Handlebarbarism T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Tales of Weakness T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Elevation: 2,084 ft
GPS: 44.516, -73.813 Google Map · Climbing Map
Shared By: Bob Cipperly on Oct 22, 2016
Admins: Jim Lawyer
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A south facing summit cliff with many high quality cracks. This area is somewhat reminiscent of the Barkeater Crag but with more difficult climbs. The Summit Cliff has an impressive prow that is easily seen from the road. This area could use more traffic; it would clean some of the existing high quality cracks and improve the approach trail. There is also a lot of potential for route development. A great area for crack climbers in the 5.10 range.

Getting There

The approach takes about 1 hour, navigating it is not as hard as it may sound. Once past the Tsunami Wall the approach does become a bit unpleasant but with more traffic this will change.
Start at the turnpike road trailhead. This is the same parking area for the Center of Progress area. Follow the the road to a large logging header. Follow the logging road that heads up and left, stay on the most prominent of the logging roads. Try to aim for the Tsunami wall, this is the slab with the unmistakeable overhanging headwall on its left side. Once you have reached this area that trail turns into a skidder path. Follow the path that snakes up the left side of the Tsunami wall, use the cairns to guide you as the path becomes less obvious. This path should come to an intersection with a more prominent skidder path. Turn right at this intersection and follow it for 25 minutes. Stay on the more prominent path until the ground begins to level out again. For the most popular area on the cliff, stay on the skidder path until the land begins to plateau. Exit the trail using a heard path on the right side There are multiple heard paths that will lead to this cliff.

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Mark Bealor
Saranac Lake, NY
Mark Bealor   Saranac Lake, NY
The Summit Cliff is indeed a great place for 5.10 crack climbs, with quite a few "Spider's Web" quality lines.
It reminds me nothing of the Barkeater Cliff-it's taller, wider, has more quality cracks, and is just plain better.
Some lines are getting a little grown in, and this is a shame.

The cliff could use more traffic, and maybe it would get some if the myths of difficult approaches were dispensed with. The majority of the approach to the Summit Cliff is on an old, open logging road. Yes, it gets a little steep for a short while after Tsunami Wall, but the reward is great lines, views, and solitude. After you cut off the logging road, there is a short stroll through open woods.
This approach should take under an hour for an average walker, and once you've been there should take 40 minutes next time.

In fact, there isn't a single cliff band at SL that is "difficult" to get to or find. There is nowhere that requires a bit of bushwhacking. There is nowhere that requires a GPS device-you can get a line of sight to every cliff from the roads, and use guidebook descriptions and common sense after that. People have walked a bee-line through the woods from cliff to cliff, and nowhere was "thick brush" or difficult traveling required.

I've had friends from New Paltz express an interest in climbing at Potter, but they wanted to "go with someone who'd been before" so they could be assured "of finding the cliff".
I don't know, I thought figuring some of this stuff out ourselves was part of the fun...

Also, bring a brush when you go to these and other cliffs. I hate reading on MP, "someone should clean that line a little more"...Be that someone, bring a brush and spend 5 minutes on the lower. The FA team spent their free time cleaning and maybe equipping ($) these lines: a quick pass with a the brush will help everyone. Nov 20, 2016
MaxSuffering   KVNY
There is now a well cairned trail to the cliff well before the skid trail levels off. Look for a prominent cairn on the right side of the skid path next to a large tree laying across the path. Do not confuse this with the cairn ON a fallen tree which marks the approach to The Backwater Wall, the trail to Summit Cliff is another few minutes uphill. The trail brings you to the base of the cliff at Crackus Interuptus, avoids the wettest sections of the skid path and is now the standard approach. To reach the Green Mountain Boys/Handlebarabarism area walk left 5 minutes to the obvious staging area.

This cliff is an excellent area for anyone interested in high quality 5.10 cracks. Solitude is almost guaranteed.

New routes and new anchors have been added here since publication of ADK Rock, check the website for info. Nov 8, 2016

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