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Areas in Thacher State Park

Hailes Cliff South 0 / 20 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 20
Horseshoe North Cliff 0 / 22 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 22
Elevation: 1,200 ft
GPS: 42.663, -74.021 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 33,523 total · 2,401/month
Shared By: Gunks Apps on Aug 1, 2017 with updates from Andrew Peak
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Description

Thacher Park hosts the newest climbing area in the Northeast, and is one of the few sport areas in the region. The area has steep limestone sport climbing on hard smooth faces and bulging overhangs and roofs. The rock varies from a lower layer with horizontal strata to a main upper layer hosting most of the climbs.

At Thacher climbers have their own special use area separate from the Indian Ladder Trail area. When you are in this area you will have to follow rules including no-off route or off-trail travel and no trad climbing as well as signing liability waivers (similar to Peterskill area at the Gunks).

While the area has moderate routes most of the lines are over 5.10 due to the nature of the rock. Unlike many areas here you park at the top and use a crack to enter and exit. The crack takes you to the bottom where a trail system fans out to access routes clustered into sections. The cliff line is continuous so this crack is the only legal entry. Private property butts against the ends of the climbing zone. Climbing is only permitted on the Hailes Cliff South and the Horseshoe North Cliff, it is not permitted anywhere else in the park, even though the park has several miles of cliff line.

60m ropes or longer are recommended. A stick clip is useful because many routes start with a crux overhang.

Getting There

This area is accessible from three main directions.

If coming from western NY on I-90, or Schenectady one can use a series of windy small roads to get to Altamont (north of the park) and continue driving up the mountain on route 157 (Altamont-Berne Road) route 157 (Thompson's Lake Road). Take a right and follow that until Ketcham Road on your left. Take that until the T at Thacher Park Road, take a left and arrive at the park.

If coming from the south or north on I-90 (or Albany area), there are multiple small roads to New Salem, NY. Beware of overzealous cops in Voorheesville enforcing ridiculously low speeds in some spots. From New Salem take route 85 up the hill a short distance until an intersection with Thacher Park Road. Take that road all the way to the park. There are many entrances to various sections of the park. Go to the entrance close to the fancy new visitors center, and follow the signs pointing to rock climbing.

For those coming from the West or Southwest there are many rural traffic-free roads leading to the park. The best way depends on your starting point.

Park in the Haile Cave section of park to climb. Do not park on the Horseshoe Lot, there is no access down to climbing from there and rappelling is illegal due to loose rock on the cliff lip area. There is a parking fee, approximately $6.

Rules

Please visit climbthacher.org/visit/rules/ for the latest rules.

The NYS Police are very active in enforcing the 30 mph speed limit in the park.

Park in the Haile Cave section of park to climb. Do not park on the Horseshoe Lot, there is no access down to climbing from there and rappelling is illegal due to loose rock on the cliff lip area. There is a parking fee, approximately $6.

Sport rock climbing is the only type of climbing currently permitted at Thacher Park. Trad and off-route top-roping is not permitted. Rappelling is prohibited with exception of sanctioned rescue and development work. All route access is from the bottom. There is no top roping at the park (in terms of access from the top).

Guidebooks

Use the GunksApps smartphone guide currently available for $9.99 and is updated directly by the TCC and developers. gunksapps.com/

Camping

Thacher is conveniently located near Thompson's Lake Campground about two miles away. This is a full service C.G. with warm water, new bathrooms, RV hookups and a beach.

Thacher Climbing Coalition

This is the organization that made climbing happen in the state park. You can support ongoing efforts to try to get ice climbing legalized and expanding sport climbing at the park by donating. Buying the GunksApps guidebook helps support the organization by donating 50% of the guide coast back to the TCC.
The TCC website is here at:climbThacher.org
The GunksApps website is here at: gunksapps.com/

42 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Thacher State Park

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 11
Battle of the Bulge
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 20
The Wizard of Schenectady
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 20
Tossin Ze Chossin
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 14
Steinmetz Slab
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 3
Choo Choo
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 11
Jibs 'n' Jugs
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 4
Gallifrey
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 10
Winkler's Bushwack
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 7
Mutt
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 9
Lucifugus
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 16
Dragon Kite
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 10
Theophany
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 7
Cosmik Debris
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 9
Permian Extinction
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 6
Puckered and Tuckered
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Battle of the Bulge Horseshoe N Cliff > Hyphen Section
 11
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
The Wizard of Schenectady Hailes Cliff South > Mahican Section
 20
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Tossin Ze Chossin Hailes Cliff South > Mahican Section
 20
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Steinmetz Slab Hailes Cliff South > Mahican Section
 14
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Choo Choo Hailes Cliff South > Mossy Corner
 3
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Jibs 'n' Jugs Hailes Cliff South > Haven Wall
 11
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Gallifrey Horseshoe N Cliff > Sunset Wall
 4
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Winkler's Bushwack Hailes Cliff South > Mahican Section
 10
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Mutt Horseshoe N Cliff > Dark Block
 7
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Lucifugus Hailes Cliff South > Hailes Cave
 9
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Dragon Kite Horseshoe N Cliff > Dark Block
 16
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Theophany Hailes Cliff South > Haven Wall
 10
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Cosmik Debris Horseshoe N Cliff > Dark Block
 7
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Permian Extinction Horseshoe N Cliff > Fossil Wall
 9
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Puckered and Tuckered Horseshoe N Cliff > Dark Block
 6
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Thacher State Park »

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Dan Africk
Brooklyn, New York
Dan Africk   Brooklyn, New York
FYI Many of the walls at Thacher have a community stick clip that lives on site (as of 9/23/2017), so if you don't have your own, you can probably find one nearby wherever you're climbing. But still it would be a good idea to bring one if you can. Sep 26, 2017
MikeH  
Opened on April 21st, 2018. Each year it opens at a different date depending on when the snow and ice melt out of the entry area and when the trails dry out. Apr 21, 2018
One of the nicest parks I've ever been in. Beautiful facilities and currently free to climb. You have to fill out some paperwork at the visitor's center the first time you climb, receive a pass and then only have to check in for future visits. Parking is $6 and there seems to be a lot of it. Everyone we ran into was incredibly friendly and helpful. Really awesome place to climb in.

Be warned, some of the rock is a little loose so make sure you bring protection. Also check out the photos of the entrance to the climbing area, wasn't prepared for a squeeze to the trail and almost lost a water bottle. Will try to add more photos as I get them, we got confused on some of the routes because the descriptions weren't always clear. Locals helped set up straight. May 6, 2018
bridge
Brooklyn, NY
bridge   Brooklyn, NY
Thank you to the developers for their efforts. I mean these comments with no disrespect, but a visitor accustomed to climbing in 'destination' areas like the Gunks, RRG, NRG, Red Rock, Jtree, etc., may be underwhelmed:

- Most routes have ~35 ft. of actual climbing; longer routes generally start with an easy scramble
- Choss is everywhere; large holds (wallet-sized) are still breaking off
- The rock seems to be coated in a sheen of dry mud (perhaps this is just the case post-rain?)
- Grading is wildly inconsistent; I climbed both the easiest "11c" of my climbing career along with the hardest "10a" (perhaps all the decent holds broke off?).
- The squeeze approach isn't a big deal but a bit annoying

Pros: truly beautiful environment, tight bolting (if you like this), convenient anchor situation (mostly drop-in pigtails) May 14, 2018
Scott L
Albany
Scott L   Albany
i love the comparison of a small local crag to world class climbing destinations haha.

the choss tends to be area and route specific. there are some walls with pretty good quality stone. and yeah, the walls tend to be dirtier (and more loose) in the spring or following a rain.

i agree the grading seems a bit off. you should forward grade disparities to the TCC as they occasionally update the guidebook. May 15, 2018
Erik Braun
New York, NY
Erik Braun   New York, NY
What's the rules/ethics about adding routes here from the guide?
Obviously I won't upload the photos and copy the descriptions from GunksApps, but would be nice to have at least some of the info in the same place I keep track of everything else I do. Jun 4, 2018
Gunks Apps
New Paltz, NY
Gunks Apps   New Paltz, NY  
Hi Erik, I think the general acceptable way to approach adding new routes is to climb them and then add your own descriptions, grades, photos, and comments. As you mentioned the information in the Gunks App should not be copied into Mountain Project. The app information was compiled by the route developers and TCC. Half of the app sticker price goes back to the TCC, the group that got Thacher open and continues to add new routes. Jun 5, 2018

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