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Elevation: 1,199 ft 365 m
GPS: 42.66346, -74.0209
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 194,535 total · 2,346/month
Shared By: RJ B on Aug 1, 2017 · Updates
Admins: Morgan Patterson, Dan W
Warning Access Issue: Cave Wall closed November 1st to April DetailsDrop down

Description Suggest change

Thacher Park hosts the newest climbing area in the Northeast and is one of the few sport climbing 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 visiting for the first time, you are required to fill out a waiver and get a FREE digital permit. Fill out the permit and email it to JBThacher@ny.parks.gov

You must sign both in-to and out of the logbook, located in the kiosk at the top of the crevice EACH time you visit. When you are in this area you'll have to follow additional rules including no-off route or off-trail travel, no trad climbing, no dogs, and to follow all Leave-No-Trace principles.

While the area has moderate routes, most of the lines are over 5.10 due to the nature of the rock. Unlike many areas, you park at the top and access the base of the cliff via the Helmus Crevice. 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 in the Hailes Cliff South and the Horseshoe North Cliff areas and only on routes listed in the official guidebook.

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

Getting There Suggest change

Google Maps address point: 60-76 Hales Cave Rd. Altamont, NY 12009. This area is accessible from three main directions.

If coming from Western NY via I-90, you will travel on a series of windy small roads to get to the Park. It is easiest to just use google because there are a lot of turns. In general: I-90 -> NY-162 south -> NY-20 east -> NY-146 -> NY-157.

If coming from the southwest via I-88, you'll get off at Central Bridge and follow most of the directions above. 

If using I-87 from either direction, just find your way to 85 west and follow that until you see signs for Thacher. 

You must pay for parking at the little green kiosks near the attendant booth (may be staffed or not). There is a nominal parking fee of $6 during the normal Park season (May 1st to Oct. 31st); the green kiosk will tell you if you need to pay or not if you are unsure. The annual NYS Parks Empire Pass is valid for Thacher State Park and available through the State Parks website.

Park in the Hailes Cave lot (slightly left after paying) to access the climbing area. Do not park in the Horseshoe Lot, there is no access down to climbing from there and rappelling is illegal due to loose rock on the cliff-top area.

Thacher Climbing Coalition

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This is the organization that made climbing happen at Thacher State Park. You can support ongoing efforts to try to get ice climbing legalized and expand sport climbing at the park by donating at climbthacher.org/merchandise. The GunksApps guidebook helps support the organization by donating 50% of the guide coast back to the TCC.

To learn more visit the TCC at www.climbthacher.org or email info@climbthacher.org if you have any questions.

Get the guidebook from GunksApps at gunksapps.com/

Rules

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

The NYS Police are very active in enforcing the 30 mph speed limit on the main road (Route 157) and 15 mph on internal park roads.

A new crew of rangers were recently hired and now actively enforce the park's open hours, sunrise to sunset.

Sport rock climbing is the only type of climbing currently permitted at Thacher Park. Trad and off-route top-roping is not permitted. Rappelling from the cliff top for climbing access purposes is prohibited with the exception of sanctioned rescue and development work. Rappelling from the installed anchors is permitted when cleaning a route. Otherwise, all route access is from the bottom.

Dogs are NOT allowed in the climbing area but are allowed in the rest of the Park with current rabies vaccination and must be leashed (6') at all times.

Guidebooks

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GunksApps smartphone guide: Download the GunksApps from the play store or apple store for free and buy the Thacher guide book license for $14.99 which includes lifetime updates as new routes are developed. Includes GPS coordinate navigation as well as high-res route images and topo. This is currently the only guidebook available.

Camping

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Thompson's Lake Campground is about two miles away and is open from the beginning of May to Mid-October. This is a full-service campground with warm showers, new bathrooms, RV hookups, and a sizeable lake with a beach, boating, and plenty of fishing for rest days.

There are many State Forests that allow primitive camping within 30 minutes of the Park. Check out the NYS DECinfo Locator map for links to the individual State Forests and the specific rules for each area.

84 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.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 49
Pow Wow
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 37
Crinoid Stem
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 61
The Wizard of Schenectady
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 83
Tossin Ze Chossin
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 30
Battle of the Bulge
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 43
Steinmetz Slab
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 54
Jibs 'n' Jugs
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 30
Gallifrey
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 41
Winkler's Bushwack
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 62
Mutt
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 49
Dragon Kite
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 43
Theophany
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 26
Lucifugus
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 22
Permian Extinction
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 22
Crimptogramma Stelleri
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Pow Wow Hailes Cave South > Haven Wall
 49
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Sport
Crinoid Stem Horseshoe N Cliff > Fossil Wall
 37
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
The Wizard of Schenectady Hailes Cave South > Mahican Section
 61
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Tossin Ze Chossin Hailes Cave South > Mahican Section
 83
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Battle of the Bulge Horseshoe N Cliff > Hyphen Section
 30
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Steinmetz Slab Hailes Cave South > Mahican Section
 43
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Jibs 'n' Jugs Hailes Cave South > Haven Wall
 54
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Gallifrey Horseshoe N Cliff > Sunset Wall
 30
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Winkler's Bushwack Hailes Cave South > Mahican Section
 41
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Mutt Horseshoe N Cliff > Dark Block
 62
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Dragon Kite Horseshoe N Cliff > Dark Block
 49
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Theophany Hailes Cave South > Haven Wall
 43
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Lucifugus Hailes Cave South > Cave Wall
 26
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Permian Extinction Horseshoe N Cliff > Fossil Wall
 22
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Crimptogramma Stelleri Hailes Cave South > Mahican Section
 22
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Thacher State Park »

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