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History (Admin Only): Ryan Brown edited "Description" Oct 31, 2019 View all 4
Ryan Brown edited "Description" Jan 7, 2020
Ryan Brown edited "Description" Mar 9, 2020
Ryan Brown edited this area Mar 26, 2020
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 visit the Park Visitors Center and pick up a FREE waiver with a permit number. PLEASE bring a pre-filled waiver (available on the Park's website here) so that the process can go smoothly, especially if you have a larger group
You must sign both in-to and out of the logbook, located in the kiosk at the top of the crevice, with your valid permit number EACH time you visit. When you are in this area you will have to follow additional rules including no-off route or off-trail travel, no trad climbing 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 guidebook.
60m ropes or longer are recommended. A stick clip is useful as many routes start with a crux overhang.
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.
You must park in the Hailes Cave lot to access the climbing area. 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 nominal parking fee of $6 during the normal Park season (Memorial Day to Labor Day) and check the parking kiosks to see if a fee on the day of your visit. The annual NYS Parks Empire Pass is valid for Thacher State Park and available through the State Parks website.
Thacher Climbing Coalition
To learn more visit the TCC at www.climbthacher.org or email email@example.com if you have any questions.
Get the guidebook from GunksApps at gunksapps.com/
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.
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.
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 parcels and the specific rules for each area.
Classic Climbing Routes at Thacher State Park
Days w Precip