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Menace To Sobriety
Sport, 80 ft,
Avg: 3.5 from 19
FA: Oct. 9, 1995--Charles Pechousek, Bob Cartwright
> A: Lake Champla…
> Poke-O-Moonshine Main Face
Access Issue: Peregrine closures and approach trail issues
Access to the Main Face is often limited in the spring and summer due to peregrine falcon nesting. Check the DEC web site (www.dec.ny.gov, search for "peregrine route closures"). Closures are posted in the kiosk at the beginning of the approach trail in the (now closed) Poke-O Campground.
Several recent incidents at the Poke-O Moonshine Main Face have heightened tensions with neighboring landowners.
Shortcut Trail (aka the Smitty Trail): The main approach goes from the (now closed) campground to the cliff near Discord. There is a shortcut trail on the right that provides access to the cliff near Pentecostal. This shortcut trail crosses the edges of two parcels of private land, and was closed in the spring of 2014. As of Aug 30, 2014, this trail is open on a tentative basis. Stay on the trail; there are some cairns and Access Fund signage to help.
Northern Trail Closure (aka the Easy Living Trail): There is an old trail that connects US 9 with the cliff near Psalm 32. This trail is entirely on private land and should NOT be used by climbers; indeed, it has been closed and undocumented for many years. Both ends of this trail are now marked with signs courtesy of the Access Fund.
In short, while visiting the Main Face, approach from the campground, and stay on the main trail along the base of the cliff.
Poke-O is known for many aspects of climbing, but one in particular stands out for many climbers: Technical (read: Off-vertical) face climbing.
This route adds a more direct start to Cirrhosis, AND a full number grade of difficulty harder.
7 bolts protect the anchors and the end to a very thin and breath-taking route up a sheer, black face.
Start by mantling onto a shelf, then continue up the wall passing the crux at about 2/3 height. There are several spots along the climb where the climber will be making somewhat tenuous moves above bolts. So come armed with your vertical dancing shoes, and be sure to keep your wits together for this tremendous affair of the steep.
Locate the Thunderhead roof at the far right end of the cliff. Menace To Sobriety is the blank, black face to right with a line of bolts up it.