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Routes in Upper Slab and Upper Wall

Ancient Via Ferrata T Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c PG13
Escape Hatch T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Faust T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Gargoyle T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Moraviana T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Off-Width Chimney T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Upper Slab Routes T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Type: Trad, 400 ft, 3 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 781 total, 29/month
Shared By: Robert Hall on Sep 10, 2015
Admins: Ladd, Jonathan Steitzer, Robert Hall

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Annual Trail Closures to protect Peregrine falcons Details

Description

This "route" (which is not in the current guidebook) was recommended to me by a world-traveled climber as a "don't miss". While most technical climbers could easily solo it, an uncaught slip would certainly be fatal. It is most interesting climbed with a short rope and about 5-6 long "alpine draws". (We used a 50M 8mm doubled over for 80ft, which seemed about right). Unlike maintained Via Ferratas, there are no cables to clip into along the way and the steel rods that do exist are suspect due to age.

START- See "Location" for approach. To get to the start of the Via Ferrata continue only another 40-50 ft beyond where the path reaches the Upper Slabs, and then go straight up on talus to the base of a open-book corner of black rock with two iron (steel?) "L-beams" overhead [photo], only one of which is still connected on the right side.

P1 - EITHER climb the black corner (5.0 - 5.2) and then exit right by going up between the L-beams [photo],...OR, scramble up the grassy buttress and balance ACROSS the L-Beams! (I have no idea how to rate this!) 30 ft.

P2 - P3 - P4 - P5 etc. Follow the "yellow brick road" (well, actually the brown, rusted iron road) on a long, rising diagonal to the right, placing protection for the follower(s) after any tricky moves. After the last, short 3-4 ft horizontal ladder (there's only one this small) look to continue right for a while, but then cut back left to more open rock (fewer bushes) to the summit.

Descent - Follow the south hiking trail (towards Jordan Pond) off the summit for about 75-100 yds, and then you can cut back to hiker's left and get onto the talus and back to the base of the Ferrata and Upper Slabs. [As part of your approach to the climb, you might consider walking up to this point (it's only about 150-200 ft beyond Upper Slabs) before you do the climb so as to be able to recognize it.]

Location

On the loop road park at either Bubble Rock parking (and walk about 5-10 min south on the main trail towards Jordan Pond) or park 1/4Mi. south at a much smaller pull-over lot.
From the pull-over lot, walk down the stone steps, join the main trail and walk south (left) 75-100 feet to a well worn climber's path on the right. Up to the climber's register.
The path moves up and left on talus, reaching the cliff at Lower Slabs. About another 50-75 ft and you are below where a 20ft scramble leads to the base of Upper Slabs. To get to the start of the Via Ferrata continue only another 40-50 ft and then go straight up on talus to the base of a open-book corner of black rock.

Protection

about 5-6 alpine draws
micah richard
Litchfield, Connecticut
micah richard   Litchfield, Connecticut
We traversed this old ladder trail from the anchor at the top of the upper slab , after rapping off Gargoyle. It is super easy for anyone with sticky shoes, i wouldn't bother to bring a rope if i did it again. However THE IRON HANDRAILS ARE NOT TO BE TRUSTED! Some of them are rotted all the way through the entire 3/4 inch diameter steel rod. Some are hanging on by as little as 1/8 inch of material. Some of the iron rails are lying in the woods below the slabs, after falling off the cliff. Some seem perfectly solid, but i wouldn't bet my life on it. Don't do this unless you have some experience climbing, and have climbing shoes on. A slip with sneakers or flip flops, would likely be fatal. It is way more exposed than the Precipice trail. A worthwhile adventure, for aficionados of abandoned ladder trails in the park. Sep 7, 2017