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Little Falls

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Dihedrals, The 
Moss Island 
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Little Falls Rock Climbing 

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Location: 43.0408, -74.8567 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 38,189
Administrator: Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Jeff Welch on Jun 5, 2006


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1976, cleaning routes by the RR tracks. Love it: ...


Little Falls is a collection of small crags near the town of Little Falls, NY. While this is certainly no destination area, it is a good choice for climbers in Western and Central New York who want to climb outside but can't make the drive to the Gunks or Adirondacks. The various areas contain a mix of climbing types, with a mix of toprope, trad, sport, and bouldering.

Moss Island
Situated in the middle of the Mohawk River, Moss Island is far and away the most popular of the Little Falls crags. The island's main feature is a reasonably long 30-40' high cliff on the southern edge of the island along the river. Most of the routes here are best suited for toproping, though a few can be led with natural gear. Several opportunities for bouldering exist on the northern side of the island as well.

The Dihedrals
Located on the northern banks of the Mohawk River, downstream from Moss Island. Access here is questionable,as you must cross the railroad tracks to reach the crags. Though many of the routes here can be toproped, many take good protection and are best experienced on the lead.

Getting There 

The town of Little Falls appears on most maps. It is just off the NY State Thruway about 20 miles east of Utica. To get there, take the NY State Thruway to exit 29A (RTE-169) towards Little Falls/Dolgeville. Follow Route 169 for about a mile until you reach the large bridge spanning the river, then follow the directions to each specific crag.

Climbing Season

Weather station 0.7 miles from here

92 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',15],['2 Stars',48],['1 Star',21],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Little Falls

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Little Falls:
Jeff Loves Eileen   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, TR, 40'   Moss Island
Climbski   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     TR, 1 pitch, 30'   Moss Island
The Thinker   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     TR, 35'   Moss Island
Crucifix   5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 90'   Moss Island
Devil Won't Care   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 65'   The Dihedrals
Sno-White   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     TR, 1 pitch, 30'   Moss Island
Beer Crack   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     TR   Moss Island
The Arrow   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   The Dihedrals
Curbar Edge   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     TR, 30'   Moss Island
Twin Cracks   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 65'   The Dihedrals
The Dreamer   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     TR, 35'   Moss Island
Fred P. Jones   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     TR, 30'   Moss Island
The Juicer   5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 30'   The Dihedrals
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Little Falls

Featured Route For Little Falls
Rock Climbing Photo: Justin on the low crux

Arete Style Dysfunction 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c  New York : Little Falls : The Dihedrals
Formerly known by the descriptive name "The Black Arete," Arete Style Dysfunction is perhaps the most stunningly aesthetic and difficult line in Little Falls. Start by romping up some easy terrain, making the first two clips and then swing around to the right of the arete for a few moves. Make a super tenuous swing back left to the face proper and make a cruxy third clip. From here, the buisiness begins: Use an atrociously small left hand crimp and get a high left foot, eventually bumping all th...[more]   Browse More Classics in New York

Photos of Little Falls Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Siiicck
Rock Climbing Photo: 7-4-77 Jerry Erb climbing Crucial Groove, Cesspool...
7-4-77 Jerry Erb climbing Crucial Groove, Cesspool...
Rock Climbing Photo: Sofi working a new line @ Moss Island
Sofi working a new line @ Moss Island
Rock Climbing Photo: V 3/4 on the backside of Moss Island.
V 3/4 on the backside of Moss Island.
Rock Climbing Photo: Moss Island bouldering
Moss Island bouldering

Comments on Little Falls Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 22, 2017
By Rafiki
Jul 8, 2007
Be careful of the police in this town. I was stopped by an officer with too much time on his hands and it was most unpleasant.
By kc2klq Ciccone
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 21, 2008
No doubt...
be on your best behavior in town... if not and the cops decide to screw with you you will regret it...

too much time in an understatement... trust...
By Gunkiemike
Sep 7, 2009
Traffic stop? Or did The Man come hassle you for climbing?
By James Otey
From: NH
Sep 25, 2010
Guide is at thomannengineering.web.officel...
By Anthony ayala
Apr 7, 2011
Anyone know wat the conditions are out at moss island
By NYClimber
From: New York
Jul 6, 2012
We've been climbing there all summer and no one has encountered any issues with any police officers, etc. As of now - climbers no longer have to go into town to get a climbing permit for this area.
By Ben
Jul 6, 2012
Found - one cam. If you can describe it, you'll get it back.
By Justin Sanford
From: Broadalbin, New York
Jul 10, 2012
I have just been informed that all of the fixed hardware has been removed from the cliffs that are on private property. The only previosuly bolted routes that still have hardware to my knowledge are "The Juicer" and "Black Arete". This was a result of continued conflicts with the new owner and the lack of accessibility.
By J. Serpico
From: Saratoga County, NY
Apr 21, 2014
Guide book for the area. I recommend printing it full page double sided. Very easy to read.
By NathanMcleod
May 25, 2014
Hey, I was thinking about heading out there next weekend, but wasn't sure if climbing at Moss Island was still a thing...? Any information would be awesome!!
By JennyMac35
Jun 19, 2014
We came to NY from VA to visit family and decided to do a some climbing at Little Falls. You do need a permit. The city clerk was nice. It's three dollars per person. You can park on either side of the rocks and walk in between the faces. The off guide is a life saver for trying to figure out where to start and climb. You can hike to the top and many routes are bolted but be sure you have something to extend the anchor to the edge. Definitely worth exploring if you're in the area.
By Seth Largo
From: Kearney, Nebraska
Mar 15, 2016
Fun spot. Kept me from being a couch potato while I lived in Syracuse. Would have been a thousand times better with a few bolts to turn the unprotectable toprope climbs into sport climbs.
By Lauren LittleRedClimbingHood
From: New York City, NY
Jun 4, 2016
Update spring 2016 - no permit necessary for climbing in Little Falls! My partner and I wandered around the fire station/city hall this morning and eventually found a police officer who said, "We don't do that anymore," and wished us well.
Re: Moss Island trad routes - yes, a good number of routes can only be top-roped, but there are also plenty of trad lines at a variety of grades.
Also, one can get along just fine at Moss Island with only a 30m rope. I'm not sure it's sufficient for every single route, but 30m served us well for everything we fancied this morning.
By franklymike11
From: Somerville MA
Sep 22, 2017
Will be in the area M-W of next week, Sept 25-27. If anyone would want to do a morning/afternoon/day of climbing, please let me know!!!

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