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The Adirondaks - Where to Start?
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Parkerkat


Feb 21, 2013, 9:32 AM
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The Adirondaks - Where to Start?
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Hi All, I took a look through some previous posts but they were either very old or had someone asking for some pretty intense criteria (climbing of every type, with swimming, good food, activities etc). Myself? I am a simple man with a simple wish:

- Drive to the Daks from Ontario, camp in backcountry, climb multipitch, 5.0 - 5.8 trad routes. Looking for altitude, not difficulty.

Any recommendations on where to start?

Thanks and look forward to any thoughts on the matter!


Gravitron5000


Feb 21, 2013, 11:11 AM
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Buy this book and marvel at the vast amount of climbing in the Dacks. I'm partial to the Keene Valley area.


Kartessa


Feb 21, 2013, 11:16 AM
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Re: [Parkerkat] The Adirondaks - Where to Start? [In reply to]
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Parkerkat wrote:
Hi All, I took a look through some previous posts but they were either very old or had someone asking for some pretty intense criteria (climbing of every type, with swimming, good food, activities etc). Myself? I am a simple man with a simple wish:

- Drive to the Daks from Ontario, camp in backcountry, climb multipitch, 5.0 - 5.8 trad routes. Looking for altitude, not difficulty.

Any recommendations on where to start?

Thanks and look forward to any thoughts on the matter!

Avalanche Lake has some tall walls with nice (better than ontario!) rock

Note that the backcountry gets crazy busy in the summer, is wet in the spring, hot, bears are a nuisance, and its a long hike in, whatever side you come from.


jktinst


Feb 21, 2013, 11:58 AM
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I second the Lawyer and Haas topo (the Mellor is not nearly as complete or informative). Youíll need it anyway if you donít want to keep wandering off-route (though Iíd suggest planning on copying the pages of interest ahead of time to lighten the load). Once you have it, you can easily spot the routes that have the length and the level of difficulty, protectability, star rating and accessibility that youíre looking for.

As an initial pointer, you could start by scanning through the various multipitch cliffs in the Keene Valley/Chapel Pond area (Upper Washbowl, Chapel Pond Slab, Chapel Pond Gully Cliff, King Wall, etc.).

The camping options vary greatly, from spots tucked among large boulders, sandwiched between the road and the cliff and defined solely by a little sign posted on a tree; to larger no-charge campgrounds with a couple of pit toilets, still close to road and cliffs; to real backcountry places that will take you a while to hike to. Various hiking guidebooks and maps identify the locations of the campsites (High Peaks sector for the Keene Valley cliffs).


skelldify


Feb 21, 2013, 12:19 PM
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Chapel Pond Slab is an excellent place to start. Easy access and super fun! The standard route is 5.6, ~600ft, with long runouts on easy ground.

Poke-o-moonshine is great for some slightly harder and more vertical stuff and ~300-400 ft. tall.

These are two of the classic areas of the Daks.

Oh, and Wallface is cool and guaranteed to be an adventure!


(This post was edited by skelldify on Feb 21, 2013, 12:20 PM)


dagibbs


Feb 21, 2013, 2:12 PM
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Parkerkat wrote:
Hi All, I took a look through some previous posts but they were either very old or had someone asking for some pretty intense criteria (climbing of every type, with swimming, good food, activities etc). Myself? I am a simple man with a simple wish:

- Drive to the Daks from Ontario, camp in backcountry, climb multipitch, 5.0 - 5.8 trad routes. Looking for altitude, not difficulty.

Any recommendations on where to start?

Thanks and look forward to any thoughts on the matter!

Where in Ontario?

As Graviton5000 said, by Adirondack Rock, it is the current, definitive guide to climbing in the 'Dacks. Last I looked MEC in Ottawa carried it, and likely MEC Toronto does as well.

Others have mentioned it -- but Chapel Pond Slab is the classic easy multi-pitch first choice for the 'Daks. Beyond that, there are huge numbers of choices, depending on how much approach you want, how much adventure, how much back country... Poke-O Moonshine Slab, The Gothics, and lots lots more.


LostinMaine


Feb 22, 2013, 2:39 PM
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Set up camp in Keene Valley (Chapel Pond area). Within walking distance is everything from Chapel Pond Slabs, Washbowls, Creature, Jewels and Gems, and the Beer Walls. I actually really like the rock across the pond at Tanager Face - it's less traveled with some really nice climbing. More to do in this one area than one has time for in a single trip...


onceahardman


Feb 22, 2013, 4:24 PM
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There is some really good advice given here.

Chapel pond, by all means. The slab has great, exciting runout at an easy grade. 5.5 is different when you are 120' off the belay without protection! It's pretty secure though. Do Hesitation (5.7, four pitches) on Washbowl cliff. Even Weissner (5.4, 3 pitches ) on Washbowl is worthwhile.

The Spidersweb will keep you busy if you wany to try harder stuff. TR (5.10) is pretty "hang-doggable" for trad. The beer walls are within walking distance. Tillman's Arete is nice.

Definitely buy the Lawyer/Haas book. It might be the best guidebook I have ever seen.

If you decide to go into the backcountry, be advised that bear canisters are now REQUIRED for overnight camping in the High Peaks Wilderness Area.


Parkerkat


Feb 25, 2013, 7:57 AM
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Thanks Dagibbs! I'm from Toronto! I need something a little a larger than the escarpment for a change of pace...really appreciate all the feedback, tons of locations to begin researching which is exactly what I needed as opposed to picking a page arbitrarily out of the guide book!


dagibbs


Feb 25, 2013, 9:31 AM
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Parkerkat wrote:
Thanks Dagibbs! I'm from Toronto!

From Toronto, other choices than the 'Dacks might include:

Bon Echo (far closer, up to about 75m)
Calabogie (west of Ottawa; short, but different rock)
Gatineau Park (just north of Ottawa; varying heights, different rock)
Montagne d'Argent (near Mont Tremblant, varying heights, different rock)
The Weir (3-4 pitches)

None are as tall as stuff in the 'Dacks, but are other choices for a bit of diversity, too. The first 3 are definitely closer than the 'Dacks, the last two are comparable distance.


jktinst


Feb 26, 2013, 6:49 AM
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Weir has hardly anything in the easier grades. Last I looked, Luskville/Eardley escarpment/Gatineau park was mostly closed off to climbers by the National Capital Commission, with a few exceptions, and Calabogie is very short. Montagne díArgent and Val-David have a bit more variety but as dagibbs mentioned, they are just as far from TO as the Daks and have nowhere near the height or selection.

The exception is really Bon Echo. if you donít know it yet, you definitely have to try it out. it's way closer to TO and more than a few routes are around 90m/3 pitches. The variety of choices at all grades over the whole cliff is hard to beat. The cliff is just about completely vertical too, rising straight from the lake (the easy routes follow lines of weakness trending left) so the subjective exposure you feel high up at BE has nothing to envy much longer routes in the Daks.

Finally, of all these options, only the Daks offer backcountry camping. For BE, unless youíre planning on bringing a canoe, youíre better off avoiding camping altogether and planning to stay at the Toronto ACC Hut so you can get dropped off at the foot of the climbs by their boat shuttle.


healyje


Feb 26, 2013, 7:10 AM
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Parkerkat wrote:
Any recommendations on where to start?

DEET.


Parkerkat


Feb 26, 2013, 7:58 AM
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Thanks again! Bon Echo is on the agenda as well...but we wanted to do a slightly larger, more ambitious trip, a chance to visit the states and see soemthing that we can't do as easily in Ontario over a long weekend.

Really appreciate all the feedback here, from everyone!!


Parkerkat


Feb 26, 2013, 8:02 AM
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Thanks! Bon Echo is absolutely on my list for this year, only thing is, we can do that over an extend long weekend... for the DAKs, we were looking at a longer 1.5 -2 week trip and see something new in the US. We'll likely be going to Bon Echo before the DAKs.

Cheers!


dagibbs


Feb 26, 2013, 9:15 AM
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Yeah, for a longer trip, the 'Dacks makes a lot of sense for what you're looking for.

The Chapel Pond area is definitely a good choice as a center of operations -- there's lots of good climbing close by.

If you don't mind traveling around a bit more, you might also want to think about the North Conway area of New Hampshire with White Horse and Cathedral Ledges. With Whitehorse Ledge, you'd be looking at close to 1100' routes. And the approach is trivial, and the down-hike is a well-maintained hiking trail.

A little more adventurous, but also worth considering, would be Canon Cliff in New Hampshire, too. It is, I understand, one of the more alpine feeling climbing experiences in the east.


LostinMaine


Feb 26, 2013, 1:57 PM
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dagibbs wrote:
A little more adventurous, but also worth considering, would be Canon Cliff in New Hampshire, too. It is, I understand, one of the more alpine feeling climbing experiences in the east.

IMO, it's not worth considering if you're a 5.0 to 5.8 leader. Even the W-G is no typical 5.7 walk for a 5.8 leader. Stick to the 'Dacks for a lot of variety in the grade for the OP.


dagibbs


Feb 26, 2013, 9:42 PM
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LostinMaine wrote:
dagibbs wrote:
A little more adventurous, but also worth considering, would be Canon Cliff in New Hampshire, too. It is, I understand, one of the more alpine feeling climbing experiences in the east.

IMO, it's not worth considering if you're a 5.0 to 5.8 leader. Even the W-G is no typical 5.7 walk for a 5.8 leader. Stick to the 'Dacks for a lot of variety in the grade for the OP.

That makes sense.


onceahardman


Feb 27, 2013, 3:18 PM
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Also, Hurricane crag on 9N has a few good routes-especially "Quadrophenia". Probably less crowded that the Chapel Pond area, and it never seems quite as buggy there, although that is relative in the 'Dacks.

Lots of good backcountry stuff in the Lawyer/Haas guidebook.


Parkerkat


Feb 28, 2013, 6:35 AM
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Thanks...appreciate and honest insight like that!


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