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Adirondack Explorer

June, 2018

Adirondack climbers want voice in High Peaks plan

Chapel Pond Slab

The Adirondack Climbers Coalition is urging its members to submit comments to the state Department of Environmental Conservation to ensure that the rock-climbing community’s voice is heard as DEC prepares changes to the High Peaks Wilderness management plan. The ACC is concerned about DEC’s plan to ban parking along the shoulders of Route 73, which passes by many of the region’s premier climbing cliffs. “Don’t reduce parking. In fact only increases in parking should be considered,” ACC President Will Roth writes in a notice posted on the group’s website. DEC is proposing to build two parking areas near Chapel Pond >>More


May, 2018

DEC proposes parking area for Chapel Pond Slab

Chapel Pond Slab

Chapel Pond Slab is one of the most popular rock-climbing venues in the Adirondacks, in part for its long, moderate routes, in part for its easy access. However, parking can be a problem. Most climbers park just off the shoulder of the often-busy Route 73. The state Department of Environmental Conservation aims to fix things. In a draft  amendment to the High Peaks Wilderness management plan, DEC  proposes to build two twenty-car parking areas along Route 73 and expand the Round Pond parking area located just down the road (to twenty-five cars). DEC says climbers will be able to use >>More


January, 2018

Bolted climbing routes common in other places

As mentioned in an earlier post, I recently toured Andalusia in southern Spain with my girlfriend and daughter. On my last two days, I went rock climbing, the first day in El Chorro, one of Spain’s premier climbing destinations, the second day at two nearby locales. I hired a guide, Victoria Foxwell of the Rock Climbing Company, who showed me a number of climbing routes. All of them were bolted. I mention this because bolting has become an issue in the Adirondacks. An article in the current issue of the Adirondack Explorer notes that the state Department of Environmental Conservation >>More


December, 2017

OSI deal helps Adirondack rock climbers

rock climbers

The Open Space Institute has acquired a 1,285-acre property that will facilitate access to Huckleberry Mountain, a crag in the southeastern Adirondacks with great views and dozens of rock-climbing routes. Katharine Petronis, OSI’s northern program manager, said the non-profit organization will sell the property to the state for inclusion in the public Forest Preserve. That could happen within three years, she said. For now, the tract remains closed to the public. Petronis said she didn’t know if OSI will open it before the transfer to the state. The acquisition is good news for Adirondack rock climbers. The guidebook Adirondack Rock lists >>More


December, 2017

Rock gym the fruit of Adirondack climber’s passion

Rocksport gym

Tom Rosecrans is one of the most prolific rock climbers in the Adirondacks. The authors of the guidebook Adirondack Rock credit him with taking part in the first ascents of 122 climbing routes. On most of those, he was the leader, assuming the lion’s share of the risk. One of his routes, TR at the Spider’s Web in Keene Valley, is featured on Adirondack Rock’s slip cover. Rosecrans put up the route in 1973 with Paul Laskey. TR is rated 5.10a in the Yosemite Decimal System scale of difficulty, meaning it’s suitable only for expert climbers. Several years ago, I >>More


November, 2017

Sentinel Range Plan Affects Skiers, Hikers & Climbers

DEC proposes trail improvements in Sentinel Range Wilderness.


October, 2017

Good Times and Good Views At Shanty Cliff

Shanty Cliff in the southern Adirondacks offers rock climbers lots of routes and lots of views.


October, 2017

An Adirondack Climber Discovers Spanish Limestone

The Adirondack Explorer’s editor enjoys a day on a rock tower overlooking the Mediterranean.


October, 2017

Accidents In Adirondack Climbing In 2016

Each year the American Alpine Club publishes a little book titled Accidents in North American Climbing, on the theory that reading about accidents is one way to avoid them. Usually, most of the reports are from out west or Alaska. Occasionally, an accident in the Adirondacks makes the book. This year, however, a full three pages are devoted to our region, with four mishaps described in detail. All occurred in 2016 (the year covered by the book). I will summarize them below, using the headlines from the book. Leader Fall on Ice: Thin Ice, Inadequate Protection We wrote about this >>More


September, 2017

Comparing Two Classic Climbs On Wallface and Cannon

Wallface is the biggest cliff in the Adirondacks and so naturally has attracted the attention of rock climbers from way back. The first recorded routes were put up by two of the country’s best climbers of the 1930s—John Case and Fritz Wiessner. The authors of Yankee Rock and Ice say Wiessner regarded Wallface as the loveliest climbing cliff in the Northeast, because of its “feeling of altitude” and “charm of solitude” (Frtiz’s words). Soon after I started climbing, my friend Mike and I went up Wallface with the help of Don Mellor, who is nearly as famous in these parts >>More


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