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Adirondacks Rock Climbing 

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Location: 43.9375, -74.3775 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Jim Lawyer, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Chris Duca on Jan 19, 2007
This Afternoon

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Best climbs for YOU in this area
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The Spider's Web. Photo by, Graham McDowell


The Dacks. An untamed tract of public and private land spanning a topography larger than Vermont. The Park is preserved by legislation from 1885 declaring that the lands of the preserve "be forever kept as wild forest lands." That statement by the Forest Preserve was the formal beginning of what has now become a 6,000,000 acre wilderness--the largest state park in the lower 48.

The Adirondack park is prized more for the recreational potential it offers than for the economic value of its natural resources. That being said, don't come the Dacks thinking that you are going to be welcomed with large welcome signs, visitor centers every 100 yards, and tourist shops around each bend. On the contrary; the Adirondacks are a quiet swath of rugged terrain that offers a very humbling and traditional approach to rock climbing.

The sheer number of crags and walls within the Parks' boundaries is enough to satisfy someone for a lifetime. There are well over 250 climbing areas in the Adirondacks, all of which deal a very unique experience from the next. Areas such as Keene Valley and the Cascade Lakes Region offer the largest variety of climbing, allowing a climber to sample massive multi-pitch slab adventures and desperate single-pitch test-pieces within minutes of the parking lot. There are also numerous backcountry crags such as Wallface, Gothics, Big Slide, and The Cranberry Lake Region that test climbers fortitude, patience, stamina and route-finding skills. On many of these committing routes, don't expect the climbing to be clean 100% of the time. It is best to carry a brush for cleaning and a healthy understanding of adventure.

Unlike many other climbing areas across this country, there is no epi-center for the climbing here. One could argue that Keene Valley is the central locus for climbing in the Dacks, and this very well may be the case. However, you'd be hard-pressed to find teeming hordes of chalkbags spraying beta from below. Those who have climbed before you have tried to leave very little evidence of their passage, save for a few slings growing from the side of the cliff. You won't find overly-chalked holds, or tick marks marring a route from top to bottom. What you will find in the Adirondacks is adventurous, character-building climbing that carries with it the very essence of traditional rock climbing.

In April of 2008, Jim Lawyer and Jeremy Haas released the most comprehensive guidebook for Adirondack Park to date ( This 652 page labor of love meticulously documents every route, crag, and trail system within the parks vast boundaries, and it invites the reader/climber to become intimately involved with each route thanks to the stories and reflections scattered throughout the guide. 19 color photos grace the pages of this text, as well, breathing depth and life onto the unique landscape and rock texture of the Adirondacks.

Be aware that several cliffs throughout Adirondack State Park observe seasonal closures to allow for Peregrine nesting. Such cliffs include: Moss Cliff, Poke-O-Moonshine and The Washbowl Cliffs. Check with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation website ( before attempting to climb at any of the aforementioned areas.

Getting There 

The Dacks are big, REAL BIG, and can be accessed from various points in New England and from the flatlands below us.

If you are coming from the south, Interstate 87 (The New York Thruway) will deposit you in the Park.

Traveling from the east, there are several ways, all of which offer similar travel time, that get you there. The Charlotte, VT Ferry, The Burlington, VT Ferry, and the Grand Isle, VT Ferry all drop you off along the eastern precipice of the Adirondacks. Once across Lake Champlain, find your way to Route 73, the central corridor through the Park proper.

From the west, travelers can take Route 3, 28, or 8 depending on the destination you wish to visit.

At this point you should refer to the detailed descriptions for each area, as many of the areas are sprinkled along, or right off Route 73, or off Route 9 or 9N located just to the north and east.

Climbing Season

Weather station 8.3 miles from here

1,188 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',145],['3 Stars',351],['2 Stars',393],['1 Star',214],['Bomb',13]

Classic Climbing Routes in Adirondacks

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Adirondacks:
The Trap Dike   WI2 Easy Snow     Ice, Snow, 2 pitches, 2000'   Adirondack Ice Climbing : Avalanche Lake/Pass
Multiplication Gully   WI3+     Ice, 3 pitches, 225'   Adirondack Ice Climbing : Wilmington Notch - High Fal...
Chouinard's Gully    WI3     Ice, 2 pitches, 300'   Adirondack Ice Climbing : Chapel Pond and Chapel Pond...
Trap Dike (summer)   4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b     Trad, 2000'   High Peaks Region : Mt. Colden
Little Finger   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a     Trad, 3 pitches, 600'   Lake George Region : Rogers Rock
Regular Route   5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13     Trad, 8 pitches, 700'   Chapel Pond Pass : Chapel Pond Slab
Pete's Farewell   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 3 pitches, 150'   Keene Region : Pitchoff Chimney Cliff
Quadrophenia AKA Bara Bara   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13     Trad, 4 pitches, 350'   Chapel Pond Pass : Hurricane Crag
The Diagonal   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 7 pitches, 860'   High Peaks Region : Wallface
The El   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 3 pitches, 180'   Keene Region : Pitchoff Chimney Cliff
Rockaholic   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Chapel Pond Pass : Beer Walls
Gamesmanship   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 5 pitches, 500'   Poke-O-Moonshine : Poke-O-Moonshine Main Face
Frosted Mug   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 90'   Chapel Pond Pass : Beer Walls
Bloody Mary   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 6 pitches, 500'   Poke-O-Moonshine : Poke-O-Moonshine Main Face
Flying & Drinking and Drinking & Driving   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Chapel Pond Pass : Beer Walls
On The Loose   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   Chapel Pond Pass : The Spider's Web
Esthesia   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   Chapel Pond Pass : The Spider's Web
TR   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Chapel Pond Pass : The Spider's Web
The Fastest Gun   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 4 pitches, 500'   Poke-O-Moonshine : Poke-O-Moonshine Main Face
Drop, Fly, or Die   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Chapel Pond Pass : The Spider's Web
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Adirondacks

Featured Route For Adirondacks
Rock Climbing Photo: In need of a Labatt-Ami...

Labatt-Ami 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b  NY : Adirondacks : ... : Beer Walls
Roof cracks don't get much better than this one!This was the first line climbed at the Beer Walls, and named after the first ascentionists' fantasy on that warm spring day in '82. Commence this climb in a blocky right-facing corner that leads to large ledge about 40 feet up. Either belay your second up to the ledge, or continue up the steepening right-facing corner. Either way, you will eventually come to a large crack under the massive roof that casts an ominous shadow on you. Protect this w...[more]   Browse More Classics in NY

Photos of Adirondacks Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Snowy Mountain's, In the Buff, 5.7
Snowy Mountain's, In the Buff, 5.7
Rock Climbing Photo: This is what it's all about.  Luxury dirtbagging
This is what it's all about. Luxury dirtbagging
Rock Climbing Photo: Mystery Achievement (5.9) at Good Luck cliff.  Tig...
Mystery Achievement (5.9) at Good Luck cliff. Tig...
Rock Climbing Photo: Stewarts Ledge, Lithium, 5.10a
Stewarts Ledge, Lithium, 5.10a
Rock Climbing Photo: Jimmy on Upper Washbowl, Weekend Warriors, 5.10
Jimmy on Upper Washbowl, Weekend Warriors, 5.10
Rock Climbing Photo: Route: Flying and Drinking and Drinking and Drivin...
Route: Flying and Drinking and Drinking and Drivin...
Rock Climbing Photo: Top of P1 of Sole Fusion, Sugarloaf mountain. ADK ...
Top of P1 of Sole Fusion, Sugarloaf mountain. ADK ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Adirondacks in the Fall. Near Indian Lake, NY.
Adirondacks in the Fall. Near Indian Lake, NY.
Rock Climbing Photo: The bears are always smarter than you are. Bring t...
BETA PHOTO: The bears are always smarter than you are. Bring t...
Rock Climbing Photo: Lots of untrammeled rock to explore - but bring a ...
Lots of untrammeled rock to explore - but bring a ...

Comments on Adirondacks Add Comment
Show which comments
By Ladd
May 10, 2007
For a sample of climbing in the 'Dacks check out the film Uncommon Ground
By Jim Lawyer
Nov 28, 2008
For new rock climbing routes in Adirondack Park, go here:
By Chris Duca
From: Havertown, PA
May 28, 2009
The "Poke-O-Moonshine Area" has been moved to the "Lake Champlain Region", and the "Wallface Area" has been to the "High Peaks Area" to help those folks cross-referencing the ADK Rock Guidebook with this site, or vice versa.
By John Lombardi
Sep 23, 2013
For some extensive coverage of boulder problems in the Adirondacks check out:

I met the guy who runs the site, Zac, out at Nine Corners last week. Great guy and the site is pretty spiffy.
By odile from quebec
From: wilmington
Oct 30, 2013
Hy...i see a crag the other side of 9n neer ausable river..on the street Green ST a crag
Rock Climbing Photo: Green st  ausable river
Green st ausable river

Topo exist? its a private?
By Jim Lawyer
Oct 31, 2013
odile: This is Haystack, documented in Mellor's 1986 guidebook, page 69. Yup, private land.
By Eli Buzzell
May 31, 2015
Can anyone direct me to where I could climb in the rain in the dacks? any caves or sheltered bouldering?
By Chris Duca
From: Havertown, PA
Jun 8, 2015
Hi Eli--

There are several routes at The King Wall, as well as a couple at the Web that stay dry in a light rain. Aside from that, you're hosed.

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