Buttermilk Falls is a prominent gully high on the left as you're heading up to Kaaterskill Clove from Palenville. Approach is well worth it for the 6 pitch NEI 3-4 climb. This climb has six fun pitches with about a one minute walk following each step. The steps are anywhere between 40 and 80 feet high. About half are WI3 and half WI4. The final pitch is a pillar that is by far the tallest, toughest and latest to come in.
Standard approach is from the parking lot on the left side of the road as you drive uphill past the Asbestos Wall.
Typical ice pro, use directionals at the top of each pitch and angle off to a tree for anchors.
Rap off trees back to packs.
BETA PHOTO: The top two pitches of Buttermilk Falls, Catskills...
Chris with me belaying on the first pitch of Butte...
BETA PHOTO: The top pitch. This is the middle of what are usu...
Chris Gomez leading the left side of the first pit...
BETA PHOTO: P4(??) of BMF
BETA PHOTO: P1 of Buttermilk in the Catskills
From: NYC and Boulder
Jan 2, 2010
This one is big fun; the approach can be a bit treacherous, especially if there is no snow, just wet leaves over slippery shale slabs. And take care not to punch through when crossing the creek.
Feb 8, 2010
No need to rap P1, 2, 6, or 7. Look for tracks off to the side: climbers' right on P7, CL on the others. If you don't see fixed slings, it's because there's a walk-off. Lots of folks rap P7 and bust the ice underneath before it has a chance to fill in; please don't be that guy.
Feb 7, 2013
Does any one know how how Buttermilk gets affected when there is a lot of snowfall? Avalanche danger?
|By josh huntley|
Feb 14, 2013
It is probably much easier to descend with a lot of snow especially with snowshoes. It can be treacherous with rocks and falling through ice with little snowpack. No avalanche hazard here.
Feb 27, 2013
anyone know what township this is in ?
|By Ryan and Jesse Morse-Brady|
Mar 6, 2013
I'm not a local and found Kaaterskill Falls proper (which is not on this site but had numerous easy, and very steep routes) instead of Buttermilk falls but I am fairly certain that it falls on 23A somewhere between Haines Falls and Palenville there is quite a bit of ice on that stretch. With the given directions I'm still unsure, more cross referencing to other parking areas and other routes will be required before I understand, but there is plenty of see a climb and walk to it options on 23A so that anybody could get by for a number of days down there.
Mar 15, 2013
Ryan - there's a full page map in the Catskill Ice guidebook that makes the location of Buttermilk and the other Rt 23A climbs very clear.
From: Albany, NY
Feb 10, 2014
Some approach beta...
The approach is fairly long. Dropping down to the steam from the parking lot bear left along the stream until you find a place to cross. Finding a place to cross can be difficult depending on how cold it has been. Definitely head downstream (left) .
Once across after you have trudged uphill to the logging road/trail head left again. Once you intercept the ravine head uphill. Donít bother with the first small 20 ft ice you come across. Continue uphill for twenty minutes? Might have been 30 minutes. Seemed like a long time but that could have been partially because it is steep uphill. The first pitch to climb is apparent. It is 30 or 35 feet high. From there there are belay trees and rap anchors at the top of each pitch. Various route up each set of falls of varying difficulty 3/4.
|By Jens Wachtel|
From: New York, New York
Mar 16, 2014
great ice climb area.
As of today, all falls are in a perfect condition.