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Climbing near Ithica, NY?
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By J_C_G
Jan 16, 2014
King Me - Red River Gorge

Does anyone know if there's any decent climbing within an hour or two drive of Ithaca? There's a chance I may relocate there in the near future, and I'd like to know what the climbing prospects are. There's not much listed on MP, but I was wondering if anyone knows of any areas not included on this site that are worthwhile. Or gyms, for that matter - I can't seem to find any in town at all...


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By The Stoned Master
From Millerstown, PA
Jan 16, 2014
Day Lily.

Im not a local but I've run into more than a few climbers stating they're from Ithaca at this little sport climbing spot called "Blue Run Rocks". Its in Northern PA but is within your time frame (Im told) from Ithaca.

If you lead low 12s and below the place can keep you busy for a bit. If you can send low 12s the place will keep you busy for a weekend. +/- 25 bolted routes, a handful of trad (1 trad routes called "piton crack" and its fun, 5.9/5.10) routes and even less established boulder problems.


the pictures online dont do the place justice I think. I appreciate the solid stone and the 30 minute approach. You can always climb each route without a rope like the earlier years. This spot was a highball area at one point before bolts. Enjoy!


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By kpbo
From upstate NY
Jan 16, 2014
jammin'

Well for starters, it's Ithaca ;)

But yeah-- Blue Run Rocks is probably the closest.

Good beta here.

Other than that, there's some climbs in the southern Dacks that you can get to in just under 3 hrs. But most climbing in the Dacks is closer to 4-4.5 hrs drive. Check out Adirondack Rock

The Gunks are a bit closer.

The only climbing gym is the Lindseth climbing wall at Cornell, but it's for University affiliates (and their guests) only. I'm not a huge fan of the wall itself, but it's all we got at the moment. Evidently there's a 'real' climbing gym soon to be opened in Syracuse (~1 hr away).


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By J_C_G
Jan 17, 2014
King Me - Red River Gorge

Ok thanks, sounds like Blue Run could keep me busy for a bit, especially if I don't have a real gym to train in.

I looked at some pictures of this Lindseth wall - are there really no overhangs in the entire gym?


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By Jeffreaux
From SoVT
Jan 17, 2014

There's ice if you look for it. Cornell has a wall.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Jan 18, 2014
Rumney

If you have a choice, live elsewhere if climbing is important to you and a 2.5+ hour drive is too much. Otherwise expect to drive a bit.

Little Falls/Moss Island has a lot of short routes (some quality)... Southern ADKs in particular Good Luck, Lost T, etc... Gunks are 2.5 hours one way(I think?)... you'll probably tire of the few 'local' options quick.


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By Em Cos
From Boulder, CO
Jan 19, 2014

I went to grad school there. I made sure I had Fridays off, and did all my work/school/errands between Monday and Thursday, drove 3 hours to the Gunks or 4.5 to the Dacks every decent weather weekend, and took climbing trips for thanksgiving and spring breaks. I climbed a lot, but didn't have time for a whole lot else in my life besides climbing and grad school. I also got really burnt out on all the driving.

So I moved to Boulder as soon as I finished grad school, and I love the 10 minute commute to amazing rock. I also love having other hobbies. And dating. Today I spent all day climbing at Eldo, tonight I'm sleeping in my own bed, and tomorrow I'll be skiing.

You can definitely climb plenty if you're committed, and there's a lot of other lovely things about the area, but I wouldn't choose Ithaca if easy access to rock is important to you.
Oh, and get yourself affiliated with Cornell. Lindseth is at least something, there's no other gyms anywhere near. And it does have two overhangs.


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By anna.gutwin
From Burlington, VT
Jan 19, 2014
April climbing

I also went to school at Cornell. The Outdoor Ed program is very strong. If you get plugged in you won't need to look far for a climbing partner. My group of friends would regularly drive to the gunks for a day trip. Blue run really sucks, or at least it did 6 years ago. I love sport climbing, but the 3 bolt "bolter problems" got old by the first afternoon. The Lindseth wall has two TINY overhangs, but the Noyes bouldering wall is slightly overhung. If you want a decent gym you're going to need to build it yourself.

Like everyone else has said, don't move to Ithaca for the climbing. If you do end up there my advice would be to get yourself on the rock staff of COE (if you can stand working with undergrads). It's a group of very good people.


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By jeff lebowski
Jan 19, 2014

Little Falls has some of the best rock I've ever climbed. Very grippy (like gritstone?...don't know, never been to the UK). Moss Island is the most popular but least interesting in my opinion. Lots of small mini-crags in that area that may or may not be in the guidebook or on MP. Shoot me a PM if you want more info.

There was also some fantastic bouldering being developed another 30 min. North of Little Falls.


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By Em Cos
From Boulder, CO
Jan 19, 2014

Huh... well I guess best rock ever is a matter of opinion, but for the information of the OP, little falls is a two hour drive and the cliff is about 30 feet tall max. Just drive the extra hour for the Gunks at that point.


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By J_C_G
Jan 20, 2014
King Me - Red River Gorge

Alright, sounds a little depressing but doable. I imagine I'll spend more time mountain biking then if I move. Thanks guys.


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