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Dacks versus Squamish
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By AJV
Jul 11, 2013

Hi guys - I'm a Squamish climber and I'm making a trip to the Dacks this summer. Just wondering if anyone has experience in both areas and can comment on the grades in each area. I've heard that Squamish is soft (or that the east coast is stiff). I'd like to plan out some climbs but need this info first. Thanks!


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By DannyUncanny
From Vancouver
Jul 11, 2013

Yeah, depends on the route in Squamish, some of the older "sandbagged" stuff might be up to Dacks standards, but in general for stuff in the 5.6 to 5.10 range I would add 1 number grade to the Dacks to get the equivalent Squamish grade.

I will jump on just about any Squamish 5.10, but I would definitely be hesitant in the Dacks, still might jump on if the pro looks good.


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By lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Jul 11, 2013
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Struttin.

We spent a month at Squamish last year and took for granted that 5.10 was a nice time. In the Dacks, we approach that grade with trepidation. Maybe it's stiffer, but maybe the rock climbs a little differently.


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By lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Jul 11, 2013
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Struttin.

I love how you put it: Dacks vs. Squamish. That's like Mike Tyson versus Glass Joe. Squamish is the best place we've ever climbed. Dacks are nice and all, but...


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Jul 11, 2013
Rumney

lucander wrote:
I love how you put it: Dacks vs. Squamish. That's like Mike Tyson versus Glass Joe. Squamish is the best place we've ever climbed. Dacks are nice and all, but...


lol exactly


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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Jul 11, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on

With all this rain, maybe we're securing our reputation as the Pacific Northwest of the Atlantic Northeast?


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By Eric8
From Framingham
Jul 11, 2013

Since I used to live in PNW and I now live in NE here are my thoughts, I was thought squamish was weird with grades because 90% of stuff is accurate and 10% is butter in the hot sun. The dacks I think are mostly accurate to only a slightly stiff, I won't say they are sandbagged. So you might notice it a little, but shouldn't be a a major issue.

My best guess is that Expasperator would still be 10c in the Daks, while Seasoned in the Sun would be 10a instead of 10b.


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By Chris Small
Jul 11, 2013

Living in Squamish, I have noticed some grade inflation creep going on in the newer "Squamish Select" guidebooks on established routes. Some of my established routes have had their grades adjusted upwards in the newer guidebooks. There seems to be a movement in Squamish at present on new routes being established to bring grades in line with other areas.


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By AJV
Jul 11, 2013

Thanks guys! I guess I'll go with the assumption that the Dacks will be similar to the "stiff" grades in Squamish. Squamish certainly has an amazing concentration of climbing, but the Dacks (from pictures at least) looks excellent. Poke-o-moonshine, spider web and chapel pond all look awesome. If anyone has suggestions for classic climbs (especially multi-pitch) in the 5.10/11- range I'd be grateful.


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By Don MacKenzie
From Seattle, WA
Jul 11, 2013

I have only climbed a few days in each location, and at easier grades (5.8 & below). But I can speak as an outsider, since I think that often locals find the climbing on their home crags easier than visitors, since they are accustomed to the rock there, its friction properties, the type of pro it offers, etc.

With that said, I would agree that in Squamish a route would probably be graded one number higher than the same route in the Dacks -- at least among the easier grades. Relative to other east coast destinations, I would say the grading was on a par with the Gunks or Seneca, and a little stiffer than major areas in NH.

If you are heading off the beaten track in the Dacks, don't underestimate it! It is legit backcountry... and I'm from BC originally.


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By PeterW
From Dryden, NY
Jul 11, 2013

Poko and Moss Cliff (falcon closures end around August 1st)


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By Nick Votto
Jul 11, 2013
Bolton, VT

Do the Fastest Gun at Poko, excellent in your grade range, also the Great Dihedral (STIFF 5.9).


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By johnthethird
Jul 12, 2013

anything in the keene area will be worth checking out.


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By lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Jul 12, 2013
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Struttin.

For me, Poke-O is the showpiece crag: 1-4 pitches, cracks, bolted and mixed gear faces, and thoughtful intricate climbing. Fastest Gun has already been mentioned, and for good reason - it would stand out any any destination crag. At the same cliff, do not miss Maestro (.10, 160' of sustained edging and crimping). At Chapel Pond, Hesitation (.7, 4 pitches) is well worth the long steep walk. It takes a proud old line from the toe of the buttress to the top. The Spider's Web is arguably the best single-pitch trad crag north of Endless Wall at the New. Any of the steep sustained routes there will make your day. Ubu Ale seems to be the unofficial beer of the Adirondacks, stop by their brewery in Lake Placid when it rains.


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Jul 12, 2013
El Chorro

lucander wrote:
For me, Poke-O is the showpiece crag: 1-4 pitches, cracks, bolted and mixed gear faces, and thoughtful intricate climbing. Fastest Gun has already been mentioned, and for good reason - it would stand out any any destination crag. At the same cliff, do not miss Maestro (.10, 160' of sustained edging and crimping). At Chapel Pond, Hesitation (.7, 4 pitches) is well worth the long steep walk. It takes a proud old line from the toe of the buttress to the top. The Spider's Web is arguably the best single-pitch trad crag north of Endless Wall at the New. Any of the steep sustained routes there will make your day. Ubu Ale seems to be the unofficial beer of the Adirondacks, stop by their brewery in Lake Placid when it rains.


Arguably? I'd love to hear that argument. The Spider's Web us one of the beat trad crags I've ever been to!

Can't go wrong in the Dacks. Amazing climbing. Grades felt perfect to me, but I haven't climbed at Squamish so I can't offer anything more.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Jul 12, 2013
Rumney

Hesitation is 5.8, and it's worth noting the 5.5R pitch (most leaders don't forget it!).


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Jul 12, 2013
Rumney

Ryan Williams wrote:
Arguably? I'd love to hear that argument. The Spider's Web us one of the beat trad crags I've ever been to!


There's that New Hampshire place (Whites). They have some decent climbing too... ;-)


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By Chris Duca
Administrator
From Havertown, PA
Jul 12, 2013
Finishing up Elusive Dream at the King Wall.  Adirondacks, NY.

Poke-o will give you the most bang for your buck. The climbing is similar in nature to the Apron area at the base of the Chief, if not a tad steeper. The Web is outstanding, and I'd recommend almost every route there. Moss Cliff should not be misses, and Upper Washbowl is a big, delaminating onion, and , in my opinion, should be avoided.


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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Jul 12, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on

Moss Cliff is awesome! Followed Simon up Hard Times (9+) last fall, and it was an amazing climb.


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By Tparis
From Pottersville,New York
Jul 13, 2013
fall foliage 5.7+ slab

Black Arch arete on Crane mountain.


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By Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Jul 18, 2013
Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenstein Amphitheater

Was in Squamish yesterday.. going back tomorrow.. The high yesterday was 80F. The low around 60F. There's a breeze everyday around noon. Oh.. It's rained twice in the last three weeks.. Just thought you guys back on the east coast should know. Haha.


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By AJV
Sep 6, 2013

Just did my trip and wanted to follow up in case anyone is interested. We did poke-o, pitch off, spiders, moss ands chapel pond slab (3 times!). Climbed from 5.5 to 11a. I would say that the biggest difference in grades comes in the easier routes. 5.7-5.9 in Squamish are easy. In the Dacks they can be tough. 5.9+ is an especially stiff grade. The second pitch of Bloody Mary felt 10b to me. As the routes get tougher the grades get closer. Drop fly or die felt 11a/b to me, although locals called it soft at 11a.

Beautiful area and great climbing. We had a great time and really enjoyed the adventurous wilderness vibe and ethic. Thanks for all the replies.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Sep 6, 2013
Rumney

AJV wrote:
Just did my trip and wanted to follow up in case anyone is interested. We did poke-o, pitch off, spiders, moss ands chapel pond slab (3 times!). Climbed from 5.5 to 11a. I would say that the biggest difference in grades comes in the easier routes. 5.7-5.9 in Squamish are easy. In the Dacks they can be tough. 5.9+ is an especially stiff grade. The second pitch of Bloody Mary felt 10b to me. As the routes get tougher the grades get closer. Drop fly or die felt 11a/b to me, although locals called it soft at 11a. Beautiful area and great climbing. We had a great time and really enjoyed the adventurous wilderness vibe and ethic. Thanks for all the replies.


Super awesome post. Always curious to hear how my 'home' area compares to such epic places in terms of climbing quality and grading.

I'm willing to bet those 5.9+ are OLD routes (or were at Moss, which is considered some of the most sustained multipitch climbing in the ADKs). The Gunks are infamous for their "+" routes too. :p


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By Mark Trotta
From Latham, NY
Sep 11, 2013
On top of Noonmark, 'Dacks

AJV, mind if i ask for a list of the routes you did in addition to the ones you listed? Was the 9+ the great dihedral at poke-o or hard times at moss? and did you get on fastest gun?


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