Route Guide - iPhone / Android - Partners - Forum - Photos - Deals - What's New - School of Rock
Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Dreaming up Epic climbing trip to the NE.
View Latest Posts in This Forum or All Forums
   Page 1 of 1.  
Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
 
 
By Kevin Landolt
From Fort Collins, Wyoming
Dec 3, 2012

I'm scheming up a late summer early Fall climbing trip to the Northeast (next year). I have family in New York and New Jersey I'd like to see, love colorful autumn foliage, and have recently been reading the works of Guy and Laura Waterman - which really peaked my interest in the area.

I'll probably drive out (camper shell on my pick-up) and start the trip in New Jersey / New York and then work my way up into New England. I'd like to finish the trip in Newfoundland if possible. So... what's are the most classic and historic crags along the way? What is the car-camping situation like? I enjoy trad climbing, scrambling, and bouldering, but don't mind clipping bolts either. No time limit to speak of (let's dream big here).

New York / New Jersey

- The Gunks
- The Daks (I always hear great things about the Daks, whats the scoop?)


New Hampshire

- Cannon Cliff
- Whitehorse Ledge
- Cathedral Ledge
- Rumney
- Pawtuckaway
- Mt. Washington


Vermont

- No idea


Maine

- Mt. Katahdin?
- Clifton Crags
- What are some good sea cliffs or crags by the water?

Newfoundland

- No idea, what are some good resources for climbing in Newfoundland?

Thanks for the suggestions.


FLAG
By john strand
From southern colo
Dec 3, 2012

I got some places for you ??

Do you mind a bit of a walk/ bike ??


FLAG
By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Dec 3, 2012
El Chorro

The scoop is that the Dacks are fucking sick. From what you've said you're interested in doing, I'd say you could spend the whole time just in the Adirondacks.

The NE has some of the best rock on the continent and at many places you will be all by your self (because everyone else will be at the Gunks and/or Rumney).

Acadia NP has some amazing looking sea cliff climbing but I've never been.

I remember a story about a big FA on a Newfoundland sea wall. It looked wild. Apparently a lot of rock u there and not many climbers.

People are going to freak out on me for saying this but I don't think you'll enjoy Rumney. I think it is best described as the worst good climbing area in the world. Can't complain about the climbing, but everything else pretty much sucks.


FLAG
By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Dec 3, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on

Another plug for the 'Dacks. Plenty of awesome climbing. Be sure to climb at Poke-o-Moonshine and Moss Cliff for long (400-600 ft) crack and face climbing on generally awesome rock (especially on Moss Cliff.)

If you're seeking adventure, Wallface is the place...NY's biggest cliff at around 800 feet, with plenty of wilderness to appreciate. This is just one cliff in the Adirondacks that give you that wilderness, out-there feeling.

Long slab climbs at Chapel Pond, as well as some reportedly awesome slab climbing on Rogers Rock rising right out of the clear waters of Lake George for hundreds of feet.

Like cracks? Check out the Spiders Web for a high quality selection of cracks from 5.10a to 5.13c on the excellent overhanging rock.

Fan of the obscure? Plenty of that here in the 'Dacks.

Pick just about any place in the Adirondacks and you'll have a great time, and see very few people for the most part. Camping is killer and free. I am partial to the area, but it has a feeling of adventure not matched by many places, especially considering that it is sitting in the middle of one of the most populated states in the country.

Sorry for the length of my response, but I guarantee a good time in the 'Dacks. Get/borrow a copy of Adirondack Rock by Jim Lawyer and Jeremy Haas (just one more great thing about the nation's biggest state park; this guidebook is exemplary and should set the bar for guidebooks everywhere.)

Rock on!


FLAG
By KevinF
From Granby, CT
Dec 3, 2012

Consider swinging through central Connecticut on your way north. I might be biased, but having climbed throughout much of the north east i still think we have some real gems.

As for Acadia - otter cliff is okay, but the precipice is great.

The Adirondacks are a must.


FLAG
By JCM
From Seattle, WA
Dec 3, 2012

Overall, looks like a good plan, and you are going at the best time of year for the NE. A few comments on your itinerary

Kevin Landolt wrote:
New Hampshire - Cannon Cliff - Whitehorse Ledge - Cathedral Ledge - Rumney - Pawtuckaway - Mt. Washington


Good list. Overall, NH is the best concentration of destination crags in the NE, and this is where you should spend the most time. Pawtuckaway may not be full destination-quality, and is a bit farther from the other crags, so you could omit that one.

Kevin Landolt wrote:
Vermont - No idea


Don't bother. I used to live in Vermont, and love the state immensely, but the rock climbing there doesn't compare to its neighbors. If climbing is your main priority of the trip, spend your time in NH and NY. Ice climbing in Vermont is a different story... It is still worth passing through Vermont for the scenery, especially in the Fall. If you really want to rock climb there, then your best choice for a couple days passing through is sport climbing at Bolton (especially the 82 Crag) and/or bouldering at Smugglers Notch.

Kevin Landolt wrote:
New York / New Jersey - The Gunks - The Daks (I always hear great things about the Daks, whats the scoop?)


The Gunks are amazing and classic and a mandatory stop. Don't worry about chasing high numbers there, just cruise around on the moderate classics; they are all great. Go on a weekday, if you can. Trying to get on the famous routes there is like trying to get on the Batille Crack on a Saturday in October.

The Dacks are a huge area, and the climbing is superb. I think that they are one of the the best overlooked/unknown/underrated areas in the country. It is mostly crack climbing on good quality granite-esque rock (anorthosite) in a remote and scenic location. For a visitor, yoy should spend your time around the Keene Valley / Chapel Pond area. This is a good concentration of classic climbing, is very scenic, and has easy access to the good crags. The Spiders Web is the one world-class, must-visit cliff there. There is now a very good Dacks guidebook available.

Kevin Landolt wrote:
Maine - Mt. Katahdin? - Clifton Crags - What are some good sea cliffs or crags by the water?


This list...not so good. The most visit-worthy stuff in Maine is at Acadia NP and at Shagg Crag. Acadia is your classic Maine sea-cliff area. Shagg is inland, close to the NH border, and is an amazing quality little sport crag. Katahdin, while a great alpine resource by East-Coast standards, probably won't be too impressive to someone who lives close to RMNP; I'd skip it.


FLAG
By JCM
From Seattle, WA
Dec 3, 2012

A summary, based on what you are looking for:

"Must-visit" (you should spend the most time in these places)
Daks
Gunks
North Conway (Cathedral and Whitehorse Ledges)

"Should-visit"
Rumney
Acadia
Cannon

"Worth a stop, but only if passing through"
Shagg
Pawtuckaway
CT Traprock
Central Mass crags & bouldering
Vermont crags (Bolton, Smuggs, etc)


FLAG
By doligo
Dec 3, 2012
Jose Cuervo Fruitcups dirtbag style

Few things:
1. It would be better if you start your trip North to South, and not vice versa. Maine could get frikkin cold late August-September. And downstate NY and NJ could be pretty much unbearable in August.
2. Otter Cliffs are ok, Precipice are outstanding.
3. With the exception of some stealth parking lot bivying (get late, leave early), Daks are probably the only good place where you can legally camp at large for free right by the climbing. I would plan on spending the most time there. There is a lot of at large NFS camping in NH, but not very convenient.
4. NE could be a tough place finding partners on the fly (with the exception for the Gunks and Rumney) - locals seldomly venture out to climb with new people. Make sure you have partners lined up before heading to especially North Conway.


FLAG
 
By JCM
From Seattle, WA
Dec 3, 2012

doligo wrote:
NE could be a tough place finding partners on the fly (with the exception for the Gunks and Rumney) - locals seldomly venture out to climb with new people. Make sure you have partners lined up before heading to especially North Conway.


Ditto that.

If you show up in the Dacks w/o a partner, you'll pretty much be SOL. Even the Gunks and Rumney are not the easiest places; there isn't a main climber's campground or a permanent dirtbag scene in which to find partners at any NE crag. None of them offer the easy partner finding that you can expect at major western crags like Indian Creek.

If you are rolling in solo, you'd likely have better luck with regard to finding partners by heading south to the New/Red in late Sept.


FLAG
By Josh Olson
From madison, wisconsin
Dec 3, 2012
Looking at a 5.7 crack with Nick

It wouldn't be an awful idea to hit up Devils Lake, the Red, and the New on your way east. I mean, if you have no time restraints, you might as well hit all the big spots on the way to figure out what area, if any, you want to get back to someday.


FLAG
By Dom
Administrator
From New Brunswick Canada
Dec 3, 2012
Moby dick 5.11-

Hey, disregard what one guy said about Maine too cold in late August. Definitely Not true. Anyways, if you're planning to go to Newfoundland, definitely hit up the Welsford valley in Southern New Brunswick. It's like Precipice in Acadia (pink granite) with 5 times more routes and free car camping. The MP page for it kinda sucks but it's a great area with a small motivated climbing community. PM me if you need more details. Good on ya for planning to come East of the Maine Border. I wish more people did!


FLAG
By S. Neoh
Dec 3, 2012

If you can follow the foliage South from Newfoundland, that would be fabulous. At Acadia, The Precipice and Great Head are standouts. If you like sport .12's on overhanging granite, spend a weekend at Shagg Crag in ME. Great stuff all around Conway and North Conway. Sundown is worth a day, at least. You can read all about Rumney and decide for yourself.
Further South, I happen to think The New is excellent for both trad and sport. You could finish up at The Red in late October, falling off the biggest hand holds you will ever find on a route.


FLAG
By Bill Sacks
From Sacramento, CA
Dec 3, 2012
Chapel Pond

PM sent, but I will be around in the Fall without a partner because he is going to Denmark, so let me know if you need someone to share a rope with.


FLAG
By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Dec 4, 2012
Rumney

I'd skip Acadia, comparable climbing to the precipice in the Whites and ADKs. Unless you're climbing ocean side, and otter cliffs is only 'okay', then climbing inland at Acadia is just like climbing inland anywhere else. It's been discussed here before. I wouldn't drive all the way from upstate NY to Acadia again just for the climbing. If you're passing by on your way to/from Canada or Katahdin, then sure why not.

Another vote for the ADKs, where I spend a bulk of my summer (late May - early September) each year. The guide is comprehensive and there's a ton of free updates on their website. There's also a major revision coming sooner than later. The southern ADKs, closer to where I live in Albany, are exploding with development (check out Crane Mt, Black Arches area). Some multiplitch, but mostly crag style with 20-45 minute approaches (small sections of cliff all along the trail). There's over 200 routes spread out over Crane alone. This is a nice alternative to the Chapel Pond area in the high peaks, which can get a bit crowded. Generally though, the ADKs are not heavily climbed which is one of the things that attracts me to them. Rock quality is generally really good, great even. Huge variety of climbing too (delicate face, cracks, overhangs). Some sport and mixed, but still mostly trad. Also lots of opportunity for adventure if you want to hoof it into, say, Panther Gorge, Snowy, Wallface, Avalanche Lake, Silver Lake, or Gothics (supposedly excellent, clean wilderness slab). I've been picking away at the ADKs off/on for 5 years and have only skimmed the surface of what's available. You could spend your entire vacation there and not get bored. Research will turn up plenty of free camping, and cheap paid alternatives as well.

If available I'd be happy to show you around somewhere one weekend.

The Gunks tend to be real crowded through September into early October. I'm starting to think the suggestion to start North and work your way south makes the most sense. Following the foliage and arriving after most of the casual climbers leave. Although the days get shorter, the Gunks can be (rock) climbed until well into November (and for locals all winter depending on weather). Expect 50F high temps in November.

If it matters - when I vacation I head West (Yosemite, etc). And look forward to those trips. I'm even hoping to move out there someday. The climbing in the East is good in spots, but in sheer volume and grandeur the West cannot be ignored. The weather is better too. My GF just came back from a Wind River climbing trip. We have NOTHING like you do in our back yard. You are very lucky!


FLAG
By john strand
From southern colo
Dec 4, 2012

If you did go north-south, cap trinite area is pretty unique and a side of scary. Acadia may be a bit overated but Great head is way cool and would be fine experience.
I have not done much of the sport areas in maine but the newer ones around Evans notch (in the new guide) seem really good.

Nh trad stuff is very good. In addition to the classic cliffs, Places like greens and Owl cliffs are tremendous climbing, bring a mtn bike.

I think VT has some real good climbing, Wheeler andsuch (again a brand new guide, the first one)

daks are awesome

the later you hit the Gunks, the better. less humidity.


FLAG
By coldatom
From Cambridge, MA
Dec 4, 2012
Jurassic Park

Finding climbing is the easy part. It's everything in between that will make your trip memorable.

- Swimming is an awesome way to end an August day of climbing. It helps to know some good lake/river spots.
- Foliage is obviously a draw. Check out foliage network to get an idea of when to time it right.
- Cool towns. New England has a lot of great historic old towns. It also has shitty strip mall developed areas.
- Seeing something different. The climbing on the sea cliffs at Acadia is not the greatest climbing on earth. But it's on sea cliffs at Acadia, which is awesome. Not many places you can do that. Quincy Quarries is another example. If you're in Boston anyway, it's cool to see something with such a different character.


FLAG
 
By Nick K
From Somerville, MA
Dec 4, 2012

coldatom wrote:
Quincy Quarries is another example. If you're in Boston anyway, it's cool to see something with such a different character.


Quincy quarries is not a valid follow up to Otter Cliffs. Otter Cliffs has averagely fun climbing in an uncommonly beautiful setting. Quincy Quarries is mostly mediocre climbing that's hard because it's covered in spray paint, in an uncommonly shitty setting.

The Precipice at Acadia is good climbing, and the view out to sea is gorgeous. Go there.

Rumney is fun times, a very different character to the sport out West that I've been on. Cathedral is one of my favorite cliffs in the country, I've yet to go anywhere else that has that much multi-pitch that's that accessible.

If you're in North Conway for a bit, swing out to Sundown for some great sport climbs (it's worth noting that the easiest bolted lines are in the 5.11 range). There are some cruiser trad lines there, but don't let the rating on Vultures fool you, that isn't one of them, and you should absolutely give it a go.

Pawtuckaway is fun if you like the pebble wrestling, and there's even a few hard roped lines tucked away there at Devil's Den.

If you make it to Newfoundland, write us a trip report.

Oh, and Maine is not cold in either August or September. Even at Acadia. It's humid just like the rest of New England.


FLAG
By steitz
From midcoast, maine
Dec 4, 2012

Just a heads up, while New England is rather small, Newfoundland is days of travel away, by car and boat. Far enough away that it won't really plug into a trip to New England.

That being said there's a strong climbing community mostly around St. Johns, and the southern coast has tons of untapped climbing potential.

As far as your other ideas go, Clifton is close enough to Acadia that it's worth swinging down to Acadia. Climb at Great Head.

Have a great trip!


FLAG
By Kevin Landolt
From Fort Collins, Wyoming
Dec 4, 2012

Wowza! Thanks for all the suggestions and psyche.


FLAG
By MaxSuffering
From KVNY
Dec 5, 2012

I'd plan on spending most of that time around the Adirondacks and White Mountains. It's not hard to fly under the radar indefinitely at either area if you have a pickup truck with a cap to sleep in. There is enough good climbing in both those areas to last a long, long time.

The "big three" famous cliffs in NH are great but as others have mentioned there is other great stuff as well.

In the ADKs don't miss The Spiders Web, Moss Cliff or Pok-o. I've lived here 13 years and keep finding great routes to do within a ten or twenty minute drive of my house. No joke.

The Gunks are a great place with great climbing but... well, drawbacks to the Gunks can be found in other... over and over again.

Vermont is worth a stop in Bolton even if you just spend one day and hit The Rose and The Thorn. Wheeler Mt. is worth checking out also.

If you ONLY want to climb Acadia may be a little out of the way but if you want to hang out by the ocean and relax it's a great place to be.

Never been to Katahdin in the summer but I hear the rock climbing is good if you're into adventure.

If you get to Keene Valley give me a shout, the local scene here is guarded but certainly not unfriendly. Plenty of locals who will show you around.


FLAG
By Lanky
From Portland, ME
Dec 5, 2012

Just a quick note about the "local" scene in Maine. You'd have a hard time just showing up at, say, Shagg Crag and finding a partner, but if you post up here ahead of time, you have a good chance of finding someone headed there and willing to give you a catch.


FLAG


Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
Page 1 of 1.