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The Sportsman's wall is in the touristy town of Phoenicia, also near some great Catskills hiking and decent restaurants. The wall hosts about 10 fun, well bolted, moderate (from 5.8-5.12) sport routes on sandstone. At one time the cliffs were part of the local quarrying industry, but have been abandoned since the early 1900's. Many of the bolts have been painted to blend in with the rock. You may need to look closely to find the start of some routes. The routes vary from short with massive overhangs to slopey. As with any sandstone some of the holds can be crumbly, but most are on quality rock. The Sportsman's Wall is in a beautiful forest setting occasionally visited by black bears (don't pet them) with great views from the tops of the pitches. Bolted anchors at the tops of the climbs. Many of the anchors require re-threading at the chains. Be sure you understand this procedure before you climb, or plan to leave 2 biners. You may be able to top rope harder routes by leading easier ones nearby, but attempting to reach the anchors from above is not recommended. Before you climb do not miss the pancakes at Sweet Sues! (Update: Sweet Sues is re-opening soon, in the meantime try the Phoenicia Diner or Brios for breakfast.) The Sportsman's Alamo Cantina is great for burgers, burritos and beer outside after your climb. Mamas Boy has good coffee and snacks. There is also a little grocery store that sells beer etc, and several campgrounds.
From the NYS Thruway, take exit 19 (Kingston/Woodstock). Take Route 28 west about 27 miles to Phoenica. The town has two entrances from route 28. Take the first one (the eastern). Follow the road down a hill across some train tracks and a bridge to the main street. Drive across the main street. Immediately after the post office on your right is a paved driveway to the town park. It looks like a residential driveway, but it's not. There is a wooden fence along the far edge of the driveway. This is the parking area. If it's full you can park in town and walk over. From the parking area walk directly across the park past a playground fixture to the start of The Tanbark Trail (sign). Across the footbridge on the left there are three worthy but not very hard boulder problems. Follow the trail around and left of the boulders. Please avoid going directly up the drainage as this is leading to significant erosion. The trail winds upwards and crosses below some low chossey cliffs. These look like they have the potential for top-roping if cleaned a bit, but they are apparently on the property of the church across the street, I don't know if there are access issues. Walk past the short cliffs and come to a T intersection in the trail (~3mins). There is a sign on the left that says this is a loop trail. Go right. Cross a log bridge over a small stream. Follow the trail uphill. Pass under a low fallen tree. Soon the trail makes a sharp turn to the left (uphill). At this point you can see evidence of an old very overgrown logging trail. Don't take this one. Continue uphill a bit further and you will see another, more obvious but still overgrown logging road on your right. This is 0.4 miles from the trail head. (If you find yourself enjoying the view from Grandview Ledge, you have gone too far.) Turn right onto the logging road. Almost immediately you will be able to see the anchors of the short, but very appealing Azucar (.10b) up on your left. Follow the remnants of the logging road up to where it peters out below the cliffs, then follow the path of least resistance to the base of the climbs. Total 15 minutes walking slowly. The GPS location below is for the parking area. There are resident biners at most of the anchors. Bad Joo-joo if you take them.
12 Total Routes
Browse More Classics in Phoenicia, Sportsman's Wall
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Phoenicia, Sportsman's Wall:
Half Pint -Trailhead Boulder V0-1 4+ Boulder, 12'
Monkey! - Trailhead Boulder V3-4 6a+ Boulder, 15'
Mid Life Crisis -Trailhead Boulder V5 6c Boulder, 12'
Niether 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a Sport, 70'
Bearly Hanging On 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a Sport, 70'
Crotalid 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b Sport, 70'
Azucar 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII E2 5b Sport, 35'
It's easy to be brave... 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- E4 5c Sport, 45'
Bearly Hanging On Direct 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a Sport, 70'
Thunder Down Under 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ E6 6b Sport, 45'
Featured Route For Phoenicia, Sportsman's Wall
Crotalid 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b NY : Phoenicia, Sportsman's Wall
Super fun and varied climbing. Start on the white face and climb up slopers to some good holds past a bulge. Continue straight up the slab onto the grassy ledge. From the grassy ledge pull the overhang (bolt to your left). Follow the line of bolts up the awesome, gently overhanging face to the anchors. Clip the anchors, but you're not done until you're looking over the top! ...[more] Browse More Classics in NY
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