|Phoenicia, Sportsman's Wall
Nearby Mountain Bike Rides
Cortina Valley to Palenville
A grueling one way ride with some tough terrain, but very rewarding downhill with incredible views! Near Tannersville village, NY
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|Parking near private residences. Please be considerate.|
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
['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',6],['2 Stars',4],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
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
Latest Regional Forum Messages
|By Kelli R|
From: Poughkeepsie, NY
Sep 18, 2012
Awesome, quiet spot for a day of great climbing!!!
From: Upstate NY, will travel
Oct 2, 2012
This is sandstone. It really needs a full day to dry out after rain. It is 1000 times more fun when dry.
|By Joe Grossmann|
Oct 22, 2012
Nice remote place with an short and easy approach. If you don't like the crowds in the nearby Gunks on the weekends - or you don't lead trad, this is a good place to go.
Thanks a lot for showing us around Erik! It's always an great experience if you're getting introduced to a cliff by THE local.
Especially the easier climbs are still pretty dirty since the area is fairly new and the routes have been hardly climbed yet, but I'm sure they'll clean up nicely once the area becomes more commonly known.
Make sure it didn't rain heavily the day before. The slab on "Crotalid" was still soakingly wet because we didn't consider that.
Mar 30, 2013
Found a helmet here today. pm me if its yours
Apr 2, 2013
If it is green and black it is the masterminds behind these climbs. He left it there in case he forgets one sometime. Also more routes going up as we speak. Stay tuned for directions.
From: Upstate NY, will travel
May 6, 2013
There was an accident here on Sunday 5/5/13 related to re-threading the rope at the anchors/lowering. My most heartfelt wishes for a speedy recovery for all involved.
Please, if you climb here (or anywhere) please make sure you understand how to re- thread your anchors, double check and make a clear plan for lowering vs rappelling with your belayer before you leave the ground.
From: Upstate NY, will travel
Aug 2, 2013
There are some longer sustained 5.12 sport routes that stay dry in moderate rain further up above with a bit of a bushwhack to access. The local FD would give you the shirts off their backs, but they do not have the capability to rescue you from up there, so I'm not posting directions. But if you are self sufficient and motivated to explore, the routes are there, and quite good. There is also plenty of new route potential back there.