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|Location:||41.37754, -73.9596 View Map Incorrect?|
|Administrator:||Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)|
|Submitted By:||Giuseppe Cavallo on Oct 11, 2011 with updates from Byron Igoe|
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|Comments on Poison Ivy Wall||Add Comment|
|Show which comments —
Nov 4, 2012
. (for those lacking US military ID) . (as of 2012):
Take route 9W then route 218 to Highland Falls NY. About 0.1 mile (200 meters) south of Thayer Gate of the U.S. Military Academy ("West Point") is a McDonalds restaurant. If coming from the south, then immediately before McD, turn Right (East) on Station Rd, which goes down a steep hill with a sharp curve or two. Meet railroad tracks at bottom of hill -
. GPS latitude/longitude approx (N41.3748 W73.9608)
The ancient railroad station is to the south past a parking lot. That parking is private.
But where to park is tricky -- see more recent comments below.
. (Obvious place would be the Visitors Canter for the U.S. Military Academy,
. . just south from the top of Station Rd
. . GPS latitude longitude approx (N41.3739 W73.9631)
From the bottom of Station Rd, the rock of the PI Wall is north about 0.4 mile (700 meters) alongside the west side of the railroad tracks.
GPS latitude/longitude approx (N41.3810 W73.9581)
But there might be issues about walking in along the railroad tracks -- see more recent comments below.
Nov 4, 2012
The PI Wall is a mostly less than vertical, but with many short interesting overhanging sections. The less-than-vertical "slab" sections tend to have lots of interesting thoughtful footwork and creative hand-holds.
There are roughly 65 single-pitch routes (as of 2012).
I think some of the routes might be higher than 80 feet / 25 meters, but most are less than 100 feet / 30 meters high.
Names of most of the routes are carefully painted on the rock at the base (as of 2012).
My understanding is that the crag is on U.S. Military Academy land. The cleaning and and design of routes and placement of bolts was done by the West Point USMA Climbing team, especially then-coach Ned Crossley, who wrote a detailed guide to climbing at PI Wall and other crags on or near USMA. The USMA Climbing team organized (until at least 2013) an annual ClimberFest day event open to the public. For the most current info on permissions or restrictions for PI Wall climbing or access, I suggest contacting USMA authorities, especially try to get in touch with the coach of the Climbing team.
Sport climbing: Most of the routes are bolted for placing quick-draws as protection, and have two-bolt anchors at their top. But since this crag is overall less-than-vertical, a lead climber is likely to hit something if they fall, and if hit the wrong thing (or the right thing the wrong way) the leader will get hurt.
Also note that many key footholds (and handholds) here are slopy and non-positive, so could be tricky and scary to stand to place a quickdraw and then clip the rope -- more often here than the clipping stances at many Sport-climbiing crags.
So the PI Wall is likely not a good choice for indoor climbers making the transition to outdoor Sport leading (because indoor gym leaders tend to be accustomed to positive footholds at clipping stances, more-than-vertical routes where it's safe to take leader falls, and "soft" difficulty grades).
Top-Rope: This cliff is also set up for Top-Roping by access to above the cliff by class 4 scrambling. Reaching most of the bolt top anchors from above requires a short rappel. In many cases there are additional anchors above the top of the wall to make it convenient to rappel down to the bolt anchor (in the rock just below the top of the wall) for the desired climbing route.
Difficulty Grades: My opinion is that the historic "official" (from the old West Point guide) difficulty ratings (which have been copied into most of the route descriptions so far here on MountainProject as of 2012) are a bit tough compared to the Gunks -- and the Gunks are already a bit tough compared to the general USA "Yosemite" grades.
So a comment on a route which says like,
"The historic official grade is 5.7"
I'm thinking that can be taken as a suggestion that this route might be significantly tougher than 5.7 routes at many other places.
Loose rock -- it happens here sometimes: I'd recommend that belayers should wear a helmet.
The cliff is at low altitude, roughly sea level, alongside the Hudson River. It faces roughly East.
Nov 7, 2012
my impressions so far ...
From: Orange County, NY
Dec 5, 2012
This was my first crag, I've spent a good amount of time here, and have spent time with WP Cadets and climbed with them here. This is a great area for local sport climbing and due to the great nature of the bolts, walk offs, and scrambles to the top for retrieving gear or setting up TR, is great for honing skills.
If anyone would like to meet up here, would like some info, or even a full list of climbs please contact me.
As stated above the rock quality is probably the only downside to this crag, due to the rock being blasted and the constant trains going by, but other than that and the rockfall potential it is worth some day trips for the local climber.
The easiest time to climb here is in October for Climbfest the yearly fundraiser for the West Point Cadet Climbing Team who also maintains the area and bolts, they set up every climb as a toprope climb and it's run like a friendly competition, seriously check it out, it is the teams only fundraiser and they rely on it because it is a club sport and is not supported by the Academy, and it is honestly a great time.
May 3, 2013
|This Official Guide from west point is over 10 years old but it does still have plenty of relevant information.|
May 27, 2014
As of May 1, 2014 - Parking at railroad tracks (below Mcdonald's) is no longer available.
Stoped by Poison Ivy yesterday (Mem Day 2014) and was given an update on parking.
The great gentleman that owns the dock and parking area has new insurance that does not allow him to have visiting climbers park in his area, as of May 1, 2014. This is the option that use to cost $5 per car.
In addition, he mentioned that several climbers had been "chased" out of the Mcdonald's parking lot.
Recommendation is to find street parking and take the hike down. FYI, most main st parking has a 2 hour limit, check out the side roads to find open spots.
have fun, be safe!
May 30, 2014
|FYI guys - parking at the marina is no longer an option - there was a sign there on May 29th of 2014 saying that as of May 1, 2014 parking was no longer allowed there. On the upside, we did still have a great day clinbing there. It's no Gunks, but what is? In my humble opinion the ratings are totally sandbagged, but if you go in with that bit of knowledge you can have a great day. No one from the Academy bothered us at all and we actually had a truck from CXS drive right by us, we waved at him, said hi, he waved back and drove on. No issues at all. My first time there, so we will see how future trips go.|
Jun 5, 2014
Parking change as of May 2014 ...
Sharon and I drove down to the marina on the train tracks alongside the River (south of the cliff) to park. Saw a new sign said parking is no longer allowed as of May 1, 2014. Just a couple weeks ago before in April I had paid the guy $5 and parked there.
I went over and talked to him, and he said his insurance would no longer allow parking. Suggested we park up at the West Point Visitors center instead.
So I left Sharon and our rope and draws and packs at the marina, drove up and easily found parking at the Visitors center
. GPS latitude longitude approx (N41.3739 W73.9631) .
Then I jogged back down to Sharon. We had a nice day of climbing. Afterward I hiked up and drove the car down to pick up Sharon and our gear.
P.S. No point in parking illegally in the McDonalds lot. The Visitors Center parking is only another 30-60 seconds walking.
Nov 12, 2014
Walking access as of November 2014:
We saw a new sign beside the railroad track at the bottom of Station Rd, identified by "CSX corp" (? the railroad company ?) and saying "No Trespassing", with a standard pictorial symbol of a person walking with a circle around it and a diagonal slash over the person.
I don't know the legal issues or the history.
The PI Wall rock itself is at least 20 feet away from the railroad track. It's on the west side, so there is no need to cross the track in order to walk to it. But walking alongside the track from the south requires getting much closer to it than 20 feet.
I've heard there is alternate walking/scrambling access (to the top of the cliff) from the south which stays far away from the railroad track: Traverses a steep slope west above the tracks (and below USMC buildings such as Thayer Hall). I've heard this way is not more difficult than what climbers use to access lots of other good climbing crags in USA. Some tricky points are knowing when you've arrived at the top of the cliff, and how + where to scramble down (? class 4 ?) or rappel to the reach the bottom of the crag.
I assume this access route is on U.S. Military Academy land, so I presume it's subject to the same restrictions or permissions as the PI Wall crag itself.
Hopefully someone who knows more and better than me will offer more definitive guidance.