|Poison Ivy Wall
Railroad Ties are numbered on East side of tracks at PI Wall for easy route identification.
ĺ mile south of South Dock along the RR tracks
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|Comments on Poison Ivy Wall
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 driving 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. Just before reach railroad tracks at bottom of hill, see private parking on Right (south) -- Park there:
GPS latitude/longitude approx (N41.3748 W73.9608)
Pay $5.00 parking fee to someone in the building by the sign saying "Highland Falls" (for the old train station), on south side of Parking.
. (of course tougher folks can find legal parking in the village of Highland Falls and walk down the hill, then walk back up the steep hill after climbing) .
Walk north alongside the railroad tracks about 0.4 mile (700 meters) to reach the PI Wall:
GPS latitude/longitude approx (N41.3810 W73.9581)
Nov 4, 2012
The PI Wall is a bolted sport-climbing cliff.
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).
Difficulty Grades -- my opinion is that the historic "official" 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 (alongside the Hudson River) and faces roughly East.
Ned Crossley pioneered or designed most of the routes at the PI Wall.
Nov 4, 2012
As of November 2012, the sequence (Left-to-Right) of eleven out of the routes on the PI Wall given here so far on MountainProject is mostly opposite to the actual sequence on the cliff.
e.g. "Hot Wire" is given as one of the Left-most routes here on MountainProject.
But on the actual cliff (which faces East), "Hot Wire" is the North-most and therefore Right-most route.
So for now I think a more reliable way to determine the sequence of climbs on the PI Wall here on MountainProject is to use the
"Railroad Tie count" - abbreviation
Each route description or its Comments includes a Railroad Tie count number. The ties are counted from north to south (because USMA climbers normally reach the PI Wall from the north). The north-most route is "Hot Wire", so that has RRT# 0
The higher the Railroad Tie count given in a route desctription, the farther south it is -- so farther toward the Left end of the cliff. The lower the RRT# the farther toward the Right end.
Nov 7, 2012
my impressions so far ...
- Texture of the rock surface is not as coarse as the Gunks, so it can feel slippery to the hands, but I find that the friction is generally pretty good with clean dry climbing rubber on the feet. (Though if you're not accustomed to carefully placing and really trusting your feet on small slopy holds, be prepared to stick-clip the starts of some of the climbs, especially the slab routes near the north end.)
- Not recommended for a first outdoor sport Lead for those who learned to climb at indoor walls -- because the demand for confident skillful footwork is so radical.
- Some of the easier routes have interesting slab/friction moves.
- Some of the 10s are pretty interesting: e.g. Triple Banger Overhanger, Message to Garcia, Spank-A-Saurus, S&S Right.
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.