View from atop the cliff while Lindsay belays Ara ...
According to legend, the Iroquois Indians referred to the Algonquins as "adirondacks", or "barkeaters" because they were forced to live off of bark and buds during the long, harsh winters. It was supposed to be a low-blow to the supposed crude, and not-so useful hunting methods of the Algonquins.
The above description may or may not be true, but it continues to hang around due to how accurately it depicts some of the climbing and many of the approaches in Adirondack park--wild, rudiment, harsh, and long.
Fortunately, The Barkeater Cliff bears only a small resemblance to the above description. Yes, the cliff IS in a remote part of the Adirondacks, but the climbing is very tame, very clean, and ultra manageable. The cliff sits opposite the Sentinel Range, nestled quietly on the backside of Pitchoff Mountain and embodies everything Adirondack climbing is famous for.
For many reasons, this cliff is the perfect place for beginner and moderate climbers; there are plenty of routes in the 5.5 to 5.8 range, the routes are short enough to climb and rappel with one rope, and the gear, for the most part, is impeccable. Classic lines include, Mr. Clean (5.8), Big Bertha (5.6), Fun City (5.7), Yakapodo (5.6+), and Finger It Out (5.10); however, there are plenty of other routes that also deserve to be climbed.
Just uphill from the town of Keene off route 73 is a road named "Alstead Hill Road". There is an obvious sign right before the turn, so you won't miss it. Take this road past the Barkeater Inn and Cross-Country Ski Center, and continue all the way to the end of the road (the road will turns to a maintained dirt about midway down it). Park at the end of the road in the Rock and River parking lot.
Follow the Jackrabbit Trail off the back of the parking lot for about a mile, until you see a cairn on the left side of the trail right past a wide wooden bridge. Follow this path through the woods, across a couple of babbling brooks and uphill for about 15 minutes. You will eventually come to the cliff with the clean, right-facing corner of Mr. Clean in front of you.
Weather station 6.4 miles from here
16 Total Routes
['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',6],['2 Stars',8],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
Browse More Classics in The Barkeater Cliff
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Barkeater Cliff:
Good Dough 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 80'
Yakapodu 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, 1 pitch, 90'
Fun City 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, 1 pitch, 100'
ASPCA 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
PG13 Trad, 1 pitch, 100'
Mr. Clean 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, 1 pitch, 60'
Overdog 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, 3 pitches, 150'
Lick It Up 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, 1 pitch, 65'
Featured Route For The Barkeater Cliff
Fun City 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b NY
: ... : The Barkeater Cliff
As the name implies, this route is uber fun!! Hug the twin cracks in the right-facing corner, then step up, and into the corner proper. Surmount a high pedestal rock-up move and continue in the sustained and curving layback crack. Clip the chain anchors from a good stance and lower off, or belay your second from the stance so you don't miss out on seeing a moose in the beaver pond off to your right!...[more] Browse More Classics in NY
Latest Regional Forum Messages
By Daniel Israel
May 23, 2014
So how long is the approach in total, about 25 minutes?