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
17 Total Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',7],['2 Stars',10],['1 Star',0],['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:
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
Mr. Clean 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c NY
: ... : The Barkeater Cliff
What a way to be greeted by this cliff. Mr. Clean is the clean right-facing dihedral that marks the top of the climbers trail to the cliff, and it is a great way to get the day started, finish off the day, or try your hand and placing gear if you are eager to break into the grade. This route is as obvious as they come--climb the corner through a semi-technical stemming section about midway up the corner. Get a great rest on phenomenally featured rock at about 3/4 of the way, and finish up by ...[more] Browse More Classics in NY
Latest Regional Forum Messages
By Daniel Israel
From: Montreal, Quebec
May 23, 2014
So how long is the approach in total, about 25 minutes?