This cliff is, overall, a bit disappointing. Being the closest crag to the trailhead, one would hope to find long, classic routes here, but no. It is reasonably tall, but stepped so much that it doesn't provide a good "cliff experience." At its most expansive points, pro is scarce. However, I dug out one route worth mentioning, if only for the history books, this spring.
Start: 25' left and up from the Tablerock, at the base of a low-angle 20' slab leading to a ledge between trees.
Climb the unprotected slab to the ledge. Work up to the alcove formed by a left-facing corner and a right-leaning crack to its left, right of a large pine tree growing against the headwall. Climb up the alcove and through the apex overhang, wrestling a pine sapling to gain the top.
I took a second look at this slab near the trail this spring and decided to make it a worthy stopping-point. The routes here demand good friction skills; as such they don't appeal to the upper-body boulder mentality that prevails in climbers' circles. The cliff rises as a steep slab, but the angle eases off after 30-40'; the remaining length is easier, sparsely protected slab climbing. The routes here are enjoyable lines with a lot to teach climbers trying to improve their footwork skills or prepare for longer slabs like Roger's Rock or Chapel Pond.
Not a new route, but it is not described in the New Guidebook. It has been cleaned up quite a bit. This is the second climb done here, ca. 1993. The protection at the start is good; on the upper slab it is run-out, but some pro is available.
Start: at a left-facing corner nearest the left end of the cliff; it is not visible when coming to the cliff from the trail until almost upon it.
Climb the corner and flap system to its end. Climb the slab above, passing one steep difficult section 30' below a large spruce tree. Belay at this tree.
V1 5.7: Climb the face to the left without using the corner system.
V2 5.5: Climb the left-slanting crack on the right, joining the route 10' up.
Start: twelve feet right of Every Creature's Theme
Climb a 10' tall, left-slanting crack/seam to its end & continue straight up, passing a blunt "nose" on its right to gain a few rounded knobs before mounting another steep spot just before the low-angle slab above. Finish as for Every Creature's Theme or work right to the top of Scenic Slip.
Probably the best exercise in pure friction technique on the cliff.
Start: Six feet right of Slab-Happy, at a shallow, subtle "open book" or right-facing corner.
Climb the corner to its top & continue up trending slightly right to join Scenic Slip.
Another good exercise in friction technique, though the crux moves involve some creative sloper-clings, toe-points, and for some, a huck to finish the difficulties.
Start: fifteen feet right of The Good Book, at a left-slanting seam that turns into a sharply-defined left-facing corner.
Climb the seam and corner to its end, then head straight up to the Viewpoint Ledge or follow the continuing crack line.
Start: twelve feet right of Scenic Slip, below a left-slanting crack that starts at a small overhang twelve feet up.
Climb to and up the crack and follow the continuing seamline where it ends. At the overhang above the "meadow," climb straight up the left side on delightful knobs.
The crux move is getting off the ground, though a slight huck solves that problem; after that, the climbing is easier.
Start: eight feet right of Viewpoint Crack, at a pair of faint seams; one of which becomes a shallow crack above.
Climb the seams through the flap, up to a narrow ledge. Go up and left over the "meadow" and continue in the crack line to the top.
Start: four feet right of Seamly Route, below two blue-black waterstains under the flap.
Climb small side-pulls with no protection to easier climbing leading to the flap and pro. Climb through the flap to the narrow ledge and continue straight upward on dirty, low-angle slab.
Like Every Creature's Theme, this is an older route mentioned but not described in the new guidebook.
Start: eight feet right of Blue Streaks, at a twin-seam near the right end of the cliff.
Climb the seams to the narrow ledge. Step right and ascend the unprotected, dirty slab to the Viewpoint Ledge.
The first route reported on this cliff. With a little cleaning, it would be a worthwhile climb.
This area is best approached by entering the woods 50' after climbing the small ladder on the summit trail. These two routes lie on the right edge of a rockslide zone that is just left of the first tall cliff. Descent is via rappel or scrambling through the thickets to the summit trail. The guidebook, and at present the New Routes Webpage put this on the Dartmouth Wall. I plan to revise the divisions of the summit ridge before the next edition.
Start: 15' left of a large, slanting left-facing corner; at the right side of an overhang guarding a low-angle slab with appealing-looking cracks. There is a small cairn just left of the start, and an old iron telegraph pole 20' downslope of the start.
Pull through the overhang (crux) and work up left to the crack systems. Follow these to their terminus and continue up the slab to a ledge.
Start: Just right of the large, left-facing corner of the tall cliff, at a face with left-slanting cracks leading up on a slab on the left of the left-facing corner.
Climb a bouldery move through the overhang to reach the cracks, then follow them upward under the looming corner. Step left to go around a block, arriving at a dirty ledge. Climb the hand/fist crack in the corner to a ledge.
Note: the description for the summit cliffs left of ladder are in dire need of reorganization. As it turns out, the eponymous carving for the Dartmouth Wall lies on the upper end of the Diagonal Wall, making my nomenclature confusing to any climber stumbling upon that inscription. The cliffs along the ridge are divided by several steep, overgrown gullies, which ideally will serve as division points of different names in the future. Currently, these do not serve as such; the division between the Diagonal Wall and the Dartmouth Wall is simply a diagonal fault, the location of Paltry Show (which in turn is quite a bit more than 5' left of the Thank You, Cindy flake). To date, one route runs along the boundary and two routes cross the boundary, thus illogically beginning on the Dartmouth, crossing the Diagonal, and ending on the Firecamp Wall! This is entirely my fault; guidebook authors have taken my descriptions at face value and passed on my errors.
Jamie McNeill leads the FA of Dividing Line
Start: At a slab ending at a bulge-overhang 10' up. A striking handcrack cuts through the steep headwall above the bulge. A cairn with an orange frisbee marks the start of the route.
P1: Climb the slab and pass the bulge via the hand/fist crack. Climb the hand crack through the steep headwall to a large, sloping ledge. P2: Scramble up minor 5th class rock to the top, rappel, or descend a minor 5th class gully to (climber's) right.
Start: Same as Dividing Line.
Climb up right of Dividing Line's bulge to get underneath an offwidth crack leading to the rightmost crack on the headwall above, and ascend to the ledge.
Jamie McNeill spied this plum from the top of the Firecamp Cliff. We TR'd the crux overhang right away; I came back later to establish a decent starting point at the cliff base. The protection on this route looks very good, we just didn't have an opportunity to try leading it in 2008.
Start: 40' right of the Brighter Visions slab, at a stubby arête with a cairn lying under a low overhang to the left. This is about 50' left of the large flake marking Original Exploit's start, and about 10' left of Paltry Show.
Climb up the arête through a bulge with several cracks in it to a stance below the namesake overhang. Reach up and climb through the overhang near its right side, continuing up the cracks on the steep face to a ledge just below the top of the cliff.
This is the region of summit ridge between the ladder and directly around the Crane Mountain's actual summit. As mentioned earlier, there is no clear boundary between this and the Firecamp area.
Hardly worth mentioning, except it is a lot of fun; 100' of this would be a classic route.
Start: From the summit, a 20' high, steep prow can be seen about 100 yards to the west. Scramble down to the ledge below this prow and wrestle with conifers to its base.
Climb the prow using any of several enticing crack lines.
Start: 30' west of the summit, a shallow system of open books leading to the top. Thrash down to a dense ledge at the base of this low-angle face.
Climb the open books, angling leftward at first, then back right near the top. There is probably adequate pro, but the FA was a solo.
Start: 5' right of Folly-Stricken's chimney corner, at a huge flake forming an overhang at head-height.
P1: Climb up and around the overhang along the flake's edge into a squeeze chimney. Ascend this as it narrows to offwidth to a series of ledges. Belay at the second major ledge.
P2: Scramble right and up a gully, then through a short screen of tight evergreens to the summit trail.
This area is easier to define: the ridgeline right of the ladder.
Start: (V1) 8' right of the base of the summit ladder, just right of the outside corner.
Stem up a short corner onto the face above. Climb its left side and move out left around the corner under the overhang. Use the crack to climb up, then traverse right over the roof to the prow.
V1 (5.7): Climb up the crack using the alcove just right of the ladder.
Originally classified as a variation to Rock of Ages, but these lines share very little real estate. They do however, share the same belay.
Start: In the gully between the two prows, at the base of the short corner up and right of the start of Rock of Ages; below the right end of a long horizontal crack.
Climb up to the horizontal crack and hand-traverse left until under a short, small corner facing left 8' right of the arête. Reach the corner and climb up to a ledge. Follow a crack in the face leading up and left to the top of the prow.
Start: Between the two prows but closer to the Cornerstone one is another, smaller and shorter buttress. Scramble down the gully to the base of this buttress, just up from the start to Toiling Men.
Climb onto the buttress and ascend the lower slab up and left to reach the arête. Climb up the buttress using holds on both sides of the corner. Finish by scrambling up the gully's end, doing the slanting crack 5.7 "boulder move," or stemming out to the Toiling Men horizontal and traversing right to the Cornerstone belay (5.8).
Start: On top of the chockstone in the chimney, just right of Cornerstone's start.
Ascend on small holds between Cornerstone and Lost in the Crowd.
This crag has been a favorite haunt at various times since I moved here. The combination of shallow pockets and low-angle face climbing is exhilirating despite the tendency of this cliff to be wet & dirty, and alas, to grow back in prodigiously. I've scrubbed routes clean only to have them appear almost fully engulfed by vegetation in just a few years. Being low on the mountain and near a drainage path, these cliffs tend to be wet well into spring and whenever there is substantial rainfall.
Despite these detractions, top-roping is easy and the routes worthwhile. With the addition of several routes on the "Over the Measles" Wall, the 40' cliff above the main wall's left side, this crag now has some hard TRs - including, at the time of this writing, the hardest route completed thus far, Resistant Strain. Several of the same calliber await cleaning and ascent, while tantalizing boulder problems exist above this rock tier.
Though not new, I've added descriptions of the routes on the original Measles Wall. Original ascent dates are uncertain, though Hamburger Face was TR'd with Jason Brechko & Simon Cording ca. 2005, and this was probably the same year the other routes were climbed (solo). Note that there is an Upper Measles Wall, as yet undeveloped, to the right about 300' and above the "lower" Measles Wall. It too is heavily pockmarked, dirty, and only ~30' tall.
Start: At a shallow "trough" near the left end of the Over the Measles Wall.
Climb the trough to low-angle rock above and belay in the trees.
Start: Same as The Flu
Climb up to the first horizontal and hand-traverse right 15'. Where the crack ends, move up and right to a vertical crack and climb this to the top.
Start: 10' left of the right corner of Over the Measles Wall, at the left edge of a clean water streak.
Climb the water streak to a discontinuous horizontal crack. Follow this left to the blunt arête, then climb straight up to the top. Originally soloed onsite with a wire brush in one hand; a top-rope is highly recommend for this route.
Start: At the foot of the right corner of the Over the Measles Wall's left block.
Climb the slab up to and over the arête to an easy slab finish.
A steep gully divides the OtM Wall into two separate blocks. The following route is on the block right of this gully.
Jamie McNeill & I spent a late autumn morning at the Measles Wall, and decided to give this enticing arête a try.
Start: The left corner of the right block of the Over the Measles Wall (a gully separates this block from the rest of the wall).
Climb up the outside corner to the top.
Start: The Lower Measles Wall's left side begins as a short, low-angle, overgrown slab. The base slopes downward to a low point where a spring-fed pool forms just left of the runoff gully. This route starts on the small prow on the right edge of this pool. It is currently very mossy.
Climb the face to the right of the outside corner to the overlap. Step up and left over this and up to the ledge.
Start: Just left of the mossy inside corner that is obviously a major drainage route, about 10' right of Hypoxia.
Climb the face left of the moss to the overlap. Step left to get over this and climb to the top.
Start: the face left of the major left-facing corner with the large tree beside it.
Climb the face to the top of the gully. Join Cracklosis.
Start: The left-facing corner with the wide crack in it, 20' right of the pool. A large tree is growing just beside it.
Climb the corner to its top and continue up a crack/seam to the ledge, or cut left to the drainage gully.
Start: 8' right of Cracklosis, on the right side of a tree growing against the cliff.
Climb up the cleaned face, passing a small ledge.
Start: The right-facing corner with a wide crack in it, just right of Hamburger Face.
Climb the corner and crack to the ledge. One can continue up the slab above to the top.
I walked by this cliff 17 years ago, gawking at its steep walls, cracks, and arêtes, thinking it the playground for much stronger climbers. Except for one exploratory climb up the a chimney system (Tribulation), I expected it to be out of my reach. On a whim, I dropped a rope down the largest arête on the wall to have a look, and found the enticing possibility of a route, a line I might actually have a chance at doing. As implausible as it looked from a distance, this sharp, serpentine angle undulating up the cliff had holds on it. I returned, camping out and spending a day cleaning this and another line. I was eager to try it out, but could not convince partners to make the long, arduous trek to the cliff, until Deke Pederson accepted the task in 2005. From the top, I lowered him down to the dihedral, and he climbed back up. He liked the route, and estimated it went at 5.10.
I would not get a chance to get on the route for three years. This fall, I decided to look it over again and play with the moves on TR; after doing this, I became focused on completing the project. The result is one of the best routes on Crane Mountain, one of the better routes in the Adirondacks.
Nearby, Eatin' Tripe and Lichen It needs a bit more cleaning, another project awaits a lead, and several other excellent lines are as yet untouched.
Start: 40' right of Eatin' Tripe and Lichen It, at an alcove/cave with a short chimney leading to a 60' dihedral just left of the buttress' arête.
Climb up the alcove to the dihedral and ascend this about 50', then step right onto the arête. Climb this past two bolts to an overhang. Surmount this (crux) and climb the steep slab above to another overhang (a belay here with a 70m rope will just reach the ground). Climb through the overhang onto a large, sloping ledge.
To descend, scramble up third class ledges into the woods and head (climber's) left 300 feet to a ramp leading downward.
One project completed:
Another milestone of the season; Jamie McNeill worked long and hard to clinch the moves on this strenuous, technical pitch.
Start: Ten feet right of the large outside corner right of Get Reborn.
Bouldery moves access a horizontal, traverse left to its end. Continue left (crux), passing a vertical crack (critical placement #3 stopper) to the outside corner. Climb this, passing a piton and two bolts, to a two-bolt anchor (top of Flaws of Physics.
This route lies on Brechko's "secret" crag, secret that is, while a few projects were incomplete. Jason has been working away at this crag for a few years; this year we sent the final project on his must-do list, so the NDA is lifted. With this route, the Padanarum Cliff has three excellent lead routes and a good TR line. Potential exists for a couple high-quality, hard routes in the 5.12 - 5.13 range.
The rock is extremely varied here. On Padanarum Crack, it is solid, massive, and steep. The route described below involves face climbing using sharp, small pockets. Its neighbor, P8ience, is similar, but the pockets end below a crux overhang crack. On other parts of the cliff, the rock looks and is horrendously chossy (one exploratory route we did this year needs no more description than Jason's name for it: Bowling for Simon), while other sections provide surprisingly solid holds. Exploration here will continue to be an Adirondack adventure.
Start: Thirty feet right of P8ience, at a face bounded by a large, overhanging left-facing corner.
Climb face to a 2-bolt anchor below the overhang. While it is possible to climb a pitch higher, the rock quality deteriorates significantly.
There is a TR route worth tackling, in fact one of the best routes on this cliff, 15' left of P8ience. Several variation starts and link-ups with its neighbor are possible. Currently, we've climbed up a ways, traversed right toward P8ience, then back left to finish left of the morass of juniper. I'll not go into greater detail here because Jason is thinking about making this a route in its own right.