Saturday, March 31, 2012

3.31.2012 Shanty Cliff

This morning I left Troy at 6:30am with Charles, Cam, and Joe with the plan of climbing at the cliffs near Long Pond.  As usual, those plans ended up changing.  After 2 hours of driving, we came across a metal gate crossing the road that leads to the trailhead for the approach.  Access to the road would cut off 6 miles from the hike each way and we were not willing to spend the time to hike 20 miles and then barely have any time left to climb.  This didn't seem like a very enjoyable day, so we looked in the Adirondack Rock guidebook for somewhere else in the area.  Shanty Cliff was chosen as our destination, and it ended up being a good choice.

The guidebook said that the approach was only 15 minutes, which is the shortest one we have had in a long time.  However, there was one stream crossing listed, noted to be 1 to 2 feet deep in the summer.  The water was pretty cold, so Charles, Cam, and I decided to walk right through in our boots and gaiters, while Joe took off his shoes and braved the cold.

About 20 minutes later we arrive at the base of the cliffs and sorted out all of the gear for the day.  We spotted a nice looking hand crack and made that the first climb of the day.  Cam lead and I followed while Charles and Joe went up a 3rd class scramble to take some photos and check out the view.  The next series of photos are from this route.

From the top of the cliff, the view was excellent.  It was still snowing a little bit, and was cold all night, so the white covering could be seen on all the distant mountains.  Later in the day it warmed up and all the snow melted, but it was warm enough all day to only wear a fleece when climbing.  Cam ended up trying to pull off a Sharma and took his shirt off in the middle of one route.

There were no other parties climbing or hiking when we were there, but it became apparent that this area was very developed when we came across bolted routes and anchors at the top of each climb.  Here I a attempting to lead a 5.8 sport route.

The next route was a 5.10a, which Cam took the lead on.  This was a mixed sport and trad route, so the best of both worlds.  Cam and I are seen climbing this route below.

Contemplating the next route.  Joe wanted to try one of the 5.7s on a nearby wall, so Cam lead it to set up a TR.  At the same time, Charles belayed me on a route that our second rope was already set up for.

I would call this next climb the best one of the day.  There weren't many spots for natural protection on this route, so the nice bolt ladder came in handy.  The climbing was pretty technical, at 5.11c, and the roof was intimidating from the ground.  Cam figured that if he took off his shirt like Chris Sharma, he would be able to climb at least a grade higher, but this wasn't the case.  We were both able to climb up to the first bolt on the roof, but Cam aided the second bolt before pulling over the roof.

I believe that this next route was a 5.8 that started off with a diagonal handcrack and lead to a nice layback off of a flake.  

After lunch we did one more route.  I lead, Cam pulled protection, and then Joe climbed it.  This one was a 5.7, but still a fun climb.  We had to be back in Troy early due to a time conflict, so this was one of the first trips I've been on in a while where headlamps were not required for the hike out.  All things considered, it was still a great day.  The weather turned out to be nice, the rock was dryish, and the views were great.  Instead of hiking back to the car the same way we came up, we went down a different way that followed a long creek that flows in to the river that we had to cross.  Even with this detour, it only took around 30 minutes to get back to the car.  The water at this crossing was faster moving and deeper that it was at the first spot, but it wasn't like wet boots would really matter for the short hike back to the car.  


  1. Thanks for the great trip report. Leave it to the Adirondacks to throw you a curve ball whether it's a closed gate or a week long monsoon. Glad to hear you made the best of it. We'll be at long pond in a few weekends and hope to get a few climbs in.