Sunday, October 28, 2012

10.27.2012 Barton High Cliffs


We had an opening of clear weather before Hurricane Sandy was supposed to strike NY, so the plan was to climb at Barton High Cliffs.  Cam, Joe, Kyle, and I all packed up after classes on Friday and drove up to Exit 25 on the Northway.  After about twenty more minutes of driving, we parked on the side of the road just like last time.  The guidebook shows a hike time of one hour; however, we were able to lower that to 45 minutes on the approach and just over 30 minutes on the way out.

Looking up at Final Frontier
We organized gear and set up the tent at the only flat spot around and only a twenty minute hike to the base of the cliffs.  It was tough to get to sleep with 4 guys side-to-side in a tent meant for two adults and two children, especially with sleeping bags meant for temps of 0-20F.  After a few solid hours of sleep it was time to get up, make "breakfast", which consisted of Bam-Os canned pasta and Ramen, and hike to the start of Final Frontier.  Cam and Joe shared one rope and Kyle and I shared the other.

Joe getting ready to clean P1.
The first pitch was dirty and a little damp, which did not make us too excited for the second pitch.  After Cam belayed up Joe, I started leading off to where Joe was belaying Cam on the second pitch. 

 

By the time I started belaying Kyle on P1, Cam was already climbing P2 and had just made the clip at the piton about 20 feet up the pitch.

Cam looking down at Joe and I from the piton clip.
Tricky climbing up to the piton, only able to place one small nut along the way.
Joe starting off on P2, view from the bottom...
...and the view from the top.
 I was pretty nervous about climbing the first part of the pitch, so Joe was nice enough to lower a piece of webbing he was carrying, let me attach my rope and a quickdraw to it, and clip the piton for me.  This was a huge mental relief for me, but I still got plenty scared leading the rest of the pitch.  The rock was completely dry when Cam and I first climbed here and the conditions this time around made it much more difficult.

 

Cam lowered himself off of this stopper, backed up by a nest of cams, and took some nice photos of me climbing...he also gave some mental support along the way.

Bomber nut placement.
No chance of this anchor failing.
With the use of a GriGri, Cam had a nice workout going down and up the pitch a few times when Kyle and I were climbing.  Even so, it looked much easier than the GriGri and two prusik method I was trying to use at Poke-O-Moonshine last time we went climbing.

 
Kyle working his way up P2.
Fog just starting to clear as we were at the top of P2.
Fog fading away.
Kyle working his way up P2.
Looking down from the top of P2.
Looking out as the fog starts to burn off.

 

Pitch three was looking very dirty and wet, so we all decided not to bother climbing it and just to rappel down and head over to a different area.  When Cam and I were here in April we put new webbing around the tree stump that serves as the rappel anchor but it ended up being torn apart when I reached the anchor, it looked like an animal decided to eat through it.  Joe brought enough webbing to replace the anchor, so I cut off the three old slings that were still around the tree and left a nice and strong anchor behind.

Looking down at Joe and Cam from the rappel anchor.
Hiking through the talus field over to Sunset Arete.
The "I can't believe we didn't pack more food" look on all of our faces.
Next on the list for the day was The Excellent Adventure, but it was looking very wet so we decided to keep on walking by and head over to Sunset Arete.  This was a pretty classic climb from last time, so Cam took the lead on it again. 

Cam leading up Sunset Arete
With Joe belaying Cam, I spotted a line that looked climbable and decided to give it a try.  The route ended up being Animal Logic, and by the look of the sling around the tree at the top of the first pitch, it had not been climbed in quite a while.  It was still a fun climb, so I set up a toprope so everyone else could give it a try.  Meanwhile, I belayed Kyle up Sunset Arete.

Kyle following on Sunset Arete.
With the same rope setup from Sunset Arete, Cam climbed the slab to the left of the arete and recommended that I do the same.  This route is not listed in Adirondack Rock, which is no surprise because it would not be protectable at all.

Climbing the unknown slab route.
After finishing off these routes, we packed up our bags and hiked back down to the tent site to make the rest of the food and hike back to the Car.

Kyle hiking back to the tent.
The view from our tent site.
 

Heading back home on 87-S.

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