Summer is suddenly coming to a close. It’s Southern Adirondack Rockclimbers’ Festival time!
Crane Mountain is this year’s closest venue. With over 300 routes, there are plenty to choose from. The climbing options here run the gamut: trad, sport, and aid;first-timer easy to world-class hard, crag-style convenience to uber-extreme bushwhacker’s delight.
Since the second edition of Lawyer & Haas’ Adirondack Rock, more than fifty routes have been added to the mountain, including Crane’s first official 5.13, Dave Buzzelli’s The Drop, on the previously-undeveloped Underworld Crag. Buzz and Jim have been visiting there this season, posting that route and two other solid 5.12s. These await second ascents, as does Mike Farnsworth’s epic arête, Four Ounces to Freedom, so if you’ve got the guns, these could use some company.
A handful of 5.11s rounds out the hard side of the scale; many of these have yet to see a second ascent as well. Kirby Girard came out and worked the long-time project Tom’s Roof with Lukasz Czyz, and Lukasz was able to send the roof just this past week, redubbing it Logging Flight Time, for the many falls this line has caused.
The Measles Wall now boasts a fine, short 5.11, fittingly dubbed Rocksport 5.10, after the local gym’s penchant for sandbagging their routes. Be sure to hop on this if you are into sport climbs that require fancy footwork.
For mere mortals, Crane has a bevy of stellar 5.10 routes. All the usual classics: Critical Crimps, Black Arch Arête, Torcher, Oddy’s Crack of Horrors, and more, plus some new lines that are well worth roping up for. Be sure to take a stab at Second Amendment’s neighboring line, Second Helping.
Intermediate climbs abound, both well-established, popular runs and fresh additions. At 5.8, Paul Cerone’s Saratoga and Ben Brooke’s I Don’t Want No Scrub are two of the nicest new lines. If you’ve not yet climbed Stand Your Ground, at 5.7-, this is a must. Its neighbor Action Steps ups the ante to solid 5.8 and is also a must-do.
Beginner Routes are sprinkled across the mountain. Closest to the trailhead, the lines at the Below-the-Measles Wall are great places for timid or very young climbers on their initial excursions. Newly-developed Springfield Slab adds another beginner crag, with routes ranging from 5.2 to 5.7, easy TR setup, and a spectacular view at the top. Finally, Peter Whitmore’s On the Fence has been thoroughly scrubbed, clocks in as perhaps the best 5.3 in the Adirondacks.
During the festival, we are opening a shortcut to the Waterfall area, cutting an hour off the approach to this and the other far-flung crags on the mountain. The Waterfall boasts several good slab climbs and a short classic 5.10a revived from the days when it was top-roped off a tree limb. The branch is gone, but a fixed anchor takes its place, and I’ll Fly Away is now a lead route, a very good one at that. An aid route breaks through the overhangs guarding much of the Right-Steep side of the crag; Keymaster is an open invitation to strong climbers looking to free strenuous, technically-difficult terrain. Finally, for those who’ve longed to look at Crane’s most remote crags, this is the chance to cut out a big chunk of the approach. No guarantees: the routes and cliffs out there are true wilderness adventure destinations.
As always, the Southern Adirondack Rockclimbers’ Festival takes place the week after Labor Day, which for 2015 is September 11 – 13th. We will meet at Mountainside Adventures’ parking at 116 Ski Hi Road, Warrensburg NY (more accurately, the town of Thurman), beginning at 430pm. Campfire there, bring your own meal for the grill. SRCFC is arranging a meal for the event again. There are a slew of camping and lodging options available nearby, though if you plan to seek lodging, you may want to reserve now. And as always, the event is FREE.
Free, primitive camping is available at the Crane Mountain trailhead. Slightly farther afield, there are primitive sites along the east branch of the Sacandaga River along Route 8, a free primitive campground on Thirteenth Lake in North River. Several private commercial campgrounds lie nearby; the closest being Daggett Lake and Glen Hudson campgrounds. Hotel lodging is available in North Creek and Warrensburg, though there is a popular local event this same weekend, so check on availability in these places.
You can get more information by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
See you soon!