2011′s Adirondack weather of choice, rain, has returned to frustrate climbers’ last-days forays before winter puts an icy end to rock climbing. Tom and I did our best to beat the odds, trekking out to the Wayout Wall for an all-too brief bit of climbing and a lot of exploration. We expected to get wetted, so we planned a day that could profit regardless… which means the climbing was frosting on the cake (take that, O Fates!).
First on the agenda was finding a faster, “cleaner” way to the cliffs. We utilized my temporary privileges and walked private land to our jumping-off point. This was much better than any method I’ve tried in the past. Unfortunately, this progress is temporary, special, and not-quite complete: the last bit of the approach is still a tortuous slog up third and fourth class gullies; which we further botched by ending up a bit high, needing to rappel to reach the base of the Wayout Wall proper.
We found ourselves at the top of the small outcrop on which lies Bulwark, a route Dick Tucker and I put up back in ’96 that, to my knowledge, has not seen a second ascent. We could see that it was dry – which nothing else in the area appeared to be – so we decided to top-rope it before exploring farther. We both took a run, and both of us came away thinking it would be a great route, if it were taller than 30′. With a few directionals, we then TR’d a harder line to its left. This was also very nice, 5.9, but there’s a longish stretch of unprotected climbing, crux included, that would make it a daring (or foolhardy) lead.
The wind was wicked cold, and clouds were back in force. It began to sprinkle fervently; so we packed up the gear, keeping our harnesses on in hope, and began touring along the base of the main cliff. We had already passed Stepping Stones, had in fact rappelled down the bottom 20′ of it, so there was little established left to see. But what potential! As the rain paused and the sun peeked out for a short while, we snapped pictures, pointed, and dreamed.
We would continue all the way across the base in this manner, and farther side-hilling across the mountain and gradually making our way down in steadily increasing rain. We stopped by the Outlet Falls for one last touristy moment before scrambling down and over to our vehicle and heading to warm, dry homes.
Hopefully, we get enough decent weather that I can report very good news regarding the Wayout Wall next week!