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Old 03-31-2009, 12:06 PM   #1
welle
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Group Top-roping sites suggestions

Hi,

I'm planning a long weekend trip to ADK over Memorial day weekend. I've never climbed in ADK before. Wanted to pick on the locals' brains on where to go for a good top-roping area for a group that would not interfere with popular lead climbing routes. I lead but wanted to bring couple of beginner friends that I could set a couple of top-ropes for.

I'm looking for a preferably secluded place where we could set a camp for a couple of days, that will have an easy access for hiking nearby in case we get rained out. If there are no such places, the nearest public campground will do.

Thanks!
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:28 PM   #2
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I would strongly suggest that you purchase or borrow this book: http://www.adirondackrock.com/

It will tell you everything you need to know, basically. If you have specific questions about the individual routes, I'm sure there will be many people happy to provide advice!
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:55 PM   #3
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Thanks. I was about to. From some prelim online research, I singled out Courthouse and Beer Walls, although Beer walls seem to be popular, not sure if it would be wise planning on doing it on a holiday weekend. I guess my question would be if I were to choose one public campground to serve as a basecamp to several climbing areas what that be? Thanks!
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:07 PM   #4
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King Philips spring is a good beginner top roping spot. It is a popular spot for guides to bring beginners. With Sharp Bridge campground now closed there are no campgrounds close by.

Another toproping spot is the Lake Pleasant Quarry. I've never been but it's been suggested to me. There are several campgrounds near there.
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Old 03-31-2009, 02:15 PM   #5
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If you get the book (and I highly recommend it!) on pg 629 there is a listing of toprope routes. I think the lake pleasant quarry would be what you are looking for. PM me your email address and I will email you a detailed route description.
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:45 AM   #6
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I second King Philips spring, and will be heading there in a few weeks to warm up my climbing legs/arms/courage. There's a HUGE 5.4 wall there with good trees for top rope anchoring. Unfortunately a lot of the local guides use it for newbies, so you have to get there early. The Beer walls are almost always busy, but there's also the creature walls across the street and down the road a bit. Lots of climbing near Chapel Pond, and some top roping. It's just WHEN you're going - it's going to be very crowded just about anywhere you decide, with maybe the exception of fvrwld and C4C's suggestion. The Southern and Central ADKs are less crowded in general, and that included rock climbing routes. Also look at maybe doing Shanty Cliffs, one of my personal favorites which has plenty of top roping and you won't be in the way of the lead climbers that go because they're usually tackling stuff you can't top rope or doing sport routes.
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Old 04-01-2009, 04:07 PM   #7
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Owl's Head seems to be very popular with groups.
Jewels and Gems wall is nice too with some steep cracks and a nice flat area for a group to hang out. Creature Wall is another good spot for TRing, just get there early as it is very popular too.
I've been up to the Tanager face above Chapel Pond - it is nice and quiet, but I think setting up a TR would be tricky (thinking of Brightly Colored Males).

that's all I can think of for now in the High Peaks region, haven't bothered going further south yet.
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:30 AM   #8
Jim Lawyer
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From the book, page 629:

"The areas listed here have easy access to the top for setting topropes, an accessible cliff base, and few obstructions for dropping ropes. Plan on building your own anchors with long cord and/or protection. Review the regulations in the relevant section regarding group size, and be sure to share the cliff with others (page 28)."

Baker Mountain, Northern Mountains, 611
Beer Walls, Chapel Pond Pass, 235
Bluff Island, Northern Mountains, 610
Brain, The, Lake George, 440
Chapel Pond Viewpoint, Chapel Pond Pass, 206
County Line Mountain, Northern Mountains, 607
Crane Mountain, Right of Ladder, Indian Lake, 483
Creature Wall, Chapel Pond Pass, 195
Eagle Falls Crag, Old Forge, 580
Grass Pond Mountain, Cranberry Lake, 589
Jewels and Gem Wall, Chapel Pond Pass, 163
King Philips Spring Wall, Lake Champlain, 132
Lake Pleasant Quarry, Southern Mountains, 568
Ledge Mountain (Nobleboro), Old Forge, 569
Middle Settlement Lake, Old Forge, 573
Newbuck, Lake George, 433
Noonmark Mountain, High Peaks, 394
Notch Mountain Slab, Roast 'n Boast Slab, Wilmington Notch, 321
Outlet Wall, Chapel Pond Pass, 211
Owls Head Mountain, Keene, 288
Panther Mountain, Southern Mountains, 565
Pitchoff Chimney Cliff, Practice Wall, Keene, 298
South Bay Roadcut, Cranberry Lake, 588
South Colton, Northern Mountains, 595
Spruce Hill Crag, Keene, 272
Stewarts Ledge, Lake George, 437
Tanager Face, Chapel Pond Pass, 190
Wright Peak Cliff, High Peaks, 426
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:25 AM   #9
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Jewels and Gems wall is nice too with some steep cracks and a nice flat area for a group to hang out.
The top roping spots didn't seem that good on Jewels, and were a bit dirty. The main attraction was the North Country Club crack. One thing I also noticed (and maybe I need to go back with someone more familiar with the wall) is the angle of the crack invites a lot of swing should someone slip. I guess directionals could be used, but I was told the crack was mostly a lead climbing route... (?)

I still haven't done Owl's head but have heard good things (there's even a nice chimney). Only drawback is the walls aren't that tall (50 feet or so).

Barkeater cliffs, on the back side of Pitchoff and relatively easy to hike to (about a mile), has some decent top roping on the far right part of the wall. Spent a day there and had a great time.
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:29 AM   #10
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Kevin, I just had a TR setup on the NCCC last week and it was fine. We also TRed Diamond and coal from the same anchor. -Todd
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:44 AM   #11
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Kevin, I just had a TR setup on the NCCC last week and it was fine. We also TRed Diamond and coal from the same anchor. -Todd
Good to know. I'll add Jewels back on my TR list then .
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:53 PM   #12
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Rem also that, properly supplied, camping is not highly restricted in the Adk Park. The regs are tighter in the High Peaks area, but with a bear cannister you can walk a short distance from roads, trails, and water and pitch a tent. If you must have amenities, well, it gets a bit tougher. The State Campground system and systematic harassment by the APA just about wiped out privately-run campgrounds, so you may have to travel a bit farther afield (exit 29 or closer to Lake Placid) for one of those. Another option is the hostel in Keene Valley. $25/person/night as of February; but I suspect you will want to call them and reserve a spot for that weekend.
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:22 AM   #13
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Thanks, J
I wanted an established campground in case our group runs over 10 people - anyone knows a legally permitted group size to backcountry camp?
Thanks!

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Rem also that, properly supplied, camping is not highly restricted in the Adk Park. The regs are tighter in the High Peaks area, but with a bear cannister you can walk a short distance from roads, trails, and water and pitch a tent. If you must have amenities, well, it gets a bit tougher. The State Campground system and systematic harassment by the APA just about wiped out privately-run campgrounds, so you may have to travel a bit farther afield (exit 29 or closer to Lake Placid) for one of those. Another option is the hostel in Keene Valley. $25/person/night as of February; but I suspect you will want to call them and reserve a spot for that weekend.
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:38 AM   #14
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Thanks, J
I wanted an established campground in case our group runs over 10 people - anyone knows a legally permitted group size to backcountry camp?
Thanks!
Depends where specifically you end up and how you're camped, each area within a region is managed differently due to impact being greater in some spots than others. Generally 15 is the limit, but it's less in the Eastern High Peaks (Marcy Dam area falls into that, but Chapel Pond does not since it's in a different wilderness (Dix)). You may want to look up Region 5 (I think) on the DEC website and call them once you've determined your itinerary. It would be best to get a free permit and go through the proper channels. they could also answer those questions better than anyone. There's also an email link on the DEC website which people have been getting good information from as well.
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:15 PM   #15
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sucks that sharp bridge will not open this year - this is where we've always camped. they also had large sites perfect for groups.
I always see people setting up camp at the base of chapel pond slabs - don't know the rules though.
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:52 PM   #16
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Hi, all. Just wanted to report back that we ended up staying at Moffitt Beach and climbing at Lake Pleasant quarry. C4C, thanks a lot for the beta! Despite the rain on both Saturday and Sunday, the rock was surprisingly dry. What a great job you guys did cleaning it up and setting the anchors (we even found carpets at the base to put our ropes on). Hiking was also great we did Pilsbury and Snowy - what a gorgeous mountain! I will not give high marks to the campground though (chose based on the proximity and numerous high ratings from various online sources) - very unpleasant overall experience - stay away!
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:04 PM   #17
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Glad to help!
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:29 PM   #18
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Hi, all. Just wanted to report back that we ended up staying at Moffitt Beach and climbing at Lake Pleasant quarry. C4C, thanks a lot for the beta! Despite the rain on both Saturday and Sunday, the rock was surprisingly dry. What a great job you guys did cleaning it up and setting the anchors (we even found carpets at the base to put our ropes on). Hiking was also great we did Pilsbury and Snowy - what a gorgeous mountain! I will not give high marks to the campground though (chose based on the proximity and numerous high ratings from various online sources) - very unpleasant overall experience - stay away!
I need to check out that quarry!

We have plans to stay at Moffit soon, if not publicly could you send me a private message with the details of your experience? If I really need to go elsewhere then I'll change plans...
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Old 06-15-2009, 10:02 AM   #19
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Owl's Head seems to be very popular with groups.
I did the 2 shorter routes (of the 5) Saturday and I really liked this wall! Unfortunately there was a large group on the other 3 and although they offered to share their ropes/anchors we ended up running out of time and had to head elsewhere to possibly meet someone. Bugs were pretty bad too. Good excuse to go back.

The only downfall was the slightly strenuous climb because this wall is the summit and it's a hike to get there (not terrible but definitely a factor to be considered if other, more easily accessible walls are available).
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Old 06-07-2013, 08:45 AM   #20
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thanks for great info
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