Pinnacle Boulders

I located a large pile of talus in the woods recently, so Andy and I took advantage of a rest day to hike in and scout for boulders. Parking is at a DEC trailhead at the end of Pinnacle Road in Bleecker, NY. Our path followed the trail to Chase Lake for about a quarter-mile, but when the trail deviated South, we continued Northeast, bushwhacking along the base contour line of Pinnacle Mountain. The path ends with a sharp turn North, heading directly up the hillside, gaining 200 feet of elevation to reach the talus.

And there are boulders! After a string of recent disappointments, we were amazed to see large, climbable rock piled everywhere. The imposing cliff above has donated hundreds of rocks over the years. But closer investigation led to disappointment — most of the potential lines looked either too easy, too hard, or too dangerous.

The boulders are all concentrated in a small area, making travel convenient. But the best and largest boulders are scattered in the dense talus field, providing dangerous or impossible landings. This leaves the area surrounding the talus. Andy dubbed the region “arête land,” because the most plentiful lines were aretes. But with the abundance of slabby problems, it could just as well have been named “slab land.” We also uncovered a handful of quality crack and face lines with good landings. In fact: aretes, slabs, cracks, and faces were everywhere, but juggy overhanging holds were nowhere to be seen.

Overall, it’s the best area we’ve discovered yet, but I think it lacks enough variety and quality to truly draw interest from the bouldering community. Once developed, the area could hold enough problems to be worth a day trip, but probably not much more.

The cliff, meanwhile, may turn out to have been the true gem of the day. Its clean vertical cracks appeared completely unclimbed. We counted at least a dozen obvious routes, but there are probably many more. It’s too early to know for sure, but we think the cliff may be a great opportunity for strong Adirondack crack climbers to put up some high-quality first ascents.

To explore the rocks yourself, refer to this map of our start and end points.

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The entry Pinnacle Boulders was posted on November 15, 2011 and tagged ,

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