Adirondack Rock Review, by Ken Murphy
Adirondack Rock documents all known climbing on the public lands of the Adirondack Park located in upstate New York. This is a large region, 5.9 million acres, as large as Vermont and the largest protected land area outside of Alaska. The park draws outdoor enthusiasts from many metropolitan areas including Philadelphia, New York, Buffalo, Toronto and Montreal. This book covers the entire region and includes large backcountry cliffs, roadside crags, alpine rock climbs, and bouldering. Included:
Finally there is published literature documenting the culmination of the climbing community’s effort in the Adirondack State Park. Jim Lawyer and Jeremy Haas have shown that hard work and dedication to the sport is necessary to put together a comprehensive climbing guide for the six million acre park. I recall my grandfather clipping an article out of the local newspaper for me last summer which discussed how two men were going to re-write the history behind climbing in the Adirondacks. I was captivated by their efforts to correctly document all of the established crags and routes (serious research and interviews I am sure) and was curious how “close to home” their efforts would come.
As a devoted boulderer, my interest in the new guide, “Adirondack Rock” was limited. That is until I met some climbers who knew the authors on a personal level and urged me to contact them regarding some of the bouldering areas within the park. Lawyer and Haas were eager and energetic when it came to including the developed bouldering areas in their new guide. FINALLY, the bouldering potential in the ‘Dacks would be accessible for the climbing community along with all of the established routes.
Altogether, the new climbing guide includes the bouldering areas at Nine Cornered Lake, Snowy Mountain, Caroga Lake (Pinnacle Pull-Off), McKenzie Pond, Gore Mountain and Crane Mountain. Each area description makes it easy to navigate the terrain and locate the particular gems you are psyched to get on. And because of the close interaction with the local climbing community, the guide is extremely accurate and each climb comes with a detailed description. I am confident that everyone will be able to follow the topo maps and area descriptions which will make for some great climbing sessions. On top of the bouldering areas covered, the new guide boasts climbing areas in 11 different regions: Lake Champlain, Chapel Pond Pass, Keene, Wilmington Notch, The High Peaks, Lake George, Indian Lake, Southern Mountains, Old Forge, Cranberry Lake and Northern Mountains. By breaking up the guidebook into these separate regions it is easy to decide which area you will check out based upon where you are.
After reviewing a copy of “Adirondack Rock”, I am finally realizing how much potential the Adirondack Park actually has. This year I will definitely be taking breaks from the bouldering scene to check out some of these new cliff walls (over 200 of them have never before been documented) with traditional and sport routes in some of the ‘Dacks most remote locations. The effort the authors have put into this guidebook along with the aerial photos, cliff descriptions, cliff topos, essays written by locals Adirondack climbers, and action photos makes me even more proud to be a local climber. I hope everyone will enjoy “Adirondack Rock” as much as I am. So grab yourself the new guide go find some Adirondack gems.