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Old 09-03-2015, 04:54 PM   #1
Resident Slide Junkie
mudrat's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: ADK Mountains
Posts: 137
Panther Gorge Climbing Resources – New Routes-Reports-Interactive Map-Photo Beta

Updated: 2020 Sept. 12
This thread includes a variety of personal resources gathered since 2009 and is a work in progress. I add to the map, mosaics and reports after each trip. The most recent route mosaic/line is featured at the bottom.

Where else can you go in New York that is so remote, rugged and beautiful? Surprisingly clean stone is the reward for an arduous approach. The most logical approach is from the Garden in Keene Valley which places the mileage between 8.5 and 9.5 miles to get to the base of a given route. As a dayhike, you’ll amass nearly 19 miles, 4,000+ feet of elevation gain over 13-22 hours (our fastest time was 11.5 hrs.) depending on conditions (yours and nature’s).

There are a total of 60 routes in Panther Gorge; 52 new routes have been added on Marcy and Haystack during the last few years including 18 ice climbing routes. Rock climbing routes range from 5.3 to .11d YDS with most falling between 5.7 and 5.9. Ice routes range between NEI2 and NEI5/M5 with the majority of climbed routes in the 3-4 range. Locations vary with some of the best and longest rock climbing routes in the Huge Scoop (opened in 2015) and Agharta areas. The southernmost route on Mt. Marcy is on the East Face slab. The 10 new routes on the Haystack side include a fingercrack up a free-standing pillar at the north end (probably the one described by Orson Phelps when he guided S.R. Stoddard in the late 1800s) to an easy crack far to the south.

Descriptions are below. A few may be found in Adirondack Rock edition 2. All are listed on and (links below). The Secrets of Panther Gorge gives a little more information and describes the layout of the gorge via a walking tour, if you will. This is more from a bushwhacking than climbing perspective. For something totally different and subterranean, read Bob Carroll in Panther Gorge.

A few tips-stay out of the center of the drainage stream at the north end descending, allow at least 3-4 days of sunny weather before attempting a rock climb, don’t bother hitting the gorge until June unless you want to tangle with seepage and rotten snow, don’t fall in the man-eating holes between the moss-covered talus. The ice lines on the slab are generally south-facing and prone to delamination so early winter after a few days of overcast weather is optimal. This is more of a personal preference--you may want to climb in pants and bring tape, some of stone is razor sharp.


The following resources can also be found at

  1. Route Line Photos
    ~Marcy-Overall of Panther Den, Feline, Agharta, Huge Scoop
    ~Marcy-Panther Den Close-up
    ~Marcy-East Face
    ~Haystack Overview
    ~Haystack - Pillar & Ramp Wall Area
    ~Haystack South End
    ~Haystack V Wall
    ~Chimney Wall

    ~© MudRat & Adirondack Rock
  2. Complete Route History
    History that includes FA information, location, length and grade of each route in excel format.
  3. Route Descriptions
    Each new route with mosaic photos (aerial with inset details) may be found at Mountain Project & Adirondack Rock .
  4. Google Earth KMZ file-Locations and brief descriptions of the cliffs and other notable climbing features.
  5. Panther Gorge Interactive Map
    Aerial of the gorge with almost 100 pop-up photos when you click specific areas. Not all photos are of climbing, some include pics in the talus or of interesting areas encountered during bushwhacking.
  6. Mosaic Collection
    High resolution distance photos or aerials with inset detail photos and route line may be displayed or downloaded. This also includes about 70 slides, but you may display by filename and scroll to the technical lines. Each route begins with panther_gorge. The naming convention generally follows this layout: “panther_gorge_AREA (Marcy or Haystack)_ASPECT_ROUTE NAME.jpg” .

Exploring Panther Gorge: Trip Reports (some w/Photos and Video)

Rather than add individual trip reports to this forum section, I’ve included links to each for those who are interested in a narration, photos and sometimes video.
  1. Grand Central Slide (w/Mark Lowell)
  2. Grand Central Slide Descent, up the Margin Slide & Skylight Bushwhack (w/Greg Kadlecik)
  3. Marcy to Haystack Bushwhack with Great Range Traverse-Great DeRanged Traverse(w/Greg Kadlecik)
  4. Marcy East Face Circumnavigation (w/Ranger Scott van Laer)-2013 Aug 24
  5. Marcy (East Face) Ranger on the Rock-East Face Slab (w/Anthony Seidita)-2013 Sep 6
  6. Haystack Slides and Haycrack Route-Day 3 of 4 days in the gorge (w/Anthony Seidita)-2014 June 1
  7. Haystack (V Wall) All Things Holy (w/Adam Crofoot)-2014 Jul 12
  8. Marcy (Agharta Wall) & Haystack (Free-Standing Pillar) Wreck of the Lichen Fitzgerald & For Whom the Lichen Tolls (w/Adam Crofoot)-2014 Aug 16
  9. Marcy (Agharta Wall) CrazyDog’s Halo & Watery Grave (w/Adam Crofoot)-2014 Sep 27
  10. A Snowy Panther Gorge Bushwhack (w/Adam Crofoot)-2014 Dec
  11. Marcy: A New Ice Route – Pi Day (w/Adam Crofoot & Anthony Seidita)-2015 Mar 14
  12. Haystack: 3 New Routes in a New Area (the Ramp Wall) (w/Allison Rooney and Adam Crofoot)-2015 May 30
  13. Marcy (Panther Den) Cat on a Wet Tin Roof (w/Bill Schneider)-2015 Jun 14
  14. Rumours of War: Opening a New Area—the Huge Scoop (w/Hunter Lombardi)-2015 Jul 11
  15. Marcy (Feline Wall) Kitten's Got Claws (w/Justin Thalheimer)-2015 Aug 1
  16. Not Every Trip to the Gorge is Perfect –No Route, but a Good Day (w/Bill Schneider)-2015 Aug 16
  17. Marcy (Huge Scoop) The Pride (w/Bill Schneider and Adam Crofoot)-2015 Aug 30
  18. Marcy (Feline Wall) Promised Land (w/Dan Plumley)-2015 Sept 19
  19. Tour de Gorge (w/Adam Crofoot & Allison Rooney)-2015 Nov 21
  20. Marcy (Panther Den) Ice Route: By Tooth and Claw (WI4) (w/Bill Schneider & Devin Farkas)-2016 Jan 30
  21. Haystack Ice Climbs-Orson's Tower (WI3+) and Fly By (WI3) (w/Nolan Huther)-2016 March 5
  22. Marcy (Agharta & Panther Den Walls)-Pioneer Anomaly & Belshazzar's Fate (w/Adam Crofoot & Alan Wechsler)-2016 May 28
  23. Marcy (Huge Scoop)-Predatory Instincts (w/Bill Schneider & Nolan Huther)-2016 June 4
  24. Marcy (Feline Wall)-Galaxy of Tears (w/Dustin Ulrich)-2016 June 17
  25. Marcy (Panther Den)-One for the Boys (w/Bill Schneider, Adam Crofoot & Allison Rooney) 2016 June 25
  26. Marcy (Agharta Wall)-Tail of Redemption (w/Bill Schneider & John Pikus) 2016 July 30
  27. Marcy (Panther Den Wall)-Climb After Slime & You Moss Be Kidding Me! (w/Alan Wechsler) 2016 August 6
  28. Marcy (East Face)-Revelations (w/Nolan Huther & Loren Swears) 2016 August 27
  29. Haystack (V Wall)-Psalm 23 & Windjammer (w/John Pikus & Jaryn DeShane) 2016 September 17.
  30. Haystack (North End)-Kitty Cake (WI2) & 2nd ascent of By Tooth and Claw (Marcy) (w/Doug Ferguson & Walker Wolf Bockley) 2017 January 14.
  31. Marcy (Feline Wall)-Chimaera (WI3-) (w/Matt Dobbs & Jace Mullen) 2017 February 18.
  32. Haystack (North End)-Ride the Lightning (WI5-) & Skip the Lightning (WI3-) (w/Alan Wechsler) 2017 March 10.
  33. Marcy (Chimney Wall)-Slacker Cracker (5.9) (w/Adam Crofoot & Jaryn DeShane) 2017 June 3.
  34. Marcy (Chimney Wall)-Marcy's Great Chimney (aka Empty Tomb) (5.8) and All Ryled Up (5.7) (w/Jaryn DeShane) 2017 June 15.
  35. Marcy (East Face)-Anorthofright (5.9-) (w/Steven St. Pierre) 2017 August 27.
  36. Marcy (Chimney Wall)-Panther's Pinnacle (5.9) (w/Steven St. Pierre) 2017 September 16.
  37. Marcy (Chimney Wall Area)-Spiritus Draconis (WI4+) (w/Jaryn DeShane) 2018 February 1.
  38. Marcy (Huge Scoop)-Charybdis (WI4) & Scylla (WI4) (w/Laura Duncan & Brent Elliott) 2018 February 17.
  39. Haystack (V Wall)-John 3:16 (WI4) & PG-13 (WI4) (w/Loren Swears) 2018 March 24.
  40. Haystack (No Man's Land)-Paws Off (5.8) (w/Steven St. Pierre) 2018 June 9.
  41. Marcy (Agharta Wall)-Moonraker Runout (5.8+) (w/Ken Hebb) 2018 June 16.
  42. Marcy (Panther Den)-Castle Column (5.9) (w/Ken Hebb) 2018 June 17.
  43. Marcy (Chimney Wall area)-Apex Predator (WI4-5) (w/Aaron Courain & Alan Wechsler) 2019 January 5.
  44. Haystack (Ramp Wall arete)-Lioness Rampant (top rope) (5.11d) (w/Allison Rooney) 2019 June 8.
  45. Marcy (Feline Wall)-Cracks of My Tears (5.10a) (w/Loren Swears) 2019 June 28.
  46. Haystack (North End)-And Then the Judgment (5.9+) (w/Steven St. Pierre) 2019 September 22.
  47. Marcy (Panther Den)-Waking Cerberus (WI5/M4) (w/Brent Elliott & Laura Duncan) 2019 December 28.
  48. Marcy (Chimney Wall)-Passion and Warfare (WI5/M5) (w/Katie Vannicola, Emily Schwartz, Harold Sutton) 2020 February 22.
  49. Haystack (North End)-Luceo Non Uro (5.8+) (by myself lead rope soloing) 2020 June 5.
  50. Marcy (Panther Den)-Practically Roadside (5.9) (w/Loren Swears) 2020 June 26.
  51. Haystack (No Man's Land)-Tomcat (5.8+) (w/Steven St. Pierre) 2020 July 4.
  52. Marcy (Panther Den)-Anorthosite Overcast (5.11a) (w/Adam Crofoot) 2020 July 19.
  53. Marcy (Panther Den)-Nothing but the Rain (5.9+) & Marcy (Panther Den)-Had the Radish (5.8+) (w/Loren Swears) 2020 July 26.
  54. Marcy (Agharta Wall)-Throne to the Lions (5.9+) (w/Bill Schneider) 2020 Aug 1.
  55. Haystack (No Man's Land) Slab the Impaler (5.9) (w/Loren Swears and Katie Vannicola) 2020 Aug 22. Links to combined trip report for the last 4 routes.
  56. Haystack (No Man's Land)-Trigger Warning (5.10b+) (w/Adam Crofoot & Katie Vannicola) 2020 Sept. 6.
  57. Marcy (Agharta Wall)-Wrecking My Zen (5.9 A0) (w/Colin Aldrich) 2020 Sept. 12.

Additional New Routes
  1. Sorry, Kevin (WI4) - FA by Charlie Beard, Jesse Colangelo-Lillis & Matt Dobbs on 2016 Feb 28, 2016.
  2. Needle in a Haystack (Tiers of Haystack S. of the Ramp Wall) - FA Doug Ferguson & Walker Wolf Bockley 2017.

Articles on Panther Gorge
  1. "The Wild Side-Rock Climbing on Haystack and Flash Flood at Slant Rock". MacKenzie, Kevin.Adirondack Outdoors
  2. "New Highs: Backcountry Climbing in Panther Gorge." MacKenzie, Kevin. Adirondack Life 2016 Annual Guide to the Great Outdoors. 10-13. Print.
  3. "A Climbing Experience in Panther Gorge" by Nolan Huther
  4. "Panther Gorge rocks." Wechsler, Alan. Sept/Oct Adirondack Explorer. 58-61.
  5. "Panther Gorge: The Remote Adirondack Moderate Mecca You’ve Never Heard Of." Wechsler, Alan. Nov. 2017 Climbing Magazine.\\

Thanks to all the bushwhacking and climbing partners (a unique brotherhood) who have made the adventures a success over the years—Adam Crofoot, Bill Schneider, Anthony Seidita, Mark Lowell, Greg Kadlecik, Scott van Laer, Allison Rooney, Hunter Lombardi, Justin Thalheimer, Dan Plumley, Devin Farkas, Nolan Huther, Alan Wechsler, Dustin Ulrich, Loren Swears, John Pikus, Jaryn DeShane, Doug Ferguson, Walker Wolf Bockley, Matt Dobbs, Jace Mullen, Steven St. Pierre, Ken Hebb, Aaron Courain, Katie Vannicola, Emily Schwartz, Harold Sutton, Colin Aldrich! Special thanks to Don Mellor and Jim Lawyer for their support and interest! Also thanks to my cousin Ed Tuttle for inspiring me to higher places!

Above, Adam Crofoot leads Pi Day-March 2015.
Below, PG Overview by MudRat & Jim Lawyer

May you always be a student of the journey. God Bless.

Last edited by mudrat; 09-16-2020 at 08:55 PM.. Reason: added new route August 22, 2020
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