Ark Wall, Shelving Rock – into The Adirondacks

New York’s other major climbing area is The Adirondack Mountains, or “Dacks” for short, which is a huge area of land: 6 million acres, and larger than the whole state of Vermont! The biggest State Park in the lower 48 protects most of the space between Albany and Montreal

… and contains around 250 climbing areas! Our plan is to just dip our toes to break the journey on our way north, then spend some quality time exploring the area on our way back south. We used Mountain Project (another huge shout out for this amazing free resource and the community who use it!) to identify a candidate for our Daks drive-by: Shelving Rock on the edge of Lake George. It certainly isn’t one of the established classics, being a recently developed partly-sport crag, but it’s barely out of our driving route, has a short approach, and sports routes are handy for a quick fix. Even better, there’s a charming State Park campground: Lake George Battleground.The drive to the parking area is partly on gravel but is in good repair and the 15 miles or so are easily covered in about half an hour – even in a 25ft RV

We headed to Ark Wall (use parking lot 4) and followed the approach described on MP to reach the crag in about 15 minutes. Branch off the hiking trail after a couple of minutesto follow a well-cairned path. Obvious now but might be harder to spot once the leaves are down, so here’s a WikiLoc trail
https://www.wikiloc.com/rock-climbing-trails/ark-wall-shelving-rock-41494134There are about 20 routes on a south facing 20m wall, ranging from 5.5 to 5.10d and we picked off a few of the better looking lines: Here’s Helen on Touche, 5.7 – good holds where you need them.… and Toucan 5.8+ which is easy until a very thin and reachy final couple of moves.Magnificent views over Lake George from the top of the cragFurther left, the crag opens up (and steepens up!)The arete that bounds the left end of the crag is taken by Noah’s Ark, 5.10c, and a stunning line. Tough boulder problem past the first couple of bolts to better holds (unfortunately covered in bird shit) give access to the arete, which is first climbed on its left before switching to the right for exposed moves to a crux reach for the chain. Excellent!We finished off with the well-named Stemtastic, a really good 5.8 up a groove followed by a couple of crimpy pulls up a final wall. Great! Then we’re back on the road for an overnight at another gorgeous State Park campground, this time just over the border at the Coolidge State Park in Vermont. Highly recommended (and with “walk-up” availability even at 7pm on a Friday evening.)

5 responses to “Ark Wall, Shelving Rock – into The Adirondacks

  1. Shelving rock does not get the appreciation it deserves and is a newly developed hidden gem IMO. Climbed there in Febuary, with Ice falling on the main wall on my left! Spooky! glad you enjoyed the climbs and views of Lake George!

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