What Is A ‘Classic’ Adirondack Climb?

WEDNESDAY, February 12, 2014 – There is very little consensus or objectivity surrounding the notion of a ‘classic’ climb, probably because climbers’ tastes vary widely, even over the course of their own climbing careers. For some climbers, difficulty trumps everything else and the classics of any time period, in their minds, consist of that day’s cutting edge accomplishments. For other climbers the classics follow the purest line, or maybe they are the boldest climbs, or even the ones that solve the last ‘great problem’ of the day. The list of criteria goes on, and on. All of these attributes, and many others, are certainly worthy of helping to make a climb a ‘classic’. But for us, a ‘classic’ climb is simply one that gets climbed regularly and appeals to a significant majority of people who climb it, regardless of why. The dependable presence of big smiles on faces at the top are the giveaway. Long or short, hard or easy, these are the routes people climb again and again, and they form the basis for the selection of routes in Classic Adirondack Climbs.

Beyond a reliable smile at the top, the routes we’ve selected are limited further to those that we think of as quintessentially ‘Adirondack’ in nature. Because the Adirondacks have a long history of traditional climbing, and the prevailing ethic continues to value this over sheer difficulty, the bulk of the routes we include are mostly, or completely, free of bolts. And, because the commitment of climbing bigger cliffs has long played a major role in Adirondack climbing, we have constrained our selection to multi-pitch climbs, with a few exceptions.

Nope, no classics down there!

Nope, no classics down there!

Additionally, for this volume of Classic Adirondack Climbs we are focusing on easy to moderate routes. There are certainly many classic Adirondack routes that are far more challenging than the ones we’ve chosen for this volume, but we wanted to start with the routes most experienced traditional climbers will feel comfortable tackling.

To sum up our route criteria for Classic Adirondack Climbs, the climbs are mostly traditionally protected, multi-pitch climbs, of easy to moderate difficulty, that will likely bring a smile to your face!

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