History

Ice climbing in the Catskills has been going on for four decades and much of the history is unknown. For the third edition of An Ice Climber's Guide to the Catskill Mountains, I tried to gather as much historical information as possible and found it to be an inaccurate, never-ending, constantly changing task. People have been climbing here for a long time, and some of the new routes or areas listed may actually turn out to have been rediscovered. Details seem to change so much that I hesitate to put them in print and instead decided to list them online so others can provide feedback and hopefully we can get more accurate records.

Here is a list of what is currently collected. Please accept my apologies in advance if someone accidentially gets credit for a route someone else did. If you have any historical and/or new route information on the areas in the Catskills, please post a comment below or send it to: info@catskilliceclimbing.com

A special thank you to Rick Cronk (original 80's guidebook author) for some of the history of the early days!

Kaaterskill Clove

Indian Head Ledge and Palenville Overlook

  • Indian Head Corner Left 4+
  • Indian Head Corner Right 4+
  • Flight 98 4; F.A Felix Modugno and others, 1982.

Kaaterskill Chasm

  • Palenville Coronary 6, M7; Brad Heller, Jan. 2011
  • Palenville Corner 4+
  • Palenville Pillar 4+, M3; Rich Romano
  • Jeff’s Wet Dream 4-; Peter Behm, Ron Kellermueller, Jeff Karliner, Circa 1978

Moore’s Bridge Gully

  • Moore’s Bridge Gully 3
  • Shoulder Gully 2

Moore’s Bridge Left

  • Dirt Bank Corner 4-
  • Unknown M5-
  • Catskill Ice Hose 4+, M3
  • Give Me Moore 4

Moore’s Bridge Center

  • Power Line Face 4
  • Power Line Corner 3+
  • Foot Joy 4+, M6
  • Moore’s Buttress Left 4+
  • Moore’s Buttress Right 4

Moore’s Bridge Right

  • MBR Corner 4+
  • Needing Moore 5
  • Center Drip 5-
  • Rawdon’s Roof 5, M7; Ryan Stefiuk, Feb. 2008
  • Moore Please! 4+/5
  • Please, No Moore 5
  • Moore To Come 5, M5; Christian Fracchia & Kevin Delaney, March 18, 2007

Moore’s West End

  • Northwest Corner 3
  • Scruffy 3
  • Frozen in the Headlights 3+
  • Boxed In 3

Hillyer Ravine 3+

Viola Ravine 3+

Wildcat Falls 4

  • Ice Width M7; Christian Fracchia,
  • One Small Step 4-, M4; Christian Fracchia,
  • Shut Down at Noon 5-, M8; Christian Fracchia,
  • Twist of Faith 4+, M5; Christian Fracchia,
  • Left Pillar 4
  • Double Curtain 4
  • Far Right Flow 3+

Buttermilk Falls 4 -

First known attempt (circa 1977-1978) resulted in the Catskills first accident. A short fall to the ground resulted in a broken ankle and a long crawl out. "R.Cronk"

  • Block Buster M7; Christain Fracchia & Kevin Delaney
  • Block Party M6+; Christian Fracchia & Kevin Delaney
  • Building Blocks M?; Christian Fracchia & Kevin Delaney
  • Cream Separator 4/4+
  • Mixing Spoon 5-
  • Heavy Cream M5/M6; Christian Fracchia & Charlie Dickens
  • Left Flows 3+ to 4+

Asbestos Wall 3 to 4+ and Mixed

Sunset Rock

  • Sunset Pillar 4; Mike Rawdon
  • Triple Hanger 5+; Christian Fracchia,

Kaaterskill Falls

  • Trails Left Flow 2+ to 3+
  • Kaaterskill Flow 3+
  • Lower Kaaterskill Falls 3+; Mike Sawicky and others, 1977
  • Frozen Feat 4, M7; Brad Heller, Jan. 2011
  • Kaaterskill Falls Left 4+
  • Upper Kaaterskill Falls 4+/5+
  • Gottlieb’s Roof 4+. M4; Rich Gottlieb
  • Catman 4+, M7; Brad Heller, Jan. 2011
  • Romano’s Roof M?; Rich Romano

Platte Clove

Covert Actions 4; F.A. Rick Cronk, Felix Modugno, and others, Feb. 1981 . After viewing it from the NYS Thruway we did a U-turn and headed up to the escarpment, with a few stops along Rt32 to scope the approach. No map or GPS, we drove around a while till we found what we believed to be the drainage coming down from the ravine. Nowhere to park, so we ditched the car off the road into the snow bank. Leaving the car “abandoned”, we began our hike in and up the drainage. At the time, this proved to be the most arduous approach for any ice climb in the Catskills. After 3 or 4 pitches of ice, we retraced our path to the car. We always carried shovels for digging out parking lots etc. and after some shoveling, groveling, pushing etc. we were back on the road. "R. Cronk"

Platte Clove Ravine

  • Platte Kill Falls 3+
  • Tiers of Joy 4
  • Upper Bridal Veil Falls 2+ to 4
  • Extramarital Affair 4+, M3; Chris Beauchamp
  • Scotch on the Rocks 3+, M3; Ryan Stefiuk
  • Corrupt Data 4, M5; Doug Millen, March 2005
  • Lower Bridal Veil Falls 3
  • Japanese Falls 3
  • Samurai 4
  • Japanese Gully 3
  • Taiyo Wall (Sun Wall) 3+ to 4+

The Devil’s Kitchen - Upper

  • Point and Shoot 5; Rich Romano
  • Low Hanging Fruit 4, M7; Chris Beauchamp
  • The Snotcicle 4
  • 9th Circle to Hell 5, M8; Ryan Stefiuk & Chris Beauchamp
  • Devil’s Chandelier 4+, M6
  • Stairway to Heaven 3+

The Devil’s Kitchen - Lower

  • The Caldron 3
  • Far Left Flow 3+
  • Dream a Little Dream 4+, M6+; Chris Beauchamp
  • Hell on Wheels M7; Ryan Stefiuk, Cam Pavone & Rich Gottlieb
  • Lower Kitchen Pillar 4+
  • 1st Corner 4
  • Between Corners 4+
  • 2nd Corner 3+
  • Dancing With the Devil 3+, M6
  • 3rd Corner 3+
  • The Smear 4+, M6
  • Purgatory 4+, M5; Joe Szot
  • Straight to Hell M7; Lucho Romero, 2013

The Dark Side - Upper Tier

  • Dead Fall 3
  • Qabbrat Wall
  • V-3 Gully 3+
  • The Defects of Man 3+, M4; Christian Fracchia and Chris Beauchamp
  • Failure to Communicate 3, M4; Christian Fracchia and Chris Beauchamp
  • Icewalker 4
  • Green Pillar 4; Ryan Stefiuk and Chris Beauchamp, Feb. 2011
  • Blue Harvest 3, M5; Alan Kline, Nate McKenzie
  • Mushroom 4, M4
  • Death Star 4, M4; Alan Kline and Nate McKenzie
  • Subtraction Gully 3; Ryan Stefiuk and Chris Beauchamp
  • The Misfortunes of Virtue M6+, Chris Beauchamp and Chris Fracchia

The Dark Side - Lower Tier

  • Gold Leader 3+/4; Marty Molitoris & Troy Phillps, Jan. 2013
  • Frozen Apples 2+/3+; Marty Molitoris & Troy Phillips, Jan. 2013
  • Thermal Exhaust Port 2+, M2; Marty Molitoris & Troy Phillips, Jan. 2013
  • Nischan the Hut 4+, M4; Alan Kline
  • Yoda Couloir 3+; Marty Molitoris, Jacek Wojtowicz
  • Lightsaber 4
  • Red Leader 3/3+
  • Size Matters Not 2+/3
  • The Escalator 2+/3
  • Exogorth 4

The Black Chasm

  • Black Chasm Falls 3; The original draw to the Chasm. We had no idea what we would find on the main wall. Skied back in the following weekend. Mike Sawicky, Rick Cronk, Dave Chassin, and Felix Modugno, Feb. 1982. "R.Cronk"
  • Instant Karma 5; Mike Sawicky, Felix Modugno, Feb. 1982. The shortest route there, but the scariest at the time. "R.Cronk"
  • Devil Dog 5+
  • Hydropower 5, M9; Matt McCormick, Feb. 2011
  • Bridge Work 5
  • The Mephisto Waltz 5; Rick Cronk and Lois Samsel, Feb. 1982 - the first ascent was also a blind date!
  • The Window 5
  • The Advocate 5
  • Promoter of the Cause 5
  • Dan and the Devil 4+; Feb. 1982
  • Far Left Side 3+

Plattekill Mountain Gully 3+; Marty Molitoris & Shawn Crowley, March 2013

The Rectory

  • Keep the Faith 4; Marty Molitoris & Shawn Crowley, March 2013

The Pulpit

  • Preaching the Word 4+; Marty Molitoris & Shawn Crowley, March 2013
  • Swing Praise 3

Platte Clove High Cliff

  • The Drawbridge 3
  • Corbel Corner 4+
  • The Bell Tower 4
  • Merlon Roof 4
  • Bastion 4
  • The Turret 4-

Stony Clove

East Side - South End

  • The Sun Wall 2+ to 3+
  • The Twin Columns 4; Mike Sawicky and others, Winter 1976-1977
  • Unexpected Acceleration 4, M7; Ryan Stefiuk, 2010
  • Playground Bully M7; Ryan Stefiuk, 2010
  • The Playground 2 to 4; Winter 1976-1977

Mixed Up Amphitheater

  • Scraptastic 3+, M3; Rob Mecus, 2011
  • T’aint Ice M6+; Christian Fracchia & Chris Beauchamp, March 2011
  • Chocks and Balls M5; Ryan Stefiuk, Feb. 2011
  • East Side Slab 3+, M5, Ryan Stefiuk, Feb. 2011
  • Porcelain Pillar 4+, M4, Ryan Stefiuk, Feb. 2011
  • Sadhu M7; Joe Vitti & Peter Guyre, 2013
  • Head Over Heels M4; Regal and Co., Dec. 2012

East Side Corner 3+/4

Middle East Slabs 2+/3

Al Dente Area 3+/4+

  • Al Dente 4+, M5; Christian Fracchia & Angelo Urrico

Central Area - Upper Tier

  • Fracchenstein M7-; Christian Fracchia,
  • Government Mint M6; Doug Ferguson, March 2013
  • Silver Moss 4-; Doug Ferguson, March 2013
  • Bacon and Eggs 4, M2; Angelo Urrico, Feb. 2009

Castle Greyskull

  • Castle Ramp 3
  • Castle Wall 4
  • Escape Hatch 3+
  • The Dungeon 4

White Wall 2+/3

Stony Clove East Side - North End

  • East Crag Pillar 4, M3; Marty Molitoris and Mike Newman, 2003
  • Smear Campaign 3+, M2; Doug Ferguson and Dustin Portzline, Feb. 2013
  • Black Powder M5; Doug Ferguson & Dustin Portzline, Feb. 2013
  • Muzzle Loader Meat Shoot M6; Dustin Portzline and Doug Ferguson, Feb. 2013
  • Problem in the Middle East M5; Christian Fracchia,
  • East Crag Smear 4
  • Second Amendment Rights M5; Dustin Portzline and Doug Ferguson, Feb. 2013
  • East Crag 3 - Rick Cronk and too large a crew to remember correctly. 1978
  • Far East 2+/3

Stony Clove - West Side

  • Romper Room 2+
  • Off Stage 2+; Rick Cronk, 1977
  • Stage Right 3; Rick Cronk, 1977
  • Exit Stage Left 3+; Rick Cronk, 1977
  • The Chute 3+; Rick Cronk, 1977
  • Ron’s Gully 2+; Ron Sacks and others, Dec. 1976
  • Climax 2+; Rick Cronk and others. First route done in the Clove, Dec. 11, 1976
  • Ice Capades 2+; Mike Sawicky and others. Second route done in the Clove, Dec. 11, 1976
  • The Entertainer 3+/4; Mike Sawicky and others, Dec. 11, 1976.
  • Them That Die Are the Lucky Ones 3+; Felix Modungo and others, circa 1981-1982
  • Little Fafnir 4+
  • The Little Black Dike 4-; Mike Sawicky and others, Dec. 1976
  • Attic Stairs 3
  • The Spiral Stairs 4; Rick Cronk and others, 1982
  • Stony Tears 4+
  • Stony Corner M4
  • Enanem Gully 2+; Mike Newman and Marty Molitoris, 2003
  • Sorenson’s Smear 5; Tobin Sorenson, solo, 1978
  • That Climb Right 4
  • That Climb 4; 1978
  • The Curtain 4; Mike Sawicky and others, 1977
  • Camel Wide M7; Wes Converse & Christian Fracchia, Feb. 2013
  • Spread ‘Em Wide M5; Christian Fracchia & Wes Converse, Feb. 2013
  • The Workshop M3; Christian Fracchia & Wes Converse, Feb. 2013
  • Game Day M6 or 4+; Christian Fracchia & Wes Converse, Feb. 2013
  • The Gurgler 3; Rick Cronk and Bill Ewing
  • Ichabod Crane 3; Rick Cronk and Lois Samsel, 1978
  • Stage Fright 4; Mark Robinson and others, 1977

Stony Clove Notch Lake Area

Stony Wall Area

  • Stony Clove Junior 3
  • Little Stony Falls 3

Notch Lake Wall

  • Sandra 3+; Doug Ferguson & Sandra Nancetti, Feb. 2013
  • Girlfriend Sifter 2+, M5; Doug Ferguson & Sandra Nanceti, Feb. 2013
  • Power of One 5+; Doug Ferguson & Sandra Nancetti, Feb. 2013
  • The Intervention 4+, M4; Doug Ferguson & Dustin Portzline, Feb. 2013
  • Hollow Intentions 4+, M4; Doug Ferguson & Dustin Portzline, Feb. 2013
  • Crystal Vision M6+; Dustin Portzline & Doug Ferguson, Feb. 2013

TombStones

  • Bone Yard 2 to 3+
  • Footstone 5, M?
  • Poochi’s Chimney 3-; Pete Guyre
  • unknown
  • unknown
  • Ferrari's Big Day 4; Pete Guyre
  • Crash 4; Peter Guyre
  • Backside 4+, M3;
  • Down On Your Luck 5-, M3; Pete Guyre & Christian Fracchia
  • Dirty Knees M5+; Pete Guyre & Christian Fracchia
  • Anal Communion M7; Pete Guyre & Christian Fracchia
  • Placophobia ?
  • Vault 3; Pete Guyre
  • Barrow ?

Deep Notch

Deep Notch West Side - A long history of AMC beginner ice climbing forays. They chopped alot of steps up there back in the day. "R.Cronk"

  • Triple R Right 3
  • Triple R Left 3
  • Flagon Flow 3+/4+
  • My Old Dog Wolf 3+
  • Mr. Doolittle’s Hotel 3
  • Union Hotel 3
  • Half Moon Gully 3
  • Nine Pins 4
  • South Area 2+ to 4-

Deep Notch East Side

  • Long Dong 3
  • Long Dong Jr. 3
  • Double Dong 3

Route 28 Corridor

Buttermilk Falls

Mount Pleasant (Hobo Wall) - A number of routes climbed by Rick Cronk and Doug Strickholm, winter 1981-1982.

Herdman Wall - A number of routes climbed by Rick Cronk and Doug Strickholm, winter 1981-1982.

Shawangunks

Near Trapps

  • Climbs near "Gold Rush"; F.A. Rick Cronk and Mike Sawicky; 1982

Trapps

  • Ken’s Crack 4/4+
  • Phoebe 4/5
  • Boston 3/4
  • Full Face 4, M4
  • Broken Hammer 4, M3

A note from Rick Cronk

Keep in mind between the '82 and '99 editions of my guide, there were nearly 1200 copies sold through over 10 different stores in three metro area states. It would be naive to suggest that only our few groups of locals were the only ones out there roping up.

Of note, prior to 1982 give or take a year, climbing in Platteclove and the Devil's Kitchen was off limits. Both our crew of Sawicky, Sacks, Cronk etc.. and Behm, Kellermueller and others were turned away from climbing there by the owners of the time but not before climbs were made of the major moderate ice flows and the water falls. The same thing occurred at Santa Cruz falls. Strickholm and I did two routes in Santa Cruz and if I recall correctly Russ Raffa and John Bragg made a visit there as well. Subsequently climbers were turned away by the property's caretaker.