APPROACH: From the Garden trailhead in Keene Valley, hike 3.5 miles to John’s Brook Lodge ( an interior bunkhouse) and continue past Bushnell Falls and Slant Rock. After about 4 hours, you’ll pass a long, level stretch of mud bridged by rotting logs. Just after a trail sign for Haystack Mtn., look to your left ( south) for small cliffs visible through the woods. That’s the top of the gorge. Head into the woods on a faint herd path that follows up and right of the drainage, then angle right to the cliffs.
WHERE TO STAY: There’s virtually no roadside camping in Keene Valley, although there are public and private campgrounds farther afield. The Keene Valley Hostel is nearby, but your bunkmates might not dig your 3:30 a.m. wake-up. Backpackers can camp at Slant Rock, about 7 miles in ( tent or lean- to). Bear canisters are required in the High Peaks backcountry,
GEAR: Full rack of cams and nuts, plus double ropes for most rappels (some routes may require leaving slings). Helmet mandatory.
ROUTE INFO: adirondackmoun taineering.com.
RECOMMENDED ROUTES: • Promised Land (5.8 PG-13; 410 feet): A diverse route on the buttress right of the Feline Wall. • Wreck of the Lichen Fitzgerald (5.8+ PG-13; 470 feet): A stellar climb right of the Huge Scoop. • For Whom the Lichen Tolls (5.9 PG-13; 40 feet): A unique crack up a detached pinnacle . • The Pride (5.9- PG-13; 560 feet): A four-pitch gem, mostly in the 5.7 range. • Predatory Instincts (5.9 R; 450 feet): This challenging route climbs left of the Huge Scoop area, through a variety of slabs and cracks.