Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Prison Boulder: Caroga Lake, New York

  I have made a few pit stops in the last two weeks to revisit an excellent glacial erratic that I cleaned three years ago.  The "Prison Boulder" is quite large (some boulder problems top out around 20'), it has varied angles from slabs to overhanging, and the quality of the boulder problems is really high.  In my opinion, it is the best single boulder in the Southern Adirondacks.

  Three years ago we hit the boulder with a bunch of intensity; putting up numerous boulder problems and variations.  Two of the most prominent lines are the right and left arete on the back of the boulder which is slightly overhanging.  Both problems have had minor hold breakage since the first ascents but they both still go and both fall around the V7 range.

 Here are some of the climbs on the steeper portion of the boulder (From right to left).  There are also 4-5 slab climbs on the downclimb portion of the boulder...all unnamed and all around the V0-V1 range.
A. "Pot of Gold"-V11 is a sit start into the "Luck of the Irish" traverse. It was put up by Ken Murphy and has gone unrepeated since 2009.

A-A1. "Project" Currently I am working the same sit start but instead of traversing into "Luck of the Irish", I plan on going straight up the right arete ("Conjugal Visit). When it is all said and done, the new variation will probably weight in around V9/10.

A1. "Conjugal Visit"- V7 is a stand start on the right arete with LH in a vertical slot and RH high on a large sidepull/edge. This climb goes directly up the right arete. 

A1-B. "Luck of the Irish"- V8 starts the same of "Conjugal Visit" but once you gain the good holds on the arete, it traverses left on the overhanging face to join the topout of "Solitary Confinement". 

B. "Solitary Confinement" -V7 is the left arete as you are facing the overhanging portion of the boulder. It starts sitting and follows the line of obvious holds up the arete to a highball top out.

C. "Riding the Rail" -V3 sit starts the same as "Solitary Confinement" but uses the large rails on the left side of the arete again to a highball topout. The slanting boulder directly beneath the climber provides some additional support as you make your way to the top. 

D. "Pick Pocket"- V3 is a nice face climb up a slightly overhanging face using deep incut jugs and pockets.  The climb is a bit intimidating with the boulder directly behind you and is definately a climb you should not fall off of due to the poor landing surface.




  1. This boulder looks pretty awesome...I don't think you guys have introduced me to this one yet! The Pick Pocket climb sounds tempting to me!

  2. That boulder is super good! I think the KiD was being generous when he have the grade on pot of gold...

  3. are you still carving holds? please contact me by email rustycartel@gmail.com thanks