Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Adirondack Bouldering Recon: Flatrock Mountain

This past weekend as I entered my 30th year on the marvelous planet earth, my main man Johnny Sullivan and I headed out to Old Forge to check out a bouldering area we both had never been to; Flatrock Mountain.  I have been asking around for the past year or so about this area trying to get people's overall impressions, some beta on the existing problems, and to gauge if there was any potential for some difficult boulder problems.  The feedback I recieved was mixed, to say the least but the area was only 60 miles from my house and because there were estbalished boulder problems on land accessible to the public, it definitely was a candidate for the Adirondack Bouldering Guidebook.

So after the journey to western New York, my overall impression of the area is as follows:
  1. The rock quality is good but the boulders are not that impressive or abundant (at least at the area by Flatrock Mountain).
  2. There are three massive boulders down in a low lying area known locally as "The Swamp" that looked like they would have the best boulder problems on them.  I mean these boulders were VERY large and featured but due to their location (surrounded by standing water), they will only be climbable later in the summer and early fall as things dry up significantly.
  3. If you're in the area, definitely get a session in on the Splitrock Boulder.  This boulder is right next to the parking area and is visible from the road.
  4. There were a handful of lowball problems that were not difficult nor inspiring.
  5. The area is probably a 1 out of 5 for bouldering areas, probably a 3 out of 5 if the Swamp Area were dry and you could climb on those three massive boulders.  I would wager that once climbing could be had on those boulders, an additional 20-30 problems could be established.
Regardless of the minor disappointment, Johhny and I had a nice time out there and definitely gave it hell.  We climbed as many of the established problems as we could to confirm grades and I think I was even able to send two lingering projects on the Splitrock Boulder.  One of these problems, Santa Maria is of very high quality and should not be overlooked if you do visit.

Media Update:


  1. Hi,
    I just found your blog. Great development effort and nice pics. I saw an earlier post where you gave someone directions to the cube boulder at Great Barrington, MA. I would love if you could do the same for me. I will keep it on the down low. email:

    Thanks man, keep up the good work!

    1. Email sent regarding the Cube boulder. Good luck and have fun, Great Barrington is a lot of fun! Cheers man,

    2. Thanks so much, you the man. Now if only I could find J-Lo and the Probe boulder. Any idea? Definitely frustrating with the word of mouth only thing. If you are ever in the Hartford area I would be happy to give you a Bradley tour, unless you are already familiar.

    3. when you get a chance, check your email and reply to me directly. I can point you in the right direction...

  2. I'm from Boulder, Colorado and I'm going to be in Boonville (about an hour north or Utica) later this month for about 8 days or so and I need some good areas to boulder...can you recomend any dope spots...I don't mind driving a bit and I'm super psyched! I'm looking for anything that's a 5 star mega classic...I'd also like to try some good double digit boulders and maybe some projects! Let me know thanks!!!! Super psyched to see the area

    1. Hey man, thanks for the comment! I would recommend the areas around the high peaks in the Adirondacks (McKenzie Pond, Round Pond, Second Pond). There is also excellent bouldering in the southern portion of the Adirondacks (Nine Corners Lake, Green Lake, Kane Mountain, Snowy Mountain).

      My guidebook is still a couple of weeks out and wont be ready before your visit, unfortunately. Let me know when you are looking to get out, I have an awesome work schedule at the fire department and can probably meet up to give you a tour for a day or two when you're in the area.

      Cheers man and happy climbing