With 6-7 pitches of climbing Chapel Pond Slabs provide one of the longest ascents in the east.
With 6-7 pitches on clean rock Chapel Pond Slabs provide one of the longest ascents in the east. One can find almost all levels of climbing on the slabs at a moderate angle. The rewards of climbing on the slab come with the exposure and commitment more than its difficulty. This is a very popular climb upstate, do not expect to be alone on weekends even in early and late season.
Most pitches are run-out and clean. There is a bolt-free tradition on the slabs we should all respect, this is a great area for new leaders looking for experience on longer routes.
NEI 2-3 700' (forms early)
Exposed and unpredictable in 1936 it was one of the nations most significant step-cutting alpine routes. In 1969, it saw the unveiling of Yvon Chouinard's new steeply drooped ice axes. Even with todays new gear the slab is a risky outing. Protection and belay anchor quality can be fickle. Avalanches routinely drop from the upper slopes and have taken parties to the ground. Water pressure can be released from under the ice with serious consequences and happens often on the slabs. This is some of the best easy-moderate ice in the area but involves a great commitment on the short winter days.
Travel north or south on Route 73 to the Chapel Pond area. Park on the side of the road as the slabs come in to view (they dominate the scenery in the area) and follow one of many herd paths to the base of the slabs.
- Head right towards the Gully Cliff/Chapel Pond. Follow the top of slabs to a gully you can rappel from the many trees and downclimb according to comfort levels.
- You can rappel and downclimb steep (4th class) terrain towards the start of climbs.
- Follow the top of the slabs south between Chapel and Emperor Slabs. Downclimb or rappel chute/gulley to the ground.
Park on the side of the road many cars pass trough this area daily. You can also park at the Chapel Pond viewing area or Giant Mountain trailhead and walk south. Overnight parking is fine if you park well off the shoulder.
CampingMany climbing parties will camp at the base of the slabs to secure routes early.
Adirondack Camping Regulations
Except where marked by a "Camp Here" disk camping is prohibited within 150 feet of roads, trails, lakes, ponds, streams or other bodies of water.
Groups of ten or more persons or stays of more than three days in one place require a permit from the New York State Forest Ranger responsible for the area.
Lean-tos are available in many areas on a first come first served basis. Lean-tos cannot be used exclusively and must be shared with other campers.
Use pit privies provided near popular camping areas and trailheads. If none are available, dispose of human waste by digging a hole 6"-8" deep at least 150 feet from water or campsites. Cover with leaves and soil.
Do not use soap to wash yourself, clothing or dishes within 150 ft of water.
Drinking and cooking water should be boiled for 5 minutes, treated with purifying tablets or filtered through filtration device to prevent instances of giardia infection.
Fires should be built in existing fire pits or fireplaces if provided. Use only dead and down wood for fires. Cutting standing trees is prohibited. Extinguish all fires with water and stir ashes until they are cold to the touch. Do not build fires in areas marked by a "No Fires" disk. Camp stoves are safer, more efficient and cleaner.
Carry out what you carry in. Practice "leave no trace" camping and hiking.
Keep your pet under control. Restrain it on a leash when others approach. Collect and bury droppings away from water, trails and camp sites. Keep your pet away from drinking water sources.
Observe and enjoy wildlife and plants but leave them undisturbed.
Removing plants, rocks, fossils or artifacts from state land without a permit is illegal.
The storage of personal property on state land is prohibited.
Carry an approved flotation device for each person aboard all watercraft.
Except in an emergency or between December 15 and April 30, camping is prohibited above an elevation of 4000 feet in the Adirondacks.
Except in an emergency or between December 21 and March 21, camping is prohibited above an elevation of 3500 feet in the Catskills.
At all times, only emergency fires are permitted above 4000 feet in the Adirondacks and 3500 feet in the Catskills
Department of Enviromental Conservation