Northeast scrambles?

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Northeast scrambles?

Postby catullus » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:04 pm

Hi All,

I'm moving to Boston in June. Anyone have any recommended books or websites for finding fun scrambles and peaks in the northeast?

For books, I'd love the equivalent of Colorado Scrambles (

Generally looking for fun adventures on peaks from 3rd to easy 5th class.

For websites, I'd love something like


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Re: Northeast scrambles?

Postby ChrisinAZ » Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:16 am

The Northeast has a ton of great scrambles, but by and large, the popular routes tend to be 3rd class. I've heard Eagle Slide in the 'Dacks goes at 4th/easy 5th, and some routes on Katahdin (Cathedral Ridge, for one) are supposed to go at 4th class.

Beyond those, here are a handful of class 3 routes I've done and enjoyed: Katahdin knife edge, Huntington Ravine trail (slabby!), Flume Slide trail up Flume, Holt trail up Cardigan (also slabby), the Head of Sleeping Giant in Hamden, CT (also some cliffy stuff on the Chin), Caps Ridge on Jefferson, Hell Brook trail up Mansfield, and probably a few more I'm forgetting. CT has all sorts of small rocky outcroppings where you can get your scramble on, in general. So does Acadia NP, with better views. The Blue Hills outside of Boston don't have a ton of scrambling, from my recollection, but are a surprisingly big workout and are more or less accessible via MBTA.

Have heard good things about King Ravine on Adams, Mt. Chocorua, and the slide up North Tripyramid too. Hope this helps!
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Re: Northeast scrambles?

Postby TCUTED » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:55 am

I know there is a book out there somewhere that details routes of some of the slides in the Adirondack High Peaks, but I cannot find it - it may be out of publication.

The ADK slides are awesome ascents, often in the class 3-4 range depending on your chosen line, everything from slabs to gullies to cliff bands. The one thing you don't really get in the Northeast are good ridge scrambles (save of course the Knifes Edge on Katahdin - which is well worth the red tape entering the park). New Hampshire also has some good scrambles, the only one I have been on there is Huntingtons - again, well worth the effort, good challenging climbing.

Again, the ADK slides are great, often less traveled as they usually require some bushwhacking to get to. I included a link to a book that might have some information on the slides (might be more for skiing and pictures), and a forum that has resources for slide climbing.

Here are a few classics in the ADKS (Note: I have not been up all of these, I'm just giving you ratings based on consensus):

-Mt. Colden Trap Dike (3-4)
-Mt. Colden East Slide (3)
-Nippletop Slide (3)
-East Dix Slide (2+ -3)
-Giant Eagle Slide (4)

ADK Slide Guide:
ADK Slide Climbing Resource:

Perhaps someone here will know more about some of the other places in the Northeast.

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Re: Northeast scrambles?

Postby SurfNTurf » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:37 am

I lived in Boston for a year from 2009-10. Even though it wasn't my focus before and hasn't been since, I spent most of that time rock climbing. It's a great city for it. The Quincy Quarries are only 20ish minutes from downtown, and if you're into mountaineering history you'll appreciate it as the backyard crag for some of America's top mountaineers in the early half of the 20th century. Rumney, NH is a world-class sport climbing destination within easy driving distance for daytrips. MetroRock in Everett is the best rock gym I've ever seen, far-and-away better than anything I've yet to find (gasp) in the Front Range. Boston Rocks and Ward Smith's Climbing Guide to Rumney are fantastic guidebooks. If you're in the Denver area I have both and would be willing to part with them.

Others can answer your actual question better. I only did a handful of summit hikes while I lived in the Northeast. The Blue Hills, as Chris mentioned, are within a half-hour of downtown and serve as a beautiful training ground. The Appalachian Mountain Club's White Mountain Guide seems to be the Bible up there, similar to Roach's 14ers and 13ers books in Colorado. I have this and wouldn't mind selling it on the cheap, as well. I'm sure there are a few smaller publications aimed more specifically at scrambling, I'm just not aware of them.

Finally -- don't avoid the ice! The Northeast has tons of it. I kick myself daily for not getting into ice climbing until after I lived there.
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Re: Northeast scrambles?

Postby Vermont Mike » Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:59 am

Not a lot too add, except to 2nd King Ravine route up Mt. Adams. You can easily make that one class 3 if you'd like, and there's an interesting subway/ice cave variation. Chocorua is an outstanding hike, and although not necessary, scrambling opportunities present themselves. You definitely have to try a lot harder in the east to find good scrambling routes, and with the thick vegetation the bushwhack to get to some may not even be worth it. Lots of short scrambly routes in Acadia NP as well. Smuggler's Notch in VT has some interesting areas to check out, could easily combine exploring that area with a climb of Mt Mansfield.

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Re: Northeast scrambles?

Postby nyker » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:54 pm

Give a call to this shop in Keene Valley in New York; if they don't have it, they probably can find it or at least know the name of a few books.

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Re: Northeast scrambles?

Postby Scotzman » Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:56 pm

Having spent most of my life up there I'll second a lot of what has already been said; a good number of class 3 stuff and if you look hard enough higher class stuff. I grew up in the Adirondacks so more familiar with that area than further east and will second that they have ALOT of slide climbs that range from 3-low 5. A friend of mine who is into slide climbs had recently mentioned that he/did pick up a copy of some slide climb book/publishing so I know there is info out there on it. A few of the classics are the trap dyke, eagle slide, Gothics north face, the Great Slide on East Dix and a newer one on Cascade.
As far as to websites like 14ers, there are two I would recommend: (which tends to focus more on NY but does cover NE) and (more NE>NY).
You'll find a ton of info between those two sites and same as 14ers you'll find people who can answer any question you might have concerning the mountains.
As far as guidebooks, in NY the ADK guidebooks are the bible for maintained trail hikes (the NE has more maintained and marked trails than out here from my limited experience so far). In NE, the AMC's books would be the same.
And, if you are into or get into rock/ice climbing you have some of the best around whether it be in the Gunks, or Adirondacks or NE, so enjoy! :-D
Last edited by Scotzman on Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Northeast scrambles?

Postby catullus » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:28 pm

This is pure gold. Thank you everyone. Totally getting my Boston stoke on.

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Re: Northeast scrambles?

Postby catullus » Sat Apr 27, 2013 12:53 am

I guess a good trick to learn will be how to enjoy the great northeastern outdoors without getting Lyme disease... especially if some of those cool ADK slides require a lot of bushwhacking.

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