Nothing epitomizes the boldness of rock climbing more than the creation of new routes. Most routes in the Adirondacks are established ground-up, with no pre-placing of protection or cleaning of the cliff. Climbers literally ascend up into the unknown, guided only by their confidence that they will be able to surmount any obstacles the cliff throws at them. In many climbing areas such as the Gunks and Cathedral Ledge, the spirit of new route creation has died down, mainly due to the inevitable lack of new rock to climb.

        One of the distinguishing characteristics of the Adirondack Park is its sheer size. Scattered about its 6 million acres are so many crags, including many that have surely not yet been discovered. To this day, climbers continue to put up new routes quite regularly. In fact, the second edition of Adirondack Rock (published in September 2014) added 1,240 new routes that were not in the first edition (published in 2008.) This is helped by the fact that the state has been acquiring land of great interest to climbers over the past few years. Sugarloaf Mountain and Silver Lake are two prime examples of this.

        Kevin MacKenzie, Adam Crofoot, Scott Van Laer, and others have been putting up new routes in Panther Gorge, nestled in the heart of the High Peaks Wilderness. These climbs include “Wreck of the Lichen Fitzgerald” and “CrazyDog’s Halo,” both established in the fall of 2014. When the cliffs at Silver Lake in the northern Adirondacks were opened to climbers in 2009, a frenzy of new route activity began, including “Team Nasty” of St. Lawrence University (Jesse Littleton, Matt Way, Richard Wilson), Jim Lawyer, Colin Loher, Peter Kamitses, and others. However, perhaps the most active area in the Adirondacks with regards to new route development is the southern Adirondacks.

        Consisting primarily of rolling hills and deep forests, the southern Adirondacks also hide a wealth of backcountry cliffs. Since they rarely stand out like the majestic walls of the high peaks region, they often require much more effort and exploration to discover. In 1991 Jay Harrison began developing new Routes at Crane Mountain, where he would eventually participate in over 250 first ascents and variations. In 2008 Jamie McNeil joined Harrison in establishing many more difficult routes, often using fixed protection when needed (Lawyer, Haas 141). The new route frenzy continues there to this day. In 2007, Bill Griffith and Gary Thomann began developing crags throughout the southern Adirondacks, along with many others. These crags include Shanty Cliff, Lost T Cliff, McMartin, Lost Hunter’s, and many others.