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Round Mountain Bushwhack via Chapel Pond Slab: 2014 May 4

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  • Round Mountain Bushwhack via Chapel Pond Slab: 2014 May 4

    Full Photo Set

    Route & Mosaic



    Chapel Pond Slab.—Bushwhack up another 900 or so feet of elevation gain to the summit.—Bushwhack southeast to an obvious SW-NE fracture.—Folllow a line northeast to the King wall, a vertical cliff with established technical routes—Close the loop by following the climber’s trail down and hook to the northwest below the Emperor Slab (adjacent to / south of Chapel Pond Slab) and back to the car.


    This is a composite of several climbs up the route with photos of Alex, Phil Brown and I.

    Intro
    Hmmmm…what to do when you don’t have a full day to devote to a big outing and want a moderate challenge at an elevation where winter has lost its grip? How about Round Mountain? Just don’t use the trail and take a rope (or not).
    This little trip developed some time ago after reading a trip report about the mountain’s summit—open with a great panorama; a visit seemed like it might be a nice diversion with low mileage. Combining it with a climb of Chapel Pond Slab seemed like the perfect fit.

    I visited the slab a couple years ago for the first time and it’s been a ‘safe zone’ of sorts ever since, a place I go to relax and refocus when life’s pushing in from all sides. The first couple times were alone, a common theme. Phil Brown and I then soloed a couple routes on it last year. Early May of this year found us playing around switching leads during a cold windy day; I decided to go back when it was warmer. Friend, Alex Hall (of ADK Rehab Center) joined me on May 10, 2014. He was game for a good bushwhack/rock-climb. The Bob’s Knob Regular route (rated 5.5) seemed like a good fit. On a side note, Alex leads the wildlife center's wolf-walks with their wolves Cree and Zeebee. Was it by design that I was now leading him on a rope?

    Belaying, Climbing, Bushwhacking
    We began the climb at around 8:30 a.m. A rising dike starts this route. Higher up is blockier terrain. After another 100 feet we stepped over a corner below a large arc rising toward the center of the slab (left). The flow of the anorthosite; a mixture of friction slab, cracks, and arcing corners; makes this the most elegant portion of the route in my opinion. Almost 300 feet up from the base is ‘Twin Cracks Belay’…an ideal belay point as the name implies. This exposed section climbs another steep crack that, with some delicate foot placement, leads to a beautiful right-rising crack. The slab may be near 45 degrees or more, but using the crack as a ramp while leaning left into the slab feels amazingly secure. Another bit of friction slab led to the base of Bob’s Knob.

    It was Alex’s first time on the slab and I could see the enjoyment and excitement in his expressions. We took our time and climbed each pitch slowly and safely. The time spent belaying allowed to reflect back on the last couple years. Rope-less is still my favorite way to ascend Bob’s Knob Standard (follows a chimney up the buttress) and Regular routes—not as same, but not much more than I normally do on some of the ‘regular’ slides.


    Alex getting ready to climb the crack leading to Twin Cracks Belay.

    The fifth pitch climbs a near vertical area loaded with terraces, dikes, cracks – enough hand and footholds to make the ascent to the plateau at its top comfortable. We took a took a break on a plateau after the crux to enjoy the moment—Rte. 73 snaked off the right through un-leafed forest as the slab fell steeply down for hundreds of feet. Wind whipped the seepage cascading off an edge into a mist that danced in the bright sun.


    Enjoying the view from the terrace on Bob's Knob.

    The rest of the climb was low fifth class climbing up easy slab to the final feet of exposed rock some 500 feet higher. We changed gear for the bushwhack; packing the rope and trading rock climbing shoes for boots. A few mossy patches of open rock led to a pleasant bushwhack through a loose evergreen forest on a heading of about 230 degrees (true). Moderately steep terrain with some faint game trails led to even easier bushwhacking as we neared the summit. The slope fell back and more extensive areas of open stone signaled that we were nearing the summit. A couple small areas of ice and snow still held fast in the shadows. Here I proved that my aim with a snowball is still decent—at Alex’ expense (sorry buddy).


    Working our way up from the top of the slab.

    After 45 minutes we reached the summit and settled in for a relaxing lunch and good conversation. The sun was warm and relaxing, I’ve been looking forward to this type of weather as a much-needed a change of pace. My mind wandered as we relaxed—after forty some-odd years of either visiting family and living in the Adirondacks, this was the first I’d taken the time to climb Round Mtn. It was worth the time.


    Summit Shots



    Snow still outlined some of the slides…it’s nice to see spring taking a toll on winter’s grip finally. Giant looked especially clear. After our fill of sunbathing and eating we set off to the southeast following the various outcrops of rock toward a sw-ne fracture about 1,150 feet away. You could hardly call it bushwhacking. The obvious end of a large cliff-band came in the form of a sheer, but short drop in the woods. A ramp to the right led down to the base of mossy crags. Blocks of melting ice lay in the recessed drainage as we descended. It took about 500 feet of elevation loss to reach to the primary cliff on this side of Round Mountain-the King Wall.

    The descent was steep as we wove our way amongst and over blocks of talus, a unique way to descend from the summit. Time passed quickly as we concentrated on footwork and marveled at the beautiful terrain. The climbing wall suddenly appeared below—to say it’s dramatic is an understatement. Blocks of stone fallen in ages past created both terraces and small caves. Near the center a roof overhung the base, the meager flow of water misted the area below and wet the bolted routes. I’ll let the pictures continue the description…

    Beyond, we followed the climber’s path down the drainage before diverting to the north-northwest below the base of the Emperor Slab. Loosely knit unleafed beach forest led back to the car after almost 6 hours.


    Upper end of the cliff band.


    King Wall (here).


    Putting it in perspective.
    Last edited by mudrat; 05-17-2014, 06:43 AM.
    May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.

    www.adirondackmountaineering.com

  • #2
    Great TR and great pictures! I also put off going to Round Mountain for awhile, but now I recommend it. It's got a lot to offer and you can make the trip be as hard or as easy as you would like.
    offonadventure.com

    Comment


    • #3
      We visited the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge this winter and met Alex and the gang. What an amazing experience! They took us out on a long stroll across the West Branch of the Ausable with Cree and Zeebee. It was fun seeing him post about this trip on their Facebook page. Sounds like a great time!
      Crepuscular Rays: Dissolve into evergreens

      There's always gonna be another mountain
      I'm always gonna wanna make it move
      Always gonna be an uphill battle
      Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
      Ain't about how fast I get there
      Ain't about what's waitin' on the other side...
      It's the climb
      -Miley Cyrus

      Comment


      • #4
        Nice trip, Kevin! I've always wanted to do that one, but I wasn't sure how the woods were from the slab up to the top. Sounds like they're very pleasant.

        There's a little climbing on that first little cliff at the top of the ridge on Round, just before you turn down hill to head for the King Wall. Ellen and I toproped there maybe 20 years ago, but it wasn't quite worth the haul up from the road with gear...

        Round is an amazing resource, of course! Another trip you might enjoy (less technical but still very pretty) is to pick up the east ridge of Round from near Round Pond and then bushwhack the ridge to the summit. Lots of open walking, and it brings you out at the same place you headed down.

        Another spot you might like is what will be called "The Peasant Crags", which are on the south side of the mountain. When descending as you did, if you turn right, instead of left to the King Wall, you'll come down into this system of cliffs. You can also use this as a neat ascent route. It's a little harder to find from the trail, but directions are here:

        http://www.adirondackrock.com/newrou..._Peasant_Crags

        What a great little mountain! And so often ignored in favor of its pointier brother Noonmark.

        Comment


        • #5
          Nice Pics and great report Kevin!

          Comment


          • #6
            Looks like you had a great climb on a perfect day, thanks for sharing.

            Comment


            • #7
              Your route down looks very scenic!
              Mark
              A bad day in cripplebrush is better than a good day at work.

              Remaining Winter NE115 peaks as of 3/11/10:

              [None]
              Yes!!!

              Comment


              • #8
                Telemarkmike:Yup, it was perfect timing for an easy day like this...busy week so I needed something laid back with options.
                Crepuscular: They're a great bunch. Glad you went on the wolf walk. My wife and I are down there often doing photography. Cree doesn't like me much, Wendy/Steven know I've pulled up when Cree starts howling and huffing non-stop. I had to duck in a cage the other day to 'hide' from the wolves on the way back from the walk--neither Cree or Zeebee would walk by otherwise...interesting.
                TCD: Sounds nice! Jim Lawyer mentioned the Peasant Crags to me last week. I'd never heard of them until that time. The first part of the cliff you spoke of looked blocky and really interesting...a heck of alot easier than the King Wall! I really didn't realize just how much was on Round Mtn. You've got me thinking of a return sometime. Thanks!
                LBM & The Fireman: Thank you--a perfect day!
                MarkL: Accent on 'the trip down' eh?
                May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.

                www.adirondackmountaineering.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Coulda brought my mother along on this one.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As usual, you pictures say it all. Amazing.
                    Moo
                    HPHikingmoo

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      NoTrace: I did Jim, she said that it's good you didn't come along as well...something about getting soft in retirement. Boom!

                      Moo: Appreciate it as always, thanks!
                      May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.

                      www.adirondackmountaineering.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        She must be picture-shy!

                        Comment

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