Thursday, November 27, 2008

Rattlesnake Bluff

One of the things I have always done on Thanksgiving is hike. Kind of a tradition. This year Shane and I had our Thanksgiving Wednesday so I found myself free to roam. Rattlesnake Bluff had always been a bluff I thought I'd never hike due to it being hard to get to and, oh hey, all those rattlesnakes. Due to interest in possibly climbing this bluff I was the probe today. Here is what I found. The bike trail they are building this year takes you right to the very base of the bluff. Beautiful walk! On my way up I headed right up the bluff as soon as I could and climbed to the base of the lakeside or dark side of the bluff. The way up is an emerald wonderland. Green moss and tumbled rocks everywhere! Even the crystal rocks are stained green here. There is also alot of scat of different sizes. If you look you can see how some of the rocks have made great dens for all sizes of animals. The climb up is steep but not a problem. As you get closer to the bluff you start to absorb just how big it is. Having climbed outdoors this summer, I was looking for routes. Not hard to find as there is all kinds of varied rock on this side. Cracks, ledges, corners, flakes...anything you want. As you walk around to the front side you'll find a beautiful narrow crack that starts at the base and travels almost to the top. There it widens out to about two feet wide and tops out from there. Walking around you notice that the cliff is getting taller. Much taller! By the time you're in the front you're looking at some beautiful cliffs. I am not able to do the type of climbing required for this part, at least not yet, but for those of you who are all I can say is get yourself a rope. I didn't go to the summit but it would be easy to get there. I can see lots of trees that could be used for anchors. The down side is that the hill falls away pretty steeply at the base. I came down the bluff from the front and found it much easier using the deer paths. Total time it took to hike up, take photos and sight see...only one hour. Easy!

This is the lake side or dark side of the bluff. Lots of texture to the cliff here as you can see.

Look close at this photo. You'll see a narrow crack on the left side of the photo that would be great for trad. The narrow crack goes almost all the way to the top where it widens out to a two foot crack to the top.

These next photos are of the front or sunny side of the bluff. The cliffs are incredibly impressive. Taller than Barn Bluff. The hill below here is crisscrossed with deer paths. The deer use the sunny sides of the bluffs for foraging in the winter. This is also the best way up or down to the base of the bluff.

Deer paths


richard said...

Thanks Nora for being the probe. Good info on this bluff. Sounds worthwhile checking out.

Nora said...

Let me know when you want "the Tour" I hope I can get one more hike in up there before the snow flies.

Graham Kolb said...

Did you learn anything new about this bluff, and possible climbing access/development? It's a dream of mine to develop my own routes at a new crag, and this one seems like a beautiful option. Is it part of Frontenac state park? Or someone's property?

Nora Whitmore said...

It's been many years since I've been there but if I remember right the rock is pretty loose. I'm not sure who owns it. Maybe you could call Frontenac State Park and ask. But I'm pretty sure they don't allow climbing in the park.