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Registered: December 2005
Posts: 53
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Agharta on Dec 11, 2005
Panther Gorge, East Shoulder of Mt.Marcy
· Date: Wed December 14, 2005 · Views: 4,098 ·
Rating: ********* 9.33
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Registered: January 2005
Wed December 14, 2005 9:31am Rating: 8.00 

wow, where can one find more info about high peaks ice climbs?

Registered: November 2004
Posts: 1
Wed December 14, 2005 10:19am

ME TOO! I have never heard of this climb and would love to know about it and any other remote/wilderness ice climbs!

Registered: December 2005
Posts: 53
Wed December 14, 2005 3:16pm

This route was put up in December 1999 and was in thin sunbaked conditions (choose an overcast day!). Although only grade 4 it is four LONG pitches and the hiking roundtrip is almost 20 miles. We appraoched from JBL, past Slant Rock to the col between Haystack and Marcy. At the trail junction you start bushwacking. As tempting as it is to drop into the streambed DON'T!!! Stay high skirting the first cliff band. Descending you wrap around to the right (Marcy side) staying close to the cliff line. Passing the two rock buttresses you will arrive at the base of Agharta. This is very strenuous and takes about an hour. The wall is South facing and gets sunbaked, with time and some rock pro thin ice on the third pitch can be negotiated. Above the last yellow headwall in the photo is a long pitch of grade 2 ice that leads to stunted pines. A quarter mile bushwack leads uphill to the trail not far above the junction.
We went in this past Sunday and it looked climable but we got there too late and didn't climb it. I'm very curious as to how the climb develops in later season, does it sublime away or continue to build? Has anyone else been back there? We first spotted it in November while hiking Haystack I would appreciate info from anyone who heads back there. The setting is absolutely spectacular. I wonder if skiing from ADK Loj would be the better approach.
Other remote climbs? SFace of Gothics which is mostly snow and a little ice. In the vicinity of the Weissner Route on Wallface there is mixed climbing past sections of ice with scant pro and a wild ice tunnel finish. E-mail me for details.
[email protected]

Registered: December 2005
Location: Lake Placid
Mon December 19, 2005 7:21am

Hey cfrac,

Climbed this route a couple of years ago in Feb. There was plenty of ice on the route, but sections of the route were super sun-rotten (think the consistancy of a frozen snow cone). I'd like to go back and do it again when it looks like your picture, lots of ice not much snow!

We skied in from the Adk. Loj which is probably the easiest approach when there is enough snow.

I've been back in Panther many times, climbing both rock and ice routes. It is an amazing place, difficult but very rewarding!

Just a word to folks, as cfrac says this is a LONG approach. You are 10 miles (and a lot of vertical + terrain) from any road, trailhead, or interior outpost when in the gorge. Be equipped and prepared to deal with any problems by yourself! (Think decent first aid kit and sleeping bag.) It would take at least a day for someone to hike out and return with help if it were needed!

One other request to all Panther Gorge suitors: despite having done many multi-pitch and single-pitch rock and ice routes back there I have put nothing in the "new route" book at the Mountaineer, and I'd suggest you do the same!Please leave Panther Gorge as a place where those who crave wilderness adventure can find it. How intesting is the game if you know all the details before you make the first move??

Have fun, and be safe!

Registered: December 2005
Mon December 19, 2005 11:34am Rating: 10.00 

Incredible! I had heard stories about this route several years ago but hadn't heard anymore since.
Since the approach is so long why not do it over two days, camp at Slant Rock if snowshoeing? How long did it take as a one day push? Also the last post indicated that there are other routes. I can respect the wish to keep it wilderness but are there other long routes like this in Panther Gorge?

Registered: December 2005
Location: Lake Placid
Tue December 20, 2005 3:11pm

Hey Mtn Clmbr,

You could do it in a two day trip, but living in Lake Placid I'd rather make one long push out of it with a lighter pack and sleep in my warm bed!

As a one day push, usually we start way before the light comes on and end up coming out in the dark (short days).

There are other shorter ice routes to do, but Agharta is the longest and the quality plum to pick.

There are many other long routes to do, but they tend to be much more like the N. Face on Gothics (less ice, more snow).

Have Fun, Be Safe!

Registered: November 2004
Thu December 22, 2005 8:13am Rating: 10.00 

These are the types of climbs that are interesting to me. long gradee 4s in the wilderness away from the crowds.

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