“What happens at Farley stays at Farley”—that’s kind of the attitude ‘round Farley Ledge, a beautiful outcropping of gneiss cliff bands and boulders nestled in the trees near Erving, Massachusetts. There’s no guidebook, no comprehensive route list online. It’s one of those places where you’ve got to pick the minds of the old timers next to you to ensure you hop on the 5.9 and not the 5.13.
It’s also home to some great East Coast gems—sport, bouldering and trad—and some of the Northeast’s best cracks. Among the latter is Barn Door, a great 5.10a/b/c/d (depending on which local climber you ask) hand crack that starts in a narrow gully between an overhanging face and a massive boulder. (Barn Door is also located just left of a classic, gnarly 5.13 offwidth called Bulletproof. Bonus video from a recent send of Bulletproof down below!)
In this video, Mike, belayed by his buddy Matt and filmed by his pal Jay, gives Barn Door the ol’ college try. Unfortunately, the pesky, off-balance-y crux section had his number—as did the massive boulder behind him. “Got out of sequence in the crux, tried to downclimb to the jug, fell and slammed,” Mike told Rock and Ice via email.
“I think it was a combination of bad luck and my stupid beta,” he continued. Two C4 cams—#.4 and a #.5 caught his fall—but he impacts the boulder with a rough thud.
Luckily, Mike came away from what could have been a much worse fall in pretty good shape. “Bruised and scraped,” he said. “Nothing too bad.”
Fifteen minutes later he got back on Barn Door. He wrote, “Sent it next go.” Nice work, Mike!
And his biggest takeaway from the whipper? “Sometimes it’s better to just take the fall rather than downclimb.”
Happy Friday and climb safe this weekend!