Echo Crag I have observed over the years.
Echo Crag has several neglected routes that have good climbing on them but have failed to see much traffic. I attribute this to the following factors.
Their R -/+ factor requires astute, advanced/alternate, and creative gear-craft to knock down the R-factor.
Protection often found in hidden/obscured places but easily by-passed.
The low frequency of self-thinking adventure climbers visiting Echo that enjoy taking on the complete game of climbing. Climbers who relish and seek out climbs that package uncertainty and demand mastery. Mastery of mental toughness, cunning trad placements, route finding, grunge, loose rock, calculated risk, and embracing the spirit and rewards of moving physically and mentally over such taxing terrain. These short climbs can be the crucible and gateway to taking the full-on game of Alpinism in the greater ranges or just be the game you play at home. You get to choose what game you want to play. Both Echo Crag and Cannon offer similar schooling but each at different scales. For some, this defines the ingredients of quality climbing. In between these forgotten climbs at Echo you will mostly find guidebook hauling, paint-by-number masses interested in socializing, fun, and climbing with low risk. Personally I embrace both...depends on what game I wish to play and the players I am am playing with. It's all good really.
Nature has begun to reclaim the routes but this offers the benefit of re-in-acting the original ground up, wire brush in hand, first ascent experience.
Some neglected routes are visually ugly and/or hard to discern. Ugly does not necessarily dictate whether the climb, climbs beautifully.
Another filter of suiters is the protection possibilities are not obvious from the ground and do not appeal to the less meek, even though they actual protect quite well. However, some times, I'm a complete coward and love a good clean sew-up on perfect rock.
I see mostly school/college/guide service groups pounding out the obvious trade routes spaced along the Square Inch Wall, The Shield Wall, and the Grunge Wall. This is because of the high concentration of well protected moderates that have anchors that also serve adjacent lines.
the Poker Pile, The Hermit Wall, and Hone Wall mostly get passed over while the Arete sees a fair amount of traffic (even though the protection is tricky at the start).
Here is my "Seldom or Never Repeated high quality NH routes" from left to right:
Live Free or Die Part 2 (insider info: route was named as a counterpart to my route Live Free or Die in the Adirondacks),
Ed's Weed Be Gone,
Wesley's Aspiration (upper two bolts probably should be replaced by now),
Damn it Jon!,
Lichen it (needs a good scrubbing down low and we may break down and place a bolt to take the ground fall factor),
Stacked Deck (Poker Pile),
Lord of the Flies,
Hermit Bar and a Motrin,
Center Line (I may retro-bolt this because at the time I did FA, I had no kit),
Fiddling Jim (ditto on bolting),
NCO Take Off (this got some bolts added last summer and lost its spice- Sykes may remove the extras_we are handling this with the bolter who took liberties)' e),
No Pigs_ got dumbed down by same bandit as NCO Take Off_Sykes removed them for me).
....And the rest of the Hone Wall routes: my favorites: Hurry Up, I,m Hungry, Sling'n The Pitch, Pig's Knuckles*** (will be downgraded to 5.
, Ants in Your Lycra***, Forty Ways to Stay Young.
And one of the coolest adventures in town: the complete girdle traverse of the entire Echo Crag complex.
Get on them lads and lasses!