The #TimetoClimb America Tour: The Gunks

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Our 3nd stop on the #TimetoClimb America Tour brings us the Shawnagunks just outside of New Paltz, NY.

Home to some of the most unique Quartz sandstone on the planet, the Gunks are a world-class destination for trad climbers around the world!

Aside from their scenic backdrops, they are known for a stout difficulty rating of its routes & problems. A common phase I have personally heard on many of occasions is the question “regular 5.9? or Gunks 5.9?”

Most noted for its trad climbing, these quartz granite cliffs jut out on average between 200-300 feet high. The cliffs stand atop the ridge line with a substantial prominence over the area giving climbers a world class backdrop as they climb up the many  classic if not legendary routes.

Our motley crew of bouldering misfits began the walk down carriage road along the base of the Trapps cliffs.

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We had the opportunity to see the many trad climbers in action along the way to our first set of boulders.

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Being that we had a large group with us for the day we had decided it would be best to go bouldering along Carriage Road in the Trapps section of the Gunks. Thanks to the Mohonk Preserve there are very well maintained trails and auxiliary roads available keeping the environmental impact minimal even with the high traffic that the Gunks see every weekend.  If you are unaware, the Gunks is also well known for its many substantially difficult & classic boulder problems. So we made our way down carriage road to the Box Car boulders where we all met up to start the day.

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Photo of Kevin Dumapit bouldering the V4 problem “Box Car Traverse”

We all got some great warm up climbs in at Boxcar. Since we had so many of us show up we split off and half the group made its way over to Andrews Boulder.

Andrew’s Boulder is a must stop for any bouldering trip made out to the Gunks!

There are 3 classic problems on it:

Andrew’s Traverse (V4):

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Ann Marie with the heel hook in while on “Andrew’s Traverse”

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Progressing thru the traverse one has to let go of the heel hook, hold on and campus with just 2 “slopey” crimps….

Illustrious (V8):

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Illustrious requires your start to be with Compression… lots of compression cupping a sloper on each side and using your heels to hook on to blank rock long enough to make your first move.

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In making your first move from the start one must hold on with at least 2 points of contact on the rock while making a static grab for the slopey horn of the boulder.(easier said then done…)

Andrew’s Roof (V9):

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Andrew’s Roof is a test of your confidence & fear as you begin to  tuck yourself into the rock, you lock off on a crimp with your right hand and lift your left foot onto the ledge.

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The true test of courage comes when you have to trust the lock off & your core as you to make a full reach backwards attempting to grab the lip of the roof!

It was an incredible day out bouldering in the Gunks!

A few more photos of the day:

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A Parting Perspective:

A climber in the Near Trapp cliffs in a white shirt.

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    Cliffs further smaller

Looking to explore on your climbing Rest Day?

Read: Sam’s Point – The Gunks’ Natural Wonderland

Next Article: “Unsung Heroes of Climbing”

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