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The Gunks are way worthy!
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By Simon Thompson
From New Paltz, NY
Nov 26, 2012

SethG wrote:
Blistered Toe? (Awesome 1st pitch) Up Yours? Bloody Mary? Shit Creek? Le Plie? Handy Andy? Baskerville Terrace? Cakewalk? Sleepwalk? I could go on, off the top of my head. The problem, Kevin, is that the more limited point you should be making is uncontroversial. I would agree with you if you said the 5.6 grade has more standout classics and that the 5.8 grade has more routes. But when you make broad blanket statements like the one above you are incorrect. There are many many more quality 5.7's. Do you really have broad enough experience to be dismissing the whole lot of them as "not very good?" I should also add that while 5.7 may be a somewhat problematical grade the best Gunks 5.7's are among the best climbs in the Gunks at any grade! CCK, Thin Slabs Direct and Limelight are just amazing amazing routes. I will cherish the experience of doing these climbs forever.


Thanks. Exactly what I wanted trying to say. And yeah like I said before, I've climbed a ton of routes in the Gunks and when I go to the 'dax it makes me realized that Gunks grades are just as consistent and of course also as variable as almost every other climbing area I've been to.


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By Gunkiemike
Nov 26, 2012

Kevin Heckeler wrote:
No, there are not many graded 5.7 routes at the Gunks. Look at the list in the guide. Many more 5.8s, and several more 5.6s fwiw.


Dick's Gunks Select book lists climbs by grade, and by virtue of it being a "select" book, the duds have been excluded. This info makes it fairly easy to compare number of routes at each grade. Much better than counting what's in the mp routes database. I've got a bunch of numbers (Trapps vs. Near Trapps, only 2 and 3 star routes and so on) and could make a bunch of colorful bar charts. But I'm not inclined to do that. Here's the short version:

There are more quality 5.7's at Trapps and Nears than there are quality 5.6s. Not a ton more, esp. if you only look at the multi-star classics, but more nonetheless.

There are way more quality 5.8s than either 6s or 7s. Like twice as many 8s as 6s.

But there are even more quality 9s and 10s than there are 8s, though 9s are a bit sparse at Near Trapps. Multi-star 10s outnumber 6s nearly 4 to 1.

This came as a surprise to me because my gut feel was right there with Kevin that there are somewhat fewer great 7s at the Gunks than the other grades. It MAY be because a lot of the 7s are single pitch routes, but that doesn't exactly jump out of the numbers I've got here.


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By Rob Davis
From Brooklyn, NY
Nov 26, 2012

gunks fee bums me out, but more because it + soon to be no free camping is going to be a very big contributing factor in my ability to afford climbing as often as I'd like. I think a group making money off of climbing "their rocks" isn't much different from a group of people making money off of skiing on "their hills" but ownership of nature has always made me uncomfortable. I miss free climbing in the south.


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By David Stowe
Nov 26, 2012

Rob Davis wrote:
gunks fee bums me out, but more because it + soon to be no free camping is going to be a very big contributing factor in my ability to afford climbing as often as I'd like. I think a group making money off of climbing "their rocks" isn't much different from a group of people making money off of skiing on "their hills" but ownership of nature has always made me uncomfortable. I miss free climbing in the south.

Would you be more comfortable if all of this land was not in preserve hands but divided amongst other private owners and subject to developement and you would have zero access to climb. Those complainers out there really seem to never consider the realistic alternative, but rather just the pie in the sky "I want everything free regardless if it's realistic or even possible". We are lucky to have the preserve protecting these special places even if there is a usage fee. If there was no preserve I venture to guess what would be present would look far different and I doubt very much any of us would like it.

And by the way there are ton's of good 7's to climb. I have always thought that the 9s were always the most under appreciated grade in the gunks. So many great lines.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 27, 2012
Rumney

lucander wrote:
At this point Mr. Heckler could say that the sky is blue and someone would disagree with him...


Probably. Gunky Mike clarified things well, as did my last post.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 27, 2012
Rumney

David Stowe wrote:
Would you be more comfortable if all of this land was not in preserve hands but divided amongst other private owners and subject to developement and you would have zero access to climb. Those complainers out there really seem to never consider the realistic alternative, but rather just the pie in the sky "I want everything free regardless if it's realistic or even possible". We are lucky to have the preserve protecting these special places even if there is a usage fee. If there was no preserve I venture to guess what would be present would look far different and I doubt very much any of us would like it. And by the way there are ton's of good 7's to climb. I have always thought that the 9s were always the most under appreciated grade in the gunks. So many great lines.


Stop with the boogeyman BS. See the other Gunks thread for the mohonk preserve versus the world discussion.

mountainproject.com/v/gunks-mua-camping-ticket---help/107845>>>


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By Rob Davis
From Brooklyn, NY
Nov 27, 2012

David Stowe wrote:
Would you be more comfortable if all of this land was not in preserve hands but divided amongst other private owners and subject to developement and you would have zero access to climb. Those complainers out there really seem to never consider the realistic alternative, but rather just the pie in the sky "I want everything free regardless if it's realistic or even possible". We are lucky to have the preserve protecting these special places even if there is a usage fee. If there was no preserve I venture to guess what would be present would look far different and I doubt very much any of us would like it. And by the way there are ton's of good 7's to climb. I have always thought that the 9s were always the most under appreciated grade in the gunks. So many great lines.



no of course I wouldn't! I understand there is a possibility that the alternative would be much worse, but it doesn't make me any happier to pay out more money than I have to climb. Is it an outrageous price? Not really. But is it more than I'm used to paying (just moved from the south)? Yup.
I love it and think it's beautiful up there, but I have trouble paying the bills in the city, so while that $17 isn't "that much", it certainly is a good chunk of money for me. And I don't have a car, so the season pass didn't make much sense for me this year (only got up there 3 or 4 times, all bummed rides or trains to busses to cars).

edit//
I will say I had a blast at peterskill the few times I went, and that $7 is much more affordable for me. The problem with the "You pay xxx to drive up here, etc" argument is that it's possible to split the price of gas amongst 5 people, but it's not possible to split the cost of climbing. And with the camping about to stop being free, I have to say gunks trips are looking like more and more of a luxury.


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By Anthony Baraff
From Paris, France
Nov 27, 2012
Another Anthony (me) on Unnamed BP #2.

CaptainMo wrote:
It is... but I wasn't going to get into that here on MP. The worst is when a ranger interrupts your belayer or you mid crux in a hard climb and starts asking to see passes. I've had to tell a few of them over the years to piss off and demand to know if they were trying to get me hurt or killed.


Has this ever actually happened? I've spent months living there and never been asked for a pass while actually climbing. The rangers are usually at the entrance to the West Trapps lot, Coxing lot or Bonitcou lot, on top of the bridge, at the bottom of the stairmaster or at the top of the stairmaster. I've seen rangers up at the cliff except for when it intersects the carriage road.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 27, 2012
Rumney

Anthony Baraff wrote:
Has this ever actually happened? I've spent months living there and never been asked for a pass while actually climbing. The rangers are usually at the entrance to the West Trapps lot, Coxing lot or Bonitcou lot, on top of the bridge, at the bottom of the stairmaster or at the top of the stairmaster. I've seen rangers up at the cliff except for when it intersects the carriage road.


I've heard of it happening, but usually only when people sneak in and are noticed by rangers from a distance.


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By GMBurns
Nov 27, 2012
Climbing at Morro Anhangava in Southern Brasil. <br /> <br />(photo by Isa Vellozo)

Anthony Baraff wrote:
Has this ever actually happened? I've spent months living there and never been asked for a pass while actually climbing. The rangers are usually at the entrance to the West Trapps lot, Coxing lot or Bonitcou lot, on top of the bridge, at the bottom of the stairmaster or at the top of the stairmaster. I've seen rangers up at the cliff except for when it intersects the carriage road.


It happened once to me. Lucander popped in while I was belaying a mutual friend of ours. He and I had just met the night before, so he didn't recognize me. We had passes, but he gave us a pass when she yelled down at him to (choice of colorful words) wait. Hehe


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By Rob Davis
From Brooklyn, NY
Nov 27, 2012

I also don't really understand the "Isn't paying $17 better than having the cliffs become condos?" mantra that seems to be tossed around. Of course it's better, but I'm curious as to why it has to either cost $17 or be developed? I would say a LARGE majority of climbing in the US is free (subsidized by taxes), donation based, or very minimal fee. To say that the gunks either have to be expensive or a housing development just seems like a silly argument.

I'm planning on saving up to buy a season pass for 2013, but that doesn't make me think that the fee is the "right" answer.

Maybe it comes down to cheapness or downright entitlement, but spending 4 meals worth of money to have access to something in nature bums me out. I continue to do it because I love the sport and am glad it goes to preserving moss and all that jazz, but It still doesn't quite sit right with me.


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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Nov 27, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on

www.mohonkpreserve.org/sites/default/files/files/PDF/Financi>>>

Can't have your cake and eat it too! It's not like they're making millions off of your hard earned dollars, they have a lot of costs to ensure the quality of the cliff and surrounding natural areas.

I do agree that the day pass vs. the annual pass is a joke...if you're a student you go for 8 or 9 times in one year to make it worth it.

The Mohonk preserve owns some of the most expensive real estate in the country...they COULD be making millions (billions?) if they decided to sell it to developers, yet they decide to forge a (relatively) meager existence by being a climber/hiker/biker/nature enthusiast friendly establishment. I am very glad they do so. It is private property, so nobody but the owners have any entitlement to be on it...consider it a very special privilege.


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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Nov 27, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on

give a mouse a muffin, it'll take a kilometer...wait what?


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By Rob Davis
From Brooklyn, NY
Nov 27, 2012

Ben Brotelho wrote:
www.mohonkpreserve.org/sites/default/files/files/PDF/Financi>>> Can't have your cake and eat it too! It's not like they're making millions off of your hard earned dollars, they have a lot of costs to ensure the quality of the cliff and surrounding natural areas. I do agree that the day pass vs. the annual pass is a joke...if you're a student you go for 8 or 9 times in one year to make it worth it. The Mohonk preserve owns some of the most expensive real estate in the country...they COULD be making millions (billions?) if they decided to sell it to developers, yet they decide to forge a (relatively) meager existence by being a climber/hiker/biker/nature enthusiast friendly establishment. I am very glad they do so. It is private property, so nobody but the owners have any entitlement to be on it...consider it a very special privilege.


I agree whole heartedly with most of this, but I'm a bit confused by why most other places in the US are able to balance their budgets with much smaller (or no) fees. Perhaps instead of raising the prices every year, they should reevaluate their spending.


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By David Stowe
Nov 27, 2012

Rob Davis wrote:
I agree whole heartedly with most of this, but I'm a bit confused by why most other places in the US are able to balance their budgets with much smaller (or no) fees. Perhaps instead of raising the prices every year, they should reevaluate their spending.


Likely numerous reasons. Are many of the "free" areas you are referring to already public land?

We live in the northeast and cost of living is significantly higher than in other areas of the country. This would lead to basic costs to run the preserve being higher.

There is also constant land aquisition to preserve more land. The preserve boundaries on not stagnant but ever changing in incorporate more land. This is not free.

As to Kevin "boogeyman" of development it is not an imaginary spectre but a very real scenario if the land was not in the hands of the preserve. Development projects on the ridge which would have significantly transformed the land have be avoided thanks to the preserve. The property is also extremely valuable real estate. You are kidding yourself or just unwilling to see reality if you think that this land would not be significantly developed and you would have zero access to climbing if the land was not in preserve hands.


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By Gunkiemike
Nov 27, 2012

David Stowe wrote:
You are kidding yourself or just unwilling to see reality if you think that this land would not be significantly developed and you would have zero access to climbing if the land was not in preserve hands.


Do people really have such short memories that they have totally forgotten how close we came to massive Ridge development on Bradley's Awosting Reserve? It's not some empty, hypothetical boogeyman.

And "state ownership" of the Mohonk lands pretty much means it would be incorporated into Minnewaska Park Preserve (as all the other formerly-private parcels have been: Philips, Ice Caves and Shevchenko to name a few). And again you'd have to be seriously not paying attention to understand that that means NO CLIMBING.


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By doligo
Nov 27, 2012
Jose Cuervo Fruitcups dirtbag style

I would rather pay $90 for a week of visit and have friendly rangers on my side, sleep in my vehicle in the parking lot without fears about getting chased around in the middle of the night and not stress out about my vehicle getting broken in while I'm climbing etc. Despite being close to major urban areas, the Mohonk Preserve parking lots never make me feel uneasy about leaving climbing gear in the vehicle.

And about the .7s in the Gunks - the stars of the two megaclassics alone probably outscore all the stars on .6s: Limelight and CCK. Someone once observed and she may be right, that odd grades in the Gunks seem to test your technique and even grades seem to test your strength. If you hate 7s and 9s in the Gunks - chances are you may need to work on your footwork!


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By Rob Davis
From Brooklyn, NY
Nov 27, 2012

doligo wrote:
I would rather pay $90 for a week of visit and have friendly rangers on my side, sleep in my vehicle in the parking lot without fears about getting chased around in the middle of the night and not stress out about my vehicle getting broken in while I'm climbing etc. Despite being close to major urban areas, the Mohonk Preserve parking lots never make me feel uneasy about leaving climbing gear in the vehicle. And about the .7s in the Gunks - the stars of the two megaclassics alone probably outscore all the stars on .6s: Limelight and CCK. Someone once observed and she may be right, that odd grades in the Gunks seem to test your technique and even grades seem to test your strength. If you hate 7s and 9s in the Gunks - chances are you may need to work on your footwork!


I think that camp slime (and maybe car camping for free) is about to disappear right? I've been loosely following it, but if free camping is gone it'll definitely make trips harder.


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By Happiegrrrl
From Gunks
Nov 27, 2012

Gunkie Mike, I was about to bring up the Awosting Preserve.

Lest anyone suggest "see, the state came in and saved that land from development," it would be an inaccurate statement, The Open Space Institute stepped up and saved that land, and transferred administration the Minnewaska State Park Preserve, which is managed by the PIPC. The state, on it's own, most likely could never have managed the acquisition, and I am not sure they ever even considered doing so.

Was it one or two years ago that New York State was in fiscal crisis and one potential way to reduce expenses was to close the state parks? This seemed absurd to most of us, but it was something that was actually on the table. If it happened, the state would have closed access put real "guards" on patrol - and those guards would not have been trailhead assistants with no authority to stop you from acting badly except to say "please don't," but LEO-enabled folks with the ability to confiscate gear and write trespassing tickets, arrest.


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By Rob Davis
From Brooklyn, NY
Nov 27, 2012

Happiegrrrl wrote:
Gunkie Mike, I was about to bring up the Awosting Preserve. Lest anyone suggest "see, the state came in and saved that land from development," it would be an inaccurate statement, The Open Space Institute stepped up and saved that land, and transferred administration the Minnewaska State Park Preserve, which is managed by the PIPC. The state, on it's own, most likely could never have managed the acquisition, and I am not sure they ever even considered doing so. Was it one or two years ago that New York State was in fiscal crisis and one potential way to reduce expenses was to close the state parks? This seemed absurd to most of us, but it was something that was actually on the table. If it happened, the state would have closed access put real "guards" on patrol - and those guards would not have been trailhead assistants with no authority to stop you from acting badly except to say "please don't," but LEO-enabled folks with the ability to confiscate gear and write trespassing tickets, arrest.



nc closed certain state parks during certain seasons to save money.


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By gumbotron
From Denver, CO
Nov 27, 2012

The Gunks truly are way worthy. $90 is an incredible deal for year round climbing, biking, running, and xc skiing. I've often had the internal debate about how much I would be willing to pay for a year pass at the gunks...I think I would go up to about the $1000 mark. 30 weekends a year, 60 days a year. Whaddya know, that's about $17 a day.


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By PTR
From GA
Nov 27, 2012

I think the fee when I first started going to the Gunks in 1986 was $4. We bitched a little and cheated a little on weekdays when we could, but I never felt that it was too much for what we received. Now, all these years -- and fee increases -- later I still feel that the fee is worth the price and that the Preserve has done a great job a preserving the ridge.

At the risk of sounding like an old fart.... Was talking to a kid about the fee at the New Paltz climbing film festival in October. He was complaining about it -- and how he was just a poor college kid. He was, of course (predictably), standing there in, let's see: Prana pants, Ibex wool shirt, guide tennies, RAB puffy, etc. You get the idea. For him, the discourse about the fee was more of a youthful pose than an actual economic issue.

In the end, though, we're both climbers -- and we agreed that the Gunks are "way worthy" and that the films at this year's festival were just incredible.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 27, 2012
Rumney

Don't make me copy and paste all of my responses from the other thread.


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By Colonel Mustard
From Reno, NV
Nov 27, 2012
Colonel Mustard

Has there ever been consideration of NP status for the Gunks?


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By MojoMonkey
Nov 27, 2012

Kevin Heckeler wrote:
Don't make me copy and paste all of my responses from the other thread.


I hope another thread about the Gunks that has nothing to do with the economics of climbing there pops up soon so you can derail that one too!


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