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The Gunks

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The Gunks 


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Elevation: 1,000'
Location: 41.736, -74.191 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: JSH, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Ron Olsen on Feb 18, 2006
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Jeff Arliss pulling the first roof on Feast of Foo...

Description 

The Gunks (short for Shawangunks) is one of the premier climbing areas in the country. Located near New Paltz, NY, the Gunks is about 85 miles from the NYC metropolitan area, making it a popular weekend destination. The rock is quartz conglomerate, solid rock with horizontal rather than vertical cracks. Climbing at the Gunks is characterized by roofs, jugs, traverses, big air, and sometimes "sporty" pro. The Gunks is famous for great one-to-three-pitch climbs of all levels of difficulty. You'll find some of the best easy and moderate trad climbs in the country at the Gunks. There are a few bolted climbs at the Gunks, but no sport climbs.

The ratings at the Gunks are stiff; beware of a climb with a "+" at the end of its rating. Climbs like Thin Slabs / Thin Slabs Direct (5.7+), Something Interesting (5.7+), Modern Times (5.8+), Broken Sling (5.8+), Le Teton (5.9+), and Coexistence (5.10+) will seem like sandbags to many climbers. Climbing overhanging rock, even with jugs, requires endurance and commitment. Most climbers new to the Gunks drop down a few grades in their first leads to get a feel for the rock, the ratings, and to learn how to place pro in the horizontal cracks.

The best time to climb at the Gunks is during the fall: September and October are the prime climbing season. Mid-October brings the fall colors to the area, and climbers will have to vie with "leaf peepers" for restaurants and places to stay in New Paltz. Climbing in the spring is also popular, but tends to be wetter and more buggy. Summer is hot and humid (don't miss the swimming hole), and winter offers a few climbable days. New Paltz weather forecast

The Gunks is one of the oldest climbing areas in the country. Fritz Wiessner first climbed at the Gunks in 1935, and he and Hans Kraus put up many classic routes in the 1940s. High Exposure, established in 1941, remains one of the most exposed and exciting 5.6 routes any climber will ever do, and should be on every visiting climber's tick list.

Most of the Gunks is part of the Mohonk Preserve, a land trust dedicated to preserving and protecting the northern Shawangunk Ridge. Climbers must pay a $17 daily fee to climb at the Gunks, or else buy an annual pass for $90 (amounts as of 2011). Stop at the Visitor's Center, on Rt. 44/55 just below the cliffs, for more information.


The Cliffs 

The main cliffs at the Gunks are The Trapps and The Near Trapps. The Trapps is several miles long, and ranges in height from 30' to over 250'. A convenient gravel carriage road traverses under the cliff for its entire length, and designated access trails climb from the carriage road through the talus to the cliff. Access to most climbs at the Trapps involves hiking along the carriage road for 5 minutes to a half hour, followed by a short hike up to the rock. Some of the climbs on the left end of the Trapps start right off the carriage road.

The Nears is also a popular destination, with climbs ranging in height from 30' to 200'. While not as extensive as The Trapps, the Nears offers many excellent routes with short approaches. The near (north) end is most popular, but there are good climbs farther down the cliff as well.

Around 2000, the Mohonk Preserve installed around 40 two-bolt belays spread out among routes in the Trapps, Nears, and Lost City. There is one dedicated rappel line, just north of High E, which can be rappelled with one 50m rope.

Millbrook is more remote and offers adventurous climbing for those wanting to get off the beaten path. This area is frequented more by Gunks locals than first-time visiting climbers. The approach is roughly an hour along pleasant rambling trails, and Westward Ha! is worth the walk!

Sky Top has many classic routes, and was closed for over ten years by the landowner, the Mohonk Mountain House, an exclusive and expensive resort. As of April 2007 there is LEGAL climbing at Sky Top once again - IF, and only if, you are an overnight guest of the Mountain House ($$$), AND you climb with an appointed guide service, Alpine Endeavors.

Peterskill, in Minnewaska State Park, is another popular Gunks climbing destination, offering single-pitch climbs, top-roping, and bouldering. Follow directions to The Trapps and continue on Rt. 44/55 for about a mile past the steel bridge to get to the park entrance. A separate admission fee is charged.

Other Gunks climbing areas, such as ?? and Bonticou, are under-documented by local tradition. Climbing here is by word of mouth; go with a Gunks local or perhaps get information at Rock & Snow, the local climbing shop in New Paltz.


Climbing Gear 

Due to the abundance of horizontal cracks and the limited number of vertical cracks, most Gunks routes have "PG" protection: adequate but not great, although many gear ratings were applied before small cams were invented. The horizontal cracks are great for small Tricams: the pink and red are especially useful. Small-to-medium cams with flexible shafts also work well. Climbs rarely need pro larger than 3". Hexes are not often carried, but sometimes work well.

Fixed pro is sometimes available, but many of the pins are "old and rusted and shouldn't be trusted". Bring a screamer or two for the questionable pin or bolt.

A "Standard Rack" for the Gunks:

  • a set of micronuts (RPs, HB offsets, BD micro stoppers) - very often useful for 5.10 and above.
  • a set of wired nuts (#3-#13 BD Stoppers or equivalent)
  • pink, red, and brown Tricams (some climbers double up on the red)
  • blue, green, yellow, gray, and red Aliens (or equivalent)
  • #.75, #1, #2, and #3 Camalots (or equivalent)
  • 10-12 extendable runners (24" sewn slings)
  • 1 or 2 long runners (48" sewn slings or rabbit runners)
  • A Yates Screamer

Additional gear that is useful on some climbs:

  • extra cams in the .5" to 2" range - very useful for new Gunks leaders
  • a very small cam (black Alien or equivalent)
  • a large cam (#4 Camalot or equivalent)
  • a set of Trango Ball Nutz (#1, #2, #3). There are several 'new' moderate routes in the Nears, put up by Dick Williams and partners, which rely heavily on Ball Nutz for protection; caveat emptor.
  • larger Tricams (purple #2, black #2.5)
  • medium-sized hexes (BD #6-#8)

The amount of gear that you carry will depend on the climb, your experience, ability, and familiarity with the route and with the Gunks. If you're new to the Gunks, err on the side of taking a little more gear rather than a little less.

Many routes can be climbed and rappelled with a single 60m rope. Double ropes can be handy, however, with the traverses, wandering pro, and roofs encountered on the typical Gunks climb, and come in handy to descend in fewer rappels.

Many popular routes have bolted rap stations, but sometimes trees are used for rap anchors. Bring some webbing along in case you need to beef up a sling anchor on a tree.

Two-way radios can be useful for communicating past the big roofs often encountered on Gunks climbs. High Exposure, Disneyland, and especially Shockley's Ceiling are routes where radios can be much more effective than shouting.

Visit Rock & Snow, the local climbing shop, at 44 Main St. in New Paltz, for all your gear and beta needs.


Guidebooks 

The definitive guides to the Gunks are the The Climber's Guide to the Shawangunks: The Trapps and The Climber's Guide to the Shawangunks: The Near Trapps and Millbrook books, most recently in grey and maroon, respectively, from Dick Williams.

Other guides include The Gunks Select, a best-of selection covering the Trapps, Nears and Skytop by Dick Williams, Vulgarian Press, 1996 (out of print); The Gunks Guide, Third Edition, Todd Swain, Falcon Press, 1995; and THE GUNKS, from Zach Orenczak and Rachael Lynn (Extreme Angles Publishing).


Getting There 

By Plane

The out-of-state climber may want to fly into Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), La Guardia Airport (LGA), or Stewart International Airport (SWF), rent a car, and drive to New Paltz.

Newark Liberty to New Paltz: 97 miles, 1 hour and 39 minutes.
Directions from Newark Liberty Airport to New Paltz Hostel

La Guardia to New Paltz: 87 miles, 1 hour and 38 minutes.
Directions from La Guardia Airport to New Paltz Hostel

Stewart International Airport is the closest commercial airport to the Gunks. The airport is a quiet regional hub; you rarely have to wait in line, and you can arrive at the airport less than an hour before your flight. Connections to and from here may be limited, however.

Stewart International to New Paltz: 22 miles, 28 minutes.
Directions from Stewart International Airport to New Paltz Hostel

More on arranging transportation: Getting around

By Car

To get to New Paltz: take the New York State Thruway (Interstate 87) to exit 18 (New Paltz/Poughkeepsie). Pass the toll booth and go to the first traffic light. Turn left at the light onto Rt. 299 West. Follow 299 several miles into New Paltz, where it becomes Main St.

To get to the Gunks from New Paltz: continue on Rt. 299 for 7 miles until it intersects with Rt. 44/55 (The Brauhaus, Bistro and EMS are at this intersection). Turn right and continue about 1.5 miles up the hill to reach the Mohonk Preserve Visitor's Center. Stop here for maps, information, and to buy daily or annual passes (you can also get passes from the rangers on the carriage road). The Warwarsing parking area, which provides convenient access for climbs on the right side of the Trapps, lies just beyond the Visitor's Center. The West Trapps parking area, used to access the left side of the Trapps and the Near Trapps, lies up the hill, beyond the big hairpin turn, just past a steel bridge. There are also parking areas at the hairpin turn, and at the top of the hill just before the steel bridge, but these are posted as 30-minute parking only (may or may not be often enforced by the local or state police, depending on season and mood).

By Bus

Trailways has a bus terminal in New Paltz, right next to the New Paltz Hostel, but it's most convenient to have a car to get to the cliffs.
139 Main St.
New Paltz, NY 12561
800-776-7548


Where to Stay 

Also see Rock & Snow Places to Stay

HOSTELS and MOTELS

New Paltz Hostel is located near downtown and right next to the bus station. A variety of accommodations is available for $30/person/night. Free internet access and a shared kitchen are part of the amenities. Reservations recommended for weekends. Off-street parking is available.
145 Main Street
New Paltz, NY 12561
845-255-6676

87 Motel is the cheapest motel in New Paltz. Older, on the edge of town, it is suitable for the budget-minded climber.
403 Main Street
New Paltz, NY 12561
Local - 845-255-9220
Toll free - 800-879-8787

Super 8 of New Paltz tripadvisor.com rates Super 8 as the best motel in New Paltz.
7 Terwilliger Ln.
New Paltz, NY 12561
845-255-8865

Rodeway Inn and Suites People seem to like the suites, but it has gotten mixed reviews.
601 Main Street
New Paltz, NY 12561
845-883-7373

Econo Lodge gets bad reviews from tripadvisor.com
530 Main St.
New Paltz, NY 12561
Local - 845-255-6200
Toll free - 800-424-4777

Bed and Breakfasts are available if you want a more 'romantic' getaway, or just space to lounge around in. B&Bs start around $100+/night (call around) per couple for lodging and breakfast. Because the Culinary Institute is nearby, most B&B breakfasts are quite a feast! Given that even the econo-lodges are $80/night and up without food, B&Bs can be a reasonable option, especially for cooler days when the sun sets early.

Mohonk Mountain House is great if you've just won the millionaire lottery!

CAMPING

NY State DEC Multi-Use AreaŽion=New%20Paltz%20Region is located on Route 299 just a half-mile from Rt 44/55 in Gardiner. Camping is free, but there are no amenities or reservations. Get here early during the busy season. For more info, contact
DEC Regional OfficeBold Text
South Putt Corners Road
New Paltz, NY 12561
845-256-3024

2011 update: ATTENTION SHANGUNK MULTIPLE USE AREA CAMPERS
Due to continued impact on public health, safety and environmental resources at the Shawangunk Multiple Use Area, the number of designated campsites is being reduced to 9.

All designated camp sites will be on the south side of the road and large enough to accommodate the legal limit of up to 9 campers per site. Groups are encouraged to share campsites in order to allow the maximum number of 81 campers.

Parking will only be allowed in the main parking lot on the south side of the road, the same side of the road as camping. The parking lot on the north side of the road will be blocked off to prevent the public (campers) from parking there and crossing the road to camp. Parking along the shoulder of route 299 will be prohibited to limit traffic/pedestrian issues.

Any questions should be directed to Jeffrey Wiegert at (845) 256-3084

Trapps Camp (aka Camp Slime)Žion=New%20Paltz%20Region: Located in the Mohonk Preserve, near the steel bridge. It's a bare-bones site in the woods with a depressing quality; recommended only to climbers on a severely limited budget. Contact the Mohonk Preserve for more info.

Yogi Bear's is an RV-style family campground in Gardiner, at 50 Bevier Rd.

Creek View in Rosendale, ~7 miles from New Paltz, has flat, grassy tent sites with picnic tables, showers, and there is plenty of hot water for dishes. The owner, Bill, makes it a point to enforce quiet hours (11pm to 7am). Other privately owned campgrounds are charging 3x what Bill charges. He also has full hookups for those with RVs or just wanting some electricity. His monthly rate is the best in the area, by far.


Where to Eat 

New Paltz is a college town (the State University of New York has a campus here), with many excellent bars and restaurants. Many local chefs are graduates of the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park, so expect to eat well here!

Main Street Bistro, 59 Main St.: great place for breakfast.

Bacchus is the original climber's haunt, with 14 beers on tap and hundreds more in the bottle. The food is all excellent, and the menu varies widely between bar fare like nachos, to tuna tartare.

The Bakery, 13A North Front St.: another great breakfast place.

The Bistro Mountain Store AKA The Bistro: Great inexpensive breakfast foods and a climber's hangout. They do not have tap water to fill up your bottles, however. At the junction of Rt. 299 and Rt. 44/55.

Gilded Otter, 3 Main St.: a great brew-pub for after-climbing drinks and dinner.

Mountain Brauhaus, Corner Route 299 & Route 44-55: authentic German food.

P&G's, 91 Main St.: excellent pub food and beer.

Main Course, 175 Main St.: eclectic gourmet fare and many ready-to-eat options.

Lemon Grass, 125 Main St.: spicy Thai food.

Cookies and Cream, 11 Main St.: after-climb ice-cream cones. There's also an ice cream shop on the north side of Main St., just before the Stop & Shop Plaza.

There are lots of other great places to eat and drink in town; see Rock & Snow Places to Eat, and newpaltz.org restaurant list for more info.


Other Resources 

See gunks.com and Rock & Snow for lots of good info. The Gunks Climbers' Coalition is the local climber advocacy group.


773 Total Routes


['4 Stars',56],['3 Stars',243],['2 Stars',347],['1 Star',103],['Bomb',5]
['<=5.6',163],['5.7',75],['5.8',123],['5.9',105],['5.10',118],['5.11',47],['5.12',17],['5.13',2],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',56],['V2-3',49],['V4-5',10],['V6-7',3],['V8-9',4],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',1],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Gunks:
Gelsa   5.4 4a 12 IV VD 3c     Trad, 3 pitches, 195'   The Near Trapps : a. Beginning of cliff to Ge...
Horseman   5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a     Trad, 1 pitch, 120'   The Trapps : a. The Uberfall
Madame Grunnebaum's Wulst   5.6 4c 14 V S 4b     Trad, 3 pitches, 210'   The Trapps : f. The Guides' Wall (Madame...
High Exposure   5.6 4c 14 V S 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 250'   The Trapps : i. High E
Frog's Head   5.6 4c 14 V S 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 160'   The Trapps : c. Frog's Head - the Arch
Shockley's Ceiling   5.6 4c 14 V S 4b     Trad, 3 pitches, 275'   The Trapps : d. Strictly - Shockley's
Yellow Ridge   5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   The Near Trapps : a. Beginning of cliff to Ge...
Limelight   5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 180'   The Trapps : h. The Arrow Wall - CCK
Something Interesting   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   The Trapps : e. The Mac Wall (Something ...
Arrow   5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   The Trapps : h. The Arrow Wall - CCK
Son of Easy O   5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches, 170'   The Trapps : c. Frog's Head - the Arch
Cascading Crystal Kaleidoscope (CCK)   5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c PG13     Trad, 3 pitches, 250'   The Trapps : h. The Arrow Wall - CCK
Birdland   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   The Near Trapps : b. Gelsa to Moe (closure)
Modern Times   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches, 250'   The Trapps : h. The Arrow Wall - CCK
Bonnie's Roof   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 250'   The Trapps : i. High E
MF   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 180'   The Trapps : e. The Mac Wall (Something ...
Directissima   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 120'   The Trapps : i. High E
Ants' Line   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   The Trapps : i. High E
Directississima   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 200'   The Trapps : i. High E
The Yellow Wall   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- E4 6a PG13     Trad, 2 pitches, 125'   The Trapps : j. The Yellow Wall (Airy Ar...
Browse More Classics in The Gunks

Featured Route For The Gunks
Bradley, my 9 year old, blasting up the climb!

Petey's Spare Rib 5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a PG13  NY : The Gunks : Sky Top
A wonderful route that zig-zags back and forth over an arete, with thin, facey moves and not too many of the classic Gunks jugs. I found the route rather sustained, but there is a very obvious crux section above gear. This route is not a good one for a 5.5 leader; it's devious, with questionable footholds and lots of smearing throughout. In the guidebook at 5.4 PG***, I'd give it a 5.5....[more]   Browse More Classics in NY

Photos of The Gunks Slideshow Add Photo
Matinee, P1, 1976 approximately. Photo by (I think) Hardie Truesdale, now a successful landscape photographer. Classic! Flip-flop stoppers (2 on a single cord so that you can flip one over the other as opposing wedges), 2" red swami, home-made leg loops, green Shoenards (stiff like cinder blocks), all ovals, and, of course, painters pants.
Matinee, P1, 1976 approximately. Photo by (I think...
The 5.7+ third pitch of Cascading Crystal Kaleidoscope (CCK), an airy and exposed Gunks classic. <br /> <br />Photo by <a href='/u/michael-amato//11870'>Michael Amato</a>.
The 5.7+ third pitch of Cascading Crystal Kaleidos...
Quite a weird sight... a snake eating a toad!
Quite a weird sight... a snake eating a toad!
Troy Sexton near the top of CCK Direct.
Troy Sexton near the top of CCK Direct.
Climber preparing to start the exposed and exciting last pitch of High Exposure, one of the best 5.6 pitches on the planet.
Climber preparing to start the exposed and excitin...
froghand
froghand
Jay Peterson (age 8) bouldering, Dec 26 2001.
Jay Peterson (age 8) bouldering, Dec 26 2001.
Climber on Doubleissima, a 5.10 Gunks classic.
Climber on Doubleissima, a 5.10 Gunks classic.
KARMIC RELIEF: Ring and bell don't
KARMIC RELIEF: Ring and bell don't
Derek underneath the first crux roof on Shockley's Ceiling (5.7) <br /> <br />A cropped version of a photo submitted by Denis O'Connor.
Derek underneath the first crux roof on Shockley's...
Here is one of many fun moderate lines up the Bonticou cliff. I exited the V to the left.
Here is one of many fun moderate lines up the Bont...
KARMIC RELIEF Guide Dog
KARMIC RELIEF Guide Dog
we're not booty (leave me plz) thanks
we're not booty (leave me plz) thanks
Benny Bach on, of course...the boxcar.....
Benny Bach on, of course...the boxcar.....
Jekich latching onto the final jug of Susie A.
Jekich latching onto the final jug of Susie A.
KARMIC RELIEF: Strong like bolts
KARMIC RELIEF: Strong like bolts
Sunday Nov 3, 2013 -- An amazing rainbow right over the Trapps!  Taken by Jim Van Natta, from the GT ledge atop "Morning After"
Sunday Nov 3, 2013 -- An amazing rainbow right ove...
This guy showed up while I was belaying somebody.
BETA PHOTO: This guy showed up while I was belaying somebody.
Millbrook, the Gunks
Millbrook, the Gunks
Mike Amato firing the wild crux of Modern Times.  Can you believe this move is only rated 5.8+?
Mike Amato firing the wild crux of Modern Times. ...
Welcome to the Gunks!
Welcome to the Gunks!
At Duck Pond.
At Duck Pond.
Looking south @ the Trapps
Looking south @ the Trapps
KARMIC RELIEF: Yodeledge
KARMIC RELIEF: Yodeledge
KARMIC RELIEF: Optimistic Rappit
KARMIC RELIEF: Optimistic Rappit
Tricia Fusco approaching the P1 crux of Bonnie's Roof (5.9) <br /> <br />Cropped version of a photo by Denis O'Connor.
Tricia Fusco approaching the P1 crux of Bonnie's R...
Local Wildlife!
Local Wildlife!
Local Wildlife
Local Wildlife
KARMIC RELIEF: Sgt.Figurine
KARMIC RELIEF: Sgt.Figurine
KARMIC RELIEF chilling
KARMIC RELIEF chilling
Another Gunks Sunset!
Another Gunks Sunset!
a quick tick of Marrakesh
a quick tick of Marrakesh
Scrambling up to Bonticu.
Scrambling up to Bonticu.
Black Boulder Problem, sent after a generous skin donation
Black Boulder Problem, sent after a generous skin ...
Split Rock
Split Rock
Castle point, NY
BETA PHOTO: Castle point, NY
A rock above the GT ledge only held up by the tree!
A rock above the GT ledge only held up by the tree...
Plenty of real climbing to be done at Bonticou.  This is the blazed trail up the formation.
Plenty of real climbing to be done at Bonticou. T...
When a day pass was 4 bucks or less.
When a day pass was 4 bucks or less.
KARMIC RELIEF: Hello Hula
KARMIC RELIEF: Hello Hula
Local Wildlife
Local Wildlife
Tazmanian Delight
Tazmanian Delight
Gunks roofs at their finest.
Gunks roofs at their finest.
Mac Wall
Mac Wall
Learning to climb in the talus next to the Bonticou trail
Learning to climb in the talus next to the Bontico...
KARMIC RELIEF ... who's been naughty and who's been nice
KARMIC RELIEF ... who's been naughty and who's bee...
Local Wildlife
Local Wildlife
Panoramic view from Tipsy Trees
Panoramic view from Tipsy Trees
Local Wildlife
Local Wildlife
Brian on Andrew Problem
Brian on Andrew Problem
If you're not on a legit site @ the MUA, Ranger Rob will wake you up @ 7am and tell you to move...which is perfect timing to start a day of Gunks climbing! (JK RR)
BETA PHOTO: If you're not on a legit site @ the MUA, Ranger Ro...
Skip Guerin leading Kansas City, Gunks. photo: Bob Horan Collection
Skip Guerin leading Kansas City, Gunks. photo: Bob...
Waiting near the Gunks.
Waiting near the Gunks.
A climber moving into the corner on Horseman, one of the best 5.5 routes anywhere.
A climber moving into the corner on Horseman, one ...
KARMIC RELIEF: Chigger / lobster hybrid ?
KARMIC RELIEF: Chigger / lobster hybrid ?
These two fell on my head one night while getting ready to climb Arrow.
BETA PHOTO: These two fell on my head one night while getting ...
Skytop from the Trapps
Skytop from the Trapps
Nice colors.
Nice colors.
Pot-bellied Gnome
Pot-bellied Gnome
At the 5.7 crux on the last pitch of Yellow Ridge.  Yes, there's an easy line past the overhangs! <br /> <br />Photo by <a href='/u/michael-amato//11870'>Michael Amato</a>.
At the 5.7 crux on the last pitch of Yellow Ridge....
View from on Three Pines - Trapps
View from on Three Pines - Trapps
Lost City on left.  Skytop in background.
Lost City on left. Skytop in background.
Autunm is not a bad time to visit The Gunks. Coloradoans like me kinda miss the trees in fall color anyway. Photo by Tony Bubb, early October, 2003.
Autunm is not a bad time to visit The Gunks. Color...
Fall in the Gunks- once past the power lines, it is really pretty. Photo by Tony Bubb, 10/03.
Fall in the Gunks- once past the power lines, it i...
KARMIC RELIEF
KARMIC RELIEF
KARMIC RELIEF: Trapps Teaserver
KARMIC RELIEF: Trapps Teaserver
The Near Trapps
The Near Trapps
Karmic RELEF: Nearsnowman
Karmic RELEF: Nearsnowman
View of Mohonk Mountain from Butterville Rd
View of Mohonk Mountain from Butterville Rd
A young Rat Snake looking for some lunch on the carriage road near the trail up to High Exposure.
A young Rat Snake looking for some lunch on the ca...
Bonticou - a great place to teach the kids to climb
Bonticou - a great place to teach the kids to clim...
Classic Daydream
Classic Daydream
Local wildlife that loves to come out in the rain.
Local wildlife that loves to come out in the rain.
The swimming hole.
The swimming hole.
Fall leaves.
Fall leaves.
Looking out of the Lemon Squeeze below Skytop.
Looking out of the Lemon Squeeze below Skytop.
Entering the Trapps in October
Entering the Trapps in October
An early lead of Super Crack of the Gunks. Photo: Bob Horan Collection.
An early lead of Super Crack of the Gunks. Photo: ...
Gail following some unnamed climb at Bonticou.  Plenty of climbs out there on high quality rock
Gail following some unnamed climb at Bonticou. Pl...
An early attempt of Persistence, Lost City... ~'82
An early attempt of Persistence, Lost City... ~'82
Coach Niland on Persistent at an area I cannot say 5.11 RIGHT !
Coach Niland on Persistent at an area I cannot say...
The Nears
The Nears
Comments on The Gunks Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 27, 2014
By Josh Janes
Feb 22, 2006

There are some great swimming holes near the cliffs to cool off in mid day. Split Rock, about two miles down Clove Road, which is just past the bridge and West Trapps parking area, is a popular one.

There's also a decent farmer's market halfway between the cliffs and town on the south side of Rt. 299 that has a good selection of fresh produce and goodies.

...and one other thing that all Gunks climbers should keep an eye out for are copperheads. They generally won't strike unless they're provoked, but they are everywhere and hard to see -- especially once the leaves start to fall.

By "H"
From: Manitou Springs
Mar 2, 2006

I am from NY and used to climb @ the Gunks all the time. How crazy is it now? Before I left NY they had started enforcing all kinds of rules it was also insanely busy; like being @ a gym. I saw many a squabble over who was next on line for certain classics like High E, but sure do miss the climbing there.

H
now from Colorado Springs

By steve p
From: Scotia, New York
Mar 5, 2006

I think the scene has calmed down a little. Been climbing there for 11 years. The parking is way better now (remember the Hairpin lined with cars????) There's a real toilet (NPS style) near the Uberfall, there are a bunch of shiny bolts now for anchors and rap stations (can you believe that??). The crowds are still there on the weekends for sure. I'm seeing more and more people on the weekdays now too. Very rarely do I run into an individual or party who is bent on ruining my day, most climbers there now are pretty casual. What I enjoy about the area is seeing familiar faces, meeting new people, sharing a belay ledge, working together to make a rappel quicker/easier for the whole group. That's part of the experience for me. Come on back, you'll be glad you did!

By "H"
From: Manitou Springs
Mar 6, 2006

That's good to hear. I do miss lunch on the GT ledge. Can't believe they rap anchors and bolts there. Did they put anchors on the rap from Madame G's? If I remember that was a free hanging rap. That was a blast!! (Although it doesn't surprise me. I used to teach climbing in a gym and would be scared to see people I taught how to tie in and belay a week or so later there w/ shiny new gear!!!)
I miss the Gunks grease after a day of climbing there. One of these days I'll make it back there and back up to NH to climb again on Whitehorse and Cathedral.

By steve p
From: Scotia, New York
Mar 7, 2006

Madam G's, Snookys, Frogshead, Classic, High E, Arrow, etc. all of these and more high-traffic routes have bolted rap stations. (Check out gunks.com or rockandsnow.com for the bolt locator page for a full list). As well as a few newer protection bolts placed here and there. Still way TRAD though, just safer and easier on the trees.

By Scotty Nelson
From: Boulder
Oct 4, 2006

Question: is it too cold to climb at the Gunks during Thanksgiving?

By Taino
From: South Salem, NY
Jan 19, 2007

Generally, yes - of course, it all depends on your personal tolerance for cold weather. This year, it was fine; last year, it was COLD.

By Monomaniac
Administrator
From: Morrison, CO
Oct 16, 2007

I've only climbed here a few times, but I just spent a day there, and my overall impression was: practice mantling before you come here. Most of the routes have several mantle moves, and often a mantle move is the crux. Must be due to all the horizontal breaks.

Also, bring lots of slings. Many routes can be done in one mega pitch if you mind the rope drag.

By slim
Administrator
Jun 8, 2009

A couple of quick notes from a recent trip where we didn't have a rental car. We were able to catch a ride to Slime, so no big deal there. It is an easy walk down to the hippy mart, ems store (very friendly guy and a good selection for how conveniently close is was to the cliff), and to the german restaurant (good beer, gunks burgers were tasty).

There is a new paltz web page with transportation info. on this webpage, my wife found a link with info for a guy who will drive you down to the city. This worked great as we were able to climb in the morning, he picked us up at slime at 2pm, and we were able to easily catch our 5:30 flight out of Laguardia. I think it cost about $220 or so for the 2 of us, which between time and cost seemed a slam dunk versus dealing with getting to a bus, etc.

By Adam Winters
Administrator
From: the Shire
Nov 24, 2010

the routes here are STEEP, just like the entrance fees...

By cliffmama
Jul 1, 2011

The Gunks Climbers Coalition, established in the fall of 2002, is an advocacy group dedicated to creating and maintaining sustainable opportunities for responsible climbing along the Shawangunk Ridge and surrounding areas. To keep up to date with Gunks related news, watch our website at gunksclimbers.org,,
or our Facebook Page, Twitter feed or join our GCC Mailing List.

By MojoMonkey
May 14, 2012

Last year's closure was lifted June 11.

By cliffmama
Jul 17, 2012

For the latest Gunks Peregrine Falcon closure information watch the watch the Gunks Climbers' Coalition website, plus the Gunks Climbers' Coalition Facebook page or on twitter @gunksclimbers.

I also have general Gunks information for climbers and visitors at my website, cliffmama.com.

By paulmadry
Jul 22, 2012

Say no to gang roping the classics. It's not fair. Many of us travel long ways to "click off" some best routes. But then there are groups of permanent lifelong topropers who know how to get up early. Today when I asked when i can go up a route, the reply was: there's 4 more people and then we'd like to......They apparently started hours earlier and had 3 or 4 top ropes. WTF?
I would think that after 30-60 min each top rope should go down. Let's start a revolution!!

By Jo Nathan
From: Newport, RI
Mar 27, 2014

LOST: GOLD WEDDING RING!!

Requesting return should anyone find it. My wife of only 4 months may put the kibosh on my climbing career should it be lost indefinitely.

Possible routes/areas: Horsemen, Laurel, High Exposure, or the Multi-Use Camping Area. Lost on March 22, 2014.

REWARD: Handsomely! Gear, beer and/or cash - your call. I need this thing back!

Thanks for looking,
Jonathan (304-279-5190)