Access to the Main Face is often limited in the spring and summer due to peregrine falcon nesting. Check the DEC web site (www.dec.ny.gov, search for "peregrine route closures"). Closures are posted in the kiosk at the beginning of the approach trail in the (now closed) Poke-O Campground.
Several recent incidents at the Poke-O Moonshine Main Face have heightened tensions with neighboring landowners.
Shortcut Trail (aka the Smitty Trail): The main approach goes from the (now closed) campground to the cliff near Discord. There is a shortcut trail on the right that provides access to the cliff near Pentecostal. This shortcut trail crosses the edges of two parcels of private land, and was closed in the spring of 2014. As of Aug 30, 2014, this trail is open on a tentative basis. Stay on the trail; there are some cairns and Access Fund signage to help.
Northern Trail Closure (aka the Easy Living Trail): There is an old trail that connects US 9 with the cliff near Psalm 32. This trail is entirely on private land and should NOT be used by climbers; indeed, it has been closed and undocumented for many years. Both ends of this trail are now marked with signs courtesy of the Access Fund.
In short, while visiting the Main Face, approach from the campground, and stay on the main trail along the base of the cliff.
This information is a public crowdsourcing effort between the Access Fund,
and Mountain Project. You should confirm closures, restrictions, and/or related dates.
This is a stellar route! The Sting climbs an independent line immediately to the left of the beginning hand crack of Gamesmanship.
The climber has a choice to either begin the first 6 feet of Gamesmanship and step to the left trending crack of the Sting, or alternately and possibly a little harder, one can begin on small crimps directly below the beginning of the left-angling crack. Despite the chosen launching off point, you will encounter a tricky traverse followed by mitt-swallowing jams up a tremendous crack. You'll encounter a very brief off-hands section; however, a couple of #3 Camalots can help ease off-width-itis.
The route ends on the Sting Traverse Ledge at a bolted anchor threaded with some webbing and quick links. (Note: This anchor should be replaced!)
100 feet to the right of the Positive Thinking clearing is a pair of cracks. The Sting is the lefthand crack that traverses out to the left.
A full rack with doubles from green to yellow Camalot sizes. An assortment of smaller gear with some RPs is welcomed.
By Dan G0D5H411 From: Colorado Springs, CO Oct 12, 2009 rating: 5.85b16VI-15HVS 4c
For an added bit of fun climbing, don't traverse left to the ledge/anchors. Keep heading up and traverse right across the face towards Gamesmanship, passing a flake with a fixed stopper. Finish on the last 20 feet of gamesmanship. We used a 70m rope to rap off the first pitch of Gamesmanship, but not sure if that was neccessary or not.
By Greg Kuchyt From: Richmond, VT Aug 3, 2010 rating: 5.85b16VI-15HVS 4c
There is a 5.9 start variation a few feet to the left of the shared start with Gamesmanship. Make a couple bouldery moves up the face to a few incut buckets and gain the traverse. This is a good way to start the route if there is a party on P1 of Gamesmanship.
By Eli Kramer From: Saratoga Springs, NY Aug 23, 2010 rating: 5.8+5b16VI-15HVS 4c
I also recommend the 5.9 start. Fun moves.
By Simon Thompson From: New Paltz, NY Nov 24, 2011 rating: 5.85b16VI-15HVS 4c
The Sting and Gamesmanship are maybe the two best 5.8s I've climbed in the park and it's just SO convenient that they are right next to each other.