Elevation: 1,369 ft
GPS: 41.763, -74.157 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 41,564 total · 234/month
Shared By: Josh Janes on Feb 21, 2006 with 1 Suggestions
Admins: RJ B
Access Issue: Tree Preservation and Rappelling Details
Access Issue: While public climbing is still legally and enforceably prohibited at Sky Top, you may climb LEGALLY at Sky Top as a guided client, since 2007. Details

Description

Update: Climbing at Skytop is now allowed and encouraged, if you are escorted by an authorized guide from Alpine Endeavors.
 For more info, see the Mohonk Mountain House info.

Sky Top is the long but relatively low cliff that sits immediately below the obvious Sky Top tower. There are some great climbs at this cliff -- the most famous of which are probably Foops (11+) and Supercrack (12c). Sky Top has more than 300 routes ranging in height from 50 to 150 feet.

Sky Top is property of the Mohonk Mountain House, and was closed to climbers for many years. From what I understand, the cliff was closed to climbing because the hotel owners didn't want their guests to be frightened by or disturbed by the riffraff.  (Also see comment below)  The debate rages about what the proper course of action is concerning this closure -- some hope that by not climbing there and negotiating peacefully, access may one day be restored. Others feel that since the Access Fund, and other groups and individuals, have failed to make any headway whatsoever in the past ten years, they never will, and climbers who want to climb there should do so at their own risk.

I've heard people say that the closure is truly a shame because it may be the best cliff at the Gunks. This is simply not true -- while there are some great climbs there, it doesn't compare in quality to The Trapps or Millbrook. You're better off investing your time in other areas, but if you do choose to climb there, be invisible and don't get caught. Rumors of people getting busted span the gamut from a slap on the wrist to confiscated racks and heavy fines. It certainly will not do good things for future access negotiations.

Due to lack of traffic, climbs can be overgrown (especially with lichen), and chalk-free. There is a hiking trail that runs along the base of the cliff and is frequented by the hotel guests and security staff.

But there's a good reason to leave information about areas like this on the website. Climbers can't be allowed to just forget about classic climbing areas that become closed by the landowner. The more information out there about Sky Top the better. This information is NOT to encourage climbing against the wishes of the landowner - it's to make sure the climbing community doesn't forget what a great place Sky Top was to climb. With guidebooks that cover Sky Top going out of print, it's important to make sure the information lives on.

So go ahead and add routes to the database - don't let everyone forget!

Getting There

After leaving the NYS Thruway at Exit 18, turn left at the traffic light onto Route 299/Main Street. Follow Main Street through New Paltz. Immediately after crossing the bridge over the Wallkill River, turn right (follow "MOHONK" sign).

After 1/4 mile bear left at the fork and follow Mountain Rest Road and Mohonk signs to the Gatehouse. (NOTE: The Mohonk Gatehouse is located about six miles west of the Thruway Exit.)

You will be obliged to stop at the gatehouse. Then, follow the road leading off to your right to the Mountain House proper; be on the lookout for wildlife, and notice that they're VERY strict about the speed limit.

22 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Sky Top Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Sky Top

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
 9
Lakeview
Trad 2 pitches
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13
 10
Petie's Spare Rib
Trad
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 7
Gargoyle
Trad
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 11
Grey Face
Trad 2 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 9
Overhanging Overhang
Trad
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 4
Taste of Honey
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 18
Sound and Fury
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 6
A Pilgrim's Progress
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
 6
Yellow Verschneidung
Trad 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 7
Jekyll and Hyde
Trad
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R
 7
Crash and Burn
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 8
Ringwraith
Trad
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13
 4
Open Cockpit
Trad
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 10
Foops
Trad
5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b
 5
Super Crack
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Lakeview
 9
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad 2 pitches
Petie's Spare Rib
 10
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13 Trad
Gargoyle
 7
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad
Grey Face
 11
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad 2 pitches
Overhanging Overhang
 9
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad
Taste of Honey
 4
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Sound and Fury
 18
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
A Pilgrim's Progress
 6
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Yellow Verschneidung
 6
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13 Trad 2 pitches
Jekyll and Hyde
 7
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Crash and Burn
 7
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R Trad
Ringwraith
 8
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Open Cockpit
 4
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13 Trad
Foops
 10
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad
Super Crack
 5
5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b Trad
More Classic Climbs in Sky Top »

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