|GPS:||41.763, -74.157 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
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|Shared By:||Josh Janes on Feb 21, 2006 · Updates|
|Admins:||RJ B, Morgan Patterson|
The Mohonk Preserve, GCC, Access Fund, and Petzl have worked to install bolted anchors that eliminate the need to rappel from healthy trees with slings and rings. The primary reason for this action has been to reduce impact on the trees. By monitoring the trees we have direct evidence that this has worked.
Do NOT rappel from trees without in situ anchors. Wrapping ropes around trees is banned by the Mohonk Preserve, and damages the tree even if done only once. The Mohonk Preserve is private land and climbing access is a privilege that can be revoked. It is incumbent upon us as climbers to speak up when we witness environmentally unsound practices – so DO speak up and spread the word.
Currently there are enough rappel stations and walk-off options that a VERY short walk will lead to a bolted station, healthy tree with slings, or down-climb descent. The Gunks Apps, MP, and newer print guidebook each have detailed information that provide Leave No Trace descents.
If you feel there is a situation where there is no good LNT descent, you can contact the GCC or the Climbing Ranger of the Mohonk Preserve directly.
Security patrols are in place to to prevent unauthorized access to the area. There will also be other methods used to confirm and prevent unauthorized access.
Regardless, this is a huge step in the uphill battle to win public climbing access back.
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!
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.
Classic Climbing Routes at Sky Top
Days w Precip