Access Issue: Tree Preservation and Rappelling
Please use bolted rappel anchors to descend whenever possible.
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.
I've driven to the gunks. Now, why do I want to climb in a parking lot? It's not as bad as it sounds. The Lower Wawarsing boulder is in a nice bit of forest and well protected from car noise. Despite the fact that it wasn't included in the Greene and Russo guide, the Lower Wawarsing boulder has a great concentration of varied V0 problems. That makes it a great warm-up/cool-down spot, and a great place for beginners to be challenged while having a taste of success to make them want to come back for more (a great place to introduce a girlfriend or boyfriend to bouldering). The Warwarsing Boulder also has quite a few more manageable routes as well as some harder stuff that will test anyone's skill. The big downside is its proximity to Route 44/55 and the car noise that it brings with it. This is a great place to go if you're worried about being rained out, just looking to get a few laps in the last light or can't find a spot in the West Trapps Lot and can't bring yourself to do the Stairmaster for the 1000th time.
If you are driving, simply park in the Wawarsing Parking Lot. The entrance to the lot is 200 yards East on 44/55 past the hairpin turn. Upon entering the lot, make a left turn. After a hundred feet or so you will see the East Trapps Connector Trail leading to the Visitors Center down and to your right. The Lower Wawarsing Boulder can be found here. On your left you will see a large rectangular boulder. This is the Warwarsing Boulder. Alternately, from the Undercliff Road, take the East Trapps Connector Trail (AKA the Stairmaster). When you arrive at the Parking lot, walk south in the lot toward the entrance. The Warwarsing Boulder is easily spotted to your right. Continue on the East Trapps Connector Trail toward the Visitors Center for the Lower Wawarsing Boulder.