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Trad, 125 ft,
Avg: 3.2 from 6
FA: Fritz Wiessner, 1935
> Sky Top
Access Issue: Tree Preservation and Rappelling
Please use the 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.
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.
If you want to legally climb at Sky Top, you have to be guided. Alpine Endeavors is contracted by the Mountain House to be the only guide service legally allowed to guide at Sky Top. This might seem completely unfair, but it's their sandbox - so, it's their rules. See mohonk.com/activities/overn… and mohonkmountainguides.com/ for more information.
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.
Gargoyle was one of the first routes established in the Gunks by Fritz Weissner in 1935, soon after he first spotted the Mohonk Ridge. It was the first route at Skytop, and still sports several historic Weissner-era pitons.
The skill and boldness of Weissner's climbing was lightyears ahead of his peers in the US at the time. Having established hard traditional climbs on his home crags in Saxony and Austria up to 5.11, an onsight, groundup send of Gargoyle must have been cake for Fritz, but it remains an impressive line to this day.
While modern parties have done the climb as two pitches, a competent Gunks leader with a rack of long slings will find no trouble leading Gargoyle as a single pitch to the top of Skytop.
Ascend the left side of the white tower to a stance, shimmy through the imposing but easy slot above to the wild finish left of the Crack of Bizarre Delights. The route gets its name from the jutting flake near the top, which is traversed to the left with stunning exposure.
On the face right of the Crevice, and right of No Exit and Overhanging Overhang, Gargoyle starts in the left facing corner of the White Tower. Gargoyle gets afternoon sun, and sports a magnificent view of the Mohonk House from its summit.
A full rack, with emphasis on 2" and larger. A full length sling on every piece of gear will insure a smooth ascent.