A popular climbing destination in the United States is the Gunks (short for Shawangunks). It’s a popular weekend destination just minutes from New Paltz, the trendy college town of 13,000 and 85 miles from New York. The rock is a complex quartz conglomerate with horizontal cracks rather than vertical cracks. The climbs here feature aerial roofs, big pitchers, crossings, and sometimes “sports” pros. It is famous for its star ascents of 1 to 3 levels of all difficulty levels, including the best in the country (there is no sport climbing).
He is also known for his rigorous evaluation. Skip a few assessments of the first leader to get a feel for the rock, review, and learn how to place experts in horizontal cracks. September and October are the best months for climbing (cool and low humidity), but spring and summer can also be good. Most of the dunks are part of the Mohonk Nature Reserve, a land fund dedicated to preserving the northern Shawangunk Ridge. (Admission $17, mohonkpreserve.org)
3 Reasons to Climb the Gunks:
- Climbing with a world-class guide near the Big Apple
- One of the best outdoor activities available near NYC
- Winter Climbing works great on a sunny day with no people around.
Home to some of America’s lightest to moderately traditional climbs (grades 5.4 to 5.13b), the Gunks are the perfect place to develop your indoor climbing skills. On the exam. Whether you’re new to climbing or rock savvy, this iconic New York City location has something for everyone, with a personal guide to help you make the most of your day on the rock. We mentioned that it is only 2 hours from New York. What more would you like to ask for? Learn more about this world-famous climbing site from adventure-loving and 57hours founder Viktor Morokhnik.
Choose how you want to spend your day.
Your day will be set up to focus on the goal of your choosing, and your guide will introduce you to climbing routes that will test your skills and make you crave more. Learn the skills you need to go on road trips, take trails, climb with a leader, or handle multipoint routes.
Half-Day Private Guided Climbing
Discover the thrill of climbing and explore Hanks’ short but equally exciting route! This option is a great way to understand what climbing is or to speed up some courses when you don’t have time all day. Master the basics and test your skills on some of the trails in the Trapps, Near, Lost City, or Bonticou in the Mohonk Nature Reserve, to name a few.
Join your guide at the famous Mohonk Mountain House to climb the Sky Top, a unique destination with various classic routes from level one to multipoint. Try an exciting climb on this long cliff, located just above the serene Mohonk Lake and below the stunning Sky Top. Although not open to the public for years, the area is now accessible with a certified guide, and excellent routes for all levels allow you to explore some of the best places in the Gunks. So spend the day and discover what’s unique about Sky Top!
Most Gunks routes have PG protection due to the high number of horizontal cracks and a limited number of vertical shots. Several gear grades were applied before the miniature cam was invented, which is appropriate but not high. Horizontal cracks are suitable for small tricams. Pink and red are especially useful. Small to medium cams with flexible shafts are also eligible. Climbing rarely requires small holes larger than 3 inches. Hexagons don’t wear them often, but sometimes they work well.
Retaining lugs are available, but many pins are “old and rusty and unreliable.” Bring some screamers. Suspicious pins or bolts. “Standard Stand” for
A Gunks: Very often used micron nut set from
- 5.10 and above (RP, HB offset, BD micro stop).
- Wire Nut Set (#3 #13 BD Plug or similar)
- Black, Pink, Red, and Brown Tricam (some climbers double in size)
- Aliens (or equivalents) in blue, green, yellow, gray, and red
- No. .75, No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 Camalots (or equivalent)
- 1012 Retractable Runner (stitch line 24″)
- 1 or 2 long runners (sewing line 48″ or Rabbit) Runner)
Additional gear useful for some climbs:
- Extra cam in the 0.5″ to 2″ range, beneficial for the new Gunks leader. Ballnut set (#1, #2, #3). The Middle East has several “new” intermediate routes developed by Dick Williams and partners that rely heavily on Ball Natz for protection. Careful.
- Large Tricams (Purple # 2, Black # 2.5)
- Medium Hexes (BD # 6 # 8)
The amount of gear depends on your climb, experience, abilities, and familiarity with routes and Gunks. It’s better to take a little more bag if you’re new to the Gunks rather than a little less if you’re not.
One 60 meter rope can traverse and descend many routes. However, double strings can be helpful for crossings, trails, and rooftops encountered in typical hanks climbs and for descents with fewer descents.
Many popular routes have lap stations, but sometimes trees are used as lap anchors. Bring a strap in case you need to attach an anchor to the tree.
The two-way radio can help communicate over the standard of the significant roof at Hanks Rises. High Exposure, Disneyland, and especially Ceiling are routes where radio can be far more effective than shouting.
Visit Rock & Snow, a local climbing store at 44 Main St. At New Paltz, you can find everything you need for equipment and beta testing.
Fixed Anchors in Gunks
From 1999, bolted anchors started appearing in some places along cliffs. The placement of this anchor was approved by a 14-person Vaulting Subcommittee, which included members of the Gunks Climbing Coalition, volunteers, climbing guides, Mohonk rangers, and staff. Installation and testing of bolted anchors are performed by members of the Bolted Subcommittee trained at Petzl and the Access Fund.
This anchor serves the dual purpose of protecting and protecting vulnerable rocky ecosystems. Always install anchors whenever possible so climbers can walk without using trees, on ledges with trees, or walk directly to bolted anchors instead of over erosion or guttering. Follow best practices while avoiding using trees as anchors or climbing valleys!
Start managing your Gunks Climbers’ Coalition on social media or directly from the tweet machine contact us with any questions or feedback you have about these anchors.
Wolverine’s new complete color guide in early 2020: Gunks Climbing by Andy Salo, Christian Thracchia, and Eric Ratkowski is now available. This book describes slime wall traps and near-wall traps for training purposes. In addition, it provides route descriptions and photos created in sync with the Gunks app and extensive historical articles and direction maps.
The complete gang guides printed are The Shawangunk Mountaineer’s Guide: Traps and The Shawangunk Mountaineer’s Guide: Near Traps and Millbrook. Dick Williams. For mobile devices, download the Gunks app. iPhone, and Android versions are available. Guides are available for Trapps, Neighbors, Peterskill, Trapps Bouldering, and Peterskill Bouldering. This app provides GPS navigation and high-quality rock images.
Mike Rawdon and Marty Molitoris recently published The Climbers’ Guide to Peter’s Climbing Area. He can be found at Rock & Snow, Peterskill Center, or eBay. The mobile version is available through the Gunks app.
Other guides include The Gunks Select, 1996 Vulgarian Press, Vulgarian Press’s Dick Williams’ Top Picks Covering Trapps, Nears and Skytop (out of print); The Gunks Manual, 3rd ed., Todd Swain, Falcon Press, 1995; and GUNKS by Zach Orenczak and Rachel Lynn (Extreme Angles Publishers).
How To Get There
Out-of-state climbers can fly to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), La Guardia Airport (LGA), or Stewart International Airport (SWF) and rent a car to New Paltz.
Newark Liberty – New Paltz: 97 miles 1 hour 39 minutes.
Newark Liberty Airport to New Paltz Hostel
La Guardia to New Paltz: 87 miles 1 hour 38 minutes.
LaGuardia Airport to New Paltz Hostel Stewart International Airport is the closest commercial airport to Gunks. The airport is a quiet regional hub. There is almost no need to queue, and you can be at the airport within an hour of departure. However, connections may be limited here.
Stuart International to New Paltz: 22 miles 28 minutes.
Take the New York State Highway (Interstate 87) to Exit 18 (New Paltz/Poughkeepsie). .. Walk past the toll gate towards the first traffic light. At the traffic light, turn left and go to Rt. 299 West. Follow 299 for a few miles towards New Paltz to Main St.
To get to Gunks from New Paltz: Rt. 299 x 7 miles until the intersection with Rt. 44/55 (Brauhaus, Bistro, and EMS are at this junction). Turn right and continue up the hill for about 1.5 miles until you reach the Mohonk Wildlife Sanctuary Visitor Center. Get maps, information and buy a daily or annual pass here (you can also get a pass from a roadside ranger). Wawarsing parking with easy access to the right of Trapps is just behind the visitor center.
The West Trapps parking lot used to access the left-hand side of Trapps and Near Trapps is over a steel bridge over a large hairpin bend over a hilltop. Note: the parking lot fills up early on beautiful weekends.
The Trailways has a bus terminal in New Paltz right next to New Paltz Hostel, but the best way to get to the rocks is by car.
139 Main Street
New Paltz, NY 12561
Where To Stay
HOSTELS & MOTELS
New Paltz Hostel is located in the city center and right next to the bus station. A variety of accommodation options are available for $30 per person per night. The hotel offers free internet access and a shared kitchen. Weekend reservations are recommended. Street parking is available.
145 Main Street
New Paltz, NY 12561
America’s Best Value Inn; code = sim2016, New Paltz exit west of I87 has recently been refurbished.
7 Terwilliger Ln.
New Paltz, NY 12561
Rodeway Inn and Suites; Hotel = NY331: People love suites, but reviews are mixed.
601 Main Street
New Paltz, NY 12561
Econo Lodge; Hotel = NY156 had terrible reviews on tripadvisor.com
530 Main St.
New Paltz, NY 12561
Whether you’re looking for a “romantic” getaway or a place to unwind, inclusive breakfast rooms are available. Bread and Breakfasts start at $1xx + / night (explicit) per couple for bed and breakfast. Most B&Bs are a real treat as the Culinary Institute is nearby! Even at eco-lodges that cost $80 a night or more, staying in a B&B can be a wise choice, especially on a calm day when the sun sets early. Here are a few places I can recommend. Audrey in Gardiner, Captain Schoonmaker in High Falls, Inn at Orchard Heights in New Paltz, Maple Stone Inn in Gardiner, Moondance Ridge in New Paltz, The 1812 House in Rosendale.
Mohonk Mountain House is an excellent choice if you’ve won the millionaire lottery.
Camping American Alpine Club Gunks opened in 2015 and is open from spring to late fall. Located on Interstate 299, just half a mile from Interstate 44/55 in Gardiner. Book online here. The owner of the campground lives on its territory. Camping is $24 per night for AAC and Mohonk Preserve members. $38 per night for non-members. There is a limit of 4 people per camp and a limit of 2 tents per camp. There are 50 places to pitch a tent, and one vehicle can be parked per site. The use of off-road vehicles or heavy vehicles is prohibited. Facilities: Paid shower, covered pavilion, fire pit, drinking water.
NY State DEC MultiUse Area was closed in May 2016.
Traps Camp (also known as Camp Slime) has been closed. Long live the slug camp.
Yogi Bear’s is Gardiner’s family-run RVstyle campground on 50 Bevier Rd.
About 7 miles from New Paltz, Rosendale’sCreek View has a flat lawn tent with picnic tables, showers, and plenty of hot water for cooking. Owner Bill sets a silent mode (23:00 – 7:00). Other private campgrounds are three times more expensive than Bill. It also has everything you need for those who have a motor home or want electricity. Its monthly rates are by far the best around.
Hemlock Ridge MUA is located approximately 19 miles (1/2 hour) from Trapps.
Shawangunk Ridge State Forest Reserve (MUA) is about the same street and in the opposite direction.
Where to Eat
New Paltz is a college town with many great bars and restaurants (it has a SUNY campus). Many local chefs have graduated from Hyde Park Cooking Institute so that you can dine here! Also, visit Rock & Snow’s Places for food.
Mountain Harbor Deli is Rt. 299 and Rt. 44/55: Buy a Gatorade or bar on the way to the cliff. The new owner kept many of the same sandwiches and added his own. A large parking lot and veranda make it a trendy meeting point for morning hikers.
Mountain Brauhaus, corner of Highway 299 and Route 4455: authentic German food and beer;
You can sit on the veranda overlooking the cliff.
In the town:
The Bakery, 13A North Front St: Another great place for breakfast and weekly carbs.
Main Street Bistro, 59 Main St: For a hearty breakfast, there is a special breakfast for $2. Watch out for soups and plates for lunch.
Mexican Kitchen on Front Street serves affordable burritos. Vegetarian burritos for $5 on meatless Mondays and tacos for $2 on Tuesdays.
Mudd Puddle on Water Street serves on-site roasted coffee and a variety of plates.
Bacchus is a rock climber’s favorite with 14 beers and hundreds of other bottles. The food here is excellent, and the menu ranges from bar dishes like nachos to tuna tartare.
The restaurant, formerly known as Gilded Otter, 3 Main St: Great brasserie for drinks and dinner after the climb.
He changed ownership in 2019…they need to fix some kinks.
P & G’s, 91 Main St: Great pub food and beer.
Main Course, 175 Main St: A variety of cuisines and ready-to-eat options.
Lemon Grass, 125 Main St: Spicy Thai food.
The cafe at Bangkok Main Street is also Thai. Located on Karma Road, Main Street. All vegan, restaurant, and deli. It opens earlier than most other locations (8 am), so it’s a convenient place to grab a coffee/smoothie/sandwich on your way up in the morning. Good food, obviously vegan, with indoor and outdoor seating (no need to sniff each other).
Crazy Bowlz on Main Street is an Asian fusion/Tex-Mex restaurant that serves excellent platters.
Mexicali Blue, Main Street Nice, and giant burritos. It is trendy and small, especially on weekends the queues are long (e.g., 25 minutes) and there are few seats, so plan to eat in the car or somewhere else. Also suitable for vegetarians, but with fewer options.
Garvan’s is a fine dining restaurant in the village of Huguenot, away from the crowds.
Water Street Market’s Cheese Plate offers all-natural, local ice cream, cheese plates, grilled cheese sandwiches, and cheese sandwiches that can be packed for a trip to the mountains.
Ice Cream Options:
Huguenot Creamery, 78 Main St. (next to Anatoli`s),
Frosty Rock (147 Main, north, next to liquor and taco shops).
Outside New Paltz, in Gardiner:
Rough Cut Brewing is located behind the ridge of Kerhonkson and is well worth a 10-minute walk.
In Rosendale: Garden House (delicious homemade pizzas and Middle Eastern cuisine).
From the Highlands: Gunks Haus (German, beautiful scenery).