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Lethal-Climber


Aug 17, 2009, 9:07 PM
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Newbie questions about the Gunks in Upstate NY  (North_America: United_States: New_York: Upstate: The_Gunks)
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I'm going Utica, NY and looking to get into some climbing nearby. I'm about a 5.12/V5 climber, but will be climbing with my buddy (who hasn't climbed in 15 years) and his son (15 years old and who's first time it will be).

I'm looking for some top rope climbing, so we all can enjoy the day and am looking for some info on the Gunks.

Where would be a good place to gather information easily in order to make a decision between going to the Gunks (3 hours east from Utica) or Beer Wall (3 hours west).

I found this site, but seems like you have to work to find the info:

http://www.gunks.com/


Any help is appreciated. I would love to hit the Gunks, since it's world class, but want to ensure my friend and kid have fun too.


curt


Aug 17, 2009, 9:16 PM
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Re: [Lethal-Climber] Newbie questions about the Gunks in Upstate NY [In reply to]
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Lethal-Climber wrote:
I'm going Utica, NY and looking to get into some climbing nearby. I'm about a 5.12/V5 climber, but will be climbing with my buddy (who hasn't climbed in 15 years) and his son (15 years old and who's first time it will be).

I'm looking for some top rope climbing, so we all can enjoy the day and am looking for some info on the Gunks...

Why does this sound exactly like the guy who writes a letter to Dear Abby about the problem "his friend" is having with women?

Curt


taydude


Aug 17, 2009, 9:32 PM
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Re: [Lethal-Climber] Newbie questions about the Gunks in Upstate NY [In reply to]
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uh... where is this beer wall you speak of? is that up in the dacks? Cuz if it's 3 hrs straight west then it's right by me and I'd love to know about it haha.


rhythm164


Aug 17, 2009, 9:32 PM
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Re: [Lethal-Climber] Newbie questions about the Gunks in Upstate NY [In reply to]
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Get the guidebook.

You really can't go wrong either way. Gunks is more social, Dacks is more wilderness, both are good, I would recommend hitting both.

You do have near limitless options for other crags in the dacks though, I will say that.


Lethal-Climber


Aug 17, 2009, 9:40 PM
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Re: [Lethal-Climber] Newbie questions about the Gunks in Upstate NY [In reply to]
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Dear Abby,

Ha ha! Good one.

Beer wall is in the Dacks, more north west 3 hours from Utica, from what I'm told, but haven't been there yet.

Was hoping to pick up a guidebook for the Gunks on Wednesday and hoping EMS Albany has it!!


curt


Aug 17, 2009, 9:54 PM
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Re: [Lethal-Climber] Newbie questions about the Gunks in Upstate NY [In reply to]
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Go to the Gunks--it has a higher concentration of 5 star routes in every grade than any other place I can think of.

Curt


coolcat83


Aug 17, 2009, 10:02 PM
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Re: [Lethal-Climber] Newbie questions about the Gunks in Upstate NY [In reply to]
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If you are looking for single pitch top roping in easy to moderate grades you might also consider Peter's Kill which is just a couple minutes up the road from the gunks, everything can be top roped and with some static rope/long slings and gear you can set up pretty easily from easy walk up trails to the top.


mojomonkey


Aug 18, 2009, 5:42 AM
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Re: [coolcat83] Newbie questions about the Gunks in Upstate NY [In reply to]
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I'd recommend Peterskill as well (though it isn't up the road from the Gunks, it is part of the Gunks). It is just up the road from the West Trapps parking lot. There is a small guide you can pick up at Rock & Snow, and I think Mountain Project also lists some routes not in that guide.

You'll still want gear for anchors, and some longer webbing or static line for anchoring off trees (not pitch pines).


coolcat83


Aug 18, 2009, 6:37 AM
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Re: [mojomonkey] Newbie questions about the Gunks in Upstate NY [In reply to]
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I should have clarified, it's about 2 miles up the road from the west trapps paking lot and the climbing areas most people think of when they hear of the gunks. Also Peter's Kill is under different management so has a seperate use fee than for the Mohonk preserve lands. Even with gear and avoiding the pitch pines (which you can get fined for using) you probably will need something to extend your anchor. There are a few bolted anchors aswell, like by enterprise wall which has a few climbs from 5.4 to 5.9 right next to eachother.


budman


Aug 18, 2009, 7:40 AM
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Re: [Lethal-Climber] Newbie questions about the Gunks in Upstate NY [In reply to]
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You can stop at Rock and Snow in New Paltz for info and a guide book. Hit up Mountainproject .com for route info right now. Why top rope when you lead some easier climb like Gelsa and give your friends the multipitch experience. Have personally climbed with my girls ages 11 and 14 at the time ( a dozen years ago), and did multiptch in threes even though they were very inexperienced at the time. Much depends on you and how much you are willing to be responsible for your friends. Remember, if he no climb you pull him up.


qtm


Aug 18, 2009, 8:22 AM
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Re: [Lethal-Climber] Newbie questions about the Gunks in Upstate NY [In reply to]
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Just post a message to the Gunks.com forum; you'll likely get the same answers since a lot of us are on both sites.

You said you're a 5.12 climber, but can you lead on gear? If not, head to Peterskill. Note that they limit the number of climbers to 70, so it's a good idea to get there early. There are some TR anchor bolts, but I usually bring 30' of static and two 25' webbing for anchors since bolts and gear can be sparse to non-existent.

If you can lead on gear, there are a lot more options at the Gunks, but most TRable climbs will have parties on them. If the weather is good, it can be a zoo. The Nears are usually quieter, and there are some nice TRable routes at the far end, but again you have to be able to lead on gear.

BTW, the dacks are north east of Utica, the Gunks south east.


marc801


Aug 18, 2009, 8:34 AM
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Re: [Lethal-Climber] Newbie questions about the Gunks in Upstate NY [In reply to]
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Lethal-Climber wrote:
Was hoping to pick up a guidebook for the Gunks on Wednesday and hoping EMS Albany has it!!
Only get the guidebook written by Dick Williams - there are two current ones; one is for the Traps (grey cover), the other is for the Near Trapps and Millbrook (dark purple cover).

There's a different one called "The Gunks" by Zach Orenczak and Rachael Lynn that has pretty pictures and massive amounts of erroneous information. There's a thread about it here:
http://www.rockclimbing.com/...m_view=recent_posts;


Lethal-Climber


Aug 18, 2009, 8:27 PM
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Re: [marc801] Newbie questions about the Gunks in Upstate NY [In reply to]
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Thanks for the wealth of information and tips guys. I'm heading to EMS tomorrow to pick up Dick's guide and will probably be trying out the Gunks.

Unfortunately, I'm not trained in lead climbing so none of that this time, but am scheduled to get some instruction on that when I get back to Dallas.

Thanks again everyone, another reason to love this site!!


coolcat83


Aug 18, 2009, 9:23 PM
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Re: [Lethal-Climber] Newbie questions about the Gunks in Upstate NY [In reply to]
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budman wrote:
You can stop at Rock and Snow in New Paltz for info and a guide book. Hit up Mountainproject .com for route info right now. Why top rope when you lead some easier climb like Gelsa and give your friends the multipitch experience. Have personally climbed with my girls ages 11 and 14 at the time ( a dozen years ago), and did multiptch in threes even though they were very inexperienced at the time. Much depends on you and how much you are willing to be responsible for your friends. Remember, if he no climb you pull him up.

Gelsa traverses a lot, so puling a climber up doesn't work so well. Have to know the area well, In my experience many of the "easy" gunks routes do some sort of traversing, not great for beginners because you can't put too much tension on the rope.

Lethal-Climber wrote:
Thanks for the wealth of information and tips guys. I'm heading to EMS tomorrow to pick up Dick's guide and will probably be trying out the Gunks.

Unfortunately, I'm not trained in lead climbing so none of that this time, but am scheduled to get some instruction on that when I get back to Dallas.

Thanks again everyone, another reason to love this site!!

If you don't lead you will find it hard to set up tr's in the trapps and nears, most of the tr's are set up by climbing the first pitch of the route, or an adjacent route. The Dick williams guide does not cover Peter's Kill, so if you want to go there you need to get the little book from Rock and Snow. If you are set on the Trapps and don't lead trad you would have to solo some easy things (I don't recommend or endorse this) or go up 3rd class stuff like the uberfall and rap down to climbs that you could later rap off the first pitch of...not a good situation since on a busy weekend you could very well rap down right on top of an ascending party.


Partner rgold


Aug 18, 2009, 10:05 PM
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Re: [Lethal-Climber] Newbie questions about the Gunks in Upstate NY [In reply to]
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If it was just you, I'd say the Beer Walls---lots of top-ropable 5.10's, superb climbing.

If you want much more moderate climbing, then Peterskill is the place to go---that is a separate guidebook.

If you don't lead, there's little point in getting guidebooks to the trapps and/or near trapps, where probably 90% of the routes require leading.


qtm


Aug 19, 2009, 8:31 AM
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Re: [rgold] Newbie questions about the Gunks in Upstate NY [In reply to]
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Since you can't lead, as RG says, you don't need the Williams Gunks guides- they're the best guides to the area, but don't cover anything in Peterskill.

The PK guide is a small booklet (maybe 50 pages). They sell it at Rock & Snow, but it's unlikely you'll find it anywhere else. Unlike the Williams guide, there's not all that much info in the PK guide. You can probably get everything you need from Mountain Project if you print it out beforehand. Last time I was there, cell phone coverage was spotty, so you may not be able to get to MP with your internet capable phone.


cintune


Aug 19, 2009, 9:52 AM
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Re: [Lethal-Climber] Newbie questions about the Gunks in Upstate NY [In reply to]
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Lethal-Climber wrote:
Unfortunately, I'm not trained in lead climbing so none of that this time....

You might want to check out Little Falls in that case. It's a whole lot closer (Herkimer) and has plenty of TR/bouldering fun.
http://www.rockclimbing.com/...entral/Little_Falls/


welle


Aug 19, 2009, 10:13 AM
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Get "Adirondack Rock" and head to the southern Daks (much closer from Utica than the Gunks or Beer Wall). I believe Shanty Cliff is just over an hour from you. Also the Toy Story wall (Lake Pleasant Quary) is fun and a nice place to spend a day (plenty to do for all 3 of you).


LostinMaine


Aug 19, 2009, 12:26 PM
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cintune wrote:
Lethal-Climber wrote:
Unfortunately, I'm not trained in lead climbing so none of that this time....

You might want to check out Little Falls in that case. It's a whole lot closer (Herkimer) and has plenty of TR/bouldering fun.
http://www.rockclimbing.com/...entral/Little_Falls/

I second this. A quick google search for "moss island climbing guide" will score you a free guide for the most well-traveled routes. You might also be able to score Geoff Childs' older guide book for Little Falls as well. If you're in Utica, this is probably about 20 minutes from you.

If you're looking to TR some stuff in the 'dacks, forget the Beer Walls. Great climbing, but tough access. Check out Jewel and Gems wall or Creature Wall just across from Chapel Pond Slabs. A lot of good moderates with easy TR options.

I'm about 20 minutes from west of Utica, so if you want someone to show you around Little Falls, drop me a line.


Lethal-Climber


Aug 20, 2009, 4:26 PM
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Re: [LostinMaine] Newbie questions about the Gunks in Upstate NY [In reply to]
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Awesome info guys! Looks like I have some decisions to make.

For the Peterskill guidebook, is there only one?

Taking into consideration the varying skill level, climbing time v, driving time and the want for a nice scenic place to climb what are the recommendation between the following:
Beer Walls
Peterskill
Little Falls Moss Island


curt


Aug 20, 2009, 4:36 PM
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Re: [mojomonkey] Newbie questions about the Gunks in Upstate NY [In reply to]
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mojomonkey wrote:
I'd recommend Peterskill as well (though it isn't up the road from the Gunks, it is part of the Gunks)...

No--it isn't part of the Gunks.

Curt


qtm


Aug 20, 2009, 6:47 PM
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Lethal-Climber wrote:
Awesome info guys! Looks like I have some decisions to make.

For the Peterskill guidebook, is there only one?

Taking into consideration the varying skill level, climbing time v, driving time and the want for a nice scenic place to climb what are the recommendation between the following:
Beer Walls
Peterskill
Little Falls Moss Island

Yes, there's only one PK guide, by Robert Wilson. It's more like a pamphlet than a guide book since it's only 40 pages and 100 routes or so. The guide also does not rate the climbs, so use the MP list to get an idea of what's available.
$14 at Rock & Snow.
http://www.rockandsnow.com/store/product/1829/PETER%27S-KILL-CLIMBING-GUIDE-/

I don't know if I'd call it "scenic"; tucked behind the Trapps, you don't get the views you would from the top of the Trapps. But it is pleasant there. Crowds aren't bad because they limit the number of climbers, but that also means you might not be able to get in. There are about 30 climbs 5.7 and below. Most are 40' and shorter, so it's good for a complete beginner.

I've never TR'd at the beer wall and have never been to Little Falls so I can't compare them.


rhythm164


Aug 20, 2009, 7:09 PM
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Little Falls is a great place to go if you want to do a bunch of routes in short amount of time. If you have a rack, top ropes are super easy and quick to set (although the real gems of the area are in the outlying satellite crags - Ron's Rock, Tier Of Fear, Dihedrals). Moss is a great, social, and HOT place to climb in the summer. Another advantage is the willingness of locals to share topropes (just make sure you take a walk down the cliff top and check anchors, it's also a magnet for the inexperienced). I can toss you out some recommended routes if you like.


elizaclimb


Aug 20, 2009, 7:30 PM
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Golden Dream 5.9 & Oops 5.10 are not to be missed when climbing at Peterskill. Consider the easier climbs such as Captain's Log 5.4 & Reach Around 5.7 for your friends.


Lethal-Climber


Aug 20, 2009, 7:56 PM
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WOW! Who would have thought this would be such a difficult decision, makes me wish even more that I got into climbing when I was living in the area!!

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