Thursday, October 25, 2012

All Gunked Up!

OMG. A girl could not ask for a better 3 days of weather when visiting the Gunks in New Paltz, NY.  For late October, it is pretty rare to have THREE days like this. Sunny. Bluebird skies. Warm! We are talking mid to upper 60s! Yeeeeehaaaa!

Annie starting up the climb called "Classic"
What IS it about the Gunks that makes life so good.  Since it isn't the camping, it must be the climbing.  Yup. Every time I go to the Gunks I return home with a weird set of mixed emotions.  I have a fuzzy feeling inside as I reminisce the climbing routes traveled - yet a soft sadness that the fuzzies are de-fuzzing. I want to go back as soon as I get home, even though I love home.  Make any sense?

Due to lack of time to describe more sentiments and broadcast stories, let the pictures and videos set the scene.  We climbed some new routes and some old ones.  Are there really any "bad" routes in the Gunks?

Classic tests classic face climbing skills...

...and sports a fun overhanging finish!

The 2nd pitch provides for a great foliage backdrop!
Another "classic" part of the Gunks experience is the approach. Unlike some traditional climbing areas, the hike in is relatively a cakewalk.  We usually park in the East Trapps Parking lot and hike the stone steps referred to fondly as the "Stairmaster". This makes for a good heart pump and terrific muscle warmup.  Then you hit the carriage road and choose your destination.  From there, short trails wind up through the brief talus to reach the base of the climbs. Sweet!

One of our favorite new routes we climbed is called Credibility Gap.  The exciting first pitch features a finger crack and ramp leading you beneath a huge ceiling that seems completely improbable.  However, it protects well and traversing holds reveal themselves quickly allowing you to exit left under the large roof and turn the corner - great exposure!
Credibility Gap features this impressive ceiling. Sling it nice and long and swing out under it to the left. Exciting!
Another fun new route was Jane.  Climb a crack until underneath a big ceiling, traverse out right to stand on a big block.  Climb the crack through a bulge and then finish on a thin face. Definitely worth doing and you might find it open when all the other nearby routes are swallowed up.

I have been wanting to try Alley Oop for a long time.  Checked out the bouldery unprotected start and it looked like it wouldn't be too bad. The Grey Dick (guidebook) says after the initial move you can protect with a yellow alien.  I could see a small horizontal just 8 feet up so off I went.  But no pro! The crack turned out to be a shallow depression which would not accept any gear. The first place for gear appears to be another 10+ feet higher and with moves above that I could not reverse.  While I think I could make those moves, they did look and feel harder from my tiny stance and I didn't want to risk a fall onto nasty roots and rock below - a real ankle buster I'm sure.  So if anyone knows the pro beta on that one, please do tell!  Instead we found Wonderland to be free and this was another enjoyable new route.  The crux bolt is a rusty one with a homemade hanger and a lot of old epoxy - wouldn't  want to test that either!

Before heading home Monday we went to the Arrow wall to hop on that classic face climbing route.  That crux still stymies me, but that climb is so stellar it is always enjoyable.  I especially love the moves through the notch of the roof on the second pitch.

Again, the photos tell the weather story. Fantastic. Doesn't get any better than this!

Looking up at Arrow.  Check out the color of the sky!

Annie coming up Pitch 1
Annie at the Arrow crux, on Pitch 2 - a super tricky sequence above the bolt at the very top.
What is that ridiculous expression?

1 comment:

  1. Great photos!

    I think that ridiculous expression might be ...

    ... wait for it ...