Monday, April 29, 2013

Gettin' Gunky

Just back from a full week at the Gunks. Early almost spring-like weather carried through the entire week. I am most grateful!

Carol and Louise joined us for the first couple of days.  It is always too much fun when the 4 of us get together. Laughter, chit-chat, microbrew sampling, eating and of course climbing!  Congrats to Louise who lead her first Gunks 5.8 - she picked a fine one - the classic Arrow.  It was a beauty of a day, although there were some gusty winds to contend with on the higher pitches.  Making the crux move at the very top of Arrow required waiting for a brief respite from the wind.

A nice lunch break at the base of the Arrow wall
CC introduced us to an indescribable local eatery we had not visited before "The Main Course" on Main Street in New Paltz.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.  All locally raised Hudson Valley foods, organic and expertly prepared.  They are chiefly a catering outfit, but they have plentiful tables for dining onsite and it is BYOB so you do not have to spend an arm and a leg for alcohol!  We liked it so much we went 3 nights in a row.  If you are ever in New Paltz be SURE to stop in and see all they have to offer.

As for the rest of the week and our climbing, we enjoyed many repeat classics and a few new routes.  The most exciting was a line first climbed by Hans Kraus and Bonnie Prudden in 1951 - it is aptly named "Hans Puss".  We were sure to embrace all 3 pitches and are glad we did.  Route finding is the crux of this route.  The first pitch weaves its way up a steep and overhanging wall between 2 much more difficult climbs - Supper's Ready 5.12 and Feast of Fools 5.10 - so don't go off route!
Annie coming up to the steep and exposed section on Pitch One of Hans Puss
Pitch 2 traverses across the face in a slightly contrived fashion, then you head up over a couple of fun overhanging sections. The guidebook calls Pitch 1 5.6 and Pitch 2 5.7 - they both felt about the same in difficulty to me although very different climbing.  The final pitch, rated only 5.5, was also challenging and wild.  You first climb a short and awkward offwidth crack in a bulge of rock right off the GT ledge, then walk 15 feet across another ledge and up a large corner system. As you reach the top the climbing gets tricky and you have to figure out a hand traverse under another overhang to reach the top of the climb. Wild!  if you climb at the Gunks and have not tried this route, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it! Do all three pitches!

Still havin' fun Gettin' Gunky

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