Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Got Gunkified. Again.

The Gunks is truly one of the best places to climb in the world. It must be. It has to be! Well, okay - so I haven't climbed all over the entire world. So what. There are probably hundreds of "best places to climb" out there - but I bargain the Gunks is one of them.  Once again, we were rewarded with 4 beautiful days of weather, and now the weather is turning wet and cold. Perfectly timed I'd say.

No long winded stories in this post - just some photos, captions and brief anecdotes to summarize some of our highlights of the trip.

First climb of first day - Asphodel, a 5.5 corner we had never been on and heard was worth doing.  The highlight of this climb was the huge black rat snake that fell from the sky with a THUD!  I was lacing up my climbing shoes, stood up to tie in and just behind me I heard the alarming sound of something hitting the ground - at the time it sounded like someone's shoe! It startled me so and I was about to yell up to climbers above who I was sure were at fault, when I glanced over to see this huge black snake coming out of its shock, shaking itself and slithering quickly past Annie and down the stones on the trail.  We estimate this snake to be about 3 to 4 feet long and plenty thick.  While not poisonous, we stayed out of its way. That was a weird experience. Glad I had just stepped forward from my shoe-up position otherwise it might have landed on me!

Some memorable climbs (all repeats and well worth it): Arrow, Something Interesting. Bonnie's Roof. Yellow Ridge, and Gelsa.  Annie lead some pitches on Ribs,  Gelsa and Sixish.

Annie cruising up the last pitch of Gelsa in the Near Trapps.
This climb was first ascended by Fritz Wiessner in 1942.

The last pitch traverse on Bonnie's Roof. One of the great "photo op" climbs.
Check out the National Geographic website link to compare photos. Where are my royalties?!? First climbed in 1952 by Bonnie Pruden and Hans Kraus (who handed her the rope as his attempt was unsuccessful!)
The National Geographic website features this same photo op - click here to compare

Yes, another good photo op climb, The Yellow Ridge at the Near Trapps.
Another big traverse on face holds before heading up through the overhangs above.

A bad example of a fixed anchor top of pitch one Sixish. 3 rusty pins, 2 sections of webbing, one on the
 2 pins to the left and the other on the pin to the right, NOT equalized. Worse yet, an American Triangle
setup through all 3 pins with tiny cord and a weird triangular hardware link I have never seen before.
Caution: Falling Rock Climbers Ahead!

A new sign is posted on a tree as you walk into the Near Trapps cliff area.

What is up with this sign? What is it supposed to be warning us about?

Gravity - we saw the new Sandra Bullock movie GRAVITY in 3D while in New Paltz.  A real nail-biter and must see if you like that kind of thing.  I do wonder what my aerospace engineering friends think of it though!

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