Monday Morning Local Crags: We got ‘Gunks

Monday morning local crags is an ongoing feature that we’ll be posting on Mondays. Mainly we want to make you nostalgic for the weekend and see if any of you climbing fiends have some insider info on specific routes or special spots where you love to go climbing.

This week will focus on the Shawangunks in New York state.

Climbing in the Shawangunks is centered around four major cliffs: Millbrook, the Near Trapps, The Trapps, and Skytop. Of these four, The Trapps is the longest and the most popular, with the largest number of climbing routes. The Near Trapps is located immediately across Route 44/55 from The Trapps, and is second in popularity. Millbrook mountain, the most southerly cliff, is the most remote, and sees the least climbing activity.

Technical rock climbing has been going on in the Gunks since 1935, when the area was “discovered” by Fritz Wiessner. The area has historically often been at the leading edge of elite rock climbing; today it is better known for its large number of high quality moderate climbing routes.

There are roughly 1200 documented climbing routes in the Gunks, ranging in difficulty from 5.0 to 5.13. The area is considered a traditional climbing area; since 1988 the Mohonk Preserve has banned the placement of bolts, and pitons (although bolts and pitons that were placed prior to the ban are still used and are allowed to be replaced) as well as formally forbidding the chipping or glueing of holds or cutting trees. The Gunks are the single busiest climbing destination in North America, with some 50,000 technical climbers visiting the area each year.

Check out this page before you go climbing in the Gunks to check out weather, wind, and to see if any of your favorite routes are closed