Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
mattp

[TR] Schawangunks - several 5/15/2011

Recommended Posts

Trip: Schawangunks - several

 

Date: 5/15/2011

 

Trip Report:

The 'Gunks is a crag not to be missed.

BetsyArrow.jpg

 

The Schawangunks are my favorite crags in the U.S., but the Gunks are more than just my favorite place. This is one of America's premiere rock climbing destinations - with one of American rock climbers' longest histories, first being climbed in the '30's. These crags offer stunning routes from 5.2 to 5.12 (maybe more at either end), scenic views, and incredible ambiance. Known for positive (in-cut) holds and copious overhangs, even a 5.2 route has the climber weaving in and around, maybe even pulling over, space.

I climbed there this past weekend. We did some classics. Nothing hard, but everything fun.

 

Birdland.jpg

 

 

Gear Notes:

The 'Gunks are trad. Bring a full rack and don't expect a lot of bolts.

 

Approach Notes:

Get here any way you can. There are 1000 rock climbs, with at least 300 of them being REALLY GOOD rock climbs, easily approached in Teva's or, as in my case, dress shoes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

great picture and nice stoke!

been looking forward to going there this august while visiting family on the right coast!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kane, I swapped out Birdland for Pink Laurel, but yes. What incredible climbs!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good choice - what a rad climb (though Pink Laurel is too).

 

My partner managed to take repeated whips at the first pitch crux and weld one of my nuts there last year. I wonder if it's still there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad to hear you had a good time. Looks like an awesome place.

P.S. I have your coffee Cup from our trip to Exit 38.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That first photo is especially amazing, thanks for sharing! Talking with you about the Gunks while doing trail work at Erie certainly got me thinking about trying to make a trip out there sometime. Some of my wife's family is in NY, so I could probably gain some points at the same time . .. .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ratings at the Gunks are "old school." I think the two climbs shown above are rated 5.8, but both would be rated harder at any modern crag -- at least any one around here.

 

But, whatever ... the Gunks offer climbs for damn near everybody -- the approaches are easy, the climbing fun, (mostly) with good pro, and the rock is solid. The views and history offer secondary bonus points, and every time I've been there I have found the regular (local) climbers to be friendly and more.

 

Jason4.jpg

In this shot Jason, who climbed his first "outdoor" lead last weekend, pulls an amazing 5.6 overhang. I have climbed a lot of climbs like this and I pulled up on the opening holds, saw nothing, and started uttering swear words. My sister-in-law said "just climb up" and she was right: a very sufficient hold was right there in front of me. The Gunks are full of surprises! Jason did really well on his lead the next day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I climbed a 5.6 route called Double Chin there that was like that - in two places!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matt, if you get back on Birdland, the second pitch is full value but a wee bit thin. There's a great hard TR off the birdland anchor that you should just try whether or not you've got any expectation of doing it...it gives the "crimp, sidepull, pull up, must be the crux...jug" feeling to a very high level.

 

Remember, the grades on many of the classic climbs at the gunks were agreed upon when that grade was the highest level in american climbing. Imagine Sharma and that lot arguing about whether 5.9 is even possible or not...and then climbing the 5.9 forty years later.

 

I miss the incuts, but not the humidity and the heat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cut my trad teeth at the gunks. I always thought it must be the easiest place for a sport climber to transition into trad because you almost never have to jam.

 

The ratings are definitely stout, but no stouter than Index!

 

Directissima & Doubleissima (spelling?) are definitely among my all time favorites.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The place looks great. I've heard the grades are stiff. old school

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome Matt. The Gunks are where I learned to climb 13 years ago. There's no better place to crag in the US in my opinion.

 

No doubt the ratings are stiff; I like to call them real. I went home last year and climbed at the Gunks thinking I had progressed to being a solid 5.8 leader and got a rude awakening on a 5.6.

 

Did you happen to experience High Exposure? I don't think I've ever led a finer moderate anywhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Matt, if you get back on Birdland, the second pitch is full value but a wee bit thin. There's a great hard TR off the birdland anchor that you should just try whether or not you've got any expectation of doing it...it gives the "crimp, sidepull, pull up, must be the crux...jug" feeling to a very high level.

 

That's Slammin the Salmon. Gunks 5.12's are no joke. I still haven't been able to figure out the crux move (lockoff on an undercling crimp with the right hand into a big cross move over with your left, on terrible feet), but I've managed to work through everything else without too much difficulty.

 

Good choice - what a rad climb (though Pink Laurel is too).

 

My partner managed to take repeated whips at the first pitch crux and weld one of my nuts there last year. I wonder if it's still there.

 

I went up Birdland a couple months ago. Don't remember any welded nuts down low, but I live about an hr away so I'll go see if it's still hanging out :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Matt, if you get back on Birdland, the second pitch is full value but a wee bit thin. There's a great hard TR off the birdland anchor that you should just try whether or not you've got any expectation of doing it...it gives the "crimp, sidepull, pull up, must be the crux...jug" feeling to a very high level.

 

That's Slammin the Salmon. Gunks 5.12's are no joke. I still haven't been able to figure out the crux move (lockoff on an undercling crimp with the right hand into a big cross move over with your left, on terrible feet), but I've managed to work through everything else without too much difficulty.

 

As I recall, combine the crux of the Salmon with the lower crux to get (if I recall correctly) Bird-Salmon which is solid 12. Birdbrain slants from climber's right to climber's left while Slammin' slants from left to right. Combine them, and you start closer to transcon, hit that little roof crux (12b or so) and then the upper crux on the red face of Salmon (easy 12a as I recall). The upper crux on Salmon wasn't too bad for me (6'5") but the 10ish face moves on the exit threw me off once or twice...It took me quite a bit of work to get that combo.

 

That area of the Nears is a top rope hard climb fantasy land. There are a bunch of hard 11s and 12s you can hit there without climbing harder than 5.8.

 

Suddenly, I miss the gunks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

woo-hoo! what an awesome place!

got my ass kicked on a sweet 5.6 called shockley's ceiling (and more) this weekend.

here's a historical picture (yes, dick williams is naked on it) of the crux move.

shockley2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice one. A shot of the Vulgarian.

 

On my first lead I fell off Gaston, one or two pitches below this on the link-up we did that day. Shokley's is an amazing climb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×