With our hands and feet thawed out from the trip to Long Pond last week, we decided to take advantage of the warm weather and head to the Gunks. Considering that the Gunks are closer to Troy than most of the Adirondacks, it may be surprising that this was a first for us. The access to the Gunks is super easy and it can be tough to imagine how someone can grow up in New Paltz or go to SUNY New Paltz and not be a Gunks regular. Joe, Cam, and I left Troy at around 7:30 and got to the Welcome center right at 9:00 to buy the $17 day pass.
The first route for the day was the classic High Exposure. We were lucky enough to have a few locals walk with us along the carriage trail to the base of the route. There was already one rope team starting off on the route, so we waited around and chatted with the belayer while preparing the ropes and rack. I went off to lead the first pitch once the other team was out of the way. The route went back and forth to the point where I was wishing I had extended the slings on each piece of pro to reduce the horrible rope drag. Oh well, maybe next time.
I belayed up Cam and Joe at the same time after building a natural anchor under the huge roof. This is where I felt the most rope drag, but it got better with every piece that was removed. Cam took the lead on the money pitch with the notorious move to pull the roof. This was a pretty fun move, but I think it gets talked up a bit. The exposure on Bonnie's Roof felt much larger.
|Cam making his way under the roof to pull the move.|
Using both ropes, we were able to rappel back to the ground without any problems. Next on the list was Bonnie's Roof. There was one other climbing team on the route when we arrived but we didn't have to wait too long to start. Cam took the lead on the first pitch. Some other climbers at the base were telling us that this pitch was full of sustained laybacking. Coming from the Adirondacks, the laybacks were not a problem; instead, the mental crux was pulling two roofs along the way.
|Cam placing protection under the first roof.|
|Pulling the protection under the first roof.|
|Finishing off the pitch while a climber starts the second pitch above.|
The two climbers above us ended up being very nice guys, we talked for a bit on the belay ledge and were lucky enough to use their rappel setup to save a lot of time. After watching both climbers hesitate on the starting move I was getting the nervous stoke for the lead.
I ended up using a different sequence than the first two guys and was able to move fluidly through the traverse. There were three small gear placements and two pitons to clip before continuing up the arete to the top anchor.
|Making the delicate traverse moves from below.|
It had been a while since Cam and I have climbed on the same rope because we have been taking other people climbing and both leading, so this was definitely a solid route to climb together.
Cam took the lead on the last route we all did for the day. I can't remember the name of it, but maybe someone will be able to point it out from the pictures. Joe followed first trailing the purple rope behind for me to climb on after.
|Joe climbing up while climbers rappel down to the left.|
We rarely ever come across other climbers in the Adirondacks, but everyone that we met was very friendly. The Gunks almost felt like Rumney, only without the French Canadians and with all trad climbers. This definitely makes me think about trying to find a job around New Paltz after graduation.