Mountain Skills Climbing Guides and Gunks Rock Climbing Instruction

Gunks Rock Climbing – 845-853-5450 – www.mountainskills.biz – Guiding the Gunks and Beyond

Fire on the mountain

Friends and Lovers 5.9

Doug Ferguson on Friend's and Lovers 5.9R

This weekend actually started out on Thursday’s AMGA Single Pitch Assessment for me.  The assessment was done at the Peterskill in Minnewaska State Park Preserve.  That’s the first time we saw the fire, it wasn’t super big at that time, but big enough to say a few four letter words and move on with the day.  Friday brought the last day of the assessment and it also brought the realization that the fire had gotten pretty big in Minnewaska.  Winds out of the north told New Paltz residents that the ridge was indeed on fire.  Mountain Skills had a great group on Saturday out at the Larson farm well away from the danger of the smoke, fire, and the crowds climbing at the Trapps.  What a beautiful day in the sun and warm weather, spring is here for good.  The end of the weekend people started to hear that the fire had consumed close to 4000 acres in Minnewaska.  On Sunday I wanted to climb a little with my good friend Tony from Rock and Snow.  We hit the Trapps late on Sunday morning and bumped into another good bud, Mark, at the top of the stair master.  The cliff was packed with people enjoying the last of the weekend.  We climbed Arch 5.5, Strickley’s 5.7, and a new one for me Friends and Lovers 5.9 with Snooky’s last pitch 5.8 to finish the afternoon.  The fire was finally being contained and the long weekend was coming to a close.  It saddens me to know those beautiful woods in Minnewaska burned, but it is also part of natures natural cycle for the land to re-energize itself.  It is also the same for climbers coming to the Gunks every weekend, people need to re-energize themselves with climbing and getting in tune with nature again.

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