Mountain Skills Climbing Guides and Gunks Rock Climbing Instruction

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

Gunks/Bonticou Rock Climbing, Scrambling and Caving 05-07-09

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Mike Farnsworth belaying from the top of Bonticou Crag

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Mike belaying Ralph at Bonticou Crag the Gunks

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Doug Ferguson squeezing into another room in the Bonticou Cave

Ralph Schimmenti, Mike Farnsworthand I went up to Bonticou to check out the cave system that runs under the talus field and to help Mike with his AMGA SPI Assessment for the day.  We went over some rescue situations at the crag for a couple of hours before making our way into the Bonticou cave.  The cave is pretty fun to go in and explore.  A headlamp is mandatory for this adventure down under the talus field at Bonticou.  It is cool and damp down below but not to muddy.  Once in the cave you can take many different ways to get out.  It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a hour to make it out.  I guess it just depends on how long you are comfortable being underground.  Arrows are painted all over the place, telling you that it really doesn’t matter which way you go.  Once out it is nice to lay on a big rock, look at the sun and breath the fresh air once again.  Another amazing adventure out at Bonticou is the exposed scrambling up the rock walls orin the talus field below.  In the talus field you can really get confortable moving over the rock.  It’s good to learn to trust your foot work and hand holds before you try to rope up and scramble the vertical walls.  Once you have scrambled to the top the views are incredible.  The Catskill Mountains skyline is to the north and the Hudson Valley and Shawangunk Ridge are to the south and west.

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