Mountain Skills Climbing Guides and Gunks Rock Climbing Instruction

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

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High Angle Rescue Training with Mohonk Preserve Rangers and Mountain Skills Climbing Guides

Mark Folsom lowering with the litter

Mountain Skills Climbing Guides Wes Converse, Mark Folsom, and Doug Ferguson and the Mohonk Preserve Rangers Frank Tkact, and Ken trained with the high angle rescue equipment last week in the Uberfall area of Ken’s Crack 5.7.  The Preserve Rangers are really experienced with high angle rescue senarios and it was a honor to be able to learn from them.  Frank and Ken allowed us to see what to do in case the rangers are not around in the event of a accident at the cliff.  Our guides got to raise and lower the litter, build the wrap 3 pull 2 anchors, use the rack rappel device, and play around with the Gizmo bag (tether and 5-1 hauling system).  I’m sure I’m just being a gear geek but some of the equipment the Mohonk Preserve has is way cool to use.

Doug Ferguson lowering with the litter

Wes Converse lowering with the litter

Peterskill Top Rope Building, Rappelling, and Rock Climbing

Building top rope anchors and rappelling safely

I had taken Daniel up to the Peterskill in the Minnewaska State Park Preserve about a month ago to teach him top rope anchors, rappelling, and knots.  Daniel is getting ready to start college next week and really wanted to be able to hit the cliffs at the Gunks and to climb knowing he was doing everything correct.

Bronto Plater 5.6 Peterskill

This time we went back to the Peterskill to see if Daniel could do everything he had been taught on his own.  Daniel had been practicing his knots at home in Long Island on his piano bench.  He built two point anchors from his bench, equalized everything and imagined he was at the top of the cliff ready to rappel and climb.  Thetime he had to digest everything he had learned really helped him be efficient and clean with his anchors and transitions into safe rappels and on to bottom managed climbing sites.  Daniel really did a great job and if he focuses on college like he did his anchoring skills he’s going to really excel at college.  Good luck Daniel.

On a other note, Roger and I did a road clean up in the Catskill Mountains by an ice climbing area we like to frequent during the winter.

Adopt A Highway in the Catskills Roger Ennis

Adopt A Highway in the Catskills Doug Ferguson

Hudson Valley Mountain Rescue training

Mark Folsom at Hudson Valley Mountain Rescue training

Mountain Skills Climbing Guides trained with the Hudson Valley Mountain Rescue squad on Wednesday in the northern section of the Mohonk Preserve.  The training was really just to get people more aquainted with the command center operations and sending teams into the woods on a mock search.  Mountain Skills Climbing Guides Mark Folsom, Ralph Schimmenti and I set out as a team to search for a fake child who had been lost since the night before.  Our area to search was a sub ridge line up by the Larson property.  We set out on our mission and hiked the ridge line looking for the clues the DEC had given us that morning.  After hiking and searching for about 40 minutes or so we found the big prize waiting in the woods.  It was actually a DEC Ranger and not a small child.  We were all pretty happy that we found the subject in good condition and did not have to carry anyone out.  Even though this was a easy exercise in search and rescue it was fun and fairly educational.  The Preserve Rangers, DEC Rangers, and volunteers did a great job putting everything together and making this training work.

Ralph Schimmenti at Hudson Valley Mountain Rescue training

Summertime rollin’ right along

We’ve been doin all sorts of fun stuff with fun people lately.  Roger, Brendan, Wes and I had time to do Adopt-A-Highway for Mountain Skills Climbing Guides in the Minnewaska State Park Preserve.  We managed to pick up a good amount of garbage on our first try.  It’s amazing how many returnables we picked up.  That’s 5 cents people!!!  Recycle it!!!  We are also sponsoring an area up in the Catskill Mountains for a clean up as well.  Everyone has been taking trips out and group trips like Outdoor Bound have been a real blast lately.  If you have not heard of Outdoor Bound and live in the city or surrounding areas check them out for hiking, mountain biking, sailing, hang gliding, and just about any other cool thing you could think of.  We thought the rock climbing, mani-pedi, wine tasting combo would be a real hit.

Roger Ennis, Brendan Mealia, and Wes Converse Adopt A Highway by the Peterskill

Doug Ferguson hiking Hamilton Point at Minnewaska Sate Park Preserve

My wife Christie and I also took a hike up to Castle Point and Hamilton Point the other day.  Wow what a lot of rock just waiting to be had.

Stone Mountain Farm 5.8

Great June

This has been a interesting month for Mountain Skills Climbing Guides.  We have been doing self rescue courses at MPHC down in the city on Monday evenings and just this past Monday I did a power point presentation about the Gunk’s featuring photographer and long time guide of Mountain Skills, Matt Calardo.  Matt’s photos are amazing and if you would like to check them out just visit his site at www.mattcalardo.com. Matt is also doing the photo shoot for Shape Magazine for the guide service this week.

Besides working with the great groups we have climb with us we also get great characters.  Roy is by far the most interesting character around.  With his many stories about Peter Croft, his Karate Dojo, and his travels, Roy is a real treat to climb with.  He wanted to climb High Exposure 5.6+ the other day to remember how crazy he was back when he used to lead it.

Roy on the High Exposure ledge 5.6+ pitch 2

We had a great time with no people around and finishing up and down in under 2 hours.

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