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Archive for Gunks Rock Climbing/ Rock Climbing

Keeping Cool on a summer day!

A full crew of first time rappellers took to the Catskills to hone their skills on the wild waterfalls of Platte Clove. Water levels were pretty tame, but still ‘sporty’.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPlenty of wet rock scrambling between the drops kept people on their toes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese guys are a million miles away from the hard pavement of downtown Gotham.There was time to contemplate nature and take plenty of pictures along the way.

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Eventually the sun came out midway thru the trip at the bottom of the second drop plunge pool.

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By the final long drop, these guys were looking confident and having fun!

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Before hiking out, the last pool was too tempting as the sun made another appearance, capping a perfect summer day.

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Peak Potential climbers at the Peters Kill today!

Thanks to all our participants, and volunteers for coming out again to make this a great event! We started at the Breakfast wall, with our group getting the feel of the rock.Image

This is a great place to start as the slab starts out easy, and finishes with steep overhangs.

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After lunch, we moved over to some more advanced terrain that really challenged the group.

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Everyone had a great time. We really like working with these kids and young adults pushing thru their physical challenges. We look forward to our next outing with them. They inspire us all to reach past our own perceived limits in climbing and life!

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Chasing the rainy day blues away!

This morning’s weather may not have looked promising, but our group was up to the challenge! Knowing the cliffs at Bonticou would have the best chance of drying out after our morning showers we headed up the crag trail to the base of the crag. The scramble was a bit slippery, so helmets and sure footing were a must.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
After the skies opened up again, we went with plan ‘B’ Let’s go caving! These three teens  were keen to check out the talus caves for their very first trip underground.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Eventually, we were all able to climb the cliffs and these kids could tear it up!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Mountain Laurel are starting to bloom, right along with these kids climbing skills.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We had time to teach everyone the basics of rappelling back down,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA before heading back to the comforts of dry clothes, and a refreshing dip at Split Rock. We always try to find a way to make the day a success no matter what the weather.

Millbrook in the Gunks Fall 2013

Belay ledge from Swinging C at Millbrook Guide Dustin Portzline and Doug Ferguson enjoying a day out at Millbrook in the Gunks in the late fall season.

Gunks rock climbing season is in full swing

Ice climbing season drifted right into rock climbing season nicely this year.  Personally, I left the ice climbing season kicking and screaming.  Once I got back to the Gunks and started climbing hard, that kicking and screaming turned to laughter and joy.  It also turned into logging some serious air time climbing those hard routes.  Hey, trying to get better always involves some failures.  Those failures are actually small battles won.  The small battles your mind likes to fight with you while trying to push your limits.

So another amazing Gunks rock climbing season gets back into full swing.  Warm days on these southeast facing cliffs, watching birds catch thermals, the leafs pop and then change, temperature inversions with low-lying clouds in the Hudson Valley, and yes even bugs bring the love of this area back again.  So many wonderful classic routes to climb it will make your mind swim.  It’s time to get back to one of the oldest and best climbing venues the U.S. has to offer.

North Face of Gothics 03-24-11

John Mackey and I headed up to the Dacks to extend our ice climbing season a touch longer.  Just can’t seem to keep away I guess.  We drove up from New Paltz around 5:00am and started hiking in to Gothics around 9:00am.  The trail going in is fast and fun right now.  The snow is pretty firm and it doesn’t seem like spring is coming anytime soon in the high country.

The approach trail from the Orebed Trail is packed and easy to negotiate right now.  Once in the bowl we decided to take a line way to the left, since the ice up the middle seemed to be verglas.  Couple more days and that line will be in better shape.  The snow is super firm making the climbing very enjoyable and fun.

We connected with the normal line after passing the thin ice to our right.  The snow on the bushes and trees is amazing.  Climbing in the alpine zone close to the top of Gothics is really a sight to see.

The True North Slide is just as easy to get down right now.  Just a little dust over a nice crust.  Get it while the gettin’s good.

Trap Dike Mt Colden March 11

The end of the ice climbing season this year came by a little to fast for me.  It has been sad to see it go.  Letting go of it hasn’t been easy, so with the opportunity to get some more alpine climbing in just before the true start of spring was an easy answer.  Climb the Trap Dike on Mt. Colden in the Adirondacks.  No problem.  I got a later than normal start for me, leaving the trail head at the Adirondack Loj at 9:00am.  With the sun out until 7:00pm I wasn’t worried at all.  The hike into Marcy Dam was easy and obviously well packed.  With a small break for food and water at the dam, the rest of the approach to Avalanche Pass and to the start of the Trap Dike went easy.  Caffine always makes the morning approach more manageable.

The lake was still frozen, so we crossed at the closest spot between both sides of Avalanche Lake to the mouth of the Trap Dike.  Once across, it was time to rack up and pick a good line to start ascending the dike.  With the warmer temps parts of the ice bulges were blown out with water running.  The ice wasn’t in bad shape for this time of the season.  Besides, if you have a good attitude, life is always going to be fun.  I short roped the whole climb starting at the Trap Dike itself and ending with the Colden Slide summit.  I only had two spots that I actually set a belay on while climbing the ice in the dike.  We had to post hole a fair amount of the climb.  The sudden warmer temps had made the snow pack softer allowing the deep snow wells to cave in under pressure.  The majority of the Colden Slide snow pack was firm with short sections of slabby ice that was actually a welcomed site compared to the deep snow wells.

The weather cooperated with the sun shinning down on us all day.  It couldn’t have been a better day to enjoy the mountains.  The wind picked up once on the summit making the lunch break/summit celebration a little subdued.  After a quick refuel and gear switch it was time to start our decent.  I decided to descend using the Trap Dike instead of hiking down the back side of Colden.  This turned out to be a fun and interesting way to descend.  The bushwack at the top of the Trap Dike was easy to manage and rappelling the ice bulges went easy.  Once we got back down to the lake it was a straight shot back to the parking area and salvation.  Pretty amazing day.

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