Mountain Skills Climbing Guides and Gunks Rock Climbing Instruction

Gunks Rock Climbing – 845-853-5450 – – Guiding the Gunks and Beyond

Archive for Gunks Climbing

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 & Catskill Overnight-Hiking trip

The Gunks Rock Climbing & Catskill Overnight-Hiking trip is a great two or three-day adventure for people with little to no experience.  The trip begins at Rock and Snow in New Paltz.  In the morning we  going over the suggested gear list, trip itinerary, routes, peaks, weather and waivers.  Once you get fitted for our rock climbing adventure, we head up to the world-famous Gunks for a day of rock climbing and rappelling.   After we get our rock climbing in, we head up to the Catskill Mountains and hike to our planned lean-to camping site.  We set up camp, get situated and then it’s time for food and relaxation.

After a good night’s sleep under the stars and a energizing breakfast in the morning we start our summit hiking.  Typically we are going to climb two-three of the Catskill 3500 peaks in a day.  The Catskill’s offers great views and fun hiking for all levels.  For more information call 845-853-5450 or email

Amazing Gunks climbing weather

The weather here has been amazing this week.  It is the last real push for summer.  Fall officially starts on Monday and the leaves have been changing more and more each day.  The 10 day trend is calling for more of the same so if you can get a day off now is the time to get up here.

Doug Ferguson @ Cold Turkeys, 5.9-

Doug Ferguson climbing Cold Turkeys pitch 1 5.8

Gunks top rope building courses and guides climbing hard

Brendan Mealia climbing Bragg-Hatch 5.10+++

The weekend went off even with the rain and high humidity.  Brendan Mealia just missed the on-sight of Bragg-Hatch 5.10+++.  He is climbing really strong right now and it is fun to watch him go for it.  I climbed with Mark Folsom the other day.  Both of us got on routes we had not climbed before.  Mark on-sighted Protorsilex 5.9+ and I did a no star classic on-sight with lots of exposure call Cold Turkey’s 5.9-.

Top rope anchor building

Mark Folsom onsighting Proctor-Silex 5.9+

I also got to do some more Top Rope Anchor courses during the week.  I like to show people how to use the friction hitch back up as well for rappelling in this course.  Once you build the anchor up top you still have to get down safely, so it’s nice to be able to get over the edge of the cliff backed up.  This is a popular course for us and is really easy to teach new or experienced climbers a quick and efficient way to set up top rope anchors.

Brendan Mealia climbing Bragg-Hatch 5.10+++

Building three point anchors and rappelling

Lots of Gunks Climbing Instruction

Bonitqou Crag 5.4

Gelsa pitch 2 5.4

With great weather all week and Labor Day weekend Mountain Skills Climbing Guides were busy on the cliffs.  I did a lot of Learn To Lead courses and also had a great day with Noah climbing all the routes on the Arrow Wall.  Wes Converse and Brendan Mealia headed up to Rumney in New Hampshire to clip bolts for a couple of days with Wes red-pointing 5.12a/b and Brendan red-pointing 5.10d.  John Mackey and our friend Gabi went to the Wind Rivers Range in Wyoming for a week.  I’ll get some photos from him and a trip report this week.  Mark Folsom got rave reviews from a client on his own Top Rope Anchor building class.  The leaves are already starting to change in the higher elevations and a real feel of fall is at hand.  Brendan and Ralph will be headed to New Jersey this week to guide on some of the rock in the Delaware Water Gap.  Things are really starting to shape up well for everyone and I am proud of our guides traveling to different areas to climb and guide.

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

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