Rock Climbing

NEW PALTZ (GUNKS), NEW YORK

gunks-940x450accredited_colorClimbers travel from all over the country and world to spend time at The Gunks, which is recognized as one of the best climbing areas in the USA. Climbing starts to pick up action around April, and the Gunks are busy with climbers until the snow hits in November or December (although you’ll still see some of us out there climbing with snow on the ground!) The Mohonk Preserve has made climbing in the Gunks very easily accessible, and the views on the way to the crags are just as spectacular as the climbing!

Classes are available on select dates, or hire a guide for a private lesson or day of guided climbing on a day of your own choosing. Group classes require a minimum enrollment of 2 people. Private lessons are available any day of the week and are guaranteed to run given favorable weather conditions. If you have a limited schedule we recommend booking privately.

Private Guided Climbs

keith-ryan-belay-680x475Looking to master a specific skill or accomplish a particular goal or maybe you just want the guide to yourself, or on a day of your own choosing. Regardless of the reason or the size of your party, just give us a call at 800-310-4504 to set up a private climbing day tailored to your needs and schedule. Private rock climbing trips available 7 days a week. READ MORE…
Available 7 days a week. Please call 800-310-4504 to schedule a climb.

Rock Climbing Fast Track

 rcft-680x475Rock Climbing Fast Track is a two-day introduction to rock climbing and is our most popular rock climbing class. This concentrated program takes beginning climbers through the comprehensive progression of our two main courses: Rock Climbing 101 and Rock Climbing 201. After these two days, you will have the knowledge, skills and variety of experience to think and respond to challenges on the cliff as a true climber. It’s a perfect way to cover a lot of vertical ground, and save some money at the same time! READ MORE… 
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two days / ratio 1:3 / private classes also available

Rock Climbing 101

 rc101-680x475If you’ve never rock climbed, or have been climbing indoors at a rock gym, this class is for you. We’ll go over the fundamentals of climbing and focus on giving you the knowledge to become a skilled and confident rock climber. You’ll learn about the relevant equipment, knots and terminology, and then we’ll move right into belaying, body position, footwork and working around the climbing site. The bulk of the day is spent putting these new skills to use on the cliff, with each climber able to get in a few climbs and descents. You will come away knowing what it is like to be a fully engaged and responsible member of a climbing party, and with a good measure of actual climbing time on the rock. READ MORE… 
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one day / ratio 1:4 / private classes also available

Rock Climbing 201

 rc201-680x475Now that you’ve completed Rock Climbing 101, you’re ready to really put those skills to use on the cliff. We’ll build off your basic climbing knowledge and focus on application: when is it best to use one technique rather than another? Which gear is most appropriate for which situation? Is it best to steer toward the cracks, or stick with the footholds on the face? All these issues can be addressed while getting in some great climbing, and we can add pitches of different character or difficulty as we go, depending upon your needs. READ MORE… 
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one day / ratio 1:3 / private classes also available

Rock Climbing 202

 Once you know the basics, one of the best things to do to improve is get some serious mileage on the cliff. Whether you aim for a long multi-pitch climb, or a series of shorter, more problematic routes, we’ll make sure you get lots of climbing in. Still have some technical questions? – that’s no problem – we can address those as we go along. And feel free to take this program as often as you like; we’ll provide a variety of climbs on different terrain to challenge you each time you come back. READ MORE… 
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one day / ratio 1:3 / private classes also available

Top Rope Set Up

 510x350-rock-tr1When it is time to start heading out on your own, you’ll want to hit this course first. We’ll take your knowledge and experience on the rock and fine-tune it to address the myriad issues that come with establishing toprope systems. You’ll learn how to assess a site for climbing and anchoring potential, and how to set anchors at the top and bottom of the crag using a variety of methods and materials. We’ll also cover how to deal with the typical issues that can complicate a day of toproping: difficult cliff-top access, troublesome situations at the edge, awkward descent options, and other potential problems. To cover all topics, this class is best taken over two days. READ MORE… 
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two days / ratio 1:4 / private classes also available

Glacier Skills & Crevasse Rescue

 If you aspire to climb bigger mountains out West or abroad, learning to rope up for and travel over glaciers is essential. You’ll also need to know how to extricate yourself or your partner from a crevasse. Though there are no glaciers in the Northeast, our instructors can teach you all of the latest tricks and techniques for navigating though these hazards. A portion of the day will be spent learning the basics of glacier rigging for different sized rope-teams, as well as equipment options and crevasse rescue systems. We will then set up and practice the demonstrated techniques in the field. We require technical climbing experience or participation in one or more of our mountaineering courses for this hands-on, technical program. This class can be taken in one day or spread out into two days.  
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two days / ratio 1:4 / private classes also available

Learn to Lead

Leading a climb from the ground up is an awesome responsibility that is equally rewarding. This intense three-day course will give you the skills and knowledge you’ll need to explore the cliff from the “sharp” end of the rope. We’ll cover a wide variety of topics and introduce a broad selection of scenarios, as leading is a lot more than just going up first and sticking in some gear. You’ll learn about assessing your party in relation to your objectives, route choices and decision-making on the lead, protecting the leader and the seconds, establishing anchors en route, efficient belay-station management, and planning for the descent. Efficiency and error correction play big roles in this course, and the responsibility of the leader lies in not underestimating the commitment being taken on. Before enrolling, participants should be able to follow 5.7 climbs with confidence, have extensive top roping experience, and possess a thorough understanding of technical climbing equipment. To cover all topics, this class is best taken over three days.
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three days / ratio 1:2 / private classes also available

Self Rescue

A must for every climber, this course will teach you how to handle all sorts of unanticipated situations on the cliff, using the standard gear you already have on hand. Day one will feature close-to-the-ground practice sessions that will introduce a broad range of tricks and techniques, and day two will present rescue scenarios and problem-solving exercises on the cliff. You’ll learn how to anticipate and ultimately address a wide variety of the unexpected challenges we encounter in the vertical world.
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one day / ratio 1:4 / private classes also available

Aid Climbing

Aid climbing puts us in some of the most spectacular positions imaginable. This course introduces the specialized equipment and teaches the fundamental techniques that allow us to venture beyond the limits of free climbing. We’ll cover climbing on aid – using nuts, pitons, hooks and etriers, as well as techniques for ascending the rope, cleaning pitches on aid, and simple hauling systems. Participants should have significant free-climbing experience, including some leading.
Available 7 days a week. Please call 800-310-4504 to schedule a class.

Rock Climbing in the Gunks

The majority of the cliffs in The Gunks are only 10-15 minutes outside of the Town of New Paltz, and the ridgeline stands prominently across the Western Horizon. Some of the most popular cliffs, The Trapps, The Near Trapps, and SkyTop, are visible from New Paltz. The rock climbing at these cliffs varies from 1-3 pitches, with several single pitch crags surrounding them. The Trapps is the longest (about 2 miles), most popular cliff at The Gunks, and houses routes covering a wide spectrum of difficulty. A complete beginner can enjoy climbing Northern Pillar (5.2) to the top of the cliff while watching intermediate/advanced climbers on Madame G’s (5.6) or Le Teton (5.9+) nearby. Many argue that High Exposure (5.6), or “High E,” is one of the best and most-exposed routes for its grade. High E (photo on right) is a two-pitch climb that has an exciting move exiting a very large roof and proceeds up a very steep and exposed wall. Our guides have all been climbing here for quite some time, so be sure to let them know what you’re interested in, and they’ll find a spot in The Gunks that’s perfect for your day out!

Our guides are all professionally trained and American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA) Certified. Not only are our guides AMGA certified, but our Climbing School is one of the few programs in the country to be Accredited by the AMGA. Our equipment is checked and replaced on a regular bases, and we don’t charge you extra to use it. Programs are available year round and can be customized to meet your needs. Whether you’re training to climb Rainier or want to come up from NYC to take your family climbing; we can help you reach your goals.