About an hour's drive from New York City and less than two from Hartford lies one of the world’s most iconic rock climbing areas. Thousands of routes of all difficulties and styles just begged to be climbed. From beginner level ascents to high end challenging climbs, the Gunks has it all. Make no mistake; this is a WORLD CLASS venue.
The Trapps is the largest and most popular cliff at the Gunks
The Gunks has a number of world famous climbs, most notable are the plethora of classic traditional moderate routes. Apart from probably the most famous one, High Exposure, the list goes on and on: Madamme G's, Something Insteresting, Directissima, Arrow, Annie Oh, Bonnie's Roof, Ant's Line, CCK, MF, Yelow Ridge, Alphonse, and many, many more. There is a lifetime's worth of climbing to be had at the Gunks.
Known for its spectacular views, the Shawangunk Ridge is also rich in biological diversity. The Nature Conservancy recognized the Shawangunks as one of the "last great places" on earth. It's no surprise its rugged and a largely forested landscape is why this area is so popular with climbers and hikers alike. Most of the Gunks climbing cliffs are part of the Mohonk Preserve, a land trust that's been saving the land for life for half a century. Climbers have full and easy access to 1,000 routes and more than five linear miles of cliff face and to climb at the Gunks you have to buy a day pass (or membership) to help protect the Preserve. While most areas are permitted to climb some require authorized guides. And that's when a local climbing guide comes in handy.
Son of Easy O is likely the best 5.8 in the Gunks
There are a few bolted climbs at the Gunks, but no sport climbs.
Ragged Mountain Guides (RMG) is one of those to hold one of the 8 coveted permit authorizations available at the Gunks since company's beginning in 2010. This small owner operated guide service operating throughout the North East was founded by AMGA Certified Rock Instructor Matt Shove who has many trips including Alaska, Red Rocks, Joshua Tree, Yosemite, City of Rocks, North Cascades, and even Mt. Rainier under his belt.
Ragged Mountain's Main Cliff is perhaps Connecticut's most impressive crag
RMG's local areas include New York's world famous Gunks, Peterskill, and Ragged Mountain in Connecticut. They specialize in providing high end rock climbing experiences, guiding, and technical skill instruction for beginners to expert level climbers and instruct the AMGA's SPI Program and CWI Program nationwide.
Photos: © RMG