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Climbing Trip mid Oct. Gunks or Jtree wich is better?
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By i smell a rat
Jul 23, 2012
My bros and I are planning a climbing trip for October. We have never been to Jtree or the Gunks so were interested in a little input. Please help us out. We are coming from mid Tennessee so the drive is not worth worrying about.

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By Eric Coffman
Jul 23, 2012
mountainlion
I would strongly encourage you and your friends head to jtree here are the reasons why:
1)Lots more rock and routes of all grades, awesome bouldering too
2)Better adventures at night
3)Better camping
4)More climbing history most of the world class climbers made it their home (the stonemasters Yabo, Bachar, Long, Harrison, Sorenson, Lechinski,Hill,Gingery,Accamazo)Osman and Reardon were big fans of the tree. Sharma cruised in to do "Iron Resolution". The best all come
5)Highlining, Chongo and Dean Potter video on youtube was in JT
6)Near the hot springs for the off days
7)Dutch oven dinners
8)The space station
9)campfire jams
10)free coffee


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By Don MacKenzie
From Seattle, WA
Jul 23, 2012
I would strongly encourage you and your friends head to jtree here are the reasons why: 1)Lots more rock and routes of all grades, awesome bouldering too

While probably true (is it true at ALL grades? I'm not entirely sure) this is misleading since either destination has more than enough climbing to keep you busy for quite a while

2)Better adventures at night

Not sure what this means. Fending off packs of coyotes? Fighting with Marines in Twentynine Palms?

3)Better camping

Definitely. If you can get it.

4)More climbing history most of the world class climbers made it their home (the stonemasters Yabo, Bachar, Long, Harrison, Sorenson, Lechinski,Hill,Gingery,Accamazo)Osman and Reardon were big fans of the tree. Sharma cruised in to do "Iron Resolution". The best all come

Plenty of history in the Gunks, too, if you're into that. Assuming the OP is not a world-class climber, I'm not sure why he would necessarily want to climb in the same place the best climbers in the world do. Chances are he's not looking to repeat Iron Resolution.

5)Highlining, Chongo and Dean Potter video on youtube was in JT

Ok, if you're into this.

6)Near the hot springs for the off days 7)Dutch oven dinners 8)The space station 9)campfire jams 10)free coffee
Let's lump these together under "climbing scene." I don't think the Gunks has the best climbing-specific scene, but there is plenty to keep you entertained in New Paltz, especially if you're willing to spend a little money.

You also forgot:
11) $15 / week / car instead of $15 / day / person

Now, some upsides to the Gunks, which you might also want to consider:
1) easy access and descents, fewer sketchy downclimbs, less time wandering around mazes of rock in the desert
2) fall colors
3) swimming holes - maybe not a factor in October...
4) more juggy face climbing, fewer flaring cracks and runout slabs
5) It's 15 hours from TN, instead of 30. Though the OP said this was a non-factor.

I've climbed both places, and if I were in your position, I would go to the Gunks. Maybe not every time, but the first time at least.

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Jul 23, 2012
Topo - Cliffs in Green
I live near the Gunks and I'd have to say JTree without a doubt... nothing quite like the 'night' adventures to be had around Real Hidden Valley.

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By Eric Coffman
Jul 23, 2012
mountainlion
Nightime Adventures: chasm runs without the headlamps, the iron door, birthing and other caves and natural waterslides we trek around to. Climbing under the full moon without a headlamp. All the telescopes that astronomers bring.

Camping: Hard to get on a Friday & Saturday unless you know people who are there, but if you get there during the week you have an excellent chance of getting a spot in the best campground this side of camp 4.

While the gunks has plenty of rock for a good trip it would be a small section of jtree. Much more quality climbing at whatever grade and alot more if you are throwing down hard. I agree it is a bit sketchy for those not used to a trad climbing.

Nightime at the gunks: cant even stay there
Camping at the gunks: pretty much cant really call it camping if you expect something like jtree.

$15 dollars a day admission vs. $15 to camp and stay = go to Jtree

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By rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Jul 23, 2012
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogsti...
Post deleted in the light of this:

i smell a rat wrote:
The fact that you are all such easy suckers (otherwise known as low hanging fruit) makes trolling such a simple game to pass the time. Bored and want a little fun? Put a post out there about how my dad can kick your dad's ass and watch the fun begin. Yep I felt the satisfaction build as a giant smile spread across my face from all the havoc that ensued. I mean some dude got on the internet and posted photos of the gunks that weren't even his. You guessed it I've actually been to both places and it is only my 2 cents but Jtree hands down mostly for the reasons Eric listed. For one the dude is funny as hell in person (not so much through your posts though Eric). Since he is gone we wont have him to lead countless trips(hundreds last time I saw him) through the chasm without the headlamp the campground will miss that.

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By JSS
Jul 23, 2012
Completely different experiences. As far as the bucketlist trad climbing destinations, these two are particularly unique. Agree, if you are from Tennessee you will be more familiar with the feel of the gunks, and this alone may be worth a desert trip if you've never done it. Both places have ample classic climbs, no worry there. J-Tree def offers better camping. Both have their share of tour-ons, so don't expect a wilderness experience unless you venture to the more obscure crags. Gunks has better nearby towns, urban ambiance, if you're into that. The towns near J-tree are pretty brutal. Better weather in the desert, but being from Tennessee you won't be scared off by a rainday. Again, New Paltz is a cool town and worth checking out (go to the Hudson Whiskey Distillery in Gardiner too). Both have lots of history, arguably the Gunks has more (or more ancient at least). J-tree has better stars at night, better crack climbing, easier to place gear in most spots (if you're not used to Gunks style trad), more Dr. Seuss like landscapes, less climbing noobs running about. Gunks has better face climbing, better awe-inspiring roofs, better fall colors, more straight forward approaches (though the wandering thing in J-tree I found to be quite enjoyable, just don't get frustrated if you get lost), better swimming holes, did I mention roofs? Both are amazing places and should both be visited. If you've never done a desert trip, J-Tree it is.

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By Unassigned User
Jul 23, 2012
I have not been to Gunks but it looks amazing!!! That being said, you have to go to The Tree at some point in your life. I love it. One person said as a down side of J-Tree, the flaring cracks and runouts. Those are even more of a reason to go there! If you are not adverse to a little walking you can find beautiful 4 star classics that are off the beaten path. I have been there in July (misery) November (awesome!) and April (Cold and windy). Every time was amazing though, and I never had to deal with crowds ;P course that is the benefit of going in the off seasons.

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By Colonel Mustard
From Reno, NV
Jul 23, 2012
Colonel Mustard
It's sounds like both are in season. Both are noted areas. Both are close to major city centers and bring (mostly on weekends) with them all that entails. Both are sort of touchstone areas for comparing other areas. "Better" depends on what you are looking for and, given they are both quality areas, is too subjective to really determine.

Having only been to JTree out of the two, I am positive you could have a great time there. I would head to the Gunks in the same situation, but that's only because I've been to JTree a lot.

In short, go to Cochise Stronghold in AZ.

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By Nick K
From Somerville, MA
Jul 23, 2012
Jtree, especially if you go at the end of the month. I've heard excellent things about the Halloween festivities. October is pretty much perfect weather.

I was once there in April for a day of 50+ mph winds, and somehow we decided to do Stichter Quits. Not a good way to be introduced to old school slab runouts. If ever there was a route to make you regret saying "Hey, it's 5.8, how bad can it be?"

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By s.price
From PS,CO
Jul 23, 2012
 Morning Dew ,self portrait
Tough choice but I gotta go Jtree.

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By doligo
Jul 23, 2012
Jose Cuervo Fruitcups dirtbag style
Clever troll!

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By trix
Jul 23, 2012
trix
Everyone knows the 800 lb gorilla that is jtree. Check it out on Mountainproject yourself put any three grade 1 areas together and they still wont have half of the more than 10,000 named routes(4,500 posted on mp), including 600 sport climbs + bouldering. Any grade 1 area vs. Joshua Tree is a knockout win in the first round of that prize fight.Cue Michael Buffer "and still the heavyweight champion of the world"

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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
Jul 23, 2012
We need the money. Come here, eat in our restaurants, patronize our other shops, enjoy the desert. We're just a poor little hamlet full of tweakers, destitute elderly, bums, and the mentally ill...and that's just the climbing community, add in the other residents and it's a full on freak show out here.

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By Unassigned User
Jul 23, 2012
Nick, Sticher Quits is a 5.7. Just saying :)

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By Eric Coffman
Jul 23, 2012
mountainlion
+1 Will +1 J Hazard. As an added bonus when people visit the tree for the first time they get to see what the real ratings are. Many a would be prodigy sending v5 from wherever comes here to struggle on v0-2 (word to the wise Dont Let White Rastafarian be your first V3 here). Need entertainment go shopping at food 4 less you will be amazed.

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By Nick K
From Somerville, MA
Jul 24, 2012
J Hazard wrote:
Nick, Sticher Quits is a 5.7. Just saying :)


Damnit, now the internet will really think I'm a noob. My friend who was belaying still cites that route as a reason not to ever climb anything even remotely slabby. It probably didn't help that I went way off route.

To the OP: If you haven't been before, Jtree is also worth going to because there's absolutely nothing like it in the East, north or south. You've seen forests before, so while the Gunks may have awesome climbing, the landscape is going to look pretty familiar. I speak as a New Englander who transplanted himself out west for a couple years and is pining for the desert now that I've moved back east.

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Jul 24, 2012
Topo - Cliffs in Green
Will S wrote:
We need the money. Come here, eat in our restaurants, patronize our other shops, enjoy the desert. We're just a poor little hamlet full of tweakers, destitute elderly, bums, and the mentally ill...and that's just the climbing community, add in the other residents and it's a full on freak show out here.


Do you guys get SPUNIONS too???

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By JSS
Jul 24, 2012
You don't determine the worth of a climbing area by the number of routes it has. Arguing this is (I would argue) is an injustice to the brilliance of Joshua Tree. You could bolt a line every 15 feet along a 4 mile long canyon of choss and claim "thousands of routes".

I lived in Scotland for a while and some Scots would tell me to climb in a hundred different places. In my opinion a lot of it was low quality, but there WERE some amazing climbs out there. It was difficult to asses what was actually worth doing, because the good routes were spoken of along with the poor routes.

Now, J-Tree doesn't have this problem. There are more amazing routes there than you could do in a decade of road trips and weekend warrior-ing. However, I would argue the amount isn't it's strongest draw as a destination. As I said, there are many places in the world with "lots of routes". J-Tree's strongest attribute is its unbelievable uniqueness. You'll never climb anywhere like it. The character of the climbs changes so much from one to the other as well. Slabs, steep, bolts, gear, crack, face (hell, even sun and shade)...J-Tree has all of it. It does NOT, however, have limestone pockets & tufas, massive juggy roofs, 1000 ft splitter cracks, deep water soloing, steep horizontal crack systems with intricate face moves in between, etc, etc.

Experiencing a new style of climbing is the single raddest part of being a climber and traveling for your passion. Not bagging x number of routes on your trip, not ticking the "to do" route, and not even climbing the hard thing (though don't get me wrong, training your ass off and reaping the rewards of a personal grade jump feels awesome). No serious climber stays at the same crag indefinitely because "it's better than the others". They move around and sample it all. Anyone attempting to crown the "King of Crags" has missed the point entirely.

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By Tom Fralich
From Fort Collins, CO
Jul 24, 2012
I learned to trad climb in the Gunks and spent 10 years climbing there (and led close to 300 routes). Now I live in CA and have climbed quite a bit in J Tree. I've also been to T-Wall twice and think it's absolutely brilliant. If I were you, I'd go to J tree, simply because it's less like T-Wall. Both places are amazing and are marquee areas with their own unique attributes. When I was living on the east coast, I used to take all my extended vacations to places out west. Now that I live in CA, I take most of my extended trips to places back east. There's always a draw to the stuff that's different than what you can do any day or weekend.

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By PRRose
From Boulder
Jul 24, 2012
Both are fantastic climbing destinations with. I would opt for
J Tree, primarily because the weather is likely to be better and the camping situation is superior. Secondarily because there are other options in the area, such as Red Rocks and Suicide/Tahquitz, that can offer distinctively different climbing and weather.

However, if can see past the camping issue and are flexible, consider making the call at the time of departure, and head to the Gunks if it looks like the weather is going to be dry during your trip.

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By Ross Bickhart
Jul 24, 2012
I would highly recommend jtree! It is amazingly fun climbing, and the terrain is really different and interesting. I much prefer it over the gunks

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By manuel rangel
From Tempe, Arizona
Jul 24, 2012
Depends on what you want. JT has real cracks and the Gunks cracks are mainly horizontal making you feel like face climbing with pro.

I like the Gunks and may be there in October too. Fine weather and only my third trip there so I still have a lot to look forward to. But, I have been challenged more on the easier grades in Gunks and can do just fine on the same grades in JT. Puzzling, I know, but I think the ratings in the Gunks may be a bit hard. Maybe it's my lead head.

Both are great and very enjoyable in their own way, just different.

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By NurDreams
Jul 24, 2012
nurdreams
listen hear boys the gunks has a bike path at the base of the cliff. No kidding a freaking bike path. Also it's not far from the land of suits and ties (wall street) at least the yuppies here are cool(not really but better than wall street). Real men go to Jtree...or are you guys going to share your tent or vehicle when you sleep? If you are then by all means the gunks is the place for you!

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By Unassigned User
Jul 25, 2012
Nurdreams. Go away. Juggs has your job already, we don't need another dumb troll.

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By JSS
Jul 25, 2012
I hear there's a road to the base of El Cap...a road!!

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