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gunks trip
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By frank bonnevie
Jul 24, 2012

looking to make a trip out to the gunks in early September to take my best friend on a day of multipitch climbing before he gets married. I was wondering if anyone could tell me what routs would be good for him he doesn't have much experience climbing, he probably climbs 5.8 sport. 1 to 4 pitches just a afternoon of climbing. any recommendations? i was thinking high E. does any one have a gear list so i dont have to pack all my gear?


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By Eric Coffman
Jul 24, 2012
mountainlion

what your not a psychic? hope you live in a blast shelter because your going to take some serious flak for asking a question! Heard tri-cams are very useful for the gunks with all the horizontal cracks so if you have them take them.


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By David Ford
From Cambridge, MA
Jul 24, 2012

Not sure exactly what sort of detail you're expecting, but I'll just say that a normal cragging rack should do the trick. You'll want to be able to cover a fairly wide range of sizes for climbing in the Gunks, and it usually isn't obvious from the ground what you're going to need. The horizontal cracks are tricky to size up (or see!) from below. In terms of range, I tend to cover from red c3 or blue mastercam through #3 c4. There is very little fixed gear in the Gunks, so expect to have to protect everything with your gear and you may need to build some all-gear anchors as well.

In terms of routes, High E is great, but there is often a queue. A couple more standout climbs that come to mind for you to check out are Arrow and the Oscar's to Strictly From Nowhere to Shockley's Ceiling linkup. Check out the Strictly From Nowhere page for more info on the last one. Try not to get frustrated if the climb you had in mind is mobbed... just cruise down the cliff until you see something that looks good! Some of my best days in the Gunks have been just wandering down the cliff and hopping on some climb that I'd never heard of.


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By frank bonnevie
Jul 25, 2012

the only reason i am asking is if i can slim my rack down for the plane ride.i am coming from new mexico its a long trip and if i can just pack what i need it would be awesome. you know not having to carry 2 #6 cams would save a lot of room.


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By divnamite
From New York, NY
Jul 25, 2012

For most easy to mid range routes, a standard rack will do.
# 60M rope
# BD C4: .3 - 3 (double them up if you got them)
# A set of nuts
# A set of tri cams are helpful


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By Larry S
Jul 25, 2012
The wife and I road-trippin on the Connie.

For high E, .3-3 camalots or equivalent, maybe throw in some TCU's. Pink and Red tricams if you have them, you can practically protect the entire first pitch with tricams that size in horizontals. You don't need anything bigger than a #3. That's pretty much a "standard gunks rack"


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By Logan Schiff
From NY, NY
Jul 25, 2012

No need for any cams over size 3 unless you want to climb Baby (5.6) which takes a 4 or ideally a 5. Tricams are very useful. It's hard to hear on High E if you don't lower yourself a good amount from the top, and your friend might have a hard time getting back on the route if he blows the move, so make sure you guys discuss logistics beforehand. And get on the route EARLY if it's a weekend.

Other multi-pitch classics your friend would likely enjoy include Strictly From Nowhere (5.7), Shockley's Ceiling (5.6, especially if you link it up with the best part of Strictly's), Madame Gs (5.6), Limelight (5.7, with a traverse that he might find tricky) and Bloody Bush (5.6). Basically all the 3 star moderates in the grey Dick Williams guidebook to the Trapps.


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By slk
From Reno, NV
Jul 25, 2012
me

Eric Coffman wrote:
what your not a psychic? hope you live in a blast shelter because your going to take some serious flak for asking a question! Heard tri-cams are very useful for the gunks with all the horizontal cracks so if you have them take them.


Wow! all good responses!

See Eric not everyone is an angry mother...


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By Larry S
Jul 25, 2012
The wife and I road-trippin on the Connie.

Frank - saw you posted under High E looking for some more info too. Here's some things to make your life easier if you are just running in to do that one climb:

Walk down the carriage road until you pass the large overhanging Andrew boulder. It's a big flat roof you can sit like a dozen people under. About 100 or so feet after that, look for a pine tree, there's a yellow blazed trail behind it. That trail spits you out at the foot of the High E buttress.

The official start is the inside corner about 30' to your left, but I think a better start is to begin on Modern Times, which is the shallow corner 20' further left or anywhere on the face between the two, and merge back into the official route where the two corners meet. This saves you some rope drag and your partner can see you all the way to the ledge. After you pass the fixed #3 at about 70', look to up and right, and aim for a spot about 10' left of the very tip of the ledge. Sling a large boulder on the ledge and belay.

Start straight up the face (harder) or up the inside corner to the left. Either way, you don't want to place gear till just before you gain the ledge below "the move". Plug your largest piece, put a LONG sling on it, and limbo out from under the roof. Continue up steep jugs to the top. The anchor is far back from the top out, so extend yourself back so you can look over the edge. You can bounce your voice off the wall to the right to communicate better.


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By Wade J.
From Boulder, CO
Jul 25, 2012
winter aid climbing

Frank, you may want to stick to stuff in the 5.6-7range, the gunks get pretty interesting. That being said, something interesting (5.7) is a good 2 pitch climb. Logan pointed out some great climbs as well. Pick up a copy of The Climbers Guide (Grey Dick) by Dick Williams, it will prove its worth pretty quickly.

I've never needed tricams at the gunks, just stuck with a set of stoppers, bd C4s and aliens for the small stuff. The green and yellow aliens are especially nice to have there. I think you can plug a #4 C4 under the roof of high e.


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By Auto-X Fil
From NEPA and Upper Jay, NY
Jul 25, 2012

I find myself using more cams and less stoppers at the Gunks on moderate climbs. If I do use nuts, they tend to be small/med sizes. Pink and Red tricams are very nice to have.


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By frank bonnevie
Jul 25, 2012

wow this is awesome i am so excited to get up there. we might try to get on other climbs after we climb HIGH E.thanks to everyone for the positive responses.


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By frank bonnevie
Aug 24, 2012

packing my bag for this weeks trip any last minute advice?


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By lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Aug 25, 2012
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Struttin.

It's still hot out, the cliff roasts until 2 or 3 pm, but is completely in the shade after that.


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By Medic741
From Pittsford, New York
Aug 25, 2012
When I was a bum at Frey

If the Trapps are crowded check out Peterskill. Some great climbs there without the wait. Enjoy and be safe! Any questions about where you are on the cliff band just ask, it can be confusing your first few times out!


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By rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Aug 25, 2012
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogstick Ridge link-up.  Photo by Myriam Bouchard

Cams have pretty much replaced tricams for Gunks climbing. Many of the tricam placements I've heard bandied about are easily protected with cams in the same spot or nearby. (But when Williams mentions a tricam as being useful in Grey Dick, listen up---you usually can't get a cam in there.) Occasionally there is a pocket where a tricam will work but a cam won't fit. The most effective application of tricams is in horizontals that are too flared to take a cam; these don't look like protection opportunities at all if you are used to cams, but will often take a solid tricam if you know what you are doing.

If you already own them, are experienced in placing them, and have a second who knows the tricks to getting them out, it won't hurt to carry a pink and red and maybe a brown, but I wouldn't buy them just for a short visit to the Gunks.


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By Blissab
Aug 25, 2012

Tricams make for good belay anchors when all else is used-up below.

Otherwise just too fiddly in most occasions to mess with on the climbs themselves...unless there is a good placement stance.


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By rogerbenton
Aug 25, 2012
Whoever this guy is, he's just plain irresponsible.

I've been trying to use my tricams and I gotta say, they just don't work for me. They are now on the bottom of the gear bag.

the pieces on my rack that i'm using all the time on gunks single and multipitch 5.5-5.8's=

-blue, green, yellow, red aliens
-0,1,2 c3's
-.3-3 c4's
-BD stoppers 11 and smaller (wound up picking up a second #9 stopper, i use that 3 times as much as the other sizes).
-4 quick draws
-8-10 trad draws
-2 120cm slings
-2 cordalettes with 2 locking biners each

the pieces that wind up on just about every pitch I lead are the red alien, .5 and .75 c4 and that #9 stopper.


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