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Mount Minsi

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Mount Minsi  

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Location: 40.9645, -75.122 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Justin Johnsen, The Stoned Master, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Ross Purnell on Apr 27, 2009
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Ben Annibali leading up the second pitch of Heroin...

  • Seasonal Falcon Closure: Update MORE INFO >>>
  • Areas on State Game Lands may face full hunting season closure starting in 2015 - please read and respond MORE INFO >>>

  • Description 

    Mount Minsi and Mount Tammany (New Jersey) are the high points along a geologic formation called Kittatinny Ridge or the Kittatinny Mountains.

    Minsi overlooks the Delaware Water Gap from the Pennsylvania side. The climbing is quite similar to that on Mount Tamany on the New Jersey side. Over 100 traditional routes exist here ranging from 5.0 to 5.12d, many with multiple pitches. Helmets are MANDATORY at the Gap!

    The Metaquartzite east-facing cliffs of Mtount Minsi, ranging from 120 to 220 feet tall, provide the best multi-pitch climbing in PA. It's similar to the Gunks in some ways, but climbed much less, dirtier, and with more potential for loose rocks. Don't even approach the cliff base without a helmet.

    Choose your route carefully. The "classics" are clean and solid because they are climbed. Some routes don't get much traffic and may be loose and dirty.

    The guidebook Climbing Guide to the Delaware Water Gap by Michael Steele is long out of print, but available used at amazon.com and elsewhere.

    Rock Climbing New Jersey (the FalconGuide) also has good route information.

    There are no fees to climb here. There are intermittent closures in some cliff areas in the spring and early summer due to peregrine falcon nesting. Chck nps.gov for closures.

    Getting There 

    To climb the PA side of the gap, you want to be on I-80 (east or west) and take the exit for the town of Delaware Water Gap. From the townsite, stay on the west side of the river (Pennsylvania) and drive south on 611. Park at the roadside pullout on the right just past the "Point of Gap Overlook." There are two of these right-hand-side pullouts. Park at the second pullout on the right. There should be a clearly visible cave. It's called Cold Air Cave. Follow the blue trail markers from the right side of Cold Air Cave uphill in the trees along the right side of the scree slope. The blue trail ends at the cliff in an area called "The Practice Face."

    Climbing Season

    Weather station 3.5 miles from here

    19 Total Routes

    ['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',7],['2 Stars',6],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]

    The Classics

    Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Mount Minsi:
    Surprise   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c PG13     Trad, 2 pitches, 100'   f. Land of the Giants
    Osprey   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13     Trad, 2 pitches, 220'   h. The High Wall : 3. High Wall Right
    Drifting Arrow   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 3 pitches, 210'   c. The Practice Face
    Voyage of the Damned   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13     Trad, 3 pitches, 150'   f. Land of the Giants
    Browse More Classics in Mount Minsi

    Featured Route For Mount Minsi
    JAG sets sail on "The Voyage of the Damned&qu...

    Voyage of the Damned 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13  PA : Northeast Ridges and Valley... : ... : f. Land of the Giants
    Just right of Chieftan, up typical dirty first pitch to belay at tree 20ft below ominous roof. Up to the roof, lean out place great gear, take many deep breaths and go for ride. Clear the lip and immidiatly move right and up to good stance. Plug in the biggest piece you got and now to really go for a voyage. Move left navigateing a difficult and awkward wide crack. Hanging belay from tiny gear. Pitch 3 goes straight up. Small gear (#1 camelot fits in a pocket protecting the giant reach). I...[more]   Browse More Classics in PA

    Photos of Mount Minsi Slideshow Add Photo
    Start of Surprise
    Start of Surprise
    The trail from the cold air cave is shown in yello...
    BETA PHOTO: The trail from the cold air cave is shown in yello...
    Gonzo on the Approach trail
    Gonzo on the Approach trail
    Mt.Minsi, PA
    Mt.Minsi, PA
    Josh Laudermilch l;eading p1 of Heroine Hypnosis.
    Josh Laudermilch l;eading p1 of Heroine Hypnosis.

    Comments on Mount Minsi Add Comment
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    By Larry S
    Feb 14, 2013
    I've had some contact with the NPS regarding the cliffline closure and the possibility of changing it to a partial closure. They did give the idea a very good bit of consideration, and were very forthcoming with the reasons they can't right now. The most important reason is they have yet to have a successful falcon nest, and they need to provide the best opportunity they can. In addition, the nesting location changes from year to year, they utilize multiple perches along the cliff, and the closure would be difficult to enforce.
    By Larry S
    Jan 29, 2015
    Effective as of January 31, 2015, Mt. Minsi is closed to protect nesting peregrine falcons that are once again attempting to nest on the cliff face.

    The length of the closure will depend on whether the falcons nest successfully. In past years it has been lifted early when it became obvious that the falcons were not nesting or that the nesting attempt failed. The nesting will be monitored through the season to determine the nesting status.
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