The Shawangunks — “the Gunks” to most of us — is one of the oldest climbing areas in the US, with a storied history dating back to the 1930s. Located 80 miles north of New York City, it has long been a focal point of rock-climbing culture, and remains a traditional climber’s paradise. There is no shortage of very difficult routes that will challenge the best climbers, but the Gunks is even more famous for its incredible easier climbs. You could spend several seasons exploring made-to-climb cracks, faces, overhangs, and dihedrals without ever venturing beyond the 5.7 grade! Multi-pitch outings abound, and the graded carriage road at the base of the cliffs allows easy strolls to even the most distant ends of the cliff.
This full-color, ruthlessly researched guide represents the “next generation” of Gunks guidebooks. It covers over 600 routes at the two main cliffs: the Trapps and Near Trapps. Cliff-base photos get you quickly oriented on the ground, and high-resolution aerial images show key features on routes. Detailed area and route descriptions help you find just the right flavor of climb. You’ll spend less time searching, and more time pulling overhangs, plugging cams, and chasing your own piece of history.
Areas and features
-Trapps — Keyhole to Slime Wall (21 sectors)
-Near Trapps — right end to Workout Wall (3 sectors)
-Aerial cliff photos
-Helpful sector summaries for choosing where to climb
-Action photography from past and present eras
-Detailed regional and climbing history
-Biographical essays of 10 famed Gunks climbers
-Graded list of routes
Andy Salo grew up outside Rochester, New York, and began climbing at age 14. He first visited the Gunks soon after, and moved there full time in 2004. Andy’s hard Gunks first ascents are local lore, including Brozone (5.14a), Over the Moon (5.13c), Fire Gild (5.13c R), Corkscrew Roof (V12), Chaotic Stability (V10), and Ideas Are Bulletproof (V10). Having recently relocated to Burlington, VT, he’s super proud of this project and is forever grateful to the Gunks. He is also author of Gunks Bouldering.
Christian Fracchia grew up in Glens Falls, New York. A lifelong climber with 36 years of Gunks experience, he spent his formative years climbing rock and ice in the Gunks, Catskills, Adirondacks, and White Mountains before settling in New Paltz in 2000. A high-school physics teacher, Christian has also devoted his summers to climbing around the world, most recently spending his time in the Dolomites of Italy. He is the author and creator of Gunks Apps. His notable Gunks first ascents include The Zoomulator (5.12a), Word of Mouth (5.12b), Indiana Jones (5.12a X), Future Shock Direct (5.12c R/X) in the Trapps, and The Past Recaptured (5.12a), at Millbrook, his favorite Gunks cliff.
An architect and designer by education, Eric Ratkowski grew up in Detroit, Michigan, and has climbed in the Gunks for 14 years, guiding professionally for 6 of those. His community contributions include editing for the AAC’s Accidents in North American Climbing and working as a ranger at the Mohonk Preserve. Eric has climbed in eight countries and four continents. He’s climbed and guided at a hundred different areas in the United States, and claims to have “never climbed anything of note.”