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Rock Climbing in The Gunks, NY

The Shawangunks | New York
5.00
4 REVIEWS
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to rock climb in the Gunks

  • Trip Highlight

    World-class guided rock climbing just outside of the Big Apple

  • Trip Highlight

    One of the best outdoor experiences available near NYC

  • Trip Highlight

    Winter climbing works quite well on a sunny day, no crowds guaranteed

Home to some of the best easy to moderate trad climbs in the country — with grades from 5.4 to 5.13b — the Gunks are the perfect place to put your indoor climbing gym skills to the test. Whether you’re a first-time climber or well-experienced on the crags, there’s something for everyone in this iconic NY destination, and a private guide will help you make the most out of your day on the rock. Did we mention it’s just a short two-hour drive from New York City. What more can you ask for? Find out more about this world renown climbing location from Viktor Marohnic, an all-round adventure junkie and founder of 57hours.

Season

Spring through fall, but September and October are best

Nearest city

New Paltz, NY, is a ten-minute drive; NYC is less than two hours

Duration

1 day

Skill level

Beginner to advanced

Itineraries

Choose how you spend your day

A Customized Day of Private Climbing With a Guide

Full-day

Spend an amazing day climbing in the Gunks with your own private, certified guide. Your day will be customized to focus on the objectives of your choice, with your guide introducing you to climbing routes that will test your skills and leave you hungry for more. Go along for the ride or learn the skills required for top-roping, lead climbing or tackling multi-pitch routes.

Half-Day of Private Climbing With a Guide

Half-day

Discover the thrill of climbing and explore some of the shorter but equally exciting routes in the Gunks! This option is a good way to see what climbing is all about, or a quick way to climb some routes when you don’t have the time for a full day. Get a hang of the basics and test out your skills on some of the routes in the Trapps, Near, Lost City, or Bonticou on the Mohonk Preserve to name a few.

Guided Rock Climbing at Sky Top

Full-day

Join your guide at the renowned Mohonk Mountain House and climb Sky Top — a unique setting with classic routes ranging from single pitch to multi-pitch. Try out some of the great climbs on this long cliff that sits immediately above a tranquil lake Mohonk and below the stunning Sky Top tower. Closed to the public for many years, you can now access this area with an authorized guide and explore the best location in the Gunks with incredible routes at all grades. Seize the day and discover what is so special about Sky Top!

Reviews

Reviews (4)

Great "Learn to Lead" weekend
V9031SVnathank about Alpine Endeavors on Trip Advisor

Marty and Simon were awesome guides in the Gunks for a weekend of “Learn to Lead”. They went above and beyond to teach not only the basics but also tips and tricks they use in the real world. They were able to set up systems to help us mock lead and assess our gear placements, which was super helpful.

rock climbing in the gunks
Jonathancchan about Alpine Endeavors on Trip Advisor

I had an absolutely amazing weekend learning to outdoor climb with Alpine Endeavors! The staff and guides are friendly, knowledgeable, and true experts in their field. I had the chance to try a number of new climbs and even a rappel. I felt so safe and comfortable the entire time as a beginner, and was able to push myself out of my comfort zone with this group. So thankful for a wonderful experience! They offer many other advanced climbing courses as well!

great climbing/tutorial session
I3990LLjeff about Alpine Endeavors on Trip Advisor

My friend and I did an all-day guided session to learn lead climbing. We had fun, we learned a ton, we got a great workout, it checked all the boxes! I am definitely using these folks again. Simon was great as a guide, and Marty was super responsive over email during the scheduling/questions/correspondence. Huge thumbs up!!!

So good I proposed to my wife with Alpine Endeavors!
davidpG7788PP about Alpine Endeavors on Trip Advisor

I always marvel at how good a day of climbing a rock can be, at any level. Alpine Endeavors makes that a possibility any time. They know safety, they know the local cliffs, and they know how to make customers feel like the day was custom made for them (because they can be!). Proof in the pudding? I proposed to my wife while ice-climbing, with an Alpine guide at our side and just returned with our young kids, too!

Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in the Gunks

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Gunks, please refer to the New York State website.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get on this adventure:

    • An experienced, local rock-climbing guide with extensive knowledge of the area
    • A half or full day of rock climbing depending on your chosen itinerary
    • All technical climbing gear
    • Mohonk Mountain House entrance/parking pass for Sky Top

What’s not included:

    • Transportation
    • Accommodations
    • Food and snacks
    • Mohonk Preserve entry fee ($20)

How fit do I need to be?

If you can climb a ladder, you’re good to go. Being in good shape is always a plus but far from necessary. Rock climbing is all about using good movement technique rather than muscling up a cliff using brute strength. To ensure you have a fun day, your guide will choose routes that best suit your skill and fitness level.

What if I’ve never climbed before?

No prior experience is necessary. Whether you’ve never donned a harness or you’re a seasoned climber, a guide will help you meet your individual objectives. Above all, your instructor’s number one priority is your safety. As long as you listen to the given instructions, you’ll succeed in completing your climb.

For intermediate to advanced climbers, the Gunks have loads of routes to spend the day on. Your guide will discuss your objectives and customize the day to your goals. Let your guide plan the day so you can focus on developing your skills while climbing the classic routes or best hidden gems the area has to offer.

What about required equipment?

All technical climbing equipment will be provided by your guiding service. However, if you have your own gear, feel free to bring it. You’ll need:

    • Helmet
    • Harness with a locking carabiner, belay device, and chalk bag
    • Ropes
    • Rock shoes (included in the price, but we recommend bringing your own if you have them)
    • Climbing hardware (quickdraws, cam devices, stoppers, etc.)

Here’s a list of the equipment we suggest you bring:

    • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 40L bag)
    • Water bottle
    • Food you can eat on-the-go
    • Toiletries (sunscreen, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
    • Sunglasses
    • Camera — optional

Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and prices:

    • Group sizes are usually between 1–4 people with one guide.
    • Costs per person decrease as the group grows for private tours, so it’s the perfect opportunity to climb with friends and family.
    • Climbing days can be arranged for bigger groups. Contact us prior to booking.

Min. age requirements:

    • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
    • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to climb on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

If your group has climbers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to the Gunks, most people fly into one of the international airports in New York, John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA) or Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service for 2.5 hours to the Shawangunks Mountains.

You will meet your guide in New Paltz, the closest town to the Gunks, usually at the famous Rock and Snow gear shop. It’s about 85 miles from New York. The exact climbing spot in The Gunks will be discussed after the booking as guides make that decision after considering the skill level of the group and factors such as crag traffic and weather.

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Wired for a better world

Outdoor adventuring makes us fall in love with our planet and people, it gets our brains rewired differently and forces us to rethink our life priorities.

For years, we’ve dreamt of building a company that can make an impact on things that we deeply care about. Here are some initiatives we are grateful to be contributing to.

1% of our sales goes to environmental non-profits
We provide work to thousands of local guides worldwide
We operate on carbon neutral and renewable energy
1% for the education and diversity in guiding

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