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‌Rock Climbing Courses in the Gunks

The Shawangunks | New York
5.00
3 REVIEWS
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to go rock climbing in the Gunks

  • Trip Highlight

    The rock here is reliably strong and the routes are varied

  • Trip Highlight

    The Gunks are a premier rock climbing spot just outside NYC

  • Trip Highlight

    Here you’ll find some of the most incredible easy to moderate trad routes in the US

Just under two hours away from the Big Apple sprawls one of the finest climbing areas in the US—the Shawangunk Ridge, or simply “the Gunks”. In the 1940s, passionate climbers put up a bunch of classic routes that remain popular to this day, making the area one of the oldest in the country. With grades ranging from 5.4 to 5.13b and the famous one-to-three-pitch climbs for all levels of difficulty, both newcomers to the sport and more serious climbers will get exactly what they came for. Whether you wish to get your first taste of rock climbing or you’ve got prior experience and want to learn new skills for top-roping, leading, or multi-pitch climbs, these rock climbing clinics will deliver. Find out more about this superb climbing location from Viktor Marohnić, all-round adventure junkie and founder of 57hours.

Season

April into May

Nearest city

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

Duration

1 or 2 days

Skill level

Beginner to advanced

Itineraries

Choose how you spend your days

Intro to Rock Climbing in the Gunks

Full-day

Get your first taste of rock climbing with this introductory clinic in the Gunks! Learn about climbing equipment, master various techniques, and find out all there is to know about safety checks needed to rock climb. With your professional guide leading you throughout the way and choosing optimal routes for you, you’ll fall in love with climbing the moment you touch the magnificent rocks in the Gunks!

Intermediate Rock Climbing Skills in the Gunks

Full-day

Want to take your rock climbing skills to a whole new level? Come to the Gunks and let your guides teach you how to climb more efficiently and improve your climbing technique for crack, face, overhangs, and more! Learn how to clean the gear, all about knots for anchoring, stance management, rappelling with a back up, as well as multi-pitch techniques. This is just the tip of the iceberg, so come see for yourself and become a safer and an all-around better climber!

Multi-Pitch Transition and Rescue Skills Clinic in the Gunks

Full-day

Improve your efficiency on various multi-pitch routes and boost your confidence while learning valuable rescue skills. Keep in mind that this clinic is for climbers who lead routes, not for climbers looking to learn how to lead. Let your guide show you how to rescue your partner in case of an accident, a much needed skill you should add to your repertoire.

Multi-Pitch Rock Climbing in The Trapps or The Near Trapps

Full-day

Set off on a multi-pitch rock climbing adventure at the most popular cliffs at the Gunks—the Trapps or The Near Trapps. Team up with another participant and a private guide and get to some amazing multi-pitch climbing. With a plethora of exciting routes on offer, you simply can’t go wrong if you opt for these premier spots in the Gunks.

Intro to Lead Climbing in the Gunks

2 days

Expand your climbing horizons and start leading after this two day clinic in the Gunks. Let your guide show you all about gear placement, anchor building, lowering off the anchor, and methods of belaying so that you can successfully lead. This clinic is for climbers who have prior experience, can tie the basic knots (figure eight and a clove hitch), and are familiar with traditional gear removal and rappelling.

Top Rope Anchoring Clinic in the Gunks

2 days

Practice top rope anchoring in the Gunks with an expert guide and learn the skills necessary to build natural and/or bolted top rope anchors. Cover various topics such as anchor selection with trees, boulders, and/or bolts and work on your belay skills and ground management. Your guide will make sure to show you the ropes so you can successfully top rope in the future!

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Top Rope Anchoring Clinic in the Gunks

Day 1: Anchor selection and building

On the first day of this clinic, your guide will show you all there is to know about anchor selection with trees, boulders and/or bolts. You’ll also learn about anchor building, tether lines, and review basic belaying skills.

A rock climber in the Gunks

Day 2: Reviewing and practicing

Kick things off by reviewing the skills you learned yesterday. Cement your newfound knowledge and practice anchor building, rappelling off the anchor, ground management, and work some more on belay skills to get out on your own and top-rope!

A rock climber setting up top rope in the Gunks

Intro to Lead Climbing

Day 1: Introduction and gear placement

Spend the first day of this clinic learning about gear placement, extension, anchor building, methods of belaying, and lowering off the anchor so that you can start leading.

A woman climbing in the Gunks

Day 2: Reviewing skills and mock leads

Today you’ll keep working on the skills you learned yesterday and there will be some mock leads so that you can apply your newly-learned skills. You’ll also get to know about rappelling safety tips to stay safe on the rocks.

A female climber in the Gunks
Reviews

Reviews (3)

Rascal about Alpine Endeavors on We had a great time climbing and learned a lot

We were rock climbing with Emily. She was a really knowledgeable and fun person to spend the day with! I am definitely going back again!

Jonathan Chan about Alpine Endeavors on Rock climbing in the Gunks

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!

pickling about Alpine Endeavors on Supremely qualified, organized, and friendly

This climbing guiding company is full of excellent guides who all seem to be really friendly and knowledgeable. They took us out climbing in a group and gave us a range of difficulties for climbing while teaching us the basics of rope handling (if you wanted to learn it) as well as how to move on the rock. So fun, I wanted to take them out to celebrate.

Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in the Gunks, NY

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 traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in the Gunks, NY, please refer to the New York State website and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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 full day or 2 days of rock climbing depending on your chosen itinerary
  • Technical climbing equipment (helmet, harness, rock shoes)

What’s not included:

  • Transportation
  • Accommodations
  • Meals and snacks
  • Day passes to the Mohonk Preserve
  • Some technical equipment for Multi-Pitch Transition and Rescue Skills Clinic and Intro to Lead Climbing

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?

The Gunks have plenty of options for beginner climbers. Whether you’ve never climbed before or are transitioning from the gym to outdoor climbing, your guide will customize the day to suit your skill level and objectives. With a guide by your side, you’ll learn something new, stay safe on the rocks, and most importantly, have fun!

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?

Your guiding service will provide the basic technical climbing gear. However, if you have your own gear, feel free to bring it.

  • Helmet
  • Harness
  • Rock shoes

NOTE: For the Multi-Pitch Transition and Rescue Skills Clinic, all participants will need to provide their own rope and rack. For Intro to Lead Climbing, the participants will need to provide their own basic rack—nuts, cams, carabiners, slings, and cordellette.

Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

  • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 35-50L bag)
  • Water bottle
  • Windbreaker
  • Synthetic or wool t-shirt
  • Synthetic pants or shorts
  • Sneakers or hiking boots
  • Lunch and food you can eat on-the-go
  • Toiletries (medications, 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:

  • The max. guest-to-guide ratio for all the clinics is 4:1, except for the Multi-Pitch Rock Climbing in the Trapps or Near Trapps, for which the max ratio is 2:1.
  • The max. number of participants is 8 for all the clinics except for Intro to Rock Climbing, for which the max. number of participants is 12.
  • Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.

Rock climbing weekend in the Gunks 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.

Cancellation policy

Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies.
Please understand that if your plans do not go as planned in any way and for any reason, your guiding service is unable to provide credits or refunds outside of what is described below.

  • If you cancel for any reason for any of our local privately scheduled programs (Gunks and Catskills ONLY) with 15 or more days notice to the date, you can reschedule or receive a refund minus a 5% cancellation fee. If you cancel between 8 and 14 days before the date, you can reschedule only, subject to availability, there are no refunds. if you cancel 7 days or less from the date there are no refunds or rescheduling.
  • Alpine Endeavors reserves the right to change or cancel any itinerary or program at any time due to weather*, conditions, insufficient enrollment, or other reasons without penalty to Alpine Endeavors. Due to the rapidly changing conditions with weather, we can not give a set timeline for notification. If we have to cancel a program due to weather or low enrollment, the day can be rescheduled based on availability, or the deposit will be fully refunded.
  • The final balance is dependent upon the size of your party that you originally scheduled. If your party size decreases to a number resulting in less guides needed, please let us know as soon as possible – if it’s less than 8 days before your scheduled day, we charge you to cover the extra guide(s) scheduled. If your party size increases, we need to know as soon as possible to be able to schedule another guide and will adjust the rates according to the new amount of participants.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to the Shawangunk Mountains (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 hours to the Gunks.

Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at the guide shop or a predetermined location. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.

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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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