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Home to some of the best easy to moderate trad climbs in the USA — 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 new to rock climbing 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 in the Gunks. 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, all-round adventure junkie and founder of 57hours.

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

  • One of the best outdoor experiences available near NYC

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

Available itineraries

Half-Day of Private Climbing With a Guide

Discover the thrill of rock climbing and explore some of the shorter but equally exciting routes on this tour of 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, Nears, Lost City, or Bonticou on the Mohonk Preserve to name a few.

A Customized Day of Climbing With a Private Guide

Enjoy an amazing day of guided rock climbing in the Gunks. 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.

Guided Rock Climbing at Sky Top

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!

Gym-to-Crag Rock Climbing in the Gunks

This course is designed to introduce you to techniques specific to climbing on actual rock. If you are climbing outdoors for the first time, then this is the perfect choice for you. Your guide will help you make that transition to the crags with confidence. The focus is on safety, anchor building, rappelling, being lowered, belaying and leading theory, and placing gear. Put your indoor climbing skills to the test on some of the best trad climbs in this iconic NY destination!

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Meet your guides

Marty Molitoris
Marty Molitoris
AMGA Rock and Alpine Guide
Marty's been guiding for nearly 30 years. He's an AMGA Certified Rock and Alpine Guide, has led climbs throughout the US, and has called the Gunks his home for the last two decades.
Alpine Endeavors
Alpine Endeavors
Alpine Endeavors operates year-round for rock climbing, ice climbing, alpine climbing and mountaineering. They operate daily in the Shawangunk, Catskill, and Adirondack mountains of New York and offer unique mountain adventures to world class areas in the US and internationally. All of the guides are trained, certified and accredited by the American Mountain Guides Association; trained in wilderness medicine; and New York State licensed.
Eastern Mountain Sports Schools
Eastern Mountain Sports Schools
Eastern Mountain Sports Schools
The Eastern Mountain Sports Climbing School is the oldest climbing school in the East, and has been offering technical rock climbing instruction outdoors since 1968. The EMS is fully accredited by the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) and all climbing instructors are AMGA-Certified as Single Pitch Instructors, or higher. EMS Climbing Guides have technical knowledge and experience to deliver the most up-to-date instruction, but also ensure that their customers are enjoying their adventures to the fullest.
Joe Vitti
Joe Vitti
AMGA Certified Guide
Course instructor Joe Vitti is one of the region’s most experienced and skilled guides. He is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide and has been climbing in the Gunks for over 25 years. He’s also the owner of Vitti Mountain Guides.
5.00 (11 reviews)
Angela Schrout (source: 57hours )

Jaron was awesome! He made my husband and I feel so comfortable climbing all day with his expertise and and with his kindness. Would highly recommend the experience

Patty Zariello (source: 57hours )

My first time rock climbing was spectacular. I’m glad I used 57 Hours. TJ was the best guide. Very professional, knowledgeable, fun, and I felt safe at all times.

juan corzo Jr

Great time strongly recommend 57HOURS!! I ended up going with Simon Thompson who is the coolest person ever. Extremely knowledgeable, helpful, safe, and over all a cool guy! great experience I strongly recommend 57HOURS the whole staff was very professional and nice!

Can’t be grateful enough for this experience. Means everything
Bryan Haberberger

Wonderfully informative experience. Mike did not sugarcoat anything and made sure that I was actually understanding the details of gear placement and building anchors. Awesome mentor. Could not have asked for a better guide!!

Great "Learn to Lead" weekend
V9031SVnathank (source: 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 (source: 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 (source: 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 (source: 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!

Jennifer Ferrand-Kelly

My guide was actually Mike Cherry and he was wonderful – kind, patient, helpful, informative. We had an incredible day and will definitely be booking another adventure. Thank you!

Jonathan Grant

Mike is very experienced and taught me a lot! I went in with no experience and left knowing how to trad climb.

Lou Meandro

Patti is an outstanding guide with the ability and experience to get you wherever you would like to go. Her knowledge and climbing skill are first rate, her enthusiasm for climbing infectious and her engaging and patient teaching style much appreciated! Lou

Patti curated a perfect day for me. We fit in much more than I expected and she chose the highest quality climbs at my preferred level of difficulty. Watching Patti practically run up the climb while continuing to chat with me was something to experience. Lou

Things to know

  • 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 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)
  • 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.

  • For your rock climbing adventure in the Gunks, 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.

  • 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 prices:

      • Maximum number of guests in a daily group is 12.
      • 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.

  • 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.

  • Day Trips Cancellations
    Fully refundable within the initial 48 hours from booking, unless the trip date is less than 7 days from the time of the booking.
    Cancellations up to 7 days prior to the trip date are refundable 100%.
    Cancellations within 7 days prior to the trip date are non-refundable.

Have more questions? Read our FAQ,
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