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Latest Gunks Climbers' Coalition News


July 31, 2014
Gunks Bolted Rappel-Anchor Survey
The Gunks Climbers' Coalition has been working with the Mohonk Preserve to address rappel anchors. Specifically the GCC is advocating for bolted anchors to replace tree rappel anchors where trees are suffering from climber impact. Additionally there are some fixed gear rappel anchors composed of pitons and/or other aging hardware that the GCC is requesting be replaced with bolted rappel stations.

Ultimately the decisions to add any new bolted rappel anchors will be made by the Mohonk Preserve. Your feedback in the following survey will be presented to the Mohonk Preserve by the GCC. As we are all aware, safety in climbing is paramount. We need and value your input, please click on the link below to participate in the survey.

Click here to take the survey.

Please accept our thanks for your time and thoughtful consideration.

 

July 24, 2014
Christian Fracchia elected to the GCC Board
We'd like to welcome Christian Fracchia as the newest member of the GCC Board of Directors! He joins our other recently elected board members, Dustin Portzline (Treasurer) and Matt Logan.

 

July 3, 2014
Peregrine Falcon Closure Lifted in the Trapps
ATTENTION CLIMBERS!

The Peregrine Falcon closure has been lifted. A young falcon from the Trapps Cliff nest site is currently being rehabbed for release later this summer. Thank you for your cooperation!

 

April 27, 2014
Peregrine Falcon Cliff Closure in the Trapps
ATTENTION CLIMBERS!

The Mohonk Preserve has annouced a Route Closure:

Due to nesting peregrine falcons, the section of the Trapps cliff between, and including the routes "Broken Hammer" (5.4) and "The Blue Stink" (5.3) is temporarily closed to rock climbing.

This area includes popular climbs such as "The Nose", "Fillipina", "Bold-Ville", "Winter", "The Fall", "Spring", "Oblique Twique", "Kligfield's Follies" and "Simple Suff".

  • Do not use ascent trails or rappel routes that access this area.
  • Do not use the section of the cliff base climber's trail between these routes.
  • Please refrain from excessive noise making while in the vicinity of this closure.

Let's wish the endangered Peregrines good luck and thank you for your cooperation.

 

April 15, 2014
Spring 2014 GCC Members BBQ Party - May 17th

Save the date! It's springtime, and that means it's time for our bi-annual GCC Members BBQ party on Saturday May 17th at 5pm at the Mohonk Preserve Visitors Center on Route 44/55 in Gardiner, NY. Celebrate the return of the Gunks climbing season with your climbing friends after a long cold winter.

This party (including food and drink) is free for GCC Members and only GCC members can attend. However, if you're not a member, you can join at the door, or even better, go to the Access Fund website and join or renew there but you must specify that the Gunks Climbers' Coalition is your local affiliate in order to get dual membership to both organizations.

To officially RSVP, go to our Eventbrite page (RSVPs not counted on Facebook) so we know how much food and beer to purchase.

 

April 15, 2014
GCC Board of Directors/Treasurer Elections

We welcome our newest GCC Board member, Jason Beaupre. At this time we would also like to thank our outgoing GCC Treasurer, Fred Polvere for his years of service to the GCC. At the next GCC meeting, on May 8th, 2014, the GCC Board of Directors will be voting on two new nominees for the GCC Board. Dustin Portzline has been nominated as the new GCC Treasurer, and Matt Logan has been nominated as a GCC Board Member-At-Large. We are very excited to bring some new people and new ideas into the organization. If you would like to be on the GCC Board of Directors and can commit the time, please send us an email and start attending our meetings.

 

December 30, 2013
GCC Board of Directors Nominees

Elections for the GCC Board of Directors will be held on January 16th, 2014. Voting is only open to current members of the board of directors. Click here to see the nominees and a little about them. If you would like to be on the GCC Board of Directors and can commit the time, please send us an email and start attending our meetings.

 

December 12, 2013
Changes to the GCC By-Laws

There will be a vote on January 16th, 2014 to made two amendments to the Gunks Climbers' Coalition by-laws. Voting is only open to current members of the board of directors. Click here for details.

 

November 11, 2013
GCC Ebay Auction Fundraiser

The Gunks Climbers' Coalition is running an auction on ebay for a guided day for two of either rock climbing at the Gunks or ice climbing in the Catskills. This auction was made possible by the generous donation of guiding services by Marty Molitoris of Alpine Endeavors. It's a great holiday gift idea for someone who wants to try climbing or learn new techniques, or treat yourself to professional instruction and take your climbing to the next level. The auction can be found here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/221314302430 and closes on November 20th. The certificate is good until December 2014, and please note that it does not include climbing at Skytop.

 

November 1, 2013
GCC's Gym-to-Crag Program premiere at the Access Fund Education Summit

Over the weekend of November 1st, representatives of local climbing organizations, gyms, pro climbers, and other climbing advocates gathered at the Mohonk Preserve Vistor's Center to discuss and formulate strategies for educational outreach to lessen the impact to our climbing areas. With the influx of climbers being introduced to the sport, impacts to access, the environment, and user experiences are growing. The Access Fund hopes to prevent that by instilling climbers with a stewardship and low-impact ethic to protect climbing access.

Representatives of the GCC were in attendance, and Tim Keenan, co-chair of the GCC, presented our Gym-to-Crag program, in its entirety, for the first time. It was very well received and lots of enthusiastic discussion followed into the evening.

The GCC hosted a BBQ for the attendees that evening on the patio and a thoughtful and good time was had by all.

Professional climber, Joey Kinder, attended the summit and summed it up nicely in his blog post, Educate for Access.


Joe Kinder with Jannette Pazer, GCC Secretary and Tim Keenan, GCC Co-chair

 

October 1, 2013
Peter's Kill Climbing Area Temporary Closure 10/28-11/3

An announcement from Minnewaska State Park Preserve:

The Peter's Kill area will be closed to all users for paving. The project will take 3 to 4 days to complete and no traffic can drive on for 3 days after completion. The Peter's Kill Area will be closed to all patrons and climbers Monday October 28th through Sunday November 3rd for paving. The Peter's Kill Area will reopen on Monday November 4th.

These dates are weather dependent please call the park office to confirm the area is reopened.

Thank you for your cooperation Park Management

 

April 15, 2013
Dickie Barre Climbing Area Set to Open April 20th

On April 20, 2013, the Dickie Barre area of the Minnewaska State Park Preserve will be open to climbing. This is the first expansion of a climbing area as put forth by the 2010 Master Plan. On behalf of the Gunks Climbers Coalition, I would like to thank all of the people who volunteered their time with trail and road building, surveying, and other essential activities that made this possible.

Your efforts have gone a long way to establishing a positive relationship with Minnewaska State Park. This is essential as we continue our mission to open other areas of the Park. Click here for a letter from Park Manager, Jorge Gomes, to the Palisades Interstate Park Commission and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in Albany acknowledging the work of the GCC on the Dickie Barre carriage road. Please take some time this season to check out this newly opened climbing area, and thank you again.

Sincerely, Peter Cody GCC Co-Chair

 

March 28, 2013
Trapps Route Closure for Peregrine Falcons

Announcement from the Mohonk Preserve

ATTENTION CLIMBERS!

Route Closure

Due to nesting peregrine falcons, the section of the Trapps cliff between, and including the routes Bloody Bush (5.7) and Overhanging Layback (5.7) is temporarily closed to rock climbing.

  • Do not use ascent trails or rappel routes that access this area.
  • Do not use the section of the cliff base climber’s trail between these routes.
  • Please refrain from excessive noise making while in the vicinity of this closure.
Thank you for your cooperation.

 

March 2, 2013
Patagonia Grand Opening Party Pictures
On March 2nd, Patagonia invited us to their private party to celebrate the opening of their technical climbing clothing store in the Meatpacking District of NYC (west side). During the party, a very valuable raffle was held, and proceeds went to the GCC. Also with their no bag policy, every shopping bag will cost 20 cents, and those proceeds will be donated to the GCC. The party also celebrated the release of their cutting edge 1000-fill waterproof down jacket, the Encapsil. A team of Patagonia Ambassadors were fresh off the plane from South America to talk about how the jacket performed on their climb on Cerro Torre in Patagonia. There was great food, drink and music and the GCC is very grateful for their support and the great party!

The photos from the event are posted on our GCC Facebook page.

 

July 12, 2012
Latest Trapps Route Closure for Peregrine Falcons Has Been Lifted

The Trapps Route Closure between Beginner’s Delight (5.3) and Pleh (5.11) has been lifted. Thank you for your cooperation!

 

July 1, 2012
New Trapps Route Closure for Peregrine Falcons

New announcement from the Mohonk Preserve as of July 1st!
Falcons have been aggressively defending an area that may be a secondary nesting sight.

ATTENTION CLIMBERS! Route Closure

Due to nesting peregrine falcons, the section of the Trapps cliff between, and including the routes Beginner’s Delight (5.3) and Pleh (5.11) is temporarily closed to rock climbing.
  • Do not use ascent trails or rappel routes that access this area.
  • Do not use the section of the cliff base climber’s trail between these routes.
  • Please refrain from excessive noise making while in the vicinity of this closure.
Thank you for your cooperation!

 

March 16, 2012
Trapps Peregrine Falcons Cliff Closure

Just announced by the Mohonk Preserve:
ATTENTION CLIMBERS!
Route Closure: Due to nesting peregrine falcons, the section of the Trapps cliff between, and including the routes Credibility Gap (5.6) and Bitchy Virgin (5.6) is temporarily closed to rock climbing.

  • Do not use ascent trails or rappel routes that access this area.
  • Do not use the section of the cliff base climber’s trail between these routes.
  • Please refrain from excessive noise making while in the vicinity of this closure.
Thank you for your cooperation.

 

January 17, 2012
The GCC donates $7,500 to Mohonk Preserve

Press Release:
On December 30. 2011, the Gunks Climbers’ Coalition (GCC) donated $7,500 to the Mohonk Preserve in support of planning for and stewardship of the Northern Preserve in Rosendale, which includes Giants Ledges and The Waterworks.

Pete Cody and France Menk of the GCC giving $7,500 donation to Joe Alfano and Glenn Hoagland of the Mohonk Preserve for the Waterworks Bouldering Area in Rosendale

GCC has pledged a total of $50,000 to the Preserve over the next ten years to support the creation of a master plan of site design and long-term access management of the Northern Preserve. In 2010, the organization made an initial $11,000 donation toward this pledge.

“We are grateful to the GCC and the entire climbing community who have responded so enthusiastically to our conservation efforts in the Northern Preserve and throughout the Shawangunk Ridge,” said Mohonk Preserve Executive Director Glenn Hoagland. “Climbers have always been some of our most ardent and generous members, donors and volunteers.”

The Mohonk Preserve is currently developing a plan for expanding opportunities for hikers, bicyclists, climbers and others in the Northern Preserve, while also ensuring protection of the land. The GCC is working with the Preserve on future management plans for the area.

Pete Cody of the GCC giving $7,500 donation to Glenn Hoagland of the Mohonk Preserve for the Waterworks Bouldering Area in Rosendale
“Our donation is on behalf of the entire climbing community, whose members have, by their individual contributions, made our own collective one possible.”

The GCC is now an official affiliate of the Access Fund. As such, your membership with us includes a full membership with the Access Fund. For more information, visit www.gunksclimbers.org.

About the Mohonk Preserve
Located in five Ulster County towns, the Mohonk Preserve is the largest member - and visitor -supported nature preserve in New York State.
For more information, visit www.mohonkpreserve.org or call (845) 255-0919.

 

Thu, December 8, 2011
GCC Board of Directors Election

The GCC Board of Directors has elected the new officers of the Gunks Climbers' Coalition. Officers hold office for two years. If you'd like to get more involved with the GCC and can volunteer some of your time, contact us at .

 

Fri, September 9, 2011
Potential Temporary Closures for Controlled Burns

The Shawangunk Ridge Biodiversity Partnership may have opportunities to conduct one or more controlled burns at Mohonk Preserve next week. The most likely area for burning would be the northern portion of the Trapps Cliffs area above Overcliff Road. Due to the shallow soils and high exposure of this area, they expect rapid drying and it is possible they could try to burn as early as Tuesday.

The GCC will post any news of temporary closures during the week for these controlled burns.

 

Thu, September 1, 2011
Lake Minnewaska State Park Limited reopening 9/3

From the park's website: UPDATE: Minnewaska State Park Preserve will be open on a limited basis effective Saturday, September 3, 2011, until further notice. The park sustained severe damage from Tropical Storm Irene. The park will only be open for hiking, picnicking and swimming at Lake Minnewaska and climbing at the Peter's Kill area. Biking and equestrian use will not be permitted. The only access available will be for hikers and climbers. All hikers must park in the Awosting Parking Lot and all climbers must park in the Peter's Kill parking lot. Please adhere to all posted trail closings. For more information or updates, please call the Park Preserve Office at 845 255-0752.

Check the latest status on their web site.

 

Wed, August 31, 2011
Route 299 from New Paltz to the Gunks reopened

Note that the bridge over the Wallkill River in the town of New Paltz has reopened. You can now continue on Route 299 from New Paltz to the Gunks.

 

Sat, September 17, 2011, 5-10pm
GCC Annual Fundraising Party
Williams Lake, Rosendale

Save the date! The Gunks Climbers' Coalition (GCC), in conjunction with the Access Fund, will be holding their second annual fundraising party on September 17th, 2011 from 5 to 10pm. Like last year's successful event, the party will be held at the Williams Lake Resort located at 424 Williams Lake Road in Rosendale, NY. However, unlike last year's party, this will be a special membership party.

The party will highlight the GCC's new joint membership agreement with the Access Fund. New members joining the Access Fund will have the option to select the GCC as their affiliate organization. This affiliation will automatically provide joint membership in the Access Fund as well as the GCC and will send a portion of the Access Fund membership dues to the GCC to help fund local initiatives.

Admission to the party is $40 including Access Fund/GCC membership, or if you choose not to join, $20 for party admission. The party includes a barbecue dinner and drinks. There will be videos from Deadpoint magazine and Josh Lowell of BigUp Productions, and a silent auction of excellent gear from our sponsors. The GCC Board of Directors will give a brief presentation about the GCC's current projects, and the American Alpine Club will provide status on the new campground planned on Rt. 299 in Gardiner.

We are requesting that everyone attending must RSVP using the Eventbrite service at the web site http://gccparty.eventbrite.com/ by September 15th. This will ensure that an adequate amount of food and drink will be available and excess won't be purchased. Contact the GCC at if you would like to volunteer at the event or have any questions.


View Larger Map

 

Peregrine Falcon Trapps Cliff Closure lifted
June 11, 2011

The GCC just got word from the Mohonk Preserve: "Peregrine falcon young successfully fledged from Trapps nesting site, due in part to all the climbers who observed the now lifted closure". Thank you for your cooperation!

 

New Restrictions at MUA Campground
March 18, 2011

The Gunks Climbers' Coalition received the following announcement about the Multi-Use Area Campground on Route 44-55.

ATTENTION SHAWANGUNK MULTIPLE USE AREA CAMPERS

Due to continued impact on public health, safety and environmental resources at the Shawangunk Multiple Use Area, designated campsites are being reduced to 9 as shown on this map (click here).

All designated camp sites will be on the south side of the road and large enough to accommodate the legal limit of up to 9 campers per site. Groups are encouraged to share campsites in order to allow the maximum number of 81 campers.

Parking will only be allowed in the main parking lot on the south side of the road, the same side of the road as camping. The parking lot on the north side of the road will be blocked off to prevent the public (campers) from parking there and crossing the road to camp. Parking along the shoulder of route 299 will be prohibited to limit traffic/pedestrian issues.

Any questions should be directed to Jeffrey Wiegert at (845) 256-3084

 

Trapps Route Closure due to Peregrine Falcons
March 13, 2011

ATTENTION CLIMBERS!

Route Closure:
Due to nesting peregrine falcons, the section of the Trapps cliff between the routes Beginner’s Delight (5.3) and Triangle (5.9) is temporarily closed to rock climbing.

  • Do not use ascent trails or rappel routes that access this area.
  • Do not use the section of the cliff base climber’s trail between these routes.
  • Please refrain from excessive noise making while in the vicinity of this closure.

 

Letter Writing Campaign - Show Your Support for Minnewaska
March 13, 2011

At a November 2010 meeting between climbers and the Minnewaska State Park Prerserve, the Preserve announced its intention to expand climbing within the park. Together with the Access Fund, this group of climbers and park officials is now working to develop a climbing management plan. A main point of discussion was the enormous budget cuts with which the Park system is dealing. While this will not affect whether or not new climbing areas are opened, it will affect the rate at which they are opened. The Park expressed its interest in the volunteer efforts of the Gunks Climber Coalition and their organization of trail maintenance initiatives. As the process moves forward, continued volunteer efforts will be an important factor.

We are now starting a letter-writing campaign, strongly supported by the Access Fund, on behalf of the Park. We are asking Governor Cuomo to consider the importance of the Park to our community when he writes the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. This is a key opportunity for the climbing community to work with the Park, but it is also important that Governor Cuomo appreciates the importance of Minnewaska State Park Preserve to all community members regardless of whether or not they climb.

Please take the time to write a letter and show your support for this beautiful place. Below is a list of suggested bullet points to include, as well as addresses to which letters should be sent. Although actual letters are statistically more effective than emails, anything you can do is appreciated.

Talking points:

  • Minnewaska is a true four-season park with the most extensive variety of activities of any state park in New York.
  • Minnewaska is used for hiking, climbing, bouldering, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, road bicycling, mountain biking, walking/strolling, picnicking, family swimming, long distance swimming, horseback riding, hunting, scuba diving, boating, bird watching (including unparalleled raptor sightings), museum visits, nature and recreation programs, painting and photography.
  • Minnewaska has wheelchair accessible paths.
  • Many people buy an Empire Passport solely for use of Minnewaska.
  • The much-used Fodor's Travel Guide calls Minnewaska a "crown jewel of a park."
  • Minnewaska's scenery, vistas and flora have been described as unmatched in New York State.
  • Minnewaska has been cited as "one of the 75 great places in the western hemisphere."
  • Visitors to Minnewaska have been an important part of the local economy.
  • Visitors to Minnewaska pay fees and sales taxes that go directly to New York State. Many of these visitors are from out of state which efficiently increases state revenues with minimal increase in expenditures.
  • Tourism at Minnewaska benefits business over a wide swath of the Hudson Valley.
  • In this tough economy, a family can enjoy a fun-filled day even on a limited budget.
  • Minnewaska is home to unique ecological communities: Pitch Pine Rocky summits: Ice Caves; Chestnut-Oak forests.
  • Minnewaska offers sharp-eyed visitors a chance to see uncommon fauna: Peregrine Falcons; Timber Rattlesnakes: Bobcats.
  • Minnewaska is especially important to me because ________________.
  • I regularly ________ in Minnewaska and it is an important part of my life.
  • My family loves Minnewaska because we are able to ____________ together.

Please send your letters to:

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
http://www.governor.ny.gov/contact/GovernorContactForm.php

Senator John Bonacic
508 Legislative Office Bldg.
Albany, NY 12247
email: bonacic@nysenate.gov

Assemblyman Kevin A. Cahill
email: CahillK@assembly.state.ny.us

If sending email be sure to CC:

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos
skelos@nysenate.gov

and

Speaker Sheldon Silver
Speaker@assembly.state.ny.us

Many thanks for your support of this important initiative! Don't hesitate to contact Pete Cody of the Gunks Climbers' Coalition, should you have any questions.

All best wishes,
Peter Cody
Gunks Climbers' Coalition
codymail@verizon.net

 

Gunks Climbers’ Coalition Waterworks Donation Announcement
December 12, 2010

On December 12, 2010, the Gunks Climbers’ Coalition took a major step toward fulfilling its commitment to support the management and maintenance of the ‘Waterworks’ bouldering area, which lies at the northern end of the Mohonk Preserve.

It is a heavily wooded and glaciated 63 acre parcel, currently owned by the Open Space Institute and soon to be purchased by the Mohonk Preserve. The boulder problems are accessible to climbers of varying degrees of skill and the enveloping forest creates a serenity unique to this location.

Until the purchase by the Preserve has been completed, along with evaluative research to assess the protection needed for endangered species of plants and animals, as well as historical sites, the access will be afforded by online appointments through a website set up by the Preserve at www.eventbrite.com, and with property boundary limits pointed out by climber volunteers on location. The area is bounded by private land and respect for these boundaries is essential if we are to enjoy the privilege of climbing here, as everywhere, when private residences are so close.

Our Communications Director on the Board, France Menk, presented a check in the amount of $10,000 to Glenn Hoagland, the Director of the Mohonk Preserve. These funds have come from the generosity of our entire climbing community, as well as many non-climbers who feel a strong attachment to the preservation of open space for recreation and relaxation. We are extremely grateful to you all. This contribution and our ability to make this commitment to the project is a direct result of your support.

The GCC’s total pledge of $50,000 over 10 years serves to support the creation of a master plan of site design and long term access management, based on the results of the studies mentioned above. Within the terms of our donation, the Mohonk Preserve has pledged to support bouldering and climbing within the parameters of this plan.

Our fundraising efforts to support our pledge are ongoing. You may donate through Paypal at our donation page in our web site www.gunksclimbers.org, or you may mail a check to our post office box. We are a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible.

We are all excited at this major step forward in our commitment to increase climbing opportunities along the Shawangunk Ridge.

This important news has also been published by the Access Fund on their website here.

GCC donation to the Mohonk Preserve for the Waterworks Bouldering Area in Rosendale

Left to right: Joe Alfano, Director of Development & Membership, Mohonk Preserve;
Glenn Hoagland, Executive Director, Mohonk Preserve; France Menk,
Communications Director, Gunks Climbers' Coalition; Eric Fye,
Managing Ranger, Facilities and Operations, Mohonk Preserve.

 

Rosendale Waterworks Climbing Access To Be Announced
September 27, 2010

Rosendale Waterworks Climbing Access To Be Announced by the Mohonk Preserve!

On Monday, September 27th, the Mohonk Preserve will be announcing the beginning of public climbing and bouldering visits to the Rosendale Waterworks parcel, which has been recently acquired by the Open Space Conservancy, the acquisition affiliate of the Open Space Institute. The Waterworks parcel is being managed by the Mohonk Preserve.

Visits to the site are available to Mohonk Preserve climbing members and Mohonk Preserve Climbing day pass holders. Visits are by reservation only, and are led by Mohonk Preserve volunteers. To sign up for announcements regarding visits click the link below, or visit Eventbrite.com and search Waterworks Climbing Tour in the location Rosendale.

http://www.eventbrite.com/rss/user_list_events/5666284272

The events go online and are viewable only 48 hours before the day of the event. Volunteers are lined up to give tours on upcoming Saturdays and Sundays until the snow falls.

The Gunks Climbers' Coalition was the catalyst that made this climbing area possible. We continue fund raising efforts to help defray the costs of managing this new area. Please contribute to our Rosendale Waterworks Project Fund by visiting our GCC website donations page and sending in your online donation via PayPal. We thank all who have contributed time and/or money to this effort and look forward to your continuing support.

 

Route Closures Due to Peregrine Falcons Have Been Lifted
June 14, 2010

Two peregrine young were fledged from the Trapps Cliff and another 3 from Millbrook Cliff. The peregrine closure is therefore lifted. Thank you for your cooperation!

 

GCC's Giant Rosendale Waterworks Fundraising Party
May 22, 2010
Williams Lake, Rosendale, NY

What a great time! Beautiful venue, fun people, delicious food, high quality beer and wine, high energy tunes and videos, incredible prizes! And a thank you to the attendees who did a great job in cleaning up after themselves. The Sunday morning GCC clean-up crew found barely any trash on the grounds.

If you couldn't make it to the party, you can still help out. We have a donation button set up to direct contributions to the Rosendale Waterworks fund. CLICK HERE to make a donation. You can pay via credit card using paypal from there, or mail us a personal check. The goal is high, we still need more funds to help pay for operational costs of the Waterworks Area.

Thanks to everyone who came out and partied with us, for all those who have helped and contributed to the cause, and for all those who donated to the party. Click here for list of major donors and corporate sponsors. These businesses and companies are supporting the Gunks climbing community, we urge you to reciprocate and support these businesses and thank them for their help.

 

Trapps Route Closures
March 12, 2010

The Mohonk Preserve has informed us of the following route closure at the Trapps cliff:

Due to nesting peregrine falcons, the section of the Trapps cliff between, and including the routes
       Credibility Gap (5.6) and Bitchy Virgin (5.6)
is temporarily closed to rock climbing.

  • Do not use ascent trails or rappel routes that access this area.
  • Do not use the section of the cliff base climber’s trail between these routes.
  • Please refrain from excessive noise making while in the vicinity of this closure.
We appreciate your cooperation.

 

Millbrook cliff land acquisition
March 11, 2010

The Open Space Institute (OSI) announced today the acquisition and permanent protection of 67 acres of dramatic Millbrook cliff face on the southeastern edge of the Shawangunk Ridge. OSI’s acquisition now paves the way for opening the site up for public access and enjoyment, as it will be added to the neighboring Mohonk Preserve for management as a public recreation area.
Click here for the press release from OSI.

 

Access Fund Action Alert
Keep Minnewaska State Park Open!
March 10, 2010

New York State Parks are at Risk! For the first time ever, budget woes may close down New York State parks, including the climbing found at Minnewaska State Park. We need your help to support funding for New York's parks by contacting your state legislators and Governor Paterson. Visit the Access Fund advocacy center and take action now!

 

Adopt-A-Crag Day
December 5, 2009

Please join us for Adopt-A-Crag day on Saturday, December 5, 2009 at 10:00am at the Mohonk Mountain House. Click here for details.

 

GCC Board of Directors Elected
November 19, 2009

The GCC is pleased to announce the 2009 Board of Directors. Elections were held on November 19, 2009, and Directors will serve a 2 year term.

 

Please support the Fund Raising Soiree!
on November 7, 2009
We really need your attendance and donations for the GCC Benefit Soiree (on 11/7) to help acquire and manage the Rosendale Waterworks Bouldering Area. Just imagine a large world-class bouldering area open for climbing with your help!

If you received a Paperless Post email invitation, please send in your RSVP. Pay for your tickets from the "Donations" Page. If you can't attend, please send in your tax deductible donation to help with this project. For those who will be attending, when you purchase a ticket any amount above $30 will be tax deductible.

Less than a week left until the big event! Dinner, wine, door prizes, and Vulgarian poetry slam/spoken word! And best of all, a fun evening out with the climbing community and knowing that you helped to make the Rosendale Waterworks Bouldering Area a reality!

Please spread the word, tell your climbing friends, and come join us for an evening of fun with a purpose!

 

2009 GCC Board of Directors Nominees

The GCC is pleased to announce the 2009 nominees for Board of Directors.

 

Access Fund provides letter writing generator for Minnewaska Draft Master Plan
Deadline November 13, 2009

Minnewaska Master Plan - Access Fund Letter Generator

We need more climbing areas at Minnewaska State Park Preserve open for climbing. Now that the master plan is open and under review, we have a short window to make a change.

Please send your comments now. The comment period ends November 13, 2009.

The Access Fund has set up a great letter writing generator for the Minnewaska issue. Please click on this URL and click on "Minnewaska": http://www.accessfund.org/c.tmL5KhNWLrH/b.5208267/k.8C84/Action_Center/siteapps/advocacy/ActionCenter.aspx#

Please use your own words if possible. For more ideas for talking points, see http://gunksclimbers.org/talkpoints.shtml .We need to generate hundreds of letters in support of climbing.

If from NY send copy to your local assemblyperson and state senator. To find local assemblyperson and state senator go here: http://nymap.elections.state.ny.us/nysboe/ Once located you can click on their name to take you to your elected officials home page when they all have links to contact them. Send them a copy of your remarks with how anti-recreation, anti tourism the Minnewaska Master Plan is.

Please pass this information on to as many climbers as you know.

If a local business owner please push local chamber of commerce to send letters as well.

Link to the Minnewaska Draft Master Plan: http://www.nysparks.state.ny.us/inside-our-agency/public-documents.aspx

 

Letter writing information for Minnewaska Draft Master Plan
Deadline November 13, 2009

We need the climbing community to send letters to New York State to convince them to expand climbing opportunities in Minnewaska. Please see our talking points page for ideas on what to write.

The deadline for public comments is November 13, 2009. This is your chance to have your voice heard - they are listening and we need to let them know how many climbers are out there, how much we'd like more areas open to climbing, and how climbers can benefit the park, the community, the economy and be responsible environmental stewards.

Send your letters to:

Fred Williams, Deputy Director
Palisades Region
NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Bear Mountain, NY 10911
Phone: 845-786-2701
Fax: 845-786-2776

Thomas B. Lyons, Director of Resource Management NYC Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Empire State Plaza Agency Building 1 Albany, NY 12238 Phone: 518-474-0409 Fax: 518-474-7013

Or send emails to: Minnewaska.plan@oprhp.state.ny.us

 

Letter writing and talking points for Minnewaska Draft Master Plan
October 2009

Please help comment on the Minnewaska Draft Master Plan in person or by writing letters. We need a large climber presence at the October 22nd public hearing at 7:00 pm in the Lecture Center, Room 100 at SUNY New Paltz. Also, please write letters to the New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Development to let them know that you want more areas open to climbing in Minnewaska. For a sample letter that you can use as a template, as well as for talking points that can be used at the hearing, please click here (MS Word doc). Click here for more detailed talking points.

The public comment period ends November 13, 2009.

Please spread the word - tell all your friends who climb or use Minnewaska State Park.

 

GCC's Ajax Green interviewed on radio to discuss Minnewaska Master Plan
Fri, October 16, 2009

GCC co-chairman, Ajax Greene, was interviewed on Red Hook station WKZE 98.1 (http://www.wkze.com) on the morning of Friday, October 16 to bring attention to the Minnewaska Draft Master Plan and the public hearing on October 22. To listen to his interview, click here (mp3 format, 12:23 minutes).

 

Minnewaska Master Plan Public Hearing - Need Climbers' Attendance
on October 22, 2009

Minnewaska State Park released its draft Master Plan. It includes an extremely limited increase in climbing in the park to a handful of routes above the Peter's Kill at Dickie Barre. The ban within the park on climbing on Hamilton Point, Gertrude's Nose, Murrary Hill, Castle Point, Millbrook, Beacon Hill, and Lake Minnewaska cliffs continues. Climbing ban now also extends to the newly acquired lands including Awosting Reserve (Gertrudes Nose), the Shevchenko parcel crags, and Sam's Point. The ban on ice climbing within the park's numerous falls and flows continues as well. The climbing ban at Minnewaska represents the largest ban on climbing on public lands in the country.

Details of the plan can be found at:

http://www.nysparks.state.ny.us/inside-our-agency/public-documents.aspx

A public hearing for the Minnewaska State Park Preserve master plan will be held on Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 7:00 pm in the Lecture Center, Room 100 at SUNY New Paltz, New Paltz, NY. Please try to attend.

NOTE: this is a Draft, not a Fait accompli and it is very important to get as many climbers to the meeting as possible to loudly complain, that it is not a good plan, and does not represent a large constituency.

This is only the beginning of the fight to open Minnewaska to climbing!

Details on letter writing campaign to State Parks and State Legislature to follow.

Please forward this to as many climbers as you can think of.

 

Draft of the Minnewaska Master Plan and Environmental Impact Statement released
September 30, 2009

The draft of the Minnewaska Master Plan and Environmental Impact Statement was released on 9/30/2009. From initial inspection, it describes expansion of the Peter's Kill Climbing area to include climbing access to the Dickie Barre cliff area with constructing additional parking spaces a possibility, but no additional access to climbing in other areas of the park, and no ice climbing.

Key sections to read are on pages 105, 155-116, 120.

On page 132, they acknowledge the contributions from the GCC:
The Gunks Climbers Coalition, an affiliate of the national Access Fund, has been very active in improving and maintaining the climbing area as part of the national Adopt-a-Crag effort. Coalition volunteers have assisted with research in the climbing area and development of the new climbing area, the Dickie Barre.

They also include a map of the planned Shawangunk Gateway Campground.

Take a look HERE.

 

The GCC's position on private land
September 23, 2009

The GCC's position is that climbers should never trespass on private land where trespassing is forbidden and to respect all closures on public and private lands. Questions about closures should preferably be directed at the GCC or the Access Fund. Rock and Snow in New Paltz is another reliable source. If there is any doubt, then a property should be considered off limits. If possible and appropriate, information about closures will be communicated in bulletins to the climbing public. In cases where property boundaries are in dispute, it is best to avoid climbing in the vicinity altogether or to get very intimately informed as where said boundaries are. Even the GCC may not always have the most accurate information. In these cases it is caveat emptor.

Even in areas where climbing is legal, on the Shawangunk ridge there are rare fauna and flora and climbers must be aware of their impact and absolutely minimize it. The Shawangunks are very heavily used and climbers must be aware that low impact is much more crucial here than in most other climbing areas if we are to continue to enjoy this resource relatively freely. Please be aware of and abide by all rules and regulations wherever you are climbing.

It is our policy not to post any information about certain climbing areas that are closed to climbing due to wishes of landowners. If exploring climbing unknown to you always check with the landowner first.

The GCC

 

Rosendale Waterworks Bouldering Area Update
July 23, 2009

In its June 10th town meeting, the Rosendale town board approved the sale of the Waterworks parcel to the Open Space Institute (OSI). A 30-day period for public petitioning of the sale closed on July 17. The closing is expected to occur within the next several months.

Following an expected transfer by OSI to the Mohonk Preserve, a planning process for the Waterworks will be developed by the Preserve considering community, environmental, and recreational interests. A projected opening date for the Waterworks pending completion of all of these developments remains to be announced.

The bouldering moratorium also remains in effect.

 

Trapps cliff closure lifted
June 30, 2009

The rock fall and nesting peregrine falcon route closure that affected the section of Trapps cliff between, and including the routes Asphodel (5.5) and Bitchy Virgin (5.6) has been lifted. Two young falcons were successfully fledged from the aerie in this area. The compliance of the climbing community was instrumental in this success story. There may still be some loose rock present in this zone, so extra caution should be used when climbing or using the cliff-base climber’s trail in this area.

 

Near Trapps Descent Trail Blazed by the GCC
April 28, 2009

A trail has been blazed by the GCC that accesses the far end of the Near Trapps.

This trail has already been used by climbers for years and cuts left off the first junction of the blue trail on the top of the Nears where the first red trail cuts off right. From this junction the blazes are marked with orange survey tape tied on the trees as well as small orange flags on metal sticks which are planted on the ground or on dead trees. This was particularly necessary since there is a section of the trail a little ways down that cuts left and needed a bit of extra marking to clarify where it goes. This section has extra density of the small flags on the ground. After cutting across the woods for a little bit the trail again becomes very clear and well trodden. This access to the end of the Near Trapps is a better solution to the present closure of the small section of the Nears by Eenie Meenie than a rappel solution so we have not implemented any rappel station.

This overall approach takes about the same time to approach the far end of the cliff than it does to hike all along the bottom of the Nears.

 

Trapps Route Closures (Expanded)
April 26, 2009

The Mohonk Preserve has informed us of the following route closure at the Trapps cliff:

Due to rock fall and nesting peregrine falcons, the section of the Trapps cliff between, AND including the routes Asphodel (5.5) and Bitchy Virgin (5.6) is temporarily closed to rock climbing.

  • Do not use ascent trails or rappel routes that access this area.
  • Do not use the section of the cliff base climber’s trail between these routes.
  • Please refrain from excessive noise making while in the vicinity of this closure.
We appreciate your cooperation.

Note: This has been edited - as of April 26, the closure was expanded from Le Teton to Bitchy Virgin, and includes the climbs mentioned. This expansion is necessary to further reduce the stresses that human activities are incurring on the nesting falcons.

 

Near Trapps Access Closure
April 8, 2009

The Near Trapps at the Gunks offer nearly a mile of classic and popular climbs just south of Route 44-55. In 1993, the Access Fund worked with the Mohonk Preserve, Open Space Institute, and Friends of Shawangunks to protect access to the Near Trapps, but a portion remains on private land. Earlier this month, a portion of the Near Trapps was closed to climbing. This includes land below the cliff to above cliff-line and starts approximately at Eenie Meenie and continues south about 200 feet. Climbers are asked to respect the no-trespassing signs and obtain access to climbs further south by hiking in from the Millbrook Ridge Trail and following a descent trail marked by orange flagging tape. The Gunks Climbers' Coalition is addressing the issue and looking into potential solutions.

 

Wrap Up Summary for the 2008 Season

To all of our dear Friends, and Supporters.

Before the start of the current 2009 climbing season it is past time to summarize our last years' activities. Better late than never, so the saying goes!

The Mohonk Preserve experienced a theft of rescue equipment valued at 10,000 dollars last year. The thieves stole the titanium litter that we donated in 2007, along with the bulk of the items in the main rescue cache.

In order to help make up most of the sum not covered by insurance, our rescue fund will contribute a good portion of the remainder so that new rescue equipment can be purchased. Thanks to all who contributed to the Rescue Fund, we got some very generous donations. We try to acknowledge at least some of the donations and some times take some time actually depositing them, since we are a very small all-volunteer organization. If you did not get an acknowledgement and need one for tax purposes, please let us know and we will send one to you. We greatly appreciate all donations.

Part of our contribution will be covered by a non-solicited grant which we have written and submitted to the Rivendell Foundation, once that is received.

We plan on also making another significant contribution in 2009 to our valued Gardiner volunteer fire department, who have always cooperated with the climbing community where climber rescue is concerned. We also wish to raise awareness among all climbing users that the rock climbing takes place in Gardiner rather than New Paltz, and that the limited resources of the Gardiner Fire and Rescue are significantly strained by the (unfortunately) increasing need for climber rescue.

We've also been continuing work the Rosendale bouldering area project "Water Works" as we have been doing since 2005/2006. Negotiations with the town of Rosendale, the Mohonk Preserve, and Open Space Institute have been positive. We are happy to report excellent progress and that we will be required to raise a considerable sum in order to finalize the land acquisition. After the next stage in the process we will announce the amount that we need and we can already report that we have a substantial sum amounting to one quarter of this amount in our coffers.

Of course it was a matter of great honor for us to be the recipient of the Mohonk Preserve's Thom Scheuer Memorial Stewardship Award this last fall at the New Paltz Climbing Film Festival. It was a validation of our efforts so far, and will spur us on to increase our efforts and efficient operation in the future.

It was also our pleasure to host donuts and coffee on the weekend of the Fall Film Festival at the Trapps Bridge entrance. We got to meet many of our supporters, friends and new faces and had a lot of fun. We also raised a good amount of money toward our various projects.

Our events this year were very well received and successful. This included slide shows by Michael Kodas, our usual cleanup at Peter's Kill, a garbage pickup from the Mountain Deli all the way to the hairpin turn on 44/55, and sponsoring a chalk clean up. A fun get together was had after the chalk clean up. We also sponsored free pizza at the Vulgarian Roundtable at Rock and Snow during reunion weekend.

News about Minnewaska is that the present Park Management is very receptive to opening new climbing areas. The new Management Plan is being drafted. We will work together with Minnewaska and also consult the Access Fund as this is progresses. We are optimistic that at least some climbing areas can be opened, but that at the same time we must keep in mind the present budget crisis that New York State is facing and that this could impact things as this goes along.

We expect the coming year to also be a busy one in light of all the above. Our events planning is well under way and we have some really great ones in the works that we are excited about. More on this soon!

Another piece of news is that our super-webmama, Jannette Pazer, has put together our very own Facebook page. Please visit us by searching "Gunks Climbers Coalition" on Facebook and become a fan to get all of our blow-by-blow, minute by minute updates. We hope that this can become a much better venue of communication between us and you than anything we have had in the past. Of course we will still maintain our web page, as well as continuing news flashes, and the occasional Newsletter. The Newsletter has now involved as a forum for poetry, photography and art by the talented climbing community. Please send your submissions to us via our contact info on our web site as we will be coming out with another newsletter this year, thanks to our very talented Ms. France Menk.

To all of you, best wishes for a good climbing season and see you at the cliff in the coming year.

Thanks for your continued support and good karma.

- The GCC board of directors and your Access Fund regional coordinator, Chris Moratz - Gardiner, NY

 


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