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GCC Projects

This section is to list the various projects we are working on, contacts, status and what you can do to help.

Climbing Access Projects

  • Rosendale Waterworks Bouldering Area

    September 27, 2010:
    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.

     

    History:

    In early March 2006, the GCC learned from Rosendale town supervisor Bob Gallagher that a clause in the zoning code does permit recreation on the parcel, ruling out municipal management for a bouldering park. However, needing to raise capitol for the water district, town officials began exploring options with the GCC for selling the parcel to the climbing community, provided the town can retain their water rights. One option involves creating, through a private source, a Horse Pens 40 type low-impact campground proposal which was presented to members of the town board in April; another involves acquisition of the parcel by the Open Space Institute, to be managed by the Mohonk Preserve.

    On May 27, 2006, the GCC held its Rosendale Rocks fundraiser in the Widow Jane Mine. Once famous for providing the cement in the Broooklyn Bridge and the base of the Statue of Liberty, the mine is now one of the Hudson Valley's most unique performance venues. Featuring sneak preview Doses from Josh and Brett Lowell's next Big Up release (the brothers have been intimately involved with the Waterworks project), the crowd of 200 watched Tommy Caldwell become the first person since Lynn Hill to free El Cap's Nose; Chris Sharma and Dave Graham established new bouldering test-pieces at Hueco. Preceded by the evocative trip-hop of musician Alex Schein, and Gunks bouldering clips from Urban Climber editor Joe Iterato's Fuse video production, the GCC's biggest event to date raised nearly $1500. Half of the proceeds went to the Century House Historical Society for providing the extraordinary space of the Widow Jane Mine. The rest, originally intended for the Rosendale Water District (declined by the Water Board because purchasing discussions have been initiated), will now be used to seed a dedicated Waterworks bridge fund.

    On June 12, 2006, the GCC made a Waterworks pitch to the Mohonk Preserve's Land Stewardship Committee. While the parcel is close but not contiguous to the Preserve's northeast boundary, and managing the world-class bouldering area presents a number of staffing and fiscal challenges, the Committee recognized the significance of the parcel and decided to pursue discussions with Rosendale officials. The GCC arranged a meeting between the Preserve and members of the Rosendale town board on August 9.

    On August 13, 2007 following more than two years of presentations, meetings, and negotiations, the GCC and Mohonk Preserve signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Rosendale Waterworks bouldering parcel. The signing marks a significant step, with several remaining, including fundraising both for purchase and management costs, before access to the parcel can be realized.

    Jeff Powell, one of two boulderers who discovered the world-class site, has volunteered for the Waterworks' liaison position outlined in the MOU.

    Through the summer of '08, Rosendale officials remain in negotiations with the Mohonk Preserve for purchase of the parcel.

  • New areas in Minnewaska State Park
    In February of 2005, the Access Committee started work on a Draft of Facility Development and Access Plan for the Peter's Kill Area of Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The Park is expanding and this gives climbers an unprecedented opportunity to open some new areas for climbing.

    Preliminary also to expanded Minnewaska climbing will require a ten-year follow on impact study of climbing at the Peterskill. We have the full sanction of Park Manager Mike Krish in conducting this study. The impact study has been one of our goals starting last year. It will compare present conditions to extensive data compiled ten years ago when the area was opened to climbing. The study has now been ongoing since April 2006 and we are very pleased to report good progress on the study. Opening more climbing within the Park will depend on the results of this very important work. Anyone with experience conducting animal, (small mammal trapping) and plant surveys is welcome to volunteer for the study; we could use a local person with experience in this area and the time available to participate. Estimated time commitment is about 8 to 16 hours per week through the summer and early fall. If you can volunteer to help, please contact the GCC at

    The areas possibly being considered for inclusion are:
    Beacon Hill, Schevchenko parcel, Millbrook, Sam's Point and Stony Kill Falls for ice climbing.

    Input is needed and greatly appreciated. Anyone with info on historical climbing information at these areas should contact the GCC Access Committee at

    In July 2008, the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will be holding public informational meetings to discuss the Draft Master Plan for Minnewaska State Park Preserve. They are inviting the public so they can listen to issues, impacts and alternatives to their proposed plan. This is an opportunity for the climbing community to express any interest in opening additional climbing areas in the park. Written comments may also be sent until August 11, 2008.

  • Mapping
    During the last couple of years we've gotten access to excellent tools / volunteers for GIS mapping and establishing property boundary lines in relation to geological features (cliffs!) We've used these tools on all of our recent work and they're indispensable. We're building quite a database of the local boundary lines and cliffs and hope to continue this very valuable work. Many thanks go out to our volunteer and GCC member Mark Folsom.

Community Projects

  • Search and Rescue Team
    Marty Molitoris, of guide service Alpine Endeavors, has started to organize a local search and rescue team along with other local climbers. The name of the group is Hudson Valley Mountain Rescue. Marty has been working on their website and applying for not-for-profit status. Marty is still taking new members and you can contact him for the latest schedule of training sessions.

    The GCC remains in discussion with Minnewaska State Park officials to expand climbing opportunities in the Park. Any expansion will require establishing a backcountry Search & Rescue team. This will be its own stand alone organization.

    If anyone is interested in volunteering, contact Marty Molitoris at and check out their website, www.hvmr.org.

  • General Rescue Fund
    The GCC will manage a General Rescue Fund, for the benefit of the Mohonk Preserve.

    We are envisioning a rescue cache program to enable the Preserve to have a rescue cache not just in the Trapps, but also in the Nears, Lost City and possibly even Millbrook. The other facet of this program could be that we eventually defray at least part of the cost of climbing related rescues which the Preserve must conduct annually. At present accident rates, the Preserve estimates that rescues cost $10,000 dollars per year and presently this must come out of the Preserve's bottom line.

    To date, the GCC has donated a titanium rescue litter at a cost of $1,150 to the Mohonk Preserve and in March of 2005, donated $1,000 each to the Mohonk Preserve and the Gardiner Fire Department for their respective rescue programs. In May 2007, the GCC donated a rescue wheel to the Mohonk Preserve that will help transport injured victims more quickly.

    Please fill out our online form and donate generously by personal check or credit card using the PayPal service, to the General Rescue Fund.

Cleanup and Maintenance Projects

  • Support the Trail Maintenance Crew
    Dick Williams coordinates a Trail Maintenance Crew, in collaboration with the Mohonk Preserve, to fix and maintain the many approach trails in the Trapps and Near Trapps. The Gunks Climbers' Coalition supports this fine effort and a number of members of the GCC are volunteers on Dick's trail crew. If you are interested in becoming a member of the trail crew, please send an email to

  • GCC Clean-Up Days
    The Gunks Climbers' Coalition organizes cleanup days at area crags to help with landowner relations and raise awareness of the environmental impact climbers have on the land. We have coordinated a garbage cleanup at land recently purchased by the Open Space Institute that was targeted for donation to Minnewaska State Park; organized boulder and cliff chalk cleanups in the Mohonk Preserve and Peter's Kill area of Minnewaska State Park; set up general work days including trail work, trash cleanup and erosion mitigation at Mohonk, Peter's Kill and the MUA campground; and trash cleanups on Route 44/55 and along the Labyrinth Trail at the Mohonk Mountain House. Maintaining good landowner relations and reducing our impact on the environment are the responsibilities of all climbers to keep climbing crags open as well as create a good reputation that can help us open new crags.

GCC Organizational Projects

  • GCC Newsletter
    GCC newsletter submissions are open to everyone. We are gathering material for our next newsletter and would like to receive more submissions. Please email essays, stories and other prose to Dell Bleekman at and all visuals, including poetry, to France Menk at We will post its publication closer to the date.

  • GCC Brochure
    As part of climber education, the GCC has created a brochure for Gunks climbers to introduce them to the area, provide general information about Gunks climbing and Mohonk preserve policy, remind all about leave no trace ethics, and other practical information such as a map showing the Multi-Use Area legal camp sites. These brochures have beeen distributed in various places near the Gunks, and handed out at GCC events.


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