Hello good readers! This past weekend was rife with adventure. Friday night, Shaun, Pete, and I headed out to Wallkill, NY to spend some time with Tony and Paulette and enjoy the beautiful topography of the Mohonk Reserve. The plan was for Shaun, Tony, and Paulette to do some hiking on Saturday while Pete and I did some climbing at the gunks – and oh what a perfect weekend for the outdoor activities.
Pete and I started early, arriving at the gunks around ~7am-ish. Pete started leading DisneyLand (5.6). I must admit, for a gunks climb, this one really didn’t do it for me. It’s even considered somewhat of a classic at the gunks – the trouble for me was the traversing*. I think it’s safe to say that I loathe traversing – for me, traversing seems to exaggerate the feeling of being strung out (being far away from the last piece of gear). As a result, it’s pretty scary. This was exaggerated by some unusual rope dynamics – we were using two ropes, and one had seeeerious rope drag**.
After DisneyLand, Pete led a 5.7, and I followed up by leading the first pitch of Gelsa (5.4). Despite the rating, this climb was pretty extreme. It is a quintessential gunks climb: big holds, overhanging roofs, and long pitches. The first pitch was lengthy and traversey. I found myself pretty wigged out on this 5.4 (despite a generous peppering of gear) with long steps of faith, and calf shaking maneuvers around slopey aretes***. Pete finished the route, which drove straight vertical through an exciting jagged corner.
Adding to the fun was a breathtaking hands only rappel between routes. Halfway down the rappel, the rope draped off a fierce overhang… so a hundred feet in the air you had to hang in open space and mindfully lower yourself down the rope. It’s enough to make the casual climber (a title I would assign myself) hold tightly to his or her nerves.
Post climbing, I returned to Tony and Paulette’s place for an epic BBQ and great times.
An amazing Saturday!
Tune in tomorrow for a Roller Derby recap!!
*Traversing is when a climber goes sideways instead of up
**Rope drag is when a rope is pulled through such a sharply angled collection of gear that the friction makes it extremely hard to pull the rope