by Gretchen Reed
The Shawangunk Ridge, also known as the ’Gunks, is a world-class climbing area, offering some of the best and most popular climbing east of the Mississippi River. Every year, more than 50,000 climbers come to Mohonk Preserve to test their skills here. Climbers have full and easy access to 1,000 routes and more than 5 linear miles of cliff face. Vertical cliffs and overhangs create a wide variety of high-quality climbs of varying levels of difficulty. The distinctive, stark, white cliffs of the Gunks are as tough as they look – with sharp angles that test climber skills with quartz pebbles and deep fissures providing multiple holds.
With so many climbers, occasionally accidents occur, requiring steep angle and vertical rescues. Fortunately, the preserve has one of the best-trained vertical rescue teams in the country. Since 1972, the Preserve’s Ranger Team has performed more than 1,500 successful mountain rescues and has become recognized as a world-class search and rescue unit. Read more...