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Roadtreking: Climbing in the Gunks

From the bloggers at Roadtreking.

On our way back from our Great Smoky Mountains Photo Safari daughter Akari and I stopped by the Mohonk Trust and the Shawangunk mountains in New York.

The Gunks and I go way back – I was a rock climber until I went to college. The Gunks are famous throughout the US climbing community as a mecca for climbers. The cliffs are easily accessible, and range from a scramble (5.0) to insanely difficult (5.14+). The grades refer to the technical difficulty of the climb, as well as the endurance needed to complete the entire climb. A 5.0 is a scramble, only occasionally needing use of hands. A 5.3 needs use of hands and feet and ropes. A 5.7 is pretty much a slick wall. A 5.11 is an inverted slick wall. A 5.14 is something that Spiderman might struggle with. Back in the day my talents ran out at 5.7.

Back when I used to climb, the sport was young and at a crossroads.  The old school climbers would bang pitons into the rock, and at times chisel out holds when nature failed to provide them.

To read the full story by Roadtreking, click here.

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