High Exposure at the Shawan”Gunks”

Wilderness: Trapps Cliff at the Shawangunks

Featured Routes:

  • High Exposure – 5.6 – 2 Pitch – 250′
  • Shockley’s Ceiling – 5.6 – 3 Pitch – 275′
  • Moonlight – 5.6 – 2 Pitch – 230′


What to Rack:

  • Basic Trad Rack + Set of Evo Tricams
  • 60m rope can be used to climb/rap the majority of routes and most climbs have fixed rap stations
  • 2-way radios can be useful on big overhanging pitches
  • The Gunks region has a great App available for download and if you’re old-school and want to feel paper in your hands, the best paper guidebook for the Traps can be found here.

Beta:  The Shawgunks Ridge is home to one of the most extensive climbing destinations on the East Coast and runs from North Jersey to the Catskills Range in Upstate New York. This quality band of quartz conglomerate offers a premier trad climbing destination and is visited by climbers worldwide. We drove down from Boston to experience first hand the famous horizontal cracks and air traverses in late May. The weather wasn’t superb but the climbing was incredible with the theme of the day being…Jug Fest….Roof pull…Thin Traverse….Repeat. 

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The Gunks are steeped in climbing history with first ascents dating back to the 1930s with routes set by Yvon Chouinard in the 1960s and hundreds of climbs developed between the 70’s and present. Don’t let these early ascents fool you, drop your Ego a few grades until you get a feel for the routes.

Most of the Gunks access is via the Mohonk Preserve which requires a $20 entry fee. Through continuing efforts of The Access Fund and The Gunks Climbers Coalition, this region continues to offer world class climbing. Such great access to iconic climbing requires responsibility and respect from both locals and visitors. To learn more about the Gunks climbing culture, efforts, and ethics click here.

Rest Day Destinations:

Where to Stay: Your best bet is to become an AAC member to get discounted access to their campground.

Happy Wildernessing,

Bostonia Outfitters!

3 Replies to “High Exposure at the Shawan”Gunks””

    1. Agreed, that the user fee is unusually high…but I must say they seem to have an engaging community and solid outreach. Plus, being new to Trad leading, that place offers incredible entry level leads 🙂 You have any recommendations for beginner leads in the Whites?


      1. Absolutely! The Chimney at Square Ledge (Pinkham Notch) is a classic 5.5 trad route along with the West Face of Square… then Upper Refuse on Cathedral. I’ll be away in Cascades most of July but PM me if you can get up there in August/September, maybe we can collaborate on a guided tour.


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