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Staff Field Trip to the Gunks!!

Brooklyn Outfitters, High Xposure Adventures, and the Brooklyn Boulders crew rollin’ deep at the Gunks.

how do we know where the holds are?

Spring is in the air and the climbers are too!  And what good is working in a climbing gym if you can’t get out there for the real deal some time?  High Xposure Adventures, a New Paltz based guiding service, recognized this and kindly invited us up for a staff day in their home crag, the Gunks!  We were totally psyched to go, but an immediate problem presented itself:  The staff-car ratio here is about 1-27, and strangely, we didn’t feel like cycling the 90 picturesque miles…

Not to fear gym rats, it’s Brooklyn Outfitters to the rescue!  BKO operates out of the metro area, leading outdoor excursions for the urban adventure enthusiast (that’s us!).  We met Friday morning at Brooklyn Boulders, and with their huge van there was room for us all.  We were cruising up the FDR to the cliffs by 8am.  Some of us had never been out on real rock, so you can imagine the psyche was pretty high.

We arrived in the parking lot on the Mohonk Preserve and met Bobby Ferrari, veteran climbing guide/instructor and proprietor of High Xposure adventures.  He equipped us with what gear we still needed and prepared us for what to expect in the day ahead.  Once ready we hiked up the approach trail, with the colossal quartz conglomerate which makes up the Shawangunk Ridge looming over head.  It took about 10 minutes to get to The Mac Wall a spectacular section of the cliff with classic routes for every level (5.3-5.11).  Bobby’s crew had already set up ropes for us on MF, Coexistence, and Higher Stannard.  They’re all hard routes, clearly the High X guys knew the Brooklyn crew was comin’ too represent, and the gloves were off!  We pumped our way up those – check out Pierce rocking the roof on MF – and did what we could to make it look pretty too.  That sh*t was hard yo!

You can do it!

In the afternoon, Lorenzo and I took up the sharp end on Something Interesting and Three Pines, respectively.  Lorenzo strung both pitches together on double ropes, and crushed elegantly.  For me it was fun to get back on Three Pines – site of my very first lead many moons ago.  We couldn’t have asked for a nicer day, it was sunny and breezy, in the low 70’s.  The weather was perfect for climbing, and we went non-stop up and down all day like yo-yos.  Bobby and his crew gave us great beta for technique, and encouragement to push on routes we might have thought were out of our league.

The crew out there was just like an extension of what we’ve got on the mats back in BK.  Everyone was warm and positive, and we all had such a killer time.  By the end of the day we were totally destroyed – veins popping out of our arms, dirty, sweaty and happy.  And similar to enjoying  Sheep Station after a good session at BKB, we stopped at the Mountain Brauhaus for some good Bavarian refreshment before hitting the trail back to Brooklyn.

yeah belaying, woohoo!

All in all we had an awesome day up at the Gunks, and got totally pumped out.  High Xposure Adventures and Brooklyn Outfitters sure know how to show a climber a good time. You can’t go wrong somewhere as beautiful as the Mohonk Preserve. This trip marked the first of a series that we’re running from the gym from now on.   So check them out, and if you’d like to come along you should totally sign up!

For information you can check out the details here from Brooklyn Outfitters.

And don’t forget to have a look at our photos from the day on Facebook!

We’ll see you at the cliffs!