Top Ten New York Adventures

Climb the Shawangunks
By Gary Fallesen

Shockley's Ceiling, ninety miles north of New York City in the Shawangunk Mountains, is a two-pitch, 5.6-route made famous by Dick Williams, who climbed the route wearing only a swami belt and rock shoes in 1965. The “Gunks” are full of such history and challenges. The 250-foot white quartz cliffs are a popular and world-class destination for climbers from all parts. There are approximately 1,200 climbing routes ranging in difficulty from 5.0 to 5.13 in the 50-mile ridge. The eight-mile-long ridge of cliffs along the western edge of New Paltz (Ulster County) in the Hudson Valley is an East Coast climbing mecca, competing on a national level with such famous climbs as Yosemite, Smith Rocks, and Eldorado Canyon. The routes are usually more difficult than their given grades. For instance, High Exposure is likely the toughest 5.6 crag in the country.

Trip Facts

When to go: April—October

Difficulty rating: Moderate—hardcore


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