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  >  Destinations  >  United States  >  Top Roping at the Gunks

With gyms closed since March, it has been difficult to get much climbing in.  Fortunately, The Gunks have world class climbing and are only a couple hours away from NYC.

We spent the weekend with Kyle from Mountain Skills to improve our mountain skills.  The weekend was all about top rope anchor building. We learned best practices as it relates to setting up natural anchors and bolted anchors, gained confidence in rappelling on our own, improved our climbing technique and of course, just got out there and climbed!

Aside from setting up routes, one of the hardest parts of climbing outdoors is finding the route.  This entails locating the problem from the base and then finding a path to scramble up in order to setup the anchor.  While there are apps and guidebooks, the information is very difficult to follow — the pictures are not clear and even when you do locate your climb, there is often no information on how to get to the top to setup the anchor.  Therefore, we also spent time with Kyle to locate all the key routes at Peters Kill and the West Trapps that would be within our level to climb, and top-ropable.

Then, we used Sunday to reinforce our skills. We went out on our own, located the routes we wanted to climb, set up the anchors, rappelled down to the base and climbed back up!

It was a great weekend — we are so much more knowledgable about the routes, our gear, setting up anchors, and we have become better climbers.  It was so great, I’m planning to repeat it again this coming weekend!