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The Climbing Club • View topic - Shawangunks- AKA Sister's Trip 2012!

The Climbing Club

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:08 pm 
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Raging Alpoholic
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Hayley and I kept the sister’s trip tradition going another year with a quick trip to the Shawangunks in New York. The goal of our sister’s trips has always been to find a new and unique challenge. This year we decided to learn the art of the horizontal crack and climb the mega-classic, High Exposure.

We had been to the Gunks briefly before and I made sickeningly slow progress up a 5.5. The climbing there was intimidating at the least. This year we set aside a day to warm up to this style of climbing. We’d use our second day to hit up one of the most well known and exciting 5.6 routes out there, High Exposure.

Sister’s trip 2012 challenge: the strange, horizontal cam





My first difficulty was getting out of bed Thursday morning. I flew into Baltimore on a Tuesday night red-eye and we drove up to the Gunks Wednesday for free camping in the park (as long as you’re a paying technical rock climber, you can claim one of the 22 sites in the park). Thursday morning jet-lag hit hard. Hayley brewed some tasty coffee though and we were off! Our line-up included 7 pitches of 5.5-5.7 roofs with plenty of those strange horizontal placements. Once you learn to trust that there’s always going to be pro around the corner and usually a jug when you need it (though you sometimes have to look for a while), the climbing is very fun. We finished the day with 5.6, 5.9 and 5.7 vertical cracks! It was funny how inflated the ratings on vertical cracks were (compared to everything else).

Hayley leads up P2 of Jackie


Taking a break from the horizontal


Heading back to camp after a day of climbing


The next morning we hiked out to the base of High Exposure early to beat the heat, and the crowds. The route was everything we wanted. The first pitch is a fun 180’ 5.5 corner crack with an exposed traverse. The money pitch had a thoughtful move around a roof, followed by juggy steep climbing. The setting and exposure are pretty cool (though I have to say after alpine climbing in the cascades with over 1000’ of exposure sometimes, the exposure was a little lost on me). We finished the trip with another classic 5.6, Frog’s Head, with more exposure and more roofs. Hayley was getting used to the rock now and led the steep second pitch of Frog’s Head. I’m glad to see that grad school and city life haven’t softened her too much. She’s still got it!

P1 of High Exposure




Hanging out at the belay


Team ahead of us taking in the exposure before pulling the crux move


My turn to go for P2


Hayley tops out on High Exposure


Next team climbing the second pitch of High Exposure


Me at belay on Frog’s Head


Topping out on Frog’s Head


Hayley at the top of Frog’s Head


We squished in a little bonus trip Saturday morning with a little climbing at a crag in Massachusetts (Rose Ledge). This was another example of the fact that wherever there is a rock, there will be climbers to send it. Hayley led another thoughtful 5.5 here and we TR’d two of the 5.10s. Fun little crag if you find yourself in Massachusetts.








It was great to get in another sister’s trip. Let’s keep ‘em going!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:06 pm 
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UW Climber
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Nice trip!

That is awesome that you went to Rose Ledge. I've only been to that crag once, but there are several little crags in the area that Hannah and I went to all the time when we lived in MA. Check out Farley Ledge if you are ever in the area again. Also, Sun Bowl is my personal favorite. It is tiny, but one of the most pleasant places I have ever been. You'll probably need a local guide to find it though.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:19 am 
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UW Climber
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Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:32 pm
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Awesome trip, Val! High Exposure looks really fun.


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