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Better in November

November 9, 2012

Before last weekend, I had only been to the Gunks on July 4th and Labor Day weekends.  Each time, I went home thinking that I hated the Gunks.  Sure, there were a ton of bouldering problems, but a lot of the holds were all slick and slimy from the polished rock and humidity.

Since Bob insisted that the Gunks were much better in cooler temps, he, I, and Max M. decided to create our own 3 day weekend the first weekend in November.  Esten, Art, Pierre, Robert, and some of Robert’s friends from NY joined us on Saturday.  The verdict: Hey, can we go back soon?!!

After gawking at the ridiculously long lines for gas in northern NJ and parts of NY (thanks Mom for warning me to fill up my tank!) from the Hurricane Sandy debacle, we arrived at the Gunks on Thursday night.  Our first day of climbing was at the Carriage Road, where we had to get used to winterish temps for basically the first time this season.  Luckily the cute little Welcome Boulder near the entrance provided a great place to literally warm up.

Bob and Max sent Lazy Maize Variation (V5) and then went to work on A New Pair of Glasses (V7).  We moved on to Pat’s Pinch (V7), but that was also a no go that day. The next project was Black Boulder Problem (V5), actually one of the reasons I had previously said I hated the Gunks.  In humid weather, the slopers were gross, and I’m not very good at slopers to begin with.  Max dispatched the problem pretty quickly.  Let’s just say it took me awhile, but I did end the day with a send.  And I learned a couple important lessons: 1) Just because a hold is chalked and you see someone else use it for a send doesn’t mean that you should use it; and 2) Listen to Coach Max.  Also, thanks to Bob for channeling Maria for a key piece of short person beta.  Bob will definitely get the send next time.

Bob on Black Boulder Problem (V5)

Max and Bob also made a lot of progress on the Lynn Hill Traverse (V8).

Max on Lynn Hill Traverse (V8)

The next day we met up with the rest of the crew and went to Peter’s Kill.  After warming up, there were a bunch of sends on The Classic One (V5) on the Outbreak Boulder and Pierre and Robert also sent The Hop (V7).  Bob and I worked on Rocco Never Dies (V8) but couldn’t quite make it through the crux with our shorter legs.  The whole crew then spent most of the afternoon at Village Idiot (V7).  Pierre flashed it and Robert also sent, and Esten slapped me in the face for not sending.  Don’t worry, he warned me about it multiple times beforehand.  I can’t wait to get back to figure out how to avoid a really big move at the top.  Everyone made a lot of progress and there will be more sends next time for sure.

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Bob on The Classic One (V5)

The day ended as Pierre and Robert both sent Dwarf Toss (V8), a problem which had previously been Robert’s Gunks nemesis.  We then took refuge from the cold at Bacchus in New Paltz for some great food and beer.

Day 3 was back to the Carriage Road.  This time, we walked all the way down to the Boxcar Boulder to ensure that we made it there without getting distracted.  Pierre and Robert sent Boxcar Arete (V8) and then we headed to the Andrew Area where Pierre sent The Dragon Turns (V9) and Esten sent the higher start.  Max and Bob came pretty close to The Illustrious Buddha (V8), but we were all pretty pooped by then.  A sixteen-year-old sent The Buddha (V7), and commented that he was going to wait until he grew to try it but was glad that he didn’t.  I wish I could wait til I grow.

Robert working Boxcar Arete (V8)

Robert working Boxcar Arete (V8)

We left with a lot of new projects and plans in the works to return.  Bishop tomorrow, but then maybe the Gunks again the next week?  I guess now I can’t say that I hate the Gunks.  I might even like it.  A lot.  As long as it’s November.

Here are Art’s photos:

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 20, 2012 4:54 am

    We then took refuge from the cold at Bacchus in New Paltz for some great food and beer.

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