YouTube videos or a few days at a gym might teach you some techniques, but trial and error is not an option out on the cliff! So why not learn from the experts?
Mountain Skills Climbing Guides works with only the best climbing guides in the Gunks: with us, you will learn more and climb more in an environment designed to maximize your level of comfort and comprehension. Our approach will effectively prepare you for any challenge you may face in the vertical environment. Check out our courses below.
For aspiring climbers with little or no experience, we will show you the ropes (literally!) and much more. Your first day on the rocks will include belaying, rappelling, and basic climbing techniques. We will ensure that you understand the fundamentals of climbing, then we will focus on movement and having fun. We provide you with all the equipment you need and will put you on as many routes as time permits. Mountain Skills prides itself on operating a guide service that teaches with patience and understanding while maximizing your opportunity to experience some of the best beginner routes in the Gunks.
Group Rock Climbing Adventures
Boyscouts, Girlscouts, church groups, bachelor parties, corporate team building……..you name it and we have facilitated it. Gathering your group of friends or colleges and enjoying a day rock climbing and rappelling is a great way to spend time outside. We supply all of the technical equipment such as helmet, harness, rock shoes, belay devices and chalk bags as well as a 4:1 ratio of instructor to client. Day user fees are also covered by us for the Mohonk Preserve or the Peterskill climbing areas.
2 Hour Sunset Rappel in the Gunks
This 2 hour rappel trip will expose you to some serious air. The famous Fat City rappel is 200 feet of all free hanging Hudson Valley goodness. We meet at 5:00pm in the West Trapps parking area at the Mohonk Preserve, get fitted in your technical rappel equipment and than head up to the top of the Near Trapps to learn the ropes of rappelling.
2 Day Multi-Pitch Course
This special two day program starts from the very beginning of rock climbing basics and finishes with you climbing multi-pitch routes in the Gunks. You will learn knots, climbing movement, belaying lead & top rope, voice commands, gear removal, rappelling and rope coiling and single pitch climbing on day one. On day two you will be taking the skills you learned on day one and putting them to the test by climbing multi-pitch routes in the Trapps or Near Trapps. This is an in depth instructional program designed to teach up and coming climbers the correct, efficient way to move up and down the cliff.
If you have had a few introductory lessons in climbing or have honed your climbing skills at the gym, it’s time to take it to the next level. Multi-pitch rock climbing is what the Gunks is all about! These easy-to-moderate climbing routes are fun, exposed, and will absolutely blow you away. While mastering the art of seconding a climb, you will discover amazing locations and phenomenal views, so be sure to bring a camera! The 2-to-3 pitch classic routes we take you on are world-renowned “must-do”s for climbers. Don’t miss out on High Exposure, Beginner’s Delight, CCK, Frog’s Head, Madame G’s, Jackie, Horseman… and let this be your catalyst for climbing bigger mountains around the globe!
Knowing how to set up a top rope is one of the first steps towards becoming a self-sufficient climber. We will introduce you to the fundamentals of setting efficient and secure top ropes. The course includes selecting anchors, choosing routes, accessing the tops of climbs, protecting edges and vegetation. Setting up a directional and rappelling with friction hitch back ups will also be covered in this comprehensive course. This course is a great place for an aspiring leader to begin.
If you’ve been on rock for a while, whether top-roping and following, sport-climbing or even coming out of a gym, let us introduce you to the art of traditional leading. You will learn to use cams, slings, stoppers and carabiners both correctly and efficiently. We’ll start your day with an in-depth introduction to each piece of equipment, its functions and limitations. Next we’ll teach you how to place each piece of gear properly and build solid two point and three point anchors both pre-equalized and self-equalizing. You will also learn how to belay in a multi-pitch setting off the anchor with a Gri-Gri, Guide ATC or Reverso 3. Finally, you’ll hone your skills on the sharp end by doing mock leads; you’ll be protected by a top rope while you lead. You and your instructor will then simultaneously rappel your route and critique each gear placement. This comprehensive approach to traditional climbing can be taught in a block of simultaneous days, or stretched out over several days throughout the season.
We offer instructor/client mentoring programs for climbers looking to progress in every facet of climbing. One on one personal instruction with a schedule you make up when your calendar allows. From leading on rock to leading on ice or maybe you just want to climb routes with the same guide every week, our mentoring program works with climbers that want personal instruction with a personal touch. We offer fair discounts to our clients that frequently climb with us on this type of program.
Winter Time Rock Climbing
During the colder months it is still very possible and very enjoyable to rock climb in the Gunks. The Trapps cliff faces southeast so if it’s sunny out the rock is warm and energizing. We typically work on half day times starting at 10:00am meeting at Rock and Snow and ending when the sun starts to come off the cliff around 3:00pm. Following the suggested clothing list for ice climbing works well for winter rock climbing. Lots of layers and hand warmers in the chalk bag work wonders.
Now that you are able to lead climb, your next step to becoming more fluid as a climber is learning multi-pitch anchor transitions. Belaying off the anchor with a Guide ATC or Reverso 3 type device, efficiently passing gear to your partner, rope stacking or rope coiling, pancake flipping, visually coaching the second while on belay, appropriate anchor tie ins and rappel extensions with hands free back-ups — all these exciting new skills are covered in-depth in this course.
Ever wondered how to escape the belay from the ground or from a multi-pitch anchor? How about passing a knot while rappelling or lowering an injured partner down the cliff from anchor to anchor? Maybe you need to set up an improvised hauling system without mechanical devices or pick off a stuck climber on the cliff while on belay. Or hey, maybe you’re just psyched on climbing and are seeking more knowledge. In this course, you will learn the concepts of using non-mechanical devices and a normal belay plate to get out of some of the more concerning situations that can arise while climbing.