This section is to list the various projects we are working on,
contacts, status and what you can do to help.
Climbing Access Projects
- Rosendale Waterworks Bouldering Area
September 27, 2010:
On Monday, September 27th, the Mohonk Preserve will be announcing the beginning of public climbing and
bouldering visits to the Rosendale Waterworks parcel, which has been recently acquired by the Open Space
Conservancy, the acquisition affiliate of the Open Space Institute. The Waterworks parcel is being managed
by the Mohonk Preserve.
Visits to the site are available to Mohonk Preserve climbing members and Mohonk Preserve Climbing day
pass holders. Visits are by reservation only, and are led by Mohonk Preserve volunteers. To sign up for
announcements regarding visits click the link below, or visit Eventbrite.com and
search Waterworks Climbing Tour in the location Rosendale.
The events go online and are viewable only 48 hours before the day of the event. Volunteers are lined up
to give tours on upcoming Saturdays and Sundays until the snow falls.
The Gunks Climbers' Coalition was the catalyst that made this climbing area possible.
We continue fund raising efforts to help defray the costs of managing this new area.
Please contribute to our Rosendale Waterworks Project Fund by visiting our GCC website
donations page and sending in your online donation via PayPal. We thank all who have contributed
time and/or money to this effort and look forward to your continuing support.
In early March 2006, the GCC learned from Rosendale town
supervisor Bob Gallagher that a clause in the zoning code does permit recreation
on the parcel, ruling out municipal management for a bouldering park.
However, needing to raise capitol for the water district, town officials began
exploring options with the GCC for selling the parcel to the climbing community,
provided the town can retain their water rights. One option involves creating,
through a private source, a Horse Pens 40 type low-impact campground proposal
which was presented to members of the town board in April; another involves
acquisition of the parcel by the Open Space Institute, to be managed by the
On May 27, 2006, the GCC held its Rosendale Rocks fundraiser in the Widow Jane Mine.
Once famous for providing the cement in the Broooklyn Bridge and the base of
the Statue of Liberty, the mine is now one of the Hudson Valley's most unique
performance venues. Featuring sneak preview Doses from Josh and Brett Lowell's
next Big Up release (the brothers have been intimately involved with the
Waterworks project), the crowd of 200 watched Tommy Caldwell become the first
person since Lynn Hill to free El Cap's Nose; Chris Sharma and Dave Graham
established new bouldering test-pieces at Hueco. Preceded by the evocative
trip-hop of musician Alex Schein, and Gunks bouldering clips from Urban Climber
editor Joe Iterato's Fuse video production, the GCC's biggest event to date
raised nearly $1500. Half of the proceeds went to the Century House
Historical Society for providing the extraordinary space of the Widow Jane Mine.
The rest, originally intended for the Rosendale Water District (declined by the
Water Board because purchasing discussions have been initiated), will now be
used to seed a dedicated Waterworks bridge fund.
On June 12, 2006, the GCC made a Waterworks pitch to the Mohonk Preserve's Land
Stewardship Committee. While the parcel is close but not contiguous to the
Preserve's northeast boundary, and managing the world-class bouldering area
presents a number of staffing and fiscal challenges, the Committee recognized
the significance of the parcel and decided to pursue discussions with Rosendale
officials. The GCC arranged a meeting between the Preserve and members of
the Rosendale town board on August 9.
On August 13, 2007 following more than two years of presentations, meetings,
and negotiations, the GCC and Mohonk Preserve signed a Memorandum of Understanding
(MOU) for the Rosendale Waterworks bouldering parcel. The signing marks a
significant step, with several remaining, including fundraising both for purchase
and management costs, before access to the parcel can be realized.
Jeff Powell, one of two boulderers who discovered the world-class site, has
volunteered for the Waterworks' liaison position outlined in the MOU.
Through the summer of '08, Rosendale officials remain in negotiations with
the Mohonk Preserve for purchase of the parcel.
- New areas in Minnewaska State Park
In February of 2005, the Access Committee started work on a
Draft of Facility Development and Access Plan for the Peter's
Kill Area of Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The Park is
expanding and this gives climbers an unprecedented
opportunity to open some new areas for climbing.
Preliminary also to expanded Minnewaska climbing will require a ten-year
follow on impact study of climbing at the Peterskill. We have the full sanction
of Park Manager Mike Krish in conducting this study. The impact study has been
one of our goals starting last year. It will compare present conditions to
extensive data compiled ten years ago when the area was opened to climbing.
The study has now been ongoing since April 2006 and we are very pleased to report
good progress on the study. Opening more climbing within the Park will depend
on the results of this very important work. Anyone with experience conducting
animal, (small mammal trapping) and plant surveys is welcome to volunteer for
the study; we could use a local person with experience in this area and the
time available to participate. Estimated time commitment is
about 8 to 16 hours per week through the summer and early fall. If you can
volunteer to help, please contact the GCC at
The areas possibly being considered for inclusion are:
Beacon Hill, Schevchenko parcel, Millbrook, Sam's Point and
Stony Kill Falls for ice climbing.
Input is needed and greatly appreciated. Anyone with info on historical climbing
information at these areas should contact the GCC Access Committee at
In July 2008, the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic
Preservation will be holding public informational meetings to discuss the
Draft Master Plan for Minnewaska State Park Preserve. They are inviting
the public so they can listen to issues, impacts and alternatives to
their proposed plan. This is an opportunity for the climbing community to
express any interest in opening additional climbing areas in the park. Written
comments may also be sent until August 11, 2008.
During the last couple of years we've gotten access to excellent tools / volunteers
for GIS mapping and establishing property boundary lines in relation to geological
features (cliffs!) We've used these tools on all of our recent work and they're
indispensable. We're building quite a database of the local boundary lines and
cliffs and hope to continue this very valuable work. Many thanks go out to our
volunteer and GCC member Mark Folsom.
- Search and Rescue Team
Marty Molitoris, of guide service Alpine Endeavors, has started to organize a
local search and rescue team along with other local climbers.
The name of the group is Hudson Valley Mountain Rescue.
Marty has been working on their website and applying
for not-for-profit status. Marty is still taking new members and
you can contact him for the latest schedule of training sessions.
The GCC remains in discussion with Minnewaska State Park officials
to expand climbing opportunities in the Park. Any expansion will require
establishing a backcountry Search & Rescue team.
This will be its own stand alone organization.
If anyone is interested in volunteering, contact Marty Molitoris at
and check out their
- General Rescue Fund
The GCC will manage
a General Rescue Fund,
for the benefit of the Mohonk Preserve.
We are envisioning a rescue cache program to enable the Preserve to have a
rescue cache not just in the Trapps, but also in the Nears, Lost City and
possibly even Millbrook. The other facet of this program could be that we
eventually defray at least part of the cost of climbing related rescues
which the Preserve must conduct annually. At present accident rates, the
Preserve estimates that rescues cost $10,000 dollars per year and presently
this must come out of the Preserve's bottom line.
To date, the GCC has donated a titanium rescue litter at a cost of
$1,150 to the Mohonk Preserve and in March of 2005, donated $1,000
each to the Mohonk Preserve and the Gardiner Fire Department for their
respective rescue programs. In May 2007, the GCC donated a rescue wheel
to the Mohonk Preserve that will help transport injured victims more quickly.
Please fill out our online form and donate generously by personal check or
credit card using the PayPal service, to the
General Rescue Fund.
Cleanup and Maintenance Projects
- Support the Trail Maintenance Crew
Dick Williams coordinates a Trail Maintenance Crew, in collaboration
with the Mohonk Preserve, to fix and maintain the many approach trails
in the Trapps and Near Trapps. The Gunks Climbers' Coalition supports this
fine effort and a number of members of the GCC are volunteers on Dick's
trail crew. If you are interested in becoming a member of the trail crew,
please send an email to
- GCC Clean-Up Days
The Gunks Climbers' Coalition organizes cleanup days at area crags to help
with landowner relations and raise awareness of the environmental impact
climbers have on the land. We have coordinated a garbage cleanup at land
recently purchased by the Open Space Institute that was targeted for donation
to Minnewaska State Park; organized boulder and cliff chalk cleanups in the Mohonk
Preserve and Peter's Kill area of Minnewaska State Park; set up general work days
including trail work, trash cleanup and erosion mitigation at Mohonk,
Peter's Kill and the MUA campground; and trash cleanups on Route 44/55 and along
the Labyrinth Trail at the Mohonk Mountain House. Maintaining good landowner relations
and reducing our impact on the environment are the responsibilities of
all climbers to keep climbing crags open as well as create a good reputation
that can help us open new crags.
GCC Organizational Projects
- GCC Newsletter
GCC newsletter submissions
are open to everyone. We are gathering material
for our next newsletter and would like to receive more submissions.
Please email essays, stories and other prose to Dell Bleekman at
and all visuals, including poetry,
to France Menk at
We will post its publication closer to the date.
- GCC Brochure
As part of climber education, the GCC has created a brochure for
Gunks climbers to introduce them to the area, provide general information
about Gunks climbing and Mohonk preserve policy, remind all about
leave no trace ethics, and other practical information such as a map
showing the Multi-Use Area legal camp sites. These brochures
have beeen distributed in various places near the Gunks, and handed out at