Seems like there are lots of baby copperheads showing up at the Gunks. These venomous juveniles can be well camouflaged, so be careful! Copperheads are usually shy and not aggressive if you avoid them.
If you have a new hazard to report, please use the form here:
Please include enough details so readers can know where the hazard is (on the ground, on the cliff, which pitch, how far up, etc…). That’s the best way to make sure your sighting makes it into the report. Random posts and comments on Facebook are likely to get lost or forgotten, so please use the form. If you climb any of the climbs in the hazard report and don’t see the hazard there anymore, please report it on the form as well so people don’t have to worry about it anymore. If the website report hasn’t been published recently (yeah, I get busy sometimes) and you want to see what was reported so far in the spreadsheet, you can access it here. If you want to look at older hazard reports from our blog, you can find all of them here.
The list is in alphabetical order by crag, with the newest additions to the list in red font.
Hoping that these warnings can help you decide which climbs you may want to avoid for a bit. Thank you to everyone who submitted reports!
Gunks Temporary Hazards
- Arch – Venomous snake
- Baby copperhead coiled under a rock to the left of the start of Arch. (4/24/2022)
- Trail Between Easy V and Andrew – Venomous snake
- Teenager copperhead snake on trail going down from Easy V and up to Andrew (5/21/2022)
- Feast of Fools – Bat
- Pitch 1, bat was heard in undercling slot at beginning of route. (4/15/2022)
- Laurel – Venomous snake
- Baby copperhead at the base of Laurel (4/18/2022)
- Never Never Land – Venomous snake
- Copperhead seen directly at the base of Never Never Land (5/18/2022)
- Ribs – Venomous snake
- Baby Copperhead in the rocks climbers right of the ribs rap station at the top of p2. The orange rock had at least one baby copperhead next to and under it.
- Little White Mushroom – Venomous Snake
- Little copperhead hiding at the base right below the start. Very well hidden. In a place you can very easily put a hand. (5/15/2022)
Peter’s Kill – Minnewaska State Park
- None reported yet
Gunks Rockfall Hazards from 2021 and 2022
Since rockfall hazards don’t usually slither away during the winter, I’m leaving up reports from 2021 as well as new reports in 2022.
- Andrew – Significant rockfall (from GT?). Widespread debris at base of Andrew. Rock debris on ledges easily kicked down. (7/4/2021)
- Bonnie’s Roof (classic 5.7 finish) – At the top out, there’s a large (refrigerator sized boulder) that wobbles with the touch of a finger. Be careful not to push outwards/off-wall on it. Not sure if this has been here the entire time or not, but think it would fall by its own momentum if pushed by accident. (6/12/2021)
- Middle Earth – Large unstable rock on the climb that injured a climber is no longer there, but there is still loose rock on pitch 2.
- Moonlight – Very loose microwave sized block on pitch 2, shortly after leaving the belay on the right side of the route. Part of the route shared between Moonlight and Erect Direction. Felt like a natural place to grab and pull up. Pulling hard would likely tip it off the ledge, angle of the cliff there makes it likely that it would bounce past GT and down to bottom. (4/17/2021)
- Overhanging Layback – Pitch 2 – large detached flake that appeared ready to fall. It’s on route and must be carefully avoided along with the other seemingly fragile flakes. See comments on MountainProject.com for additional commentary. (10/2/2021)
- Rusty Trifle – Top of pitch 2 – at edge, just over lip on left side. Large block loosened from the surrounding soil and very near the edge. (3/15/2022, 4/18/2022)
- Three Pines – Large (~200 lb) loose blocks 15 feet up first pitch. Slid 3 feet with almost no effort.
Large loose blocks at the start of Three Pines. (photo: EJ Rimerman from Gunks Climbing Partners Facebook group, 2021)
- Yum Yum Yab Yum – Remnants of massive 2020 rockfall from Predator (nearby climb) left lots of loose rock on ledges.
To learn more about snakes you might see at the Gunks, check out our blog post, Snakes of the Shawangunk Ridge.
If you have a hazard to report, please use the form here: https://bit.ly/gunkshazardform.
This is a public service for the Gunks climbing community based on reports submitted by the climbing community – sightings are not verified. Please do not spam it with jokes and bogus entries, those of us monitoring this have better things to do than delete multiple bogus comments a day. If there is too much abuse, we’ll have to shut it down.
Want to see the entries that have been posted recently? See the responses in a Google Spreadsheet here: https://bit.ly/gunkshazardsheet.
Have fun and be safe out there!