Heather Ettinger, board member of the Gunks Climbers' Coalition.

GCC Profile: Antlion Stoke with Heather Ettinger

For many of us, climbing is about much more than the grade or your last send. For me, it’s about the community, the burn in my legs as I carry a gear-filled pack on the approach, the friends I unexpectedly meet at the crag. Or it’s about noticing how the leaves have turned color, or simply being outside after a long week at work.

Sometimes it’s enough to park at the West Trapps, walk the short distance to the Uberfall, and do a quick lap on Bunny or Horseman. You are having fun and feeling relaxed. All is well. But sometimes you crave more. You want adventure and a new challenge.

Imagine a mile-long approach with 1,000 feet of elevation gain, passing over streams, traversing steep wooded hills, squeezing between mossy rocks, and hopping along a large boulder field to the base of a stunningly colorful cliff face. There are lines to be established and first ascents to be done. Fun 5.6s to devious 5.12s await you—and routes easier and harder remain to be discovered. No sounds of traffic to muffle your telling your partner to take. When you send, your view is of the whole of the Hudson Valley, barely a road or building in sight. The world is yours. You are both stoked and at peace.

The Antlion crag, the Gunks Climbers’ Coalition’s recently purchased cliff on the Shawangunk Ridge, offers all of this. I have had the honor of being able to visit and climb at the Antlion as part of GCC volunteer trail work and have felt the combination of stoke and peace that comes from climbing in this special place.

Become a part of making the Antlion experience happen for you and the climbing community by donating today to the GCC. Thanks to the generous Gunks community and grants from the Conservation Alliance and Athletic Brewing Company‘s Two for the Trails program, the GCC is more than eighty percent of the way to our fundraising goal to repay the Access Fund loan that made purchasing this crag possible. Do your part today, so you can have the adventure and climbing you crave tomorrow!

Donate Today!


Heather Ettinger, Gunks Climbers' Coalition board member

Thank you for supporting Gunks access.

Heather Ettinger
Heather Ettinger,
GCC Board of Directors

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