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#14460 - 03/15/05 12:29 AM Carriage Road Signs?
feck Offline

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 133
Loc: Accord, NY
The Gunks are BY FAR THE EASIEST CLIFFS in the nation to navigate and find routes.

Dumbing it down even further is an insult.

Edited by webmaster (03/17/05 06:38 PM)

#14461 - 03/15/05 04:37 AM Re: Routes Database Improvements... [Re: feck]
Steven Cherry Offline


Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1300
Loc: New York, N.Y.
I can't say I agree with Feck (T-Wall and Sandrock come to mind) but I do hope the information is easy to avoid for those who want a traditional climbing experience.

And the Preserve putting up signs? Geez, are there any other possible ways in which we can keep the Gunks from serving its decades-old role as a training ground for more adventurous climbing? Maybe some color coded arrows indicating the starting handholds and first gear placement.

#14462 - 03/15/05 04:40 AM Re: Routes Database Improvements... [Re: Steven Cherry]
Steven Cherry Offline


Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1300
Loc: New York, N.Y.
I should add that signs along the carriage road, indicating things like "Arrow Wall" and "High Exposure Buttress" are a lot less objectionable, especially if it's in conjunction with the apparent work in progress of reducing the number of trails through the talus and improving the remaining ones. That's been a truly good program.

#14463 - 03/15/05 02:52 PM Re: Routes Database Improvements... [Re: Steven Cherry]
dalguard Offline

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1515
Loc: CT
I still think simple mileage markers would work and the non-climbers would like them too. Although I'm finally getting pretty accurate after all these years, I'd still find the signs useful when the leaves are up.

#14464 - 03/15/05 06:33 PM Re: Routes Database Improvements... [Re: dalguard]
nerdom Offline
Pooh-Bah *

Registered: 09/07/01
Posts: 2483
Loc: Davis Sq., MA
ARGHHHH! The idea of signs indicating route starts just pisses me off to no end! Only a gym climber could make such a request. Here's a clue: follow the yellow blazed trails that look like they've be rehabilitated and aren't brushed-in. ASK someone if they know how to get to such and such a climb. It's a good opportunity to meet new and interesting people and solidify our "climbing community." Plus, how much of an inconvenience is it to amble around aimlessly in one of the most beautiful and aesthetic environments in the country? For God's sake, route signs are only one step down the slippery slope (there has been discussion for years about corporate sponsorship of our National Parks). Can you imagine a sign reading, "Shockey's Ceiling, brought to you by Sprint! For the best coverage at the Gunks, look to Sprint!"?
we're all living proof that nothing lasts

#14465 - 03/15/05 06:54 PM Re: Routes Database Improvements... [Re: dalguard]
tradjunkie Offline

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 359
Unlike Dawn, I've really never gotten very good at keeping track of where I am. The views etc. keep distracting me and next thing I know I'm down at Sleepy Hollow, thinking, "Dude, I missed Madame G's by a mile."

Maybe little symbols at the beginning of the yellow trails to differentiate them? Or a double or triple yellow stripe? Or different colors? Something discreet. Doesn't have to be a full-on label. Even a little star or acorn or numeral drawn with a flair pen onto the first blaze would be enough. I mean, if you see that you're at "J" when you are looking for "K", you know you're close. And I doubt the non-climbers would really mind.

#14466 - 03/15/05 07:30 PM Re: Routes Database Improvements... [Re: dalguard]
pedestrian Offline

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!

I still think simple mileage markers would work and the non-climbers would like them too. Although I'm finally getting pretty accurate after all these years, I'd still find the signs useful when the leaves are up.

If we're gonna put distance tick marks on the cliffs, it should be measured in Smoots .

#14467 - 03/16/05 03:06 AM Re: Routes Database Improvements... [Re: tradjunkie]
schwortz Offline

Registered: 09/10/03
Posts: 308
having signs of any sort to tell you where you are on the carriage road is a joke....its extremely easy to see climbs form the carriage road even with the thickest summer growth.....if you're so attention deficient that you cant remember a rock or tree or trail or two then just buy a gps unit and mark a waypoint at each trailhead....maybe you can figure out a way to record the location of each set of bolted anchors in there too....maybe your gps unit will have wireless internet so you can check the routes database for move by move beta while you're on the climb.....

#14468 - 03/16/05 03:46 PM Re: Route signs [Re: schwortz]
Jannette Offline


Registered: 10/03/00
Posts: 2219
Loc: Gardiner, NY
Many of the routes at Potrero Chico, in Mexico, are labelled. Sometimes it's painted stencil letters, sometimes small non-contrasting words are painted, and sometimes pretty painted rocks with the route name are glued to the base (but they kept getting stolen). The start of approach trails are now lined with big rocks which are spray painted bright colors. It's pretty hideous looking.

I asked Tami, the guidebook author, about it, and she said so many new routes are put up that the guidebook is always behind. People come there with old guidebooks, trying to count the bolt lines and end up on the wrong route and get themselves into trouble thinking they're on a 5.9 when they're on a 5.11. The guidebook basically describes only the name and the number of bolts, occasionally some minimal feature info. So it's considered OK to label the routes.

However, at the Gunks, we have guidebooks with lots of detailed descriptions, including what the start looks like, as well as topos maps to show you which approach trail to go up. There's plenty of information available - I'd hate to see signs put up. Perhaps the least impact would be to blaze the approach trails different colors to help differentiate them, but people in the outdoors should be able to figure out where they're going and if not, they should pay attention and learn before they get themselves lost at some more remote location someday.

(hey, I'm green!)

#14469 - 03/17/05 08:29 PM Re: Route signs would help everyone [Re: Jannette]
webmaster Offline


Registered: 01/06/00
Posts: 1270
Loc: New Paltz (Kerhonkson, actuall...
I think I could easily dog-pile on with the rest of you and ridicule the idea of reference markers on the trail, but for once I won't. That tack of belitting others who don't have the inside track sounds a little too familiar to my eyes and ears, especially on this board.

I don't know, I think some type of navigation on the carriage road is not a bad idea. Sure, as a long time Gunks climber, I can usually find the route I'm looking for, but that's when it's in a vicinity I'm familiar with (relative to other climbs). As I get further down the trail, into areas I visit less frequently (or at all), it gets less easy to find a route. I also find the argument that it's easy to find the routes here somewhat specious. When it's summer, and you're looking up at the cliff, you don't see much. While the Williams Guide has some rudementary map of the carriage road, I find it works best in areas that I already know. I use the Black Book, and many of the landmarks are overgrown or have disintegrated, or the trees have long since fallen.

We can all spout off about how easy it is to find things here, but of course we all have the benefit of years of experience--or someone showing else pinpointing the the route. Coming from another area I think it costs a lot of time to find routes. When it's busy, you have the option to ask people for directions. But if it's midweek, it's more hit or miss.

I think something unobtrusive, like numbered or color blazed assent trails, mileage markers, and the like would improve the experience for most, and not ruin the experience for those here who feel they can navigate the entire trapps blindfolded.

Think about it this way: When the Trapps are crowded, people will be willing to walk further down the carriage road if they're confident they'll find their route quickly. This could go a long way to allieviate the crowding in the first 1/2 mile of the Trapps (and Nears). That should please all you.

Some of you might view the route finding as some right of passage, and that's all well and good. But I think everyone should get to choose their own passage. Some people don't want to read they guidebook before starting a route, some don't want to know the rating. But why not let people choose what beta they want??

evan marks
I wish I could read every post...

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