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#65931 - 07/18/12 02:00 AM best Gunks-like climbing out West
Alex Offline
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Registered: 08/16/00
Posts: 191
What is the best Gunks-like climbing out West? My own criteria is only that it "feels like Gunks climbing" and is mostly horizontal strata. My suggestions:

Unita Rocks: east of salt Lake, horizontal strata and overhangs, trad and bolts, high elevation.

Owens Gorge: eastside of Sierra, buckets and bolts.

Isolation Canyon: east of Flagstaff, mini-buckets, trad and bolts.

Skaha: British Columbia, nice weather, trad and bolts, lots of edges.

Maple Canyon: south of Salt Lake, all bolts, all cobbles, but the handhold intensive climbing is not unfamiliar to Gunks climbing.

Blackleaf Canyon: central Montana, limestone but with horiontal edges, mostly bolts.

I liked all of these areas. There's probably other canidates. What area out West feels most Gunks-like to you?

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#65932 - 07/18/12 04:20 AM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: Alex]
jason1 Offline
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Registered: 07/25/00
Posts: 841
Loc: moab

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#65933 - 07/18/12 01:04 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: jason1]
Mike Rawdon Offline

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Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4275
Loc: Poughkeepsie
Lovers Leap CA is famous for the small horizontal dikes.

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#65934 - 07/18/12 01:43 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: Mike Rawdon]
ianmanger Online   content
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But the dikes are positive i.e protrude rather than being slots/gunks-horizontals.
That said, Fantasia is just stellar.


Originally Posted By: Mike Rawdon
Lovers Leap CA is famous for the small horizontal dikes.

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#65935 - 07/18/12 03:47 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: Mike Rawdon]
Alex Offline
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Registered: 08/16/00
Posts: 191
I forgot about Lover's Leap. Some of the classics there do have thar Gunks feel. Great place, the best dike climbing around.

Tamo? I haven't been there. But I like quartzite. Isolation Canyon is Gunks-like quartzite. But I hear the access into Tamo isn't easy.

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#65937 - 07/19/12 01:40 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: Alex]
chip Offline
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Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2675
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
I've heard Red Rocks described as "gunks with texture", which seems about right. I'm surprised no one mention Devils Lake.

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#65938 - 07/19/12 05:20 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: chip]
Alex Offline
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Registered: 08/16/00
Posts: 191
Some of the short sport routes, and long ones too, ar Red Rocks have Gunks-like climbing. But in general Red Rocks does not "feel" like Gunks climbing to me. Perhaps because it seems more like face climbing, even though the holds are crisp, than horizontal strata. But I haven't climbed a lot there. Too hot.
Devil's Lake IS Gunks climbing but I don't consider it "out West". Likewise Arkansas climbing (which I'm dying to try) might be a good match but is not really West either.

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#65941 - 07/19/12 06:27 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: Alex]
retroscree Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Alex
But I haven't climbed a lot there. Too hot.

You've been picking the wrong times to go.

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#65942 - 07/20/12 04:38 AM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: retroscree]
schwortz Offline
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Registered: 09/10/03
Posts: 308
red rocks, owens and the leap? really?

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#65943 - 07/20/12 01:18 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: schwortz]
retroscree Online   content
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Posts: 397
Originally Posted By: schwortz
red rocks, owens and the leap? really?

I was thinking the same thing. Red Rocks? Definitely no. Owens??? Nothing could be further from Gunks style climbing.
Can't comment on the Leap; never climbed there.

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#65955 - 07/21/12 04:57 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: retroscree]
RangerRob Offline
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Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3764
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Wait, you say that Red Rocks seems like face climbing, which makes it less "Gunks like"? Maybe I read that wrong. The Gunks has always been face climbing central to me. No place else that I know of makes you face climb so far above small gear! Most other face climbing areas I have gone to are primarily bolted, such as Red Rocks.

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#65957 - 07/22/12 12:33 AM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: RangerRob]
retroscree Online   content
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Originally Posted By: RangerRob
Wait, you say that Red Rocks seems like face climbing, which makes it less "Gunks like"? Maybe I read that wrong.

I wasn't the one that said that. But....

Originally Posted By: RangerRob
The Gunks has always been face climbing central to me. No place else that I know of makes you face climb so far above small gear!

Which I basically agree with. I don't think the face climbing at Red Rocks is at all like Gunks face climbing because of the lack of numerous horizontals and the plethora of flakes of odd shapes seemingly glued on all over the place there. As far as climbing "so far" above small [trad] gear at the Gunks - there are a few others. Apparently you haven't been to Courtright Reservoir to name but one. And an old school slab route on the GPA or in the Meadows sure feels about the same or worse when you're 40' above a 50 year old 1/4"x2-1/2" rusty bolt with a semi-flattened hanger.

Originally Posted By: RangerRob
Most other face climbing areas I have gone to are primarily bolted, such as Red Rocks.

That's a major misconception about Red Rocks based on climbing at the first two pull-outs and a handful of excessively popular and crowded routes.

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#65958 - 07/22/12 01:31 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: retroscree]
RangerRob Offline
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Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3764
Loc: Ulster County, NY
Sorry Retro, I was responding to the author, but I guess I actually responded to you. I hear ya though. I've only been to red Rocks once, and from what I saw, it would be sad to get on bolted climbs when there are so many cracks, corners, flakes, off widths, etc. Coming from the Gunks, I have a serious deficiency of crack in my diet.

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#65962 - 07/22/12 11:03 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: retroscree]
Alex Offline
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Registered: 08/16/00
Posts: 191
Well, you have to discount the protection aspect. Most of the Gunks-like areas I mentioned unfortunately are mostly bolted.
Red Rocks does not feel like Gunks climbing to me, in spite of the fact that many holds are flake buckets (similiar to routes in City of Rocks).
Owens Gorge does feel like Gunks climbing; steep, all horizontal holds, handhold intensive, unfortunately all bolts.
I have climbed at Courtright Resevoir. The runouts were indeed interesting but its not the Gunks. Slabby footwork intensive face climbing. Not steep dramatic handhold moves like Owens Gorge.
Lover's Leap gets consideration just because of its horizontal dikes (similiar to Blackleaf Canyon).
Overall, the rock most similiar to the Gunks out West is probably Uinta Rocks. But perhaps the most fun for a Gunks climber would be Maple Canyon.

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#65967 - 07/23/12 01:09 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: Alex]
ianmanger Online   content
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Registered: 04/25/03
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I guess there is a point to your quest, but almost the entire joy of road tripping is to climb in places and on rock types that are unlike the 'home crag'. Unless you're compiling a list of places to avoid.



Originally Posted By: Alex
Well, you have to discount the protection aspect. Most of the Gunks-like areas I mentioned unfortunately are mostly bolted.
Red Rocks does not feel like Gunks climbing to me, in spite of the fact that many holds are flake buckets (similiar to routes in City of Rocks).
Owens Gorge does feel like Gunks climbing; steep, all horizontal holds, handhold intensive, unfortunately all bolts.
I have climbed at Courtright Resevoir. The runouts were indeed interesting but its not the Gunks. Slabby footwork intensive face climbing. Not steep dramatic handhold moves like Owens Gorge.
Lover's Leap gets consideration just because of its horizontal dikes (similiar to Blackleaf Canyon).
Overall, the rock most similiar to the Gunks out West is probably Uinta Rocks. But perhaps the most fun for a Gunks climber would be Maple Canyon.

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#65968 - 07/23/12 02:13 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: Alex]
retroscree Online   content
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Posts: 397
Originally Posted By: Alex
Owens Gorge does feel like Gunks climbing; steep, all horizontal holds, handhold intensive, unfortunately all bolts.

Unfortunately? How else would you protect those routes?

Originally Posted By: Alex
I have climbed at Courtright Resevoir. The runouts were indeed interesting but its not the Gunks. Slabby footwork intensive face climbing.

I didn't say the climbing was like the Gunks (it isn't at all) - just commented that it was one of those areas where you're doing face moves often uncomfortably far above your last pro.

Originally Posted By: Alex
But perhaps the most fun for a Gunks climber would be Maple Canyon.

I don't see the connection.

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#65969 - 07/23/12 03:17 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: ianmanger]
Alex Offline
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Registered: 08/16/00
Posts: 191
Nobody likes road tripping as much as me. It's a special pleasure sampling the "feel" and type of climbing at new areas. It keeps me from getting jaded.
Yet I've always had a fondness for Gunks climbing. Its often a mystery to Westerners. With so many new areas available I take special interest in any that resemble that type of Gunks climbing.
Example: I've climbed a variety of popular desert towers. One of the ones I enjoyed the most was mainly Gunks climbing; exposed, dramatic moves on horizontal holds (mostly bolts).
Psycho Tower 5.9+

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#65970 - 07/23/12 03:46 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: Alex]
ianmanger Online   content
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But. per Retro, I still fail to see how a bolted conglomerate sport area like Maple should be "most fun for a Gunks climber" except in Opposite World. Surely the thing that's most fun for a Gunks climber is the one that's most fun, as it were.

And another issue, given that you can pretty much spit from Epinephrine to Prince of Darkness, for example, and the two climbs couldn't be more different, the generalizations about areas are largely pointless.



Originally Posted By: Alex
Nobody likes road tripping as much as me. It's a special pleasure sampling the "feel" and type of climbing at new areas. It keeps me from getting jaded.
Yet I've always had a fondness for Gunks climbing. Its often a mystery to Westerners. With so many new areas available I take special interest in any that resemble that type of Gunks climbing.
Example: I've climbed a variety of popular desert towers. One of the ones I enjoyed the most was mainly Gunks climbing; exposed, dramatic moves on horizontal holds (mostly bolts).
Psycho Tower 5.9+

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#65971 - 07/23/12 04:31 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: ianmanger]
Alex Offline
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Registered: 08/16/00
Posts: 191
Yes, generalizatins are basically pointless. But similiarities do exist. I did say that generally Red Rocks did not feel like Gunks climbing to me. Yet there are climbs there, with those desert patina handholds on steep rock, that do have a Gunks-like feel to the climbing. Most of the places I mentioned have that conundrum; quite obviously not the Gunks and yet with some of the climbing having the dramatic handhold intensive feel of many Gunks routes.

As far as Maple Canyon goes; yes it does not look at all like the Gunks, no horizontal strata and all bolts (you need to discout that). But the climbing is all steep, dramatic handhold intensive moves at all grades (like the Gunks). Not buckets but cobbles. And the camping and scene there is not bad, although you won't be happy with the culinary options in the nearby towns compared to New Paltz! I stick with my recommendation; the most "Gunky fun" out West may be Maple Canyon.

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#65981 - 07/23/12 10:17 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: Alex]
retroscree Online   content
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Registered: 06/29/11
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Originally Posted By: Alex
Yes, generalizatins are basically pointless. But similiarities do exist. I did say that generally Red Rocks did not feel like Gunks climbing to me. Yet there are climbs there, with those desert patina handholds on steep rock, that do have a Gunks-like feel to the climbing. Most of the places I mentioned have that conundrum; quite obviously not the Gunks and yet with some of the climbing having the dramatic handhold intensive feel of many Gunks routes.

As far as Maple Canyon goes; yes it does not look at all like the Gunks, no horizontal strata and all bolts (you need to discout that). But the climbing is all steep, dramatic handhold intensive moves at all grades (like the Gunks). Not buckets but cobbles. And the camping and scene there is not bad, although you won't be happy with the culinary options in the nearby towns compared to New Paltz! I stick with my recommendation; the most "Gunky fun" out West may be Maple Canyon.

You keep mentioning "handhold intensive moves" (whatever the hell that is) and face climbing yet perhaps the single most unique thing about Gunks climbing is the number of overhangs, ceilings, and roofs at all grades, which you fail to mention.

Maple is like bolted on holds at a gym and in one sense, the climbs there take on a monotonous sameness after a while. Of all the areas mentioned in this thread, it is perhaps the least Gunks-like; in style, feel, exposure, scene, and pretty much everything else. Except maybe weekend crowds.

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#65983 - 07/23/12 11:43 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: retroscree]
Alex Offline
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Registered: 08/16/00
Posts: 191
OK, Maple doesn't resemble the Gunks. Its absolutely different. I was just enthralled with the desperate handhold moves on steep and overhanging rock that resembled various Gunks desperate reaches for buckets. For me the essence of Gunks climbing is all about the dramatic handhold moves. Granted the overhangs are the most famous feature of the Gunks, but there are very few overhang areas out West. And, what place out West can match the Gunks for strenuously hanging on while dicking in some trad gear.

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#66000 - 07/24/12 01:43 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: Alex]
retroscree Online   content
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Registered: 06/29/11
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Originally Posted By: Alex
OK, Maple doesn't resemble the Gunks. Its absolutely different. I was just enthralled with the desperate handhold moves on steep and overhanging rock that resembled various Gunks desperate reaches for buckets. For me the essence of Gunks climbing is all about the dramatic handhold moves. Granted the overhangs are the most famous feature of the Gunks, but there are very few overhang areas out West. And, what place out West can match the Gunks for strenuously hanging on while dicking in some trad gear.

J-tree, Eldo, Lumpy Ridge, The Diamond, Black Canyon, Yosemite, Hayalite Canyon, Devil's Tower, The Sierra Needles, The Tetons, Index,....

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#66007 - 07/24/12 05:43 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: retroscree]
Alex Offline
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Registered: 08/16/00
Posts: 191
Ha Ha, I'll give up on the generalizations.
(My pointless point was that placing gear in steep horizontal strata like the Gunks seems more of a strain on the fingers than on numerous crack and face routes out West.)
But of your list; I've climbed a ton of routes at J-Tree, Lumpy Ridge, Yosemite, Devil's Tower, Sierra Needles- tiring out while futzing with gear was hardly a issue with me. Eldorado, I've climbed a lot there too and yes it is comparable to the Gunks in strenuous gear. Diamond, Black Canyon, Tetons: they're alpine in nature and I've only climbed a couple long routes at each. Hayalite; haven't been there. Index; perhaps, it is steep but have only done a handful of the routes and can't recall anything of note.

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#66015 - 07/24/12 06:23 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: Alex]
chip Offline
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Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2675
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
I've not yet put hand to Uinta stone but it looks almost exactly like gunks rock but darker, reddish in color with no outcrops as tall as the Trapps or Millbrook. Don't forget the 30 feet of snow at the base every year. It looks like a gunkie's wet summer dream as long as you don't mind mosquitos and keeping your eyes peeled for real cougar.

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#66017 - 07/24/12 06:46 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: chip]
Alex Offline
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Registered: 08/16/00
Posts: 191
Some of the overhang routes are so Gunk-like. But they use a bit too many bolts where strenuous gear and a bit of running it out would be more old school Gunks.
It was the thunderstorms that chased me out, lightning not cougars.

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#66018 - 07/24/12 07:03 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: chip]
GOclimb Offline
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Registered: 03/26/01
Posts: 2359
Loc: Boston
Red Rocks? No way.

There's an interesting comparison to be made with Eldo.

Overall, I would say the climbing is not that similar between The Gunks and Eldo, but... Many many routes in Eldo have moves on them that, if you changed the rock from red to white would seem exactly like Gunks moves. Particularly on the many direct west-facing routes, where the strata is often just like at the Gunks. You get a good horizontal that takes gear just below a roof. Follow a weakness through the roof, and find positive holds at the lip. Pull hard, rock up over, find gear, and relax.

And the rock, though sandstone rather than quartzite, was baked hard enough in a volcanic zone that parts of it are nearly as compact as quartzite. It's halfway to being metamorphosed into a quartzite conglomerate. I could probably name a dozen routes off the top of my head that have moves identical to moves at the Gunks somewhere on them.

With that said, the overall experience of climbing on Eldo rock does *not* feel like at the Gunks. The different types of cracks, the overall more broken feel, the different environment etc.

GO

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#66020 - 07/24/12 07:33 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: GOclimb]
Alex Offline
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Registered: 08/16/00
Posts: 191
The Gunks and Eldorado are often compared. I agree with you. They're not similiar at all, but yet many of the cruxy moves at Eldorado could be twins to Gunks' cruxes. What I was previously comparing was that both have equally strenuous old school gear placing.

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#66028 - 07/25/12 07:38 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: Alex]
GOclimb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/26/01
Posts: 2359
Loc: Boston
Originally Posted By: Alex
The Gunks and Eldorado are often compared. I agree with you. They're not similiar at all, but yet many of the cruxy moves at Eldorado could be twins to Gunks' cruxes.


Yes, that's it precisely. Well put.

Quote:
What I was previously comparing was that both have equally strenuous old school gear placing.


Interesting - I suppose they're equally strenuous in the sense that they're both face climbing, so you need to sometimes place pieces from strenous face holds. But in terms of the actual protection itself, I find the two places remarkably dissimilar.

After coming from the Gunks, It took me a very long time to work through the grades to where I was comfortable climbing anywhere near my limit here, and the reason is mostly due to how different it is to assess the gear placements. The rock in Eldo is so much more broken, and while a lot of the holds one grabs are quite solid, many of the cracks where you find placements are in rock that would in the Gunks be considered choss. Let me tell you, that took some major getting used to!

Then there's also the fact that many climbs here in Eldo have good but *tiny* gear protecting hard moves. I place probably ten times as many brassies here as I did in the Gunks.

GO

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#66183 - 08/16/12 02:26 AM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: RangerRob]
empicard Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/29/01
Posts: 2954
Loc: LI, NY
Rob, perhaps what you need is a trip to red rocks, hmmm?
_________________________
tOOthless

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

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#66216 - 08/17/12 06:25 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: empicard]
GunksWest Offline
journeyman

Registered: 11/24/00
Posts: 91
Loc: west o' the rockies
I can't believe Lake Louise near Banff hasn't been mentioned.

It's quartzite with horizontals, has a carriage road at the base, is partially in the trees, has a view of the lake (ala the left side of Skytop) and a good percentage of the routes stay dry in light to moderate rain. The main differences are that it is in Canada and the routes are all bolted (sport).

If you haven't been there, you should go.

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#66227 - 08/17/12 09:45 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: GunksWest]
Alex Offline
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Registered: 08/16/00
Posts: 191
Ah Ha! I have climbed at Lake Luise. The lake and hotel remind one of none other than Skytop's hotel and Lake Mohonk. Those quartzite edges aren't quite buckets but close enough. But the main reason I did not include it- the cliffs are rather small so there aren't that many routes, but no shortage of spectators! Also, Skaha which I mentioned, is so much better and with hundreds more routes (and better weather).
Lake Luise gets honorable mention. But Skaha IS the Canadian Gunks.

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#66248 - 08/18/12 03:22 PM Re: best Gunks-like climbing out West [Re: retroscree]
rg@ofmc Offline
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Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2467
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
I wouldn't call Eldorado Springs Gunks-like, but it is one of the county's premier steep-face climbing areas and has plenty of runouts over small gear to keep Rob suitably excited.

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