The New York State Ski Blog

Author Archives: ml242

Gunks Climbing: Gettin’ Schooled

My climbing season came to an early and abrupt end in 2014, when my elbow began to hurt from repeatedly hitting the gym. Apparently, muscle strengthens far more quickly than tendons, which take can take years of training to get to rock star level.

The Gunks

I’m not a star; but in my short time of pulling plastic holds indoors I felt like I was becoming competent, or at least adequate. My goal is to follow my accomplished friends on expeditions to remote cliffs and do more than pull my own weight. I want to contribute.

Although sports sometimes bring out my competitive nature, most of the time I’m competing against myself. It’s not difficult for me to enjoy a day teaching on the slopes of Mount Peter or on the Bunny Hutch at Whiteface. I like to be outside.

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Storm King Mountain, NY

For the past few years, I haven’t considered it truly summer until I hike Breakneck Ridge. Rated the Best Day Hike in America by Trails.com, it’s a stunning scramble above the Hudson with views that improve as you climb each impossible notch.

Storm-King-Mountain-NY

Then the trail ambles back through glorious meadows and the day concludes with a burger and fireworks at the All-American town of Beacon, NY.

But Breakneck Ridge is to some degree a victim of its own popularity, and on a spectacular Saturday with a late start, I wasn’t looking forward to being the 1000th car parked down the road from the trailhead.

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Minnewaska State Park, NY

The song’s chorus echoes “Aint No Cure for the Summertime Blues.” Fewer people remember the oldies classic every year but the words still ring true for skiers.

Minnewaska-Waterfall

My favorite cure to escape the heat of the city has been the collection of parks that make up what is known as “The Gunks.”

It seems there is always something else to see there. The cliff flanked ridge allows unparalleled views of the Catskills to the north as well as the Hudson Highlands to the south.

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