American Alpine Club’s New Gunks Campground

As popular as the Shawangunk Mountains are, they could be in the most underrated park in New York State. The case is strong; stellar hiking, bike trails, swimming holes, foraging, nordic skiing, and rock and ice climbing all find homes here. Even the wine is good.

AAC-Campground

On one hand, it’s hard for me to share beta. On the other, is my constant ‘pro’ argument: by sharing “the goods” perhaps more people will invest themselves in being good stewards of the land, or try to stay fit enough to enjoy it.

My quasi-populist desire to share hides my contradictory secret belief that the garbage-free, uncrowded shady paths are a direct result of the lack of camping options. I suppose I’m a hypocrite. The parks are perfect for me, and I sing their praises. Everyone should be able to see how amazing New York is, but like a picky Air-bnb host I can’t trust just anyone as a guest.

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Catskill Ice: Old Dogs, New Belay

Time spent guiding brought me a deep appreciation of the Catskills. I crossed many peaks and crannies, stashing secret spots away for personal endeavors that I couldn’t take with guided groups.

Ice-Wall

I loved the area near Kaaterskill High Peak, perhaps because of the many days I spent looking at it from across the river when I lived in Dutchess County.

Fast forward a few years, as Director of Operations it was my job to find new hikes. I would also strive to find swimming holes as a side project, and I often ended up back in the area.

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Interview with Alex Honnold and Cedar Wright

Last year, pro-climbers Alex Honnold and Cedar Wright switched gears, embarking on their first bike tour, “The Sufferfest.” Along the way, they would summit all 15 of California’s 14,000 ft peaks, free-soloing any technical routes they encountered.

Sufferfest-2-Bike

This year, they hopped back on their bikes for Sufferfest 2, a fantastic three-week tour of the Southwest. The duo felt the need to raise the stakes; they hoped to free-climb 45 select towers along the 800-mile journey.

If that sounds like a lot for 21 days, that’s because it is. Especially when you consider all of the variables; 33 of the 45 of the climbs were graded at 5.11 or above.

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