With the exception of Monday, the weather has been great for climbing and Rocks ‘N Ropes has taken full advantage. Luckily, we have our indoor climbing wall which was the location for training on Monday. Everyone learned about knots, ropes, and belay technique. Under the careful watch of Amanda and Casey,

the began belaying each other on our artificial rock wall. After a long day of climbing and belaying, everyone was ready to just hang out in the yurt at Sequoia and watch a movie before heading to bed.

Tuesday we packed up the bus and headed to Peterskill Climbing Area in Minnewaska State Park outside of New Paltz, NY. The storm clouds threatened but seemed to miss us all day which allowed us plenty of climb time. Belaying skills were put to use at the base of the 40-50′ rock faces with primary and back up belayers involved with every climb.

The climbs were all on what is referred to as the “Breakfast” Wall and included Cornflake, Cheese Grits, and Short Stacks. With ratings from 5.4 to 5.7,

there was an appropriate challenge for all and plenty of opportunity for pushing limits.


Climbing on real rock instead of artificial surfaces presents some unique challenges including visibility of the holds, wet surfaces, and spiders. They pushed onward and upward throughout the day and really enjoyed the day.

Of course, the day wasn’t just about climbing. Peterskill and the Shawangunks in general are a unique habitat with many interesting features and creatures.

Down time was spent picking wild blueberries, checking out scenic views, and looking for some local inhabitants like the five-lined skink.

Wednesday was another beautiful day that began with some mountain boarding at Frost Valley before the crew headed down to Phonecia for lunch and some whitewater tubing. The recent rain made for an exciting ride and was a great change of pace. On their way back up to the Valley, a short hike up Giant Ledge was in order which afforded some great views of the Catskills. All of this has worn the group out and they are heading off to bed in preparation for the next 3 days of climbing back in the Gunks.

About the Author

Zach eigenbrodt

Born and raised in Wisconsin, Zach couldn't keep himself out of the woods when growing up. He started working at a Northern Wisconsin YMCA Camp as a wilderness trip leader while in college and fell in love with getting kids into nature. The smiles on kids faces after returning from a once in a life time wilderness experience is why he is here today. Zach brought his talents to Frost Valley YMCA, in 2014, when he started as the Trips Coordinator and soon was promoted to Adventure Director. Zach loves all forms of Wilderness exploration, though some would say his heart lies most with canoeing.

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