With Thanksgiving behind us, today I finally have a bit of "extra time" to do something I've been wanting to find enough time for about 2 months now: write this story to share my pictures from my first-ever rock climbing experience — with two of my men friends, both of whom just happen to be expert rock climbers. Camping out under the stars, and with 2 full days of rock climbing... we had an absolutely fabulous time!
Pictured below is a marvelous place in Up State New York, called "The Gunks" by those who frequent the place for some of the best rock climbing in the North Eastern United States. The cliff you see here averages 200' of open rock face — above the tree line which we hiked up to in order to begin the ascent!
Actually called "The Shawangunks" after its Indian name, this fabulous place near New Paltz, N.Y. is better detailed in this Wikipedia article which tells you why "The Gunks" are the place for accomplished rock climbers.
The story about the three days I spent there — with Hartigan and Marcotte, at the peak of the Fall Foliage during the SMW weekend in October of 2007 — is probably best told by this Flickr album which I pared down from the 420 snapshots I took into the "more manageable" (but still too many, I know) set shown in this collection. The link goes to the thumbnails from which you can click thru to the ones you want, or if you have time for the whole show click on the "View as slide show" link at the top right on the thumbnail page. As I process the many panoramas I took, I will post them to this collection. See also this YouTube clip where Hartigan demonstrates the proper way to wind up the climbing ropes.