Rock Climber, Austin Hoyt, Climbing Shawangunk Mountains in New York State AKA "The Gunks"

Home Sweet Home: The Shawangunk Mountains, AKA “The Gunks”


Rock Climber, Austin Hoyt, Climbing Shawangunk Mountains in New York State AKA "The Gunks"

In this latest blog from Ranger Ready partner, Austin Hoyt, read about his hometown climbing spot and his most recent project discoveries and exciting sends.

Driving home from Red Rock, all I could think about was how psyched I was to return to some local projects (a project is a climb that people have tried but never succeed in climbing). But, most importantly, I was excited to return to my favorite area ever: The Gunks!

The Gunks is special to me for a plethora of reasons, but the main few are that it was the first place I ever went climbing, the dense history within the boulders, and the local climbers. I haven't had a single time where I ran into someone who wasn't the nicest person ever and just as psyched as I am. 

Rock Climber, Austin Hoyt, Climbs the Rock Called The Gunks

I had a few projects I wanted to get on right away and first up on the list was this amazing looking cave labeled the “Hysteria project.” My first day trying it was super good, I managed to do every move and get to the last move almost every try. After the already long day of climbing, I didn't have quite enough energy to finish it off. A few days later I managed to get back out there early in the morning, feeling good and psyched. I put on my climbing shoes, warmed up well, and took it down on the first try! The newly dubbed “Hysteria” v11 quickly became one of my favorites I've ever done, so to make the first ascent of it was such a special feeling. Having sent that quick, I got psyched on this alternative entrance starting to the right. I did the moves relatively quick and started to try from the start, in a few minutes “Hereditary” v12 was born! Before we left for the day I managed to get on another funky project in the cave, which was a left exit to these two, feels like one of the hardest things I've tried, and you even have to climb with your feet above your head!

Rock Climber, Austin Hoyt, Climbing a Rock under a tree Called The Gunks

I love The Gunks for so many reasons, one of those is because it seems like it never stops giving. Every weekend I can hike to a new field of crazy boulders. Aside from that cave in the new zone, there is a cool talus field I hiked through recently, and it was amazing. I was astonished by all the crazy projects and rocks I saw, most notably the cave (pictured below) was pretty amazing! There is an already established v9 stand start named “Back to the Future” and looks pretty cool, but the real reason I was excited was that there was a sit start project rumored to be v13 or harder and it looks like exactly my style. I cannot wait to come back to these boulders with my friends and climb them. Stay tuned!

Rock Climbing Rock Called The Gunks

You can follow all of Austin’s climbing adventures on his Instagram at @hoyt.austin 
The Gunks Fast Facts
Elevation: 2,290′
Area: 482 mi²
Age of rock: Silurian (440 to 417 (±10) million years ago)
Type of rock: Shawangunk Formation
Length: 47 mi (76 km) north–south