Gunks Climbers Coalition Update, NY

By Christopher Spatz, Access Fund Regional Coordinator and GCC Board Member

It was a busy October for the Gunks Climbers Coalition. The month kicked off on October 7th with a benefit slideshow organized by Rock & Snow featuring Jason Kehl. Jasons eye-popping phantasms raised $1006 (and five Euros!) for the GCCs Waterworks Bouldering Project.

On October 14, the GCC did its publicity bit for the New Paltz Climbing Film Festival by hosting a bagel breakfast at the Trapps Steel Bridge. Proceeds went to the Mohonk Preserves dedicated Rescue Fund.

Our big day of the season, October 21, drew 25 volunteers together with the GCC Board of Directors for Adopt-a-Crag trail maintenance and micro-trash removal at Minnewaska State Parks Peterskill Area. A late, potluck lunch followed the clean-up, where everyone grab-bagged for booty donated by Rock & Snow and the Access Fund in appreciation for their efforts.

In the evening, the GCC BOD convened to adopt new bylaws, before hosting a slideshow by renowned training expert and author, Eric Horst. The training overview for climbing was highlighted with pics from the Gunks to Thailand. A raffle followed the show. Eric generously donated his fee, raising another $300 for the GCC.

As the season closes, GCC Director-at-Large Bob OBrian is gleaning data from the GCCs ten-year follow-up study accessing climbing impact at Peterskill. Following the protocols used in the initial study that opened Peterskill in 1996, Bob is comparing surveys on everything from a small mammal census to trail erosion and vegetation disturbance on the cliffs. The results from the hundreds of volunteer hours that went into the study will be used to review mitigation measures at the crag and for consideration in expanding climbing opportunities at Minnewaska.

Finally, the GCC and the Mohonk Preserve are together drafting a Memorandum of Agreement outlined by the Access Fund as the Waterworks Bouldering Project moves into its primary fundraising phase.

Many thanks go out to the town of Rosendale, to the Mohonk Preserve and Minnewaska State Park, to the Access Fund, American Alpine Club, Rock & Snow, Big Up Productions, Urban Climber, and Cilogear, to those who gave generously at the fundraisers, and especially to the individuals who sacrificed time on the horizontals volunteering this year with the GCC.