The 35 Best Climbing Spots in America

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The Northeast: The Gunks
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James Balog / Getty Images5/35

The Northeast: The Gunks

Short for the Shawangunk Mountains, this quartz conglomerate area in southeastern New York is legendary for its horizontal cracks, long roof systems, and stiff grades. The Vulgarians — a group of hard-partying, daredevil climbers — established many of the Gunks’ classic trad routes in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, and a new generation of climbers recently picked up where they left off. Climbs here are usually overhung jug-hauls with dizzying exposure. “The Shawangunks are super hard for their grades, which humbles you a bit,” Hunter says. “No other climbing area in America has those roofs and horizontal cracks. It’s a classic spot. Certainly one of the best places to visit in the Northeast.”

Closest Town: New Paltz, New York
Grade Range: 5.6 – 5.13
Notable Routes: 923
Classics: High Exposure (5.6), Son of Easy O (5.8), Bonnie’s Roof (5.9), Directississima (5.10b), The Yellow Wall (5.11c), Supper’s Ready (5.12-)
When to Visit: April-October

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