‘Gunks, Birdie Party and a short traverse

Bill L. and I took a trip up on Monday to the Shawangunks and the Trapps.  I can’t remember the first meandering “3 star” 5.8 we got on but it wasn’t particularly great.  The view from the top of the cliff line was though and the sun was out, so I couldn’t complain.  We hunted around the top until we found a rap anchor on a solid oak tree.  We walked down to the MAC wall with eight thousand other climbers and pet dogs running wild, tried to get on “Higher Stannard” but Bill took the line up “Something Interesting” instead.  It was longer than we anticipated and there was traffic at the top due to “The Route Formerly Known as Three Pines“, a solo-top roper and two other slow parties.

Thankfully all was not lost, Bill insisted we get on one last line up to the bolt anchors on “Birdie Party” just to the right about 15ft of “Higher Standard“.  He climbed up to the bolts and then did a wicked 20 foot almost no footed traverse to the 1st set of bolt anchors for “Mother’s Day Party“.  It was exciting to say the least.  Bill runs 1/2 ropes, the Petzl 8.2 Dragonflys, and when I unclipped from the 1st anchor he still had a cam and two slings around the pointed beginning of the hand traverse (rope #2) but from that point on it was, “just keep moving, nothing to see here”; don’t think about the swing.  The climbing on “Birdie Party” was the best face climbing we’d done all day and the hand traverse was icing on the cake.   The sun set as we rappelled off the 2nd bolt anchor and cold valley air permeated the crag; just another beautiful day climbing in the ‘Gunks.