Mountain Skills Climbing Guides

+1(845) 853 5450
PO Box 991, New Paltz, 12561, New York, United States of America


Mountain Skills Climbing Guides is a fully-insured AMGA Accredited guide service operating in the Gunks and Caskill Mountains of New York state.  Mountain Skills Climbing Guides was created to help aspiring climbers to learn how to climb confident




Gunks Rock Climbing Instruction

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Catskills Ice Climbing Instruction

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Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Your Day:
What to wear:
We recommend comfortable clothing that allows you to move freely. Functionality and flexibility is paramount to your comfort throughout the day. Layering is always a good idea. Wear shorts or long pants, depending on the time of year, and bring along a wind breaker and a hat for cooler days. Heavy hiking boots are not necessary, but wear comfortable shoes that will allow you to scramble over rocky terrain. Sneakers or trail shoes are best, and avoid open shoes and sandals. Keep in mind that sunny winter days can become surprisingly warm, and hot summer days can become cool, so be prepared for any type of weather.

What to bring:
Bring a lunch, and lots of water or sports drinks, at least 2 quarts, per person, per day. Sunscreen, insect repellent, camera and a hat is also a good idea. Bring along a small to medium sized backpack to carry it all in.

What to expect:
We meet at Rock and Snow in New Paltz at 9 AM to go over the waivers and to get geared up at the shop. We then head out to the cliffs. Climbing usually involves a short approach hike to the climbing area. We will then climb until about 4 or 5 PM.

Please meet promptly with your guide(s) at the agreed upon time (the earlier the better). On busy weekends this is very important as parking areas fill quickly. There are a limited number of spots available and late arrival may jeopardize access to your destination.

Winter Gear List:

We supply all the technical ice climbing equipment like boots, crampons, and vertical ice axes, but if you have your own gear go ahead and bring it along. The winter list has a lot more to it. Layering is the key to regulating your body temperature during the day. It is not uncommon to be hiking up a steep slope, working hard one minute and standing still belaying the next. Wearing the correct clothing can make or break your memorable day in the mountains.

* Alpine day backpack 2,500 to 3,500 cu. in. for carrying all your gear.
* Two litters of water, or something warm to drink in a thermos, and food.
* Camera, sunglasses, chemical hand-warmers, and a headlamp.
* Socks should be synthetic or wool. A synthetic liner sock works under a heavy-weight wool sock.
* The long underwear first layer should be a wicking layer such as

lightweight capilene or silk-weight capilene.
* The long underwear second layer should be a heavier weight,

insulating layer, such as micro fleece or mid-weight fleece.
* The heavy insulating layer over your long underwear, should be

a 200 or 300 heavy-weight fleece.
* I like to bring along a belay coat, like a down or synthetic down jacket

for standing around.
* Shell coat and pants should be Gortex or a similar waterproof,

breathable material. The recently designed soft shells work well for this.
* Hats should be fleece or wool. Neck gaiters or a balaclava work well

in extremely cold conditions.
* Gloves for ice climbing should have good dexterity so that you are able

to handle carabiners, belay devices, and ropes. Gloves will get wet

during the day, so bringing along a least two pairs is standard.
* Gaiters are great for protecting your pants from your crampons,

and for keeping snow out of your boots.

Cancellation policy:
Weather forecasts are rarely 100% accurate. For the most accurate and up-to-date forecasts please call us. We live here, so we can look out our window, and tell you exactly what the weather is doing in the Gunks.

Cancellations due to inclement weather will be determined by Mountain Skills Climbing Guides. If you have booked a trip and think that the weather might be poor, call us and we will make the determination. Cancellations are accepted up to 72 hours in advance for credit or refund. Cancellations from 72 to 24 hours before your trip will be charged at 50% of the day fee. Within 24 hours no cancellations will be accepted, and you will be charged for the full day.

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The Gunks is located 90 miles North West of New York City.  The easiest way to get here is to take the New York State Thruway from NYC, I-87, North to Exit 18; New Paltz.

Rock and Snow: After the Exit 18 toll plaza, there is a traffic light (it is a T- intersection), take a Left at this light onto Route 299. Follow Rt. 299 West through 4 traffic lights. After you go through the 4th light, Rock and Snow will be on your Left. Park in the lot across the street, near the Post Office and Mobil gas station. We will meet you in Rock and Snow.

Bus and Train Schedule:

When coming from New York City you have a couple of mass transit options to get to New Paltz. The Metro North train which leaves out of Grand Central Station and drops you off across the Hudson river in Poughkeepsie and also the Adirondack Trailways bus which leaves out of the Port Authority to the New Paltz village. If you take the bus you can easily walk down the street to Rock and Snow to meet your guide. The bus leaves about every hour to and from New York City. The website for the Adirondack Trailways bus is The website for taking Metro North train from Grand Central Station to the Poughkeepsie Station is .

Mailing address
PO Box 991,
New Paltz
Zip / Postcode
State / Region
New York
United States of America

Latitude: 41.7318899
Longitude: -74.1005044