Woman rock climbing in the "Gunks." Short for the Shawangunks, this is one of the oldest climbing destinations in the US. It was first climbed in 1935 and contains a number of highly challenging routes like "High Exposure." Located near New Paltz, NY, in Ulster County, it is only 85 miles north of New York City and is a great weekend destination for climbers of the region. The rock is quartz congomerate with horizontal rather than vertical fissures. Most of the Gunks are part of the Mohonk Preserve, a land trust that protects the north Shawangunk Ridge.