Lauren hired a guide to show us around and to begin teaching us the basics of outdoor climbing. We awoke at around 05:30 and took a subway to Port Authority. From there we took an Albany bound bus to New Paltz and hopped into a cab to the Mohonk Preserve. The cab driver was a nice but excessively angry person telling us that we shouldn't have hired a guide and that locals "don't use ropes" along with a slew of insults toward the guides which turned took up most of the ride. We both tried not to laugh and just focus on picking our jaws off of the floor. In the parking lot we met with the guide and he spent the approach talking to us about the history of the preserve as well as the geology of the rocks we'd be climbing on which I really enjoyed. He guides for 6 months at the Gunks and spends the winter guiding in Mexico.
We spent most of the day doing easier climbs so that we could really focus on gear placement / removal, anchors, and communication. It was really informative and much needed. I appreciated his enthusiasm and his emphasis on not only telling you what to do but why you do it. I also really liked his importance on knowing the rock that we were climbing on. Afterward, we took a much quieter and less angry taxi back into town and stopped in the local outfitter to scope it out. It was cool, we each bought a nut tool as a souvenir and so that we could potentially follow a trad lead if the opportunity ever arose. We took a bus back into NYC and quickly fell asleep.
All in all a good first real introduction to outdoor climbing. And I am very appreciative for Lauren's gift of that.