On Climbing Loose Rock
Millbrook offers climbing that can resemble sections of the Alps or Canadian Rockies, and special care must be taken when moving over this type of terrain. If you climb loose rock without modifying your solid-rock technique, it will only be a matter of time before you fall from a broken hold. In addition to testing suspect holds before weighting them, the climber needs to consider the direction of force applied to holds relative to fracture lines, evaluate potentially loose blocks for stability, attend to overall weight distribution, and evaluate how protection will react with the rock in the event of being loaded.
Popular crags in the Gunks have been mostly stripped clean of loose holds by generations of climbers, but Millbrook has seen far less traffic and so is in a much more natural, and hence unreliable state. At the Bank, it is wiser to approach climbs with an ice climbing mentality: protection may be questionable, and it is critical to understand when falling is or is not an option. * Due to the fact that the majority of the routes involve some climbing R or X rated climbing between 5.5 and 5.7 the R & X protection ratings have only been added to climbing 5.8 and above.