Classic Rock, Baby

Over the past year, a schism has occurred among my friends. Some have decided to marry, settle down. Others decided to get serious about jobs, while a third group continues adventuring, guiding full-time or moving out west.

Gunks-Crack

After taking quite a bit of grief about my last few climbing trips and biting off more than I can chew, I connected for an outing with my friend and former lead guide for Brooklyn Outfitters.

Stetson, like me, fits into the middle group that’s getting “serious” about life, and jobs. Neither of us have the freedom to get out like we did when we were guiding every weekend and exploring during the week.

Continue reading

Gunks Climbing: Gettin’ Schooled

My climbing season came to an early and abrupt end in 2014, when my elbow began to hurt from repeatedly hitting the gym. Apparently, muscle strengthens far more quickly than tendons, which take can take years of training to get to rock star level.

The Gunks

I’m not a star; but in my short time of pulling plastic holds indoors I felt like I was becoming competent, or at least adequate. My goal is to follow my accomplished friends on expeditions to remote cliffs and do more than pull my own weight. I want to contribute.

Although sports sometimes bring out my competitive nature, most of the time I’m competing against myself. It’s not difficult for me to enjoy a day teaching on the slopes of Mount Peter or on the Bunny Hutch at Whiteface. I like to be outside.

Continue reading

Minnewaska State Park, NY

The song’s chorus echoes “Aint No Cure for the Summertime Blues.” Fewer people remember the oldies classic every year but the words still ring true for skiers.

Minnewaska-Waterfall

My favorite cure to escape the heat of the city has been the collection of parks that make up what is known as “The Gunks.”

It seems there is always something else to see there. The cliff flanked ridge allows unparalleled views of the Catskills to the north as well as the Hudson Highlands to the south.

Continue reading