Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Spring Adventure in the Adirondacks


Friday, May 31 - Sunday, June 2
Ausable Club, St. Huberts, NY

A spring Section tradition, the annual Adirondack Outing at the Ausable Club near Keene Valley is not to be missed. Activities include: rock climbing, hiking in the High Peaks, swimming and boating on Ausable Lakes or golf, tennis, etc. on the property. Available spots for the weekend are very limited. See link below for info and registration. Please email the NY Section Chair if interested. Registration Deadline, May 27th, 2019.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019


New Date
Friday, May 17 - Sunday, May 19
Gunks Campground, Gardiner, NY


We were rained and hailed out in April, so let's kick off the spring climbing season again in May. Join the NY Section and local Chapters as we start the camping season with our Gunks Campground work-and-play weekend. In exchange for free camping, lunch, Saturday night dinner and two additional free nights camping over the summer, we ask participants to donate one day of the weekend to help get the campground ready for the season. See link below for info and registration. Public and private transportation options available.

Join us for this annual Section tradition and a chance to rekindle old friendships, make new ones and give back to the Gunks. Please sign up HERE.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Winter Outing 2019

Prime winter conditions at Rock & River for the 2019 Outing
January 2019 marked the 30th consecutive year that the AAC New York Section journeyed north to the wilds of the Adirondacks to pursue, snow, fat ice and alpine ascents. We had a full house and some of the best conditions of the last few years. The following is a tribute to 30 years at Rock & River by former Section Chairman and founding member of the Winter Outing, Phil Erard.


The New York Section, not content to stick to its Big Apple home base, has a long history of outings in the Adirondacks. Our presence as a group had its genesis with the 1980 winter Olympics at Lake Placid. In order to house its members for the Games, the Ausable Club built three cottages called the Ponderosa near Route 76 in St, Hubert’s. These became available for group summer use in 1982, and the New York Section took advantage of that opportunity. Later on, as the Section expanded and found the Ponderosa was too small, it moved “up the hill” to the Cottages and Clubhouse adjacent to the Golf Course where the Section still holds its Annual Spring Outings to this day.

However, as special as the Ausable Club was and is today, with its Lake access to the High Peaks, it is closed for the winter leaving us with no venue for a group winter get together, However, in 1989 word came that Ed Palen had bought a farmhouse on Alstead Hill Road in neighboring Keene, adjacent to the Jack Rabbit cross country ski trail, and planned to dedicate it to year round climbing group use . Under Ed’s watchful eye and with Janet Mellor as architect, the present Rock and River took shape as the barn was converted to the present Climbers Lodge, with both bedrooms, bunk rooms, and the distinctive 30 ft high climbing chimney. The very first NY Sectioneers to test the new facility were Phil Erard, Chris Galligan, Bob Hall, and Vic Benes , all of whom were enthusiastic supporters of Ed’ mission, and are still regular attendees to this day

In 1990 an additional building, the Guides’ House with more bedrooms, a large dining area and basement headquarters for the guiding activities, was constructed. This made the facility even more desirable as the Section had grown substantially in the 1990’s and more room was needed. To this day, the Section invariably fills both facilities to capacity in its traditional January weekend slot.

As we approach our third decade at Rock & River, countless memories resonate of past winters, Saturday Happy Hours by a roaring fire at the Climbers Lodge, catered dinners in the dining room followed by members slideshows.. We had and still have our cast of characters. How can we forget Clif Maloney training for the Himalayas by overnighting in a tent in 40 below weather. Or that night when the caterer didn’t show up for Dinner: happily the takeout pizza arrived just in the nick of time. Yes there have been a few ice climbing accidents, but the participants are still with us today looking good as new. Meanwhile new leadership has emerged under Howard Sebold’s watchful eye and organizational skills. And , thanks in part to Howard and his wife Shayna, we now have small kids experiencing and reminding us what winter is really all about and livening up the whole experience for us oldsters.

The weekend of January 25-27, 2019, marking the commencement of our third decade there, was another glorious experience with abundant snow, thick ice and great indoor hospitality. This year’s after dinner slide show was presented by Greg van Inwegen. Greg took us to the North Cascades, where he and member Rob Bixby joined a team lead by Marty Molitoris for an ascent of Forbidden Peak. This was followed by stories of Outings past by both the original Outing attendees and more recent converts as well.

Looking back, as former Section Chair and an instigator of our many fun weekends there, we have made many decisions, some good, and some bad. But taking the plunge at Rock and River has been one of the happiest.

Phil Erard