Climbing has come a long way

My brother and I spent many happy days rock climbing in the Adirondacks.
We were lucky enough to have been around in the mid-seventies when relatively little had been done and we could not only put up new routes whenever we felt like it but be the first, or among the first, to open up whole new walls and climbing areas.

According to Alan Wechsler’s article, “The climber’s new bible,” [reprinted in the 2010 Annual Outings Guide] the guidebook describes over two thousand routes! When we arrived on the scene in 1974, we easily learned every route name in the little blue guidebook and ended up climbing most of them.

I was particularly struck by the fact that of the three people featured in the photos with the article, two are women and the one male is Asian. What a pleasure to see Adirondack rock climbing not only growing by leaps and bounds but appealing to a much more diverse public than it did in our day. Interestingly, Brian Kim is shown scaling one of our routes, Esthesia, on the Spider’s Web.

I’m afraid the future of the Adirondack Park is by no means assured, given the data on the dwindling numbers of visitors to our parks in general. To the extent that publications such as Adirondack Rock (and of course the Adirondack Explorer) help to encourage interest in the region and in the preservation of these undeveloped spaces they are welcome indeed.

Thanks for producing a great publication.

Grant Calder, Philadelphia, PA

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