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Group Organizer
Port Chester, NY
Hi all,

It's about time for another Vedge update, so here's what we've been up to:

First of all, our camping trip to the Adirondacks was a great success.  Check out the ­photos!  Special thanks to Dan for doing most of the organization and hauling all that cooking gear, food, spices, etc., in order to prepare vegan meals that were much better than my home cooking.  Special thanks to Niki for sharing his ice-climbing tools and experience.  I can't wait to return when it's warmer, and we can do some ­rock-climbing along the way!

With Spring just around the corner, it's getting close (weather-permitting) to our first outdoor rock-climbing trip of the season.  I can't wait to get back out to the Gunks!  For most of our outdoor trips, we tend to just climb on our own, share our own gear (ropes, etc.), carpool, and rely on our own training/experience.  But I am not a guide, and so I think it's important for everyone to understand the fundamentals in order to stay safe.  A number of people have expressed an interest in taking a course with a professional climbing instructor.  This would include top-rope setup skills for the novices or trad climbing for the more advanced.  This would give you the necessary knowledge and skills to be autonomous and take responsibility for your own safety.  I'm tentatively thinking of having this the weekend of April 20-21.  If you're interested, please let me know, and I'll try my best to accommodate you.  Obviously there will be a nominal fee for the guide, but hopefully we can get a group discount.

Before taking a course in top-rope setup, however, it's recommended that you have prior outdoor experience, so that you have a context for the skills you're learning.  If you've never ever done outdoor climbing, and would still like to participate, come talk to us at a gym climbing meetup.  I'm sure we can work something out.  In general, we'd much prefer to climb outdoors only after climbing indoors first.  This is for safety reasons, since there are so many more variables outdoors, and we'll need to earn each others' trust.  Then, there are plenty of outdoor destinations that are beginner-friendly, like ­Peter's Kill.  We'll certainly have a few trips there, and there's plenty available for both beginners and advanced.  Otherwise, we tend to go to ­The Trapps, which is where you'll find the 250' multi-pitch adventures.  But one thing at a time. :-)

Finally, as you all know, some of us are looking forward to completing ­Rock The Ridge, a 50-mile endurance challenge in the heart of the Mohonk Preserve, and right next to the cliffs that we love.  However, we're currently one person short of a 4-person relay team.  If you can run or hike a 9-16 mile segment, please consider joining us!


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