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Happy New Year! (plus Vedge news)

From: Jaron
Sent on: Sunday, January 6, 2013 10:29 AM

Dear Friends,

Happy belated New Year!  I wish you all the best for a happy, healthy, and adventurous 2013!  Hopefully your New Years resolutions include lots of healthy plant-based choices and many outdoor adventures as well.

Much has changed in Vedge this year.  Just one year ago, we were only 87 members.  Now, at 203 members, we've more than doubled.  Last Thursday, we had our most well-attended meetup yet (Climbing and Comedy Night at V-Spot).  If you've been sitting on the sidelines, there's never been a better time to get involved.  We're very beginner-friendly, so all you really need is a little sense of adventure.

(photo: Climbing and Comedy Night at V-Spot)

I'd also like to take this time to introduce Dan, our new assistant organizer.  Dan has been running the meetups recently while I heal from a minor injury.  He's one of our most enthusiastic and experienced climbers and it has been a pleasure to share some outdoor climbing adventures with him this year.  He's also very knowledgeable, a former wilderness instructor and EMT, and is currently Wilderness First-Responder (WFR) and CPR certified.  He's also totally vegan and passionate about nature and the creatures we share it with.  I'm excited about working with Dan to take this group to the next level.

(photo: Dan A managing an anchor station at the Gunks)

I'm very excited about the possibilities for this season.  We're going to have more outdoor events!  I've been making some changes in preparation for this.  Due to the many risk factors of outdoor climbing, there will be a signed release.  Your profile questions, the ones you answered when you joined, are now different as well, and I'd encourage everyone to take a look and update these.  At the very least, please answer the disclaimer.  It's also nice to have some info in there for people who might just want to get to know you better.  These questions are very general now, so I don't think I'll have to change them again.  But feel free to update your answers at any time (just not the disclaimer part... if you're really uncomfortable with that disclaimer, this might not be the group for you. :-))

(photo: Shockley's Ceiling, a 3-pitch trad climb (275') at the Gunks)

Starting in early Spring, we're going to kick-off the season with a whole weekend of climbing and camping.  We'll also have training for those of you who might want to come out with us regularly.  This will allow you to become autonomous, invite whomever you want, and just go.  You won't need to hire a guide.  And of course, we'll be going most weekends, when it gets warmer, and would love to have you join us too.  But you'll need the basic skills, like how to build top-rope anchors, and handle a variety of outdoor situations.  There are some important differences from indoor climbing.  More experienced climbers can learn trad skills.  The Gunks is mostly trad, and leaders are always most welcomed and appreciated.  I can't wait to take some of you up High Exposure, perhaps one of the world's best moderate climbs (shown below).  Please let me know if you would like some training of any sort this Spring, and I'll try to accommodate as many people as I can when we schedule this.

(photo: High Exposure, a 2-pitch trad climb (250') at the Gunks)

As for other adventures, I've already posted a meetup for Rock The Ridge, a beautiful 50-mile endurance challenge through the Mohonk Preserve.  We'll also be partnering with Veggie Outdoor Adventurers for some joint meetups.  And for climbing, we'll of course keep going to the Gunks, but we'll also be expanding our horizons with trips to the Daks, Rumney, and beyond, so keep your eye out for these later this year.  I'm also personally looking into climbing The Chief in Squamish, Grand Teton, and Devil's Tower sometime this season.  If anyone might want to join me for those, or if you have any other ideas that might be interesting to the group, please let me know.

(photo: Mohonk Preserve)

Thanks again for being a member of Vedge.  Be safe, and I look forward to seeing you in the vertical world sometime soon!

Climb on!


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