At the January 12, 2016 Gunks Climbers’ Coalition meeting, Ethan Ladof was elected to the GCC Board of Directors. Ethan has a long history with the GCC, volunteering at events since the organization’s inception in 2002. He recently moved from New Jersey to the Gunks and can commit to serving on the board.
Ethan’s love of the outdoors began with summer trips to Colorado in the mid 1960’s. It was there that the pull of the mountains, pines, sunshine, and blue skies convinced him that being “outdoors” with his free time was the way to go.
Born and raised in New Jersey outdoor opportunities were rather limited. Immediately upon high school graduation he took a job working on the Mississippi river as a deckhand for the barge lines transporting cargo throughout the Midwest and the deep south. Here he read a great deal, particularly Mark Twain and attempted to immerse himself in the culture of the southern states without much success. After five years Ethan realized the merchant marines would not be a lifelong career and moved back to New Jersey to apprentice as an electrician. That would be his lifelong profession. He married, had two children and settled into the role of husband, father and provider.
While camping one weekend in 1996 with his young son in the Hudson Valley a friend convinced Ethan to give rock climbing a go. He was taken to The Gunks, a harness and shoes provided, placed in the middle of a party of three and climbed all three pitches of Minty. Having never climbed indoors or out prior to this there was much trepidation, angst, and concern. All of that quickly vanished and when he reached the top of the climb with the Wallkill valley laid below, a new passion, hobby, and obsession was born. At the ripe old age of 40, Ethan had discovered the consuming passion and love of climbing.
Ethan has volunteered with the GCC since it was founded and is a member of the Access Fund, a Mohonk Preserve member and volunteer, and has worked with the Dick Williams Trail Crew since 2004. He is also a New York licensed climbing guide and AMGA member. Ethan now happily resides in Gardiner, N.Y. and enjoys the community with all it has to offer.