On Thursday April 20th, The Gunks Climbers Coalition welcomed the NYC climbing community to the first ever GCC hosted event in New York City at the Patagonia Meatpacking store. Realizing the difficulty for city residents to attend GCC programming in the Hudson Valley, we decided to engage the NYC climbing community by coming to them. Thanks to support from the amazing staff at Patagonia, Dank Brooklyn, Rockaway Brewing, Sexy Batch Cookies, Patagonia Provisions, as well as local climber and photographer Chris Vultaggio, we had a standing-room-only inaugural event!
The room slowly filled as representatives of the GCC including Pete Cody, Jannette Pazer, Matt Logan, Dustin Portzline and Neil Berenholz welcomed all the attendees. A cosmopolitan mix of experienced gunkies and newcomers exchanged campfire tales about their adventures, projects, and getting their feet wet at the Gunks. After some frosty beverages and mingling, everyone took their seats. Pete, Dustin and Neil kicked it off by introducing the GCC and highlighting accomplishments of 2016 and outlined some plans for the future.
Next up, local climber and renowned photographer Chris Vultaggio took the stage to present A Visual Perspective of Gunks Climbing. Chris opened the presentation with a compilation of stunning climbing and landscape photography. Each composition told a story as the audience was transported around the globe from the White Mountains of NH to the deserts of the Southwest, as far away as Ama Dablam and of course, back to the Shawangunks. No place else in the world can climbers experience the type of excitement on moderate terrain that the Gunks have to offer. Chris added additional layers of context by raising the importance of preserving and expanding access through stewardship, advocacy and mentorship. His words were inspiring as his photographs and left everyone feeling more empowered to do their part as keepers of our natural resources.
We wrapped up the evening with some Q and A and gave away a pair of Patagonia Nano Air vests to two lucky attendees.
Thanks to everyone that came out that night in support of the GCC. If you would like to get involved in any way besides becoming a member of the Gunks Climbers Coalitthrough the Access Fund, please feel free to reach out. We’re looking forward to hosting more events in the city! Thanks again…