Will Moss, still a teenager, recently did the first ascent of Friend Zone, a 5.14c—the hardest route in the Gunks. Doing some math, I realized I have been on the GCC Board of Directors longer than Will has been alive! Whoa.
As a parent, I realized we can never underestimate what our kids are capable of. It was important for me to get my kids out of the mall and into the outdoors, instilling in them a love of nature—and it paid off. Now in their twenties, my daughters are both excellent rock climbers and avid backpackers.
My years of service on the board of the GCC since its founding have, I hope, taught them another lesson. That when you love something or some place, it’s important to give back. Whether time, money, mentorship, labor—it’s how places like the Gunks remain open to climbing and how we can remind the community to care for its natural resources. Over the years, my kids have seen first-hand the amount of effort that goes into opening a new cliff to climbing, the back-breaking labor of building trails in talus slopes, and they have seen the impacts climbers have on the land. I trust that, whether climbing or through-hiking long trails, they understand how the hard work of trail crews helps to mitigate those impacts while making access to these natural resources possible.
The Antlion cliff, or any new climbing area, won’t automatically have trails, anchors, and a guidebook. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes: conducting environmental surveys and drafting management plans; building trails and parking areas; collaborating with landowners, documenting climbs, and more. Be a part of the team—volunteer your time, offer your expertise, and make a donation to repay the GCC’s Access Fund loan and cover expenses like tools, legal fees, and parking lot development. Set an example—for your kids, and for your community. And enjoy the feeling of a job well done when you get to savor the fruits of your labor.
Thanks for supporting Gunks access,
Jannette Wing Pazer
GCC Secretary and Charter Member
GCC webmaster and digital communications geek
Gunks climber for 40 years