New York Section. While the New York Section, now a record 750 members strong, hosts a variety of outdoor and indoor events, both winter and fall, it is perhaps best known for its annual black tie dinner. This year was especially significant as it marked the 25th Anniversary of what has now become a national institution of sorts with members and guests from all over the country regularly traveling to New York specifically to attend the event. In addition we were pleased this year to see long time members Friedel and Helke Schunk join us from their new home in Germany.
With David Breashears, Emmy Award Winning High Altitude Cinematographer, as the star attraction, the Silver Anniversary Dinner was held before a record crowd on November 20 at Manhattan’s Union Club. Honored in a special way were those in attendance with 25 or more years of continuous membership. President Mark Richey presented each with a special pewter membership badge, reserved for senior members, as well as a scroll acknowledging their contribution and years of dedicated support to the Club and its mission. Included in the group were two members of 50 or more years standing: Fred Golomb and Gibson Reynolds. Both also received a specially engraved memento in addition to the above. The ceremony will be repeated at appropriate intervals in future years as a new crop of members reaches the quarter century or higher mark and to accommodate those who were unable to attend this year’s dinner.
The list of senior honorees is as follows:
- 50 Year Members: Fred Golomb, M.D., Gibson Reynolds
- 35 Year Members: Jan Arnet, Ted Church, Bill Fix, Jim Henriot, John Reppy,
Sam Silverstein, M.D, Olaf Soot
- 25 Year Members: Vic Benes, Phil Erard, Bob Hall, Jack Reilly, Mark Richey
Youth was also served as a record 20 new members were also introduced and presented with their membership pins. Among these were Dan Lochner and partner Dan Meggitt. Lochner, a Connecticut native and college student, narrowly missed becoming the youngest climber to have completed the Seven Summits. This honor went to Britton Keeshan, who completed his record-setting quest last May. While Lochner and his partner summitted Everest a couple of weeks before Keeshan, they missed their opportunity to journey to Vinson last winter placing them one season and one summit behind Keeshan. Included in the group of rookie members was Intesar Haider, who became the first Bangladeshi national to summit in Antarctica in 2003 in an expedition which forged a new route on Vinson. A colorful group was led by Judge Barry Feudale from Pennsylvania accompanied by lady climbing judges. We’re not sure what verdict the judges gave this crowd and this event!
Breashears, who is directing the cinematography and climbing sequences for a new dramatic film on the Everest 1996 disaster, relived the drama of that tragedy and the rescues in which his IMAX climbing and film team played a key role. Last May he made his fifth ascent of Everest to capture footage for the new film.
As in the past, proceeds from the Dinner benefited the AAC Library Fund. Over the years this event has raised well over $125,000 for Club related causes.
On the weekend of January 22 and 23, many of those in attendance swapped their tuxes and gowns for ice axes , crampons and skis to participate in our traditional Adirondack Winter Outing in Keene, New York. As usual the weather was bitterly cold but the atmosphere was warm and inviting particularly at the Saturday cocktail hour and dinner.
Special thanks go to our indispensable volunteers: Vic Benes, our webmaster, Bob Hall and Fritz Selby who put on slide shows for us at our Winter and Fall outings, John Tiernan, who led a number of hikes for us in the region and Martin Torresquintero and Bob Barker, who are our new membership chairmen. Richard Ryan provided indispensable technical support at the Annual Dinner as well as organized lectures for us at the North Face Store in Manhattan. Our outings benefited enormously from the culinary contributions of Chris and Mim Galligan and Jonathan Conrad.
Stay in touch with AAC events in New York by logging on to: http://nysalpineclub.org.
Philip Erard, Chair