New York Section

Publication Year: 2008.

New York Section. The year 2007 was a particularly active and interesting one for the New York Section. We reached a record 750 members by year’s end, aided by a special outreach to younger members by the national AAC and by continuing to provide a variety of appealing indoor and outdoor programs. Our recent programming alliance with the Rubin Museum, whose state-of- the-art theatrical facility makes it one of New York’s premier venues, once again proved its value. In April, Mark Richey held the sold-out audience in rapt attention with scenes and video from his expeditions to the Himalaya in 2006. In the fall another historic and perhaps “only in New York” show featured first ascents, almost 20 years apart, of Thalay Sagar in the Gangotri. John Thackray and Roy Kligfield talked about their pioneering first ascent in 1979, while Andy Lindblade discussed his historic north face direttissima in 1996, for which he won a coveted Piolet d’Or.

On the outdoor front, both our Spring and Winter Outings, held in the High Peaks of the Adirondacks, sold out quickly. One of the venerable traditions of both outings is a Happy Hour and sit-down dinner with the slideshow provided by member volunteers. These are particularly welcome after a hard day on the ice or rock. Dan Lochner talked about his success on Chapuyeva (6,731m.) in the Khan Tengri Massif in Kyrgyzstan, while Jack Jefferies, who is a 5.12 climber as well as a former world champion skydiver, discussed the intricacies and challenge of the latter sport.

Finally, on October 27 our Fall Annual Dinner, now in its 28th consecutive year, featured Geoff Tabin, M.D., as special guest speaker. Geoff, who was the fourth person to climb the Seven Summits and a member of the 1983 Everest East Face Expedition, is perhaps best known as a co-founder of the Himalayan Cataract Project. HCP, through its facilities and remote mobile camps, has had great success in pioneering very low-cost cataract surgery for the afflicted in Nepal, Tibet, and other parts of the Third World. Geoff is one of those climbers who is truly making a difference in the lives of people. Accordingly, the event was run as a fundraiser for HCP.

At the Dinner we welcomed the return of the NY Section Flag. In January, Dr. Sam Sil- verstein brought it with him to Mt. Vinson for the 40th Reunion of the American Antarctic Expedition. Sam was an original member of the AAC team that in 1966–67 made first ascents of peaks in the Ellsworth Range. Finally, Edgar Walsh showed photos of the 150th anniversary celebration in June of the (British) Alpine Club, in Zermatt, where he and his wife Linda ably represented the NY Section.

None of the above would have been possible without the support of a dedicated corps of volunteers, including, among others, Mike Barker, our Membership Chairman, and Jon Light and Richard Ryan, our cinematography and A/V experts, respectively. Thanks also go to our webmaster Vic Benes, who has made an attractive and informative forum for stories, photos, and “partners wanted” notices. Among those who were paired thanks to this service were Clif Maloney and Bob Street. Clif and Bob, who are 70 and 68, respectively, set a new American age record for their successful climb of Vinson this past December with guide Marty Schmidt.

Phil Erard, Chair