Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fall Foliage: Last Licks?

Vic Benes at the top of p.2 of Easy Overhang
Vic Benes at the top of p.2 of Easy Overhang

It snowed last week, was really sunny and warm this week, and it's torrentially raining out there today. Welcome to late October in the Hudson Valley. A friend called last week to let me know he'd climbed Pinnacle Gully already and that I should come up to ice climb. Now why would I do a thing like that? There's dry, warm rock in the Gunks for at least another month.

I was out yesterday. The forecast was calling for a chance of rain and cold and windy conditions. Great for climbing. I had the chance to do a few routes with Vic Benes, of Millburn, NJ who's been climbing in the Gunks since the mid-60's. More than a full decade longer than I've been alive. It was a pleasure and we were able to do some classic routes that I haven't done in a while. I can only hope that I'm as mobile as he is when I'm his age.

I have posted a picture, and you can see the foliage is definitely past peak, but it's still very beautfiul outside. The yellow-orange color of the hillsides is unique to a few days of the year during the fall. Our climbing season here doesn't really end for another month or more, but it looks like today's rain and wind may actually bring many of the leaves down.