Climbing Out of the Blue

By Mark Stash


I get excited every time a magazine issue is in its planning stages. I always have more article choices than I have space for, and this issue is no exception. It’s jam packed with great information.

Some time ago, when my son turned 10, we wanted to throw a birthday party for him that was different and fun. My wife and I heard about this climbing gym in Rochester called Rock Ventures, and being outdoor enthusiasts we thought our son and his friends would like it. At an indoor climbing gym, there are high walls constructed with many colorful hand holds. Novices are hooked up to ropes and harnesses because safety is the number one concern. One person on the ground holds the rope, or belays it, while the other person climbs to the top of the wall. Then, the climber can be lowered back down to the ground using the rope. Experienced climbers can also free climb without the aid of a rope.

Cindy Ruggieri writes about one specific climbing gym in Liverpool called  The Ledge (page 38). The article goes into detail on climbing lingo. Many people like to train at these gyms to help with their outdoor climbing on naturual rock. It’s challenging and fun, and it’s a great way to get exercise in a warm environment while the winter snows rage outside.

And with the cold and snowy winter comes potential winter blues. Mike Sargent brings us a beautiful photograph essay (page 32) about the winter of 2014-15, which still exists in our memories as a particularly brutal winter. The theme of the pictorial is the blue in the many and varied shadows of snow: cast shadows thrown from trees that spread across the landscape in long thin lines, soft blues on the darker side of mounds of snow in a frozen creekbed.

Winter blues can also be in reference to the sadness that affects many people during the long winter months. The lack of sunlight and the inability to get outdoors and enjoy the weather can truly be a serious condition. It’s good to focus on positive things during those times. We all go through some form of sadness and depression at times, and it’s important to be optimistic and find the good things in our lives that help us and make us happy.

There are many more interesting things to read about in this issue – a ruffed grouse that can’t seem to stay away from people, the proud community of Marathon, feeding chickadees at Mendon Ponds Park and attending art shows. And Ray Levato brings us a
heavily researched article about the Finger Lakes Region and why there are only 11 official Finger Lakes. Read on and enjoy this issue!

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