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I’m going to be 59 this year. The big 60 is looming and I was trying to think of what I would do to celebrate the event. Kicking around in the back of my head is the idea of going back to the Gunks and climbing High Exposure on my 60th birthday.
When I was a 20 year old Gunks climber I had the great honor of meeting Fritz Wiessner and climbing the classic Gunks climb High Exposure that he and Hans Kraus pioneered in 1941. In the early spring of 1970 I was the tail end of a dozen or so people as Mr Wiessner led of. Beautiful day fabulous day Mr Wiessner shook everyones hands as he led off.
I imagined that the great man would be waiting at the top of the climb to talk to me. I would ask him about the first assent of Mt. Waddington or the day he first sighted the Gunks or. Well by the time I got to the top MR. Wiessner had long since headed down the Uberfall and I never did get to talk to him again.
But here’s the thing I remembered that Mr. Wiessner was doing that climb that day to celebrate his 60th birthday. No that’s not right he was born in 1900 it had to be his 70th
He climbed well into his 80’s
So will I go back next year and do the climb? I can’t say yet or maybe I’ll just wait another 10 years. It’s hard to plan that far ahead