e pal and em shan are Constantly Screaming

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(Today’s post was contributed by our very own e pal. Have an adventure the world needs to see? Come find Mike during a meeting or email him your trip!)

It started off with a bang. or, like, a little whistle. maybe more of a slow constant scream?


emshann, my wonderful, hard-working, baking partner (the best hand mixer I’ve ever met!),
planned an amazing trip, split equally between type I and type II fun, service-filled, friend-full, lovely.
although certain ~details~ didn’t quite turn out (show up?) the way they were planned, the five of
us—emshann, Claire, Vera, Elliott with two t’s and two l’s and two r’s, and me—had such a grand time!
this was one of the first suoc trips I’ve ever been on that’s left exactly on time (shoutout to
emshann & Vera!). we had a lovely drive into Adirondack Park, listening to emshann’s ADK playlist, with
a mandatory stop at Stewart’s, and a pee break on the side of the road, surrounded by just-past-peak
fall foliage.


we arrived at the Adirondack Loj around the time the sun began setting; we were treated to a
glimpse of Heart Lake, and given the chance to set up a tent before the darkness settled in. Elliott and
Claire arrived soon after we did, and we made a group dinner of radiator-o’s (reminiscent of childhood
spaghettio’s; the glass lid to the pot was left at home, and so, we happily resigned ourselves to a liquidy
tomato pasta soup!). since Elliott had expressed that we were taking away his birthday weekend,
emshann thought to bake him a cake. she and I bake a classic chocolate cake with vanilla frosting, ran
into a road block with the question of “how to transport”, said “fudge it!”, shoved it into a plastic Ziploc,
and called it a day. when we asked if Elliott was ready for his birthday surprise, he hesistated (for fear of
an ice??), but I think everyone was wholesomely surprised when we emerged from the car (and
darkness, as we had requested everyone switch off their headlamps) with a slightly squished, top-
frosted-only cake, with emshann’s small pink camo lighter acting as a candle.
after the pot of pasta was finished (and emshann forced Elliott to take some for lunch for the
next day—spoiler, it leaked), four of us settled into a slightly-sardined tent situation—squished, but not


we had a nice start the next day; layers and packs were organized the night before, so when
everyone’s little teethies were brushed and little toesies were in boots, we headed to the information
center for a breakfast feast provided by the AMC! Bagels (and toasters!), pb & j, cream cheese, yoghurt,
oats, cereal, granola bars, apples, coffee, hot chocolate! pb cookies! what a treat!
emshann signed our group in, handed over our waivers, and we were sent over to meet our
crew leader Anna (Ah-na). Harris Eisenhardt and Collin Borzell joined our group and we all grabbed hazel
hoes and began our hike in!


Anna led us from the loj trailhead to Marcy Dam as emshann and I recounted a terrifying
encounter from the month prior: The Juiicy Bear of Marcy Dam. we stopped for a quick group picture on
the bridge spanning the dam and began our trail work shortly after the dam crossing. as we made our
way through avalanche pass, Anna instructed us on how to utilize our hazel hoes to clear the drainage
ditches along the trail.


our trail work ended around the base of Colden, just short of the “adult playground” Anna
almost plummeted off last summer (right before the DEC rebuilt the ladders and bridges!), and we sat
by the water for our lunch. Elliott discovered the joys of tortillas spread with pb and the gifts of raining gorp from above, and Harris introduced us all to the newly released fruit & greens lara bars, complete
with the taste of fruit & greens, and texture of leather. leftover frosting from birth boy’s cake was
packed & shared, celebrating with spoonfuls at every stop along the way.
from avalanche lake, we made the short 3-4 mile hike back to the loj, dropped packs, and
headed to lake placid for dinner. we took a little loop around the main street, and while Colin and Harris
dined on frozen treats, Vera and Claire opted for a warmer option: hot chocolate with homemade
marshmallows. once the line at wyatt’s died down, we replenished it. the seven of us all dined on
delicious veggie burritos and quickly fell into tired, full boi comatoses.


back at the campground at the loj, we joined the boob marshall club for a little campfire &
catching up with some returners and introductions to first years. many marshmallows were lost to the
fire, and by the time someone dropped the fourth, my eyelids had drooped closed, and I called it a night.
although we planned to make cheesy trash bagels (courtesy of my dumpster dive behind
bruegger’s earlier in the week) and tea by heart lake (how wholesome!), the wind and hail on our tent in
the morning deterred us heavily. we found ourselves crowded around a table we didn’t deserve to
inhabit inside the loj, warm and still sleeping, munching on surprise (flavour) bagels, attempting to
spread nearly frozen butter on every bite. emshann stopped this nonsense by warming the sticks in the
armpit of her puffy and saving the entire endeavor.


emshann and I headed back, listening to her scary car ride playlist (look her up on spotify,
people. some quality tunes compiling going on over here), and Vera headed back to Syracuse with Claire
and Elliott. a surprise meet up at a stewart’s in Harrisville was exciting to say the least! ice cream was
bought! Elliott put ice cream in his coffee! people emptied their bladders!
then everyone made it back to Syracuse safely, soundly, and everyone gave their drivers gas


What’s New for Fall 2018?

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The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder, and you’ve got a nagging feeling you should buy school supplies – the fall semester is almost upon us once again. While we’re all going to miss our extended summertime adventures, at least the school year means SUOC is back, ready for another incredible year of trips and shenanigans. Whether you’re a returning member or a brand new friend, the information below should help you get up to speed with all things SUOC this semester:


When and where are regular meetings this semester?

Meetings will be every Tuesday at 7:30 in the Life Sciences Building Auditorium. Meetings run between an hour to an hour and a half long, with trips announced towards the end of the evening. You can start coming to meetings at any time – as the ancient proverb says:

“The best time to join SUOC is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

No experience needed – just come say hi, and sign up for a trip!


Do you have some sort of meeting for people who are generally interested?

Yup! Our General Interest meeting will be at 7:30 PM on Tuesday, September 11th in Grant Auditorium. This meeting – which is significantly larger than most of our regular meetings – will go over a lot of the basics of who we are and what we do, which will also be covered at the first few regular meetings of the semester. If you’re a little overwhelmed by the number of people, don’t worry – things tend to thin out once the semester gets going.


Can I come talk about the club at some fair-type events?

HECK YES! In fact, we’ll be at three involvement fairs early in the semester:

  • 8/30: ESF Activities Fair, on the ESF Quad
  • 9/4: SU Club Sports Fair, in Flanagan Gymnasium
  • 9/5: SU Involvement Fair, on the SU Shaw Quad

Come say hi, and sign up to get reminders about the general interest meeting!


What do y’all do as a club?

So much! We do almost every outdoors sport you can imagine (the full list is under that “About” tab up above), as well as a bunch of non-sporting events throughout the year! There’s some more information on our About page, all throughout this website, and in our Facebook Group.

We’re getting real excited to see you all again! Have a great end of your summer, and see you in September!

Goons in the Gunks

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An odyssey of Conor O’Sullivan and Ben VanderStouw

About thirty minutes into the car ride, Conor looked over at me. “Oh no. Dude, can you check the trunk?”
I unbuckled my seatbelt and slid into the back.
We turned around to grab Conor’s helmet sitting in our living room.

We got to New Paltz – a town full of pubs and New York City dwellers escaped for the weekend – around 8:00. We found a little parking lot to sleep in, camping in the back of Conor’s luxury Toyota Prius. We ended up getting around ten hours of sleep that night, the most we’ve had all semester!

We got up at 7AM, ate some breakfast, and headed to the crag. The Gunks are famous for their world-class multipitch traditional climbing, with very tough grades. Many climbers from elsewhere in the country are humbled by a Gunks 5.9.

Many of the routes were closed because of peregrine falcon nesting, so it was quite crowded. We saw some other parties do some WILD things like top-roping with just a rope around a tree and making just terrible anchors.

We climbed a route called Madame Grunnenbaum’s Wulst, or Madame G’s (5.6). This climb is usually completed in three pitches, being 210 feet, but we linked the second and third for a 170’ rope-drag-filled extravaganza! It was hard getting to the top because there was so much friction in the system (gotta bring up more draws next time!).

I ended up taking a 20’ whipper on the first pitch of Something Interesting (5.7+), and to my dismay I had to leave my trusty green Alien Cam that caught my fall. I was too tired and spooked afterwards to lead the next pitch, so we lowered back to the ground.

The view from the walls is absolutely beautiful, with the Catskill mountains framing a big open sky.

Conor was going to lead a route called Three Pines (5.3), but the German party in front was taking a long time, so we left.

After we made some vegan/gluten free garbage plates and called it a day!

What great way to procrastinate Organic Chemistry.

Stay Wild, Not Mild.

This post contributed by Ben VanderStouw. Do cool things? Want to share? Email us at mjmahone@syr.edu.


Emily Shannon is Looking Good, Feeling Good, Looking Good, and Being Safe

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Around 9 PM on Friday night, I was starting to get a little nervous. I was about two hours out of Syracuse and about three hours of walking into the Black River Wild Forest, a 130,000 acre forest preserve in the southwestern Adirondacks. We had been expecting a relatively easy hike in for the first day of our trip, but instead had found the trail untouched and hard to follow, with unmarked turns and snow-hidden creeks slowing us the entire way. It had gotten dark about an hour earlier, meaning that we were making even slower progress – and that we kept having to backtrack, mistaking small clearings and gaps in the woods for the narrow trail we were following.
But soon enough we saw our lean-to – a squat little shelter left over from the 30s, when the CCC remade the Adirondacks with federal funds. I was thrilled. The only thing I cared about was getting into the shelter and going to sleep for the night.
Emily Shannon, though, had some other things on her mind. “See that rock?” she asked, pointing to a small boulder off the side of the trail.
I was confused. “Yeah?”
“Someone had to put that there,” she said. “What an idiot.”


So goes hiking with SUOC’s newest backpacking leader, who passed her ghost lead with flying colors this past Saturday. With a small trip to Chub Lake (and some outstanding backcountry pizza), Emily demonstrated her abilities as a backpacker and a leader, and did it in the traditional Em Shan style. With this trip, Em is now a leader in both three-season and winter backpacking, and is excited to take on her role as Backpacking Chair in the year to come.

If you see Em Shan, make sure you say congrats – and make sure you sign up for her next trip!