by Jay Blotcher
Are you looking to get higher in the world? You could contact a therapist, a life coach, or a job counselor. Or you could hire the Rosendale-based company Alpine Endeavors.
They are an accredited climbing guide service comprised of professionally-trained guides and instructors. They are here to guide you through climbing expeditions in the Shawangunks, the Catskills, or on neighboring peaks in Connecticut.
Alpine Endeavors offers the following services to the novice or skilled enthusiast: professional instruction and guiding for rock climbing, ice climbing, alpine climbing and mountaineering, as well as guided hikes, snowshoe outings, and wilderness medicine courses. If you’re eager to see life beyond the living room, Molitoris and his crew will expand your horizons.
Alpine Endeavors officially began in 1996, but owner Marty Molitoris has been offering his own guided climbs since 1990. It was the logical progression for a man who had been climbing for enjoyment since 1987. That year he was 15 and working at an outdoor shop in northeastern Pennsylvania, and young Molitoris began helping out with the store’s climbing programs. “I remember being in the shop sometime around 1989, looking at the climbing posters and thinking how cool it would be to be able to guide and climb for a living.”
As he became more sure-footed in alpinism, Molitoris was asked by customers to take them on solo ventures. Hardly a seasoned businessman, he eased in to the new enterprise tentatively. “Luckily, it slowly went from a one-man show to what it is today. That gave me time to keep up with the learning curve.”
In addition to bringing a passion to his work, Molitoris maintains professional standards: all guides are licensed in New York State and certified by the American Mountain Guides Association.
The best part of the job for Molitoris is the variety of scenarios available. “Each day is different and requires you to constantly be ‘on’ both physically and mentally with route selection and route finding, not to mention planning and preparing for the bigger objectives like the North Cascades, or long rock climbing areas like the Adirondacks, Cochise Stronghold, or Red Rocks—all while making sure your partners for the day are comfortable, equipped, and moving along well.”
Yes, you read correctly: Alpine Endeavors conducts tours beyond the Hudson Valley.
The most memorable occurred in New Guinea in 2006, when Molitoris planned a climbing expedition on one of the seven summits (the highest points on each continent). It took a week of trekking through the jungle with porters wielding machetes to cut through the vegetation to reach the mountain. Rains made the trails very muddy and sometimes washed out entire areas.
Over the years, Alpine Endeavors has widened its roster of services, offering more group programs and remote trips to foreign countries, as well as summer adventure camps and school programs. Molitoris keeps his offerings fresh by participating in trainings and professional development clinics. But there’s no substitute for one specific business improvement: “I try to get out as much as possible and climb,” says Molitoris.
While maintaining the business part of Alpine Endeavors can sometimes be burdensome, the outdoor adventures make it all worthwhile.
“Someone told me once that, ‘If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life.’ I can attest to that. But being a business owner I found that there's always something that needs to be done - it is 24/7”
PO Box 58, Rosendale, NY 12472