© 2012 Chuckster


This is my first post to this blog. It is more than long overdue for sure. I was hoping that my first post would be celebratory. Maybe some beta on my recent trip to Red Rocks perhaps? Or maybe a little something about the conditions up at Shagg Crag or the South Butt of Whitehorse to pique your curiosity. Instead,  I would like to use this medium as a way to express my despair and confusion… Sorry.

Unfortunately, my first post is a sad one. Yesterday I learned that someone that I knew passed away. Holly Mauro was 32. She was a local at the Gunks, living in New Paltz, NY and commuting to the City for work. Holly was a climber. More important is the impact the Holly managed to have on the people that her life touched. Vibrant barely begins to describe her personality. Also, I have not managed to meet anyone else who was as capable as Holly at empowering women to climb and be themselves.

Holly Mauro: Climber

Holly was a Chick (www.chickswithpicks.net) and had a large influence on the women that she attended the workshops with. Here is a link to the Chick’s tribute to Holly: http://www.chickswithpicks.net/chicks-talk-chicks/chicks-tribute-to-holly-mauro/. She was also a member of the the AAC and The Mohonk Preserve.

I first met Holly a year and a half ago during my AMGA Certification class and exam down in the Gunks. It was virtually impossible to walk down the carriage road with Holly without stopping constantly to talk to other climbers. She knew everybody at the crag! And everybody loved her. I remember fondly how perplexed she was by bouldering! During instruction we constantly found ourselves looking at each other,  saying “I don’t know how to do this, I never top rope!” On the last day of our certification Holly roped her Mom into being a guinea pig for the class. I had the pleasure of being her faux instructor for the day. And she was just as good natured as Holly was.

Shortly over a year ago Holly quit her job as the Director of an investment banking firm in the City and moved herself to the Valley. She has been traveling, climbing and surfing all over the place ever since. Living the good life…

Son's of Yesterday. Photo: Trevor Lewis

I know little surrounding how or why Holly passed away. I am struggling to cope with the loss as well as the unknown. A large part of me is looking for closure. I cannot adequately put into words the impact that Holly managed to have on the people that she met, climbed with and encouraged. Therefore, her passing may not seem as shattering as it is. I apologize.

From time to time we all must wrestle with the age-old questions; “Why do the most special people leave us so soon?”; “When will I die?”; “Have I lived a good life?”; “How can life be so cruel and merciless?”; and once again…”Why?”

It feels good to get this all down. And I appreciate being able to do so on this fine site. I just need to put things down and get things out there.

It may be cliche but life is short, so do your best and live well. When you are faced with any of the above questions think and remember those folks in your life who are guiding lights for how you wish to live and treat others. I will think of Holly.





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