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Barry Rusnock: New Mid-Atlantic Section Co-Chair

Posted on: May 21st, 2013 by New England Section

Barry Rusnock, new Co-Chair of the Mid-Atlantic Section

Barry Rusnock, new Co-Chair of the Mid-Atlantic Section

By Tom Prigg


Meet Barry Rusnock, the new Co-Chair of the AAC’s Mid-Atlantic Section. Barry, from Hackettstown, New Jersey, has been a climber since the 1970s. He prefers alpine climbing, multi-pitch trad, and ice. He was introduced to the American Alpine Club a few decades ago via Accidents in North American Mountaineering. “In 1978, I was introduced to ANAM by a mountain shop owner. The publication developed an awareness of the club’s prestige,” Barry said.

In the past few years he’s volunteered for Mountainfest in the Adirondacks, the Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest, local Adopt-A-Crags in New Jersey, and has represented New Jersey at the Access Fund Summit. Barry has hosted an annual top-rope social and Oktoberfest celebration every fall at his home crag at Allamuchy Mountain State Park.

Q and A with Barry:

What do you, or would you like to, bring to the AAC as a leader?

My goal for the Mid-Atlantic Section is to develop the local climbing community’s awareness that the AAC is a resource for information, networking, socializing, advocacy, and recognition in the Mid-Atlantic States. 

Do you have any epics that you would like to share?

Of course we all have epics…, however, none that I’m proud of bragging about.

What’s your most humorous experience climbing?

My climbing partner and I once left two unopened bottles of beer outside the motel door for two members of our party. We figured, if the beers were not gone in the morning, we would call mountain rescue and report them missing.

How do you see the future of climbing?

Climbing has become increasing more popular each year. You see a lot of Madison Avenue advertisements depicting climbing as a goal oriented experience, or something to motivate and inspire people in the business community.  I see climbing like religion…my idea of climbing is personal, and it may be a whole lot different than your idea or what the non-climber /general public perceives it to be. 

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Club members that I have come in contact with over the years always treated me respectfully and made me feel appreciated.  I am thankful to have this opportunity to serve my fellow club members and looking forward to a year full of exciting activities and fun experiences.


—Tom Prigg is a volunteer writer for the AAC’s Northeast Region. Tom is a former scientist not good enough to become a professional climber, so he career jumped into writing and journalism. He has been published with Alpinist Magazine, National Geographic – Adventure and USA TODAY.

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