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Falls calls 

As the person who took the photograph on the cover of your April 17 edition (“Your Are Here: Inside the Heads of Extreme Athletes”), I have a couple of thoughts to pass on to your readers.

First, the correct website address for Ruth and Roger Hopkins is www.naturalhighs.net (not “org” as given in the article).

Second, one of Roger Hopkins’ remarks quoted in your article deserves to be underscored and elaborated on: “Be super-conservative when hiking in risky areas.”

In the photo on your cover, none of us --- not Roger, my wife, Ruth Hopkins, or I --- recognized that what we were about to do was not very astute, let alone super-conservative.

We are all generally thoughtful and, if not risk-averse, thoughtfully careful. In this instance, however, we were both foolish and fortunate.

One after the other, we clambered up the water and algae-slicked face of this waterfall, a face composed of rock that was marginally competent in more than a few places. And we did this without belaying one another.

We never realized until we were all at the top that any of us could have fallen the nearly vertical 60 feet of the face before slamming down onto the rock ledge protruding at the base of this waterfall. One would probably survive this fall, but you would not walk away from it.

Recognizing the error of our ways, we did not descend the falls in the same manner but elected a woodland route. We encourage those of your readers who heed the call of the waterfall to heed this precautionary tale as well.


Allan J. Schwartz, South Fitzhugh Street, Rochester

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