Cornell Team and Leadership Center
Outdoor Odyssey
Cornell Tree Climbing Institute

Ed Berkowitz '59, Longtime Friend

We regret to announce the passing of our great friend and companion in adventure,Ed Berkowitz '56. A longtime member of the COE Advisory Board, Ed was universally appreciated for his wise counsel, and universally loved for his irreverent wit. Over the many years he was with us, Ed and his wife Lois (Class of '59) joined us for adventures in Alaska, the Sierras, South Africa, Costa Rica, Thailand, and beyond. Ed studied Government at Cornell. He was a busy lawyer, residing in Washington, D.C., but took time out for many ascents in the Whites, Sierras, and the Appalachians, as well as treks in the world's major mountain ranges.
In everything he did, Ed brought a smile.

Memorial Hike Up Old Rag

April 12th, 2014
7:30am - 7:00pm

Please join us Saturday, April 12, 2014, for a climb up Old Rag Mountain in memory of our great friend and patron, Ed Berkowitz. One of his favorite local trails, Ed had requested that we hike it together in the spring. An avid outdoorsman, Ed had made Old Rag a favorite challenge for many years running.

We will be joining in with Cornell Alumni and Cornell in Washington students who will be hiking up Old Rag Mountain, near Sperryville, VA, for the 57th time in the semi-annual trek into the Blue Ridge. This is one of the Washington area's most popular excursions, and a large turnout is expected.

This is one of the Washington area's most popular excursions, and we expect a large turnout (25-40 people) each time we go. This hike will bring together the Cornell Club of Washington, DC and Cornell Outdoor Education, including our new director, Marc Magnus-Sharpe. We are thrilled to share that Ed's wife Lois will be there at the start of the hike to cheer us on. I assure you, this will be a most memorable hike.

The first 1/3 of the strenuous, 9-mile hike (summit 3268 ft.; elevation gain 2300 ft.) is on an uphill trail through the trees, while the upper part is open and rocky. Bring lunch and water in a day-pack, and be sure to wear a hat and sturdy shoes. The total time needed for climbing, enjoying the view, eating, and descending is about 6 hours. We usually get back to D.C. around 7:00 pm. The Park Service does not allow more hikers after the parking lot is full. Therefore, a prompt 7:45am start from the Cornell Center is needed for this full-day event.

Note: this is a very difficult hike; those who have not hiked a trail like Old Rag's are strongly encouraged to e-mail or call Clint Brass, using the contact information below, if you would like to get more information before RSVPing.


Cost: Pricing has changed since past hikes to a flat /vehicle National Park Service fee. Bring your portion of the fee, payable on location before we begin. Please bring cash in small bills. Carpoolers should plan to pay a portion of the vehicle fee and contribution toward gas money (variable amount up to around ).

To attend: RSVP by Wednesday, April 9th, to Clint Brass '90, Please provide your name, email address, a telephone number where you can be reached shortly before the hike (in the event of bad weather), and the number of people coming. Friends and family are welcome. In addition, we try to carpool; please indicate if you can give anyone a ride (if so, how many people), if you need a ride, or if you will meet us there.


Clint Brass, Cornell Club, DC
Marc Magnus-Sharpe, Director COE


In memory of Ed Berkowitz, we would like to ask you to make a donation to Cornell Outdoor Education. This fund is intended to serve and enhance the instructors of COE, a group Ed dearly supported and appreciated.


Ed Berkowitz commemoration

In addition, at the beginning of the hike, we will take a moment to celebrate the life of our friend Ed Berkowitz '56, who passed on in December 2013. Ed was a long-time board member of the Cornell Club of Washington, advisory board member of Cornell Outdoor Education (COE), and veteran participant on our semi-annual Old Rag hike. COE's new director Marc Magnus-Sharpe will be participating in the hike this year and has extended an invitation to COE alums to join in as well.

There will be a special commemoration in Ed's name that includes a whole group photograph to be taken that morning before the hike begins. Honored guest Lois Berkowitz will be joining us in the parking lot to help launch our Spring 2014 hike. We hope you can join us!

Rain Date: In the event of bad weather, our rain date is Saturday, April 26, 2014

Dress: Sports/Outdoor

Location: Old Rag Mountain, Sperryville, VA


For those driving from DC, arrive before 7:45am at: Cornell Center 2148 O Street, NW Washington, DC Neighborhood DC Dupont Circle Metro Dupont Circle (Red) Transportation/Directions Cars will be dispatched starting at 7:45am from the Cornell Center or may drive directly to our rendezvous point in Sperryville, arriving absolutely no later than 9:45am.

When RSVPing, please indicate if you can give anyone a ride (if so, how many people), if you need a ride, or if you will meet us there. Directions will be available that morning at the Cornell Center or via e-mail in a PDF file.