Fasulo Takes on the Adventures of Rock Climbing

How Mr. Fasulo’s hobby became a way of life

By Ella Bradley

Assistant Principal of East Lyme High School and Director of Coastal Connections David Fasulo, has written a few books on rock climbing that are being read all over the world. His first book, “How to Rock Climb: Self Rescue,” has been named one of the “must have” books for climbers and provided him the skill set to write four more books. He has been rock climbing since age 15 and has always been a bit of a risk taker.

“Early on I fell in love with the technical aspects, as well as the adventure travel component. I was touring the East Coast on rock climbing trips when I was 16, with a small group of friends,” said Mr. Fasulo.

He has been climbing outdoors for 35 years now. Mr. Fasulo learned to climb at Ragged Mountain in Southington and has read many books on the subject. He climbs one day a week indoors to keep in shape and two days indoors in spring, if training for a climbing trip.

For years Mr. Fasulo has facilitated an Adventure Learning Program in East Lyme, including rock climbing and kayaking.

“Students at Coastal this year will be kayaking, sailing, indoor rock climbing, and hiking. A small group of students are currently building a wood kayak from scratch at the Mystic Seaport,” said Mr. Fasulo.

These activities allow students to exercise while having fun.
“I really enjoy that he is including exercise into some of our school days in a unique way. They are really new and refreshing activities to add to our curriculum,” said senior Coastal student, Ann Doherty.
He plans to organize more adventure activities at the schools.

“Mr. Fasulo is making a positive impact on the students at Coastal. He is giving them the chance to explore activities they may not have previously been exposed to. They are helping build teamwork, foster stronger school spirit, and strengthen student and teacher relationships,” said Coastal Connections teacher, Michelle Bass.

Mr. Fasulo has also developed a love for adventure over time.
“After a committing climb, or day out with friends or family, I always feel re-energized. Spending the day making a life or death decision also helps you understand the old saying, ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff,’ ” said Mr.  Fasulo.

Rock climbing allows him to gain and have a deeper understanding of, “the ability to solve and persevere against, physical and technical challenges,” said Mr. Fasulo.

Mr. Fasulo’s first book includes a near-death situation in 1989 on his first attempt at climbing the Northwest Face of Half Dome in Yosemite. His partner was able to lower him to the ground and rescue him off the 2000 foot overhanging wall. After this incident,

Mr. Fasulo began researching and teaching self-rescue skills to rock climbers. He now has a better understanding of logistics and technical aspects of rock climbing.
Along with rock climbing, Mr. Fasulo is also involved in sea kayaking, sailing/racing, skiing, and surfing. Sailing has allowed him to enjoy and appreciate the southeastern CT shoreline.

“Doing bigger races like Off-Soundings (Block Island), Newport to Bermuda, and Marblehead to Nova Scotia, lets me put my technical and endurance skills to work. Open ocean races, like climbing, put you at the mercy of the elements and will test your ability to work as a team in precarious situations,” said Mr. Fasulo.

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