Monday, March 7, 2011

Blew through like a Nor'easter!

Leading Trestle Left WI3+. Placing a lot of screws for Ice Climbing 201 students to practice removing and placing while on top-rope.

I had the new and unique experience this year of visiting the northeast in the winter for only a brief month. Normally I live in the Northeast and have been able to take in the glory that is winter (snowboarding, ice climbing, snowshoeing, etc.), but this is my first year living in the Southeast. It does mean good things for my rock season, but my ice season would have to be concentrated into one trip. This trip focused around Fox Mountain Guides' annual NH Ice Climbing Courses. I had the opportunity to assist Senior Guide Ron Funderburke on our Ice Climbing 201 course, privately guide a few days, and climb everything I could on my free days!

Bundled up trying to stay warm while belaying in Smuggler's Notch, VT.

All said and done, here's what my tick list included:

Smuggler's Notch, VT - Jefferson's Slide WI3, Playground Left WI3, Various Workout Wall Routes WI2, WI3, WI4, Grand Illusion WI4, Grand Confusion WI3
Lake Whilloughby, VT - Renormalization WI4
Frankenstein Cliff, NH - Standard Route WI4, Trestle Left WI3+, Cave Route WI4, Pegasus WI4, Chia Direct WI4+, Dropline WI5, Up In The Woods WI3
Texico Slabs, NH - Unknown WI4
Duck's Head - Unknown Right WI5-, Dreadlocks M7

That's 18 routes (7 multi-pitch) in 17 days (6 "rest" days). And it's all the winter I get. Besides three days previous to these out on North Carolina ice (see older post), that was my winter climbing year. Not a bad selection of climbs, and just after this trip I swung through the New River, West Virginia for a couple days of sport climbing. Didn't feel like a rock climber there (still had the mentality of DON'T FALL from ice climbing), but still tons of fun.

On lead of Chia Direct WI4+. Normally done in two pitches, I streched the rope and finished directly above.

I had the pleasure of climbing with my friend Michael Morley for most of my free days, and he compiled some video footage of the trip. The following couple silly videos are all his doing. Some good climbing mixed in with goofy footage of myself jamming out in the car yields a cinematic masterpiece.

Untitled from Michael Morley on Vimeo.

I climb first in the next video of the two pitch Pegasus WI4. Michael takes the sustained finishing pillar. Notice how he kinda climbs ice like a rock climber. That's because this is his 8th or so day of ice climbing ever! And he's leading WI4 like a champ, at least a champ rock climber! Did I also mention he lead a M7 on this trip? More video of that to come!

Untitled from Michael Morley on Vimeo.

The highlights of this season for me were getting on my first WI5 leads, and feeling comfortable and confident guiding multi-pitch ice up through WI4+. A great winter for myself and I'm really looking forward to next year!

1 comment:

  1. A great winter for myself and I'm really looking forward to next year!