Monday, March 19, 2012

Are you ready to Rock! (Climb)

March 18th is certainly the earliest I've ever rock climbed (withholding bouldering) in New Hampshire. But with an extremely low snow year and crazy warming spells I was able to get out on the Whitney-Gilman Ridge 5.7 on Cannon Cliff yesterday. I met up with Tom, Jay, and their friend Ty from Jackson Hole. Notice Ty's mountaineering boots in the photo below. Although the weather was clear, low wind, and high 70's, there was still three feet of snow on the ground and an icy decent trail to contend with at the end of the day.

Ty booting up the approach trail.

Tom knee deep in the slush on the approach.

Knowing that the rock fall season from freeze thaw was in full swing on Cannon we tried to move judiciously through the talus fields and it was wise of us to do so. While at the top of the first pitch there was a rock fall from the top of the winter route Fafnir that contained some refrigerator size blocks and flew right down the slope we were on in the photo below. We saw other rock fall all day long, including near another couple parties that were climbing Reppy's Crack and Slow and Easy. The Whitney-Gilman ridge is really the only route that could be called "safe" this time of year, so I just don't know where those other parties heads were.

Jay and Tom moving with haste through the drop zone.

We certainly had a great day in t-shirts and summer temps. I wore my wind shell just to keep from burning in the sun! Hope everyone has a great and safe start to the rock season. Watch out for rock fall and don't climb under the last remaining frozen daggers of ice. Cheers.