Saturday, July 30, 2016

Three Falls for Boomer - Waterfalls & Hiking

Spent overnight at my friend's vacation rental. Conveniently located right off of Route 16 in North Conway but super quiet and comfy! We had plans to hike to Arethusa Falls making a loop along the Frankenstein Cliff trail. But my old  buddy Boomer was a bit sore so we backtracked to the trailhead stopping off at Bemis Falls for lunch, and then Coliseum Falls. As you can see by my photos, Boomer absolutely loved all 3 beautiful falls!

Along the Arethusa Trail

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Nickerson Ledges - Solo Hiking

piper trail, hiking, carter ledge, three sisters, chocorua
Shaka from Nickerson Ledge

Nickerson Ledges
Trails: Piper, Nickerson Ledge
3 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 

Originally I was going to hike to the Nickerson ledge, the Carter ledge and then onto Three Sisters. But the heat and humidity was not good for my asthma so I just hiked up to the Nickerson Ledge. Easier breathing and fantastic view once I got out onto the ledge! Bummed I had to turn around and head down. Really wanted to see the Carter Ledge as there are some climbing routes along the Carter slabs. Next time!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Hokule'a - Hawaiian Voyaging Canoe

hokulea, portsmouth, new castle, hui anuenue, new england hawaiian club
Hokule'a docks at Wentworth By The Sea Marina

I paused to take in the gentle breeze, cool air, sunny blue-bird skies and the salty smell of the ocean. It was then I experienced an unexpected familiarity, but I knew exactly what it was! Standing aboard the Hokule’a felt like being back home in Hawaii! The mana I felt while on board this floating island was evident, even 6000 miles from Hawaii! From her first voyage in Tahiti, to her current visit along the shores of the USA east coast, thousands have experienced the hopes, the dreams and all that she embodies of the Hawaiian spirit. I smiled. It took standing aboard the Hokule'a to remind me of where I'm from. Where my heart and soul will always be connected to – no matter where I live. And the powerful message she brings along on her worldwide voyage. – Lovena Pao Harwood

The Hokule’a is a Polynesian double-hulled voyaging canoe. She left Hawaii in May 2014 and her 3-year journey will cover 47,000 nautical miles with stops in 85 ports and 26 countries. She is not equipped with auxiliary motors and travels the ocean using an ancient Polynesian skill called “wayfinding” - celestial navigation and observation of nature.  Malama Honua translanted as  “To care for our island Earth”  is the powerful message that the crew of Hokule’a carries to promote sustainability and the importance of taking care of our island earth.

Members of the Hui Anuenue, New England Hawaiian Club waited two years in hopes of Hokule'a coming to the east coast. Her long awaited arrival was truly wonderful and we excitedly gathered at the Wentworth By The Sea Marina for the Hokule’a arrival ceremonies, canoe tours and crew presentations. Enjoy our videos and photos taken during the festivities!

July 16, 2016 - Luncheon & Hokule'a Arrival
Members of the Hui Anuenue, New England Club met for lunch, Hula and kanikapila at the Salt Kitchen & Bar, Wentworth By The Sea Hotel & Spa. A private enclave was set up for our group with a special menu of 3 courses. The food and service were outstanding! They even let us leave to view the Hokule'a arrival and ceremonies down at the marina, after which we returned and continued ordering and eating! After our 3 hour lunch, we had kanikapila out on the lanai.

Photos by Lovena Harwood & Gerry Anson

Club members at the Wentworth By The Sea Hotel & Spa

Nancy and I eagerly await the Hokule'a!

At the marina many people gathered to greet the Hokule'a as she docked. 

Al, Nancy and Larry greeting the Hokule'a with the Pū!

The crew makes it way onto the pier escorted by 
the Pennacook-Abenaki Tribal Council

Sagamore Paul Pouliot of the Pennacook-Abenaki Tribe with the Hokule'a crew

The Hokule'a Crew 21

Sagamore Paul Pouliot presents the crew with traditional song

Maya Saffrey performs a sitting hula and a mele as an offering to the crowd.

Captain Bruce Blankenfeld embraces Sagamore Paul Pouliot
after presenting him with a gift of the Kahili that
commemorates the friendship formed on this day.

Club member Dara presented Matt Kanemoto (Hokule'a cook)
an herb lei handmade with herbs from her garden.
(Ivy: Friendship, Mint: Wisdom, Oregano: Joy & Happiness,
Lavender: Devotion & Luck, Sage: Long life, 
Rosemary: Remembrance, Thyme: Strength & Courage
Maple leaf to symbolize New England and Purple and green kale)

July 17, 2016 - Hokule'a Canoe Tour
A perfect day to tour the beautiful Hokule'a voyaging canoe! Many members of the community came out to speak with crew members and learn about Hokule'a and Malama Honua.

July 18, 2016 - Hokule'a Meet & Greet
A few of us gathered at the Flatbread Pizza in Portsmouth, NH to meet with the Hokule'a crew.  Hui Anuenue, New England Hawaiian Club had a luncheon fundraiser several months ago with ono kine grindz, hula and kanikapila and raised a total of $600! Club president Nancy Griffin presented the monetary donation and a gift box of handmade goodies to Capt Bruce. I also made some butter mochi which I gave to Matt. It was the crews last night in Portsmouth, NH and we wanted to wish them well! We will always have fond memories of Hokule'a and her crew. Hele me Akua!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Crow Hill - Trad Lead

Got to lead Broadwalk (5.5) of the Practice Wall today with Jeff D. on my belay! No joke, the beginning of the crack is difficult for the grade! Even going up from the right to traverse over to the crack was sketchy for me. Not like those lovely slabs of Whitehorse for sure! Even though it was only one pitch, it was good practice for placing pro and setting up a multi pitch anchor to bring Jeff up.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Square & Whitehorse Ledges – Rock Climbing

Pinkham Notch, rock climbing
Square Ledge

Beautiful day for climbing! My buddy Geoff and I headed out to Square Ledge, Pinkham Notch’s local crag. You can see this cliff from the AMC Pinkham parking lot. Access is super easy from the AMC Pinkham Visitor Center – just park and cross the street (Route 16) to the Lost Pond trailhead. Cross over the wooden bridge, then turn left onto the Square Ledge Trail. Lots of tourists also headed to the top of the ledge to photograph the Ravines, Washington, Adams and Madison.  Afterwards we headed to Whitehorse Ledge where I got to lead the 2nd pitch of Sea Of Holes. Thanks for a great climbing day Geoff! Enjoy some photos taken of our day!

Hangover Rock

The face of Square Ledge

Thanks for the belay!

Gorgeous views of Pinkham Notch from 
the top of Square Ledge

Checking out Thriller Arete

Met Tom and his girlfriend at the top. 
Here's Geoff giving him a hand with 
the anchor at the top of the Chimney route. Tom is also guide-taught and having a blast climbing as a (new) trad leader!

At Whitehorse Ledge I got to lead the second pitch of Sea Of Holes. I gotta get used to climbing slab with all the gear hanging off me. Didn't even need it all considering I clipped into a piton and then I placed a .50 cam and then a #1 micro cam to the anchors.

At the anchor of P2 Sea Of Holes 
(I actually couldn't find the anchor at first. Started up to the tree on the
left as it had a sling and biner around it. Then I traversed back to the right
and after figuring out where to put my 3rd piece of pro, I spotted the anchors.)

Looking over to Cathedral Ledge

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Climb With Aloha Protein Bar

#alohamoment, @aloha,
Climb With Aloha Protein Bar

I take Aloha Protein Bars out on rock climbs and hikes! It's delicious and doesn't upset my stomach at all. All the ingredients are USDA Organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy free, soy free and vegan! This protein bar is a perfect on-the-go-meal which keeps me satisfied and full! Take these along on those long multi pitch rock climbs or hikes where a nutritious meal is needed but without the weight! 

* 18g plant-based protein
* Food source of iron
* 6g of fiber

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Multi Pitch Leader Course - Day 2

cathedral ledge, belay, north conway
Upper Refuse P2 Belay Ledge

Another fantastic day of instruction with Cathedral Mountain Guides co-owner (and American Mountain Guide Association certified guide) Bayard Russell! Ashley and I met Bayard at Cathedral Ledge for Day 2 of the 2-Day Multi Pitch Leader Course. Day 1 Lesson here

On our Day 2 lesson we headed up to Fun House for some mock leading. Before heading up to the base of the climb, Bayard took out the “North Conway Rock Climbs” guidebook and handed it to Ashley and I. We looked up the route to check its description, primarily what gear we would need. Ashley and I went through the gear and we put our water, food, camera in my small backpack. Bayard said to look through our backpack at the end of our climb and see what was left in it, then determine if we really needed it. I’m on “hiker mentality” and usually over-pack (just in case) and it wasn’t any different on this day. Bayard gave a solid piece of advice - climbing with a backpack as light as possible will help us go faster. He was right.  I found a section on the start of Fun House to be tough, especially with a heavy pack.

Fun House, Cathedral Ledge
Bayard on the start of P1

At Fun House we waited behind a party of two. The start of this route is definitely sandbagged. It’s a 5.7 but I thought it was way harder than the Pipe Pitch of the Whitney Gilman Ridge route! The first section of the dihedral was fine but I struggled up the overhanging section. Afraid that I’d put myself into an asthma attack, I had to rest and catch my breath. My backpack was also too heavy....2.5 liters of water, a camera, two pairs of approach shoes, hiking compass, hankie, bottles of bug spray and sunscreen, chemical handwarmers, Giddy hand salve, headlamp, several packs of tissue!! And I brought way too much food (PB sandwich, pear, banana, 5 protein bars, 1 Nuun) and I only ate the PB sandwich!  Bayard was right about having too much weight in my pack. I finally made it to the belay station, rested a bit and Ashley and I switched leads. Also, I didn’t think it would matter, so I didn’t organize any of the gear on my harness at this point.

Fun House, Cathedral Ledge
Ashley at the top of Fun House P1

Like the day before, Bayard kept out of our system at each belay station. While we came up on the route, he’d rap down to check our gear placement offering advice and pointing out proper/good placements, and overseeing our transitions. I had a bit of a problem trying to figure out what to place but it was because my rack was totally disorganized with cams, nuts and draws all mixed up on my harness – I was a bit annoyed at myself for not taking the time to organize the gear on my harness. At the base of Upper Refuse Bayard told me to organize all the cams & nuts on one side with the quick draws on the other side of my harness. This helped immensely!

Fun House, Cathedral Ledge
Ashley and I at the top of Fun House P2

 At Upper Refuse there was one party already on the climb. A second party started up Black Lung  then up left on Final Gesture to finish. To keep Ashley and I out of the way of the other two parties, Bayard combined the first two pitches into one, and kept to the left side (crack) of our first pitch. I found lots of good holds and kept placing gear in the crack as I went up. I found that the more gear I placed, the easier it got to figure out what to place. And what a joy it was to have all the gear organized on my harness. Made the process so much more easier and faster! 

Upper Refuse, Cathedral Ledge
Ashley and I at the top of Upper Refuse P2

Once past the first belay station I got into the chimney and the rope got insanely heavy! I kept telling myself that I'd do Upper Refuse again and on lead but I wouldn't combine the first two pitches because there is just way too much rope drag and I'd prolly get pulled off. But that climb out of the chimney onto the ledge was good. There was a sweet undercling that made the rope drag bearable. On the last pitch Bayard wasn’t tied into Ashley so she lead it legit! Yay Ashley! Like the last scramble pitch of Fun House, we finished the last scramble pitch of Upper Refuse using a terrain belay. Bayard also demonstrated the "Kiwi Coil" used for short roping protection on 3rd & 4th class terrain. And since Ashley had never been to the top of Cathedral Ledge, Bayard led the way so all three of us stood atop the summit. We hiked down back to the parking lot and Bayard went over lowering techniques. I also went through my backpack....too many stuffs I didn't use/eat and shouldn't have brought along!  :(

Upper Refuse, Cathedral Ledge
Ashley and I at the top of Upper Refuse P2

All in all, the weekend was a fantastic learning experience - Ashley got to try trad leading and I got to place as much gear as I could!

I don't know what I don't know
[Again] which is the reason I took Multi Pitch Leader course from an AMGA Guide. As with my private ice lead lessons with AlexaSiegel this past winter, I wanted to learn multi pitch trad lead climbing skills so I wouldn't have to "wing it". It was also important that I learn the most current skills used in the industry.

Bayard's services as a guide are invaluable and the semi-private professional instruction was perfect. He answered all of our questions - and we had a lot! The personal attention and constant feedback were invaluable! Not once did I feel overwhelmed, afraid or unsafe. Thank you Bayard for an awesome two days of lessons, it was fun and gratifying to learn new climbing skills. These lessons were another milestone for me. I have been rock climbing for 6 years and seconding (both ice & rock) for 3 years. I wanted to be able to have the fun opportunity of trad leading on a multi pitch climbs with my climbing buddies.

And a final thanks to my husband for his love and support!

The Multi Pitch Leader Course is designed for those with a background of gym climbing and sport climbing who are comfortable leading bolt protected routes. Covered are basics of Traditional protection, anchor building, lead climbing systems and multi pitch rappelling. Taught at a 2 participant to 1 guide radio. 2 days, semi-private course. Bayard Russell is co-owner of Cathedral Mountain Guides.

Links of interest:
How To Move Faster & More Safely Through 3rd & 4th Class Terrain