Thursday, January 12, 2017

Handmade insulated beanies for winter sports enthusiasts!



handmade, beanies, merino wool, merino stretch fleece, spandex
Orange Paisley

Handmade beanies offered in lightweight and midweight versions - yes, I make these! The lightweight beanies are fully lined with 100% Merino Wool. And the midweight beanies are lined with Merino Stretch Fleece. I ice climb and they fit under my climbing helmet. I would guess they fit under a ski/snowboard/biking helmet as well! Ship to USA only. Paypal and credit cards via Paypal accepted. Limited quantities in patterns and sizes.

Fully lined beanies - not just the ears!

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/summitshaka/


Purple Paisley - Lightweight
Lined with purple 100% Merino Wool


Green Swirl - Midweight
Lined with black Merino Stretch Fleece

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Lost In The Forest - Ice Climbing



ice climbing, top rope, crawford notch


Lost In The Forest
Frankenstein Cliffs


A frigid cold, but fun day at Lost In The Forest! Met Ken, Zarina and Tim for a cold day of cragging.  - 4 in the parking lot at the start of our day. I got in a couple of top rope laps; some solo-climbing on short, low-angle ice; some downclimbing practice; and some anchor building. So good to be back climbing at Frankenstein Cliffs and looking forward to coming back during the ice season!



We think think that's Art Mooney at the top of Chia






Saturday, December 31, 2016

Leprechaun's Lement (WI2-3) - Ice Climbing

ice climbing, lead, kinsman notch, leprechaun's lement
Thanks for the belay, Ken!

Great to get out on the ice for the first time this season - a meetup event at the Kinsman Notch in Woodstock, NH. Just got a couple of top rope laps in but my last climb of 2016 was a lead on the fun & easy, Leprechaun's Lement. The grade was easy (WI2-3) but the ice brittle, so I re-bored a couple of screw holes. 

At one point I looked up and thought that it would so much faster if I didn't place any protection and just climbed this route to its anchor. I have to admit that thoughts of solo-climbing an easy grade has crossed my mind several times. But I have to learn to keep mum about it. I find that openly expressing an interest in solo-climbing freaks people out. 

Climbing this grade was uber fun. Shit, leading is fun! And if you've been reading my climbing posts, you've probably noticed that there have been several multi-pitch climbs where I have climbed as a "follower/middle" climber. I'm trying to get away from this type of climbing as at this stage, I would prefer to either climb as a "second" or "lead" climber. I learned how to lead on grades 2 & 3's. Now my goal is to get as much mileage in leading grades 2 & 3's.

Ken Domino on my belay. Photo by Steff Laituri.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Navigation, Route Planning & Map Making Course



Over the weekend, Steff and I took a Navigation, Route Planning & Map Making course with IFMGA/AMGA Mountain Guide, Marc Chauvin of Chauvin Guides International

The course was held 10am to 5pm in the Mt. Jefferson Room of the North Conway Grand Hotel in North Conway, NH. We learned the different functions of Caltopo.com, Avenza Maps Mobile App and Google Earth.

Relevant Course Links:
Digital Elevation Model Shading: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ls5SVHVVpU
Using layers in Cal Topo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqzmRU1yRAI
Using Google Earth & Cal Topo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79bCiBmTKe4
Creating Geospatial PDFs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeY74-kH-rI


Video created using my iPhone 7 and the Splice app from GoPro




Sunday, October 30, 2016

Wilderness Navigation - Compass & Map

Pawtuckaway State Park
At the top of Rocky Ridge, Pawtuckaway State Park
Left to right: Allison, Lovey, Susan & Brenda

No surprise that "Hiking" was voted the most popular activity! I wanted to set up a Wilderness Navigation course for the Nature Girls Meetup group but didn't know if it would be something that the members would be interested in. So I set up a poll listing 10 different outdoor activities and asked the members to vote - and Hiking won out. Based on the poll results, I had Steff secure a date and price with the groups guiding company, Mooney Mountain Guides, and we set up a meetup event for the course. The response was overwhelming and spots filled in no time!






On the day of the meetup event we met at Popovers in Epping, NH and over coffee and yummy popovers, we covered parts of a compass, Declination, Boxing the compass, and Boxing the compass & map. With practice maps we learned Aiming off, Points and Handrails. And finally we learned taking and following a compass bearing.  After a couple of hours we headed over to the Pawtuckaway State Park for the fun part!








In the parking lot Alex handed out maps and we "Boxed our compasses & maps" using a porta potty and a sign for reference. 

We broke up into two groups; the first group to plot coordinates between a bog and the Round Pond and then onto the "picnic area". 









Our group was led by Alex and we plotted coordinates up and over the Rocky Ridge, along the state park boundary to a bog, and then meeting up with group 1 at the saddle between Mt. Pawtuckaway and Rocky Ridge. 















We bushwhacked our way up to Rocky Ridge where we enjoyed the view and Alex showed us how to triangulate our position using two bearings, Mt. Pawtuckaway and Middle Mountain.

After lunch, we followed the state park boundary lines 
(marked by trees with blue on them) to a bog. 


From the bog, we hiked the short distance up to the saddle between 
Mt. Pawtuckaway and Rocky Ridge where we met up with group 1 led by Andrew.


From the saddle, our group hiked the White Blaze Trail for a
short distance passing huge boulders of The Devil's Den area. 






We bushwhacked along the bog, staying at an elevation of 400 feet until we came out to the road. And from there we hiked back up to the trailhead parking lot. 



I had a lot of fun today, the topic was interesting, easy to learn and Alex was fantastic! He was patient, laid-back, positive and loves to teach. If we had questions, he answered them and made certain we understood. Taking lessons from an AMGA guide, I was confident that we would learn the skills necessary for compass & map navigation, but also learn the most current skills used in the industry. Alex's services as a guide are invaluable and the group instruction was perfect for the Nature Girls. 

Alex Teixeira has been an AMGA guide since 2007. He has been with Mooney  Mountain Guides since 2010 and has been its owner since 2014.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Mount Monadnock - Solo Hiking

white cross trail, solo hiking, NH 52 with a view, summit selfie



Elevation: 3,165ft
Trail: White Cross
Elevation Gain: 1,765ft
Distance: 4 miles roundtrip
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Took a short drive west to hike up Monadnock and it was so refreshing! Originally I wanted to head north but with some overnight snow fall and ice, I didn't feel like driving in the stuff. So Monadnock was a good call for me. At the Poole Road entrance, park rangers said that there were 50 mph winds with reports of ice and snow at the summit. Felt good to get back out and hike the last of Autumn season.....winter will be here soon! 



Summit selfie Video
Along the White Cross Trail
white cross trail, solo hiking, NH 52 with a view,
Snow along the trail

mt. monadnock, white cross trail, solo hiking, NH 52 with a view


mt. monadnock, white cross trail, solo hiking, NH 52 with a view


mt. monadnock, white cross trail, solo hiking, NH 52 with a view


Saturday, October 8, 2016

Cormier-Magness 2016 - Multi Pitch Fall Rock Climb




Cormier-Magness (5.6)
Trad, 8 Pitches, 1150 feet
Whitehorse Ledge
North Conway, NH

No Rope? Wait. What? I yelled back to Sean that I needed more rope and his reply was clearer. "No Rope!" What I thought was insane rope drag, was in fact, the end of our rope. I had gotten onto a small ledge with a tree stump and had 12 feet more to the anchor at the end of the 6th pitch, The Low Beer Light pitch. Down-climbing was my only option. No worries. I had used the tree stump as a hold to get up to it, so it would have to do as a hold to get down. I girth-hitched a cordelette to the stump, then connected my anchor to it. I lowered myself slowly, unclipped my anchor from the cordelette and downclimbed by stemming the holds I stemmed to come up. 8 feet below this stump I had placed a #1 cam and removed it. 25-30 feet below the stump ledge was a ledge with several trees where I set up my anchor and brought Tom and Sean up. 

Sean, Tom and I climbed this route last July, with Sean leading. Like Sean, I had gone past the tree anchor on the short (60') 5th pitch, The Northwest Passage. And that's how I ended up on the "tree stump ledge". Sean said I just had a "lead epic." More like "newbie lead epic" I thought. I told Sean that I had had enough leading for the day and he laughed. We finished out the route with Sean on lead and met several other climbers also topping out before making our way down the hikers trail. 

Overall, the day was fantastic with amazing views - the fall foliage is coming in beautifully! I enjoyed the route overall and hope to get back. Distractions at the belay, (like that couple from Montreal who didn't know the route and wanted to follow us), as well as not knowing where the next belay station was didn't help my confidence level. So I really want to get back to make P5, The Northwest Passage, right. I will never forget this day. Enjoy a few photos taken of our fall climb.

**Although downclimbing is a good skill to have, it could've been prevented today had I read the beta on pitch 5 before leading it.


P1, to the pine tree




P2: The Wheat Thin Arete
The "mental crux" pitch

This second pitch wigged me out at first, no lie. It took me a good 5 minutes to get onto the flake. After I got onto the flake and past the little tree in the horizontal crack, I realized that I was making the pitch harder than it really was. The holds got better as I ascended the pitch and I  was able to relax and enjoy the climb. I clipped into the bolts and used the edge of the arete as a hold. I'd definitely lead this pitch again!







Bringing Sean up P2

Tom at the P4 start, The Open Book

Climber Brian on Sea Of Holes with heli in the background

Looking back at the "Sea of Green" on P4




Here's where I ended up setting up anchor after downclimbing. The lead climber (of the Montreal couple) was making his way up as I was downclimbing to this ledge. We laughed as I didn't make the anchor on 60m ropes. And he wasn't sure that his 70m rope would reach the anchor. But it did. 






Tom making his way up P7, The Platinum Slab




These two guys simul-climbed The Standard Route. 
Sean (left), reminiscing with them about climbing in the Grand Tetons.

Fall foliage views were amazing!


Humongous mushroom!






I got these little gems in the mail the day before and placed a couple of them along the 1st pitch!