Sunday, July 6, 2014

Minty - Multi-pitch Rock Climbing

Minty (5.4)
230 feet, 3 pitches
The Gunks (Shawangunks)
Mohonk Preserve, NY

What a difference a year makes! Although that day a year ago wasn’t what I expected, it was a day that I would never forget. And will try not to repeat! So when Geoff and Jeff invited me to tag along for a day at the Gunks, I was skeptical. But I had been ice and rock climbing with them for several months now, so I felt comfortable seconding them. As expected, it was crowded and as the day wore on, the popular routes had queues! Enjoy some photos of our day at the Gunks.

Jeff leading up Minty

My turn!

At the belay ledge I found an old piton in addition to my anchor

Jeff and I on the belay ledge

Pretty view from the belay ledge

Geoff leading up pitch 2

Belay ledge selfie

My turn! This section up the face is so sweet, but short!

Geoff leading pitch 3

After a few minutes of searching, we found the tree on the GTLedge
(which already had slings and a rap ring) to rap down on (3).

Originally we wanted to climb Northern Pillar but there was a party already climbing and two more other parties waiting their turn. So we started up the Twin Oaks (5.3). 

But we didn’t climb the second pitch of Twin Oaks.
Instead, leader Geoff traversed left to a tree on a ledge. 

We finished off the climb on pitch 2 of Northern Pillar. Then rapped down from bolt anchors on a large boulder.  Free-rapping fun on two 60m ropes! It was such a beautiful day for some mellow multi-pitch climbs. The routes were fun with sections of rock scrambling and I got to climb with folks I enjoy climbing with. Also, love The Gunks – great one-to-three-pitch climbs of all levels of difficulty!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Lakeview - Multi-pitch Rock Climb

Lakeview (5.6)
1,020 feet, 8 pitches
Trad, Alpine, Grade III
Cannon Cliffs
Franconia, NH

Getting back to Cannon. . . . . I love the exposure of this cliff!

A day with a long wait behind 3 climbing teams, bug bites, sunburn, a near miss of tire-sized rock fall from careless climbers above us, classic exposure, and fun pitches made for an epic Lakeview climb! Enjoy some photos of our otherwise, mellow climb.

At the base of Lakeview route

Sean leads the 1st pitch with "T" on his belay

At the belay station of pitch 2

Making my way up pitch 2

At the belay station of pitch 3

At the belay station just below the "Lunch Ledge"
We shared the space with 2 other climbing teams at belay station at the start of pitch 6. The team of 2 at the far left started up towards the Lunch Ledge while we waited from our turn and caused a rockfall. Just then another team of two (a guide and his student) made their way up to our belay station from the Consolation Prize route. The guide started yelling “ROCK!” I looked up and there were huge rocks coming down at us! Luckily we weren’t in the direct line but second of the team that was standing next to us at the belay station was! It just barely missed him as well as the guide coming up Consolation Prize! The team that caused the rockfall didn’t even bother to yell “Rock!” So uncool!

I dropped my brand new Petzl Reverso from this belay station just as I was taking Sean off belay! :(

Sean leading pitch 7

"T" working pitch 7
I told him how lucky he was to have his father take him climbing at Cannon Cliff! And that
10 years from now he'll look back at this day and say, "I was 13 years old when I first climbed Lakeview!"

My favorite pitch is the pitch 7! I loved that this pitch had fantastic holds and a crack climb. But I was really tired from being out in the sun all day and waiting for 3 teams ahead of us. It did affect my breathing and at the end of the pitch, my inhaler was much needed! My shoulders were definitely sunburned by now!

Just one more pitch to climb! (2)

Rigging where the Old Man of the Mountain used to be

Sean easily makes his way up the large flake of the last pitch.

At the top (4)
Sean belayed from the Old Man cables

The rigging from the final belay station

"T" and I standing on the remnants of the water trough. 
We followed this water trough down through a steep
area of woods, then along  the Lake to the parking lot. 

It was a long day out in the sun, I’ve got sunburn to show for it. And the experience of reaching the top of Lakeview where the Old Man once stood and the Franconia Notch views were amazing! And I also got to climb with folks I truly enjoy climbing with!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mt. Garfield - Solo Spring Hike

Mt. Garfield
Elevation: 4,500ft
Trails: Garfield and Garfield Ridge
Elevation Gain: 3,000ft
Distance: 10 miles roundtrip
Duration: 6.75 hours (includes stops along trail and at summit)
My 4000+ Peak #29
Listed 4000+: #14
Difficulty:  Easy to Moderate

Normally I don’t hike during the week, but I had a free day and it was gorgeous with very mild temps, perfect for spending time with myself hiking in the White Mountains. I took the most popular route up, the Garfield Trail. It was an easy trail that follows old fire roads and a tractor road. At the Garfield Ridge junction I took the short, easy scramble 0.2 miles to the summit. I had the summit to myself for a while. I usually limit my summit stays to about 30 minutes, but I couldn’t get my Peaks App to focus correctly on the peaks of the Franconia Ridge. Plus, I had to eat. Plus, I had to take as many photos as I could get. And then I did a bit of socializing with Nack and his mom. Even though I got a bit of a late start, I was able to spend 1 hour and 15 minutes at the summit! It really is tough to leave a summit with 360-degree phenomenal views!

Along the trail (4)

At the summit

Nack admiring the views

Franconia Ridge views

Summit selfie!

Peaks iPhone app by Augmented Outdoors

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Whitehorse Ledge - Multi-pitch Rock Climb

Sea Of Holes (5.7)
580 feet, 4 pitches
Whitehorse Ledge
Conway, NH

Beautiful Father’s Day multi-pitch climbing with Geoff, Jeff and Kevin. We reached the base of “The Slabs” expecting to find it packed. But to our surprise, there were only 3 groups on! Jeff and Kevin headed off to climb the Cormier-Magness Route (5.6), and Geoff and I headed off to climb Sea Of Holes. The first three pitches are slab climbing. I had on short ankle socks and so wished I had worn longer socks. My socks were riding down towards my heels and I could feel blisters coming on. The last pitch contained the crux and I thought it was fun! But I was sketched out because there was so much wet, dirty moss at the end of the pitch. Moss slogging, especially the wet stuff, is NOT fun! Blech! Enjoy some photos I took of our climb up Sea Of Holes.

PS: Geoff says, "Thanks for the cold brew!." When we got down from our climb, someone had left a cold can of beer in Geoff's sneakers! :D

Geoff  leading up the 1st belay station.
The first pitch requires no pro (placement of protection).

View behind me from the 1st belay station

Geoff at the 2nd belay station

Geoff at the 3rd belay station

Selfie at the 2nd belay station

Geoff getting set to lead the final pitch

The view from our 4th and final belay station

Geoff preparing to rap down to the 3rd belay station

Geoff rapping down to the 2nd belay station