Sunday, April 9, 2017

Bald Knob - Solo Hiking


winnipesaukee, bald knob, hike, lake region conservation trust
Pano photo of Lake Winnipesaukee from Bald Knob


Bald Knob (1,801 ft)
Trails: Turtleback Mtn & Bald Knob
Mileage: approx 6.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

What a great day for a hike! Didn't realize there was another trail to Bald Knob until I met Larry DeGeorge at the trailhead. He said there is another trailhead along route 171. It's unmarked and on private property, but hikers are allowed to use it. Next time I'll try that way! The trails were muddy and slushy, especially on the hike down. I didn't bring snowshoes, as I didn't think I needed them. I did pack microspikes but didn't need those as well. Enjoy some photos taken along my hike.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

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


Pano photo left to right: LL gully, LL slab. Hanging By A Moment


Leprechaun's Lement (WI2-3)
Kinsman Notch, North Woodstock, NH

The last of this season ice climbing for me....so I was glad I got to get in one lead. Like the past weekend at Arethusa Falls and weekend before that at Waterfall, we had the ice all to ourselves today. Overcast skies were sure promising and when we got to the base of Leprechaun's Lement, we were glad it was in the shade. For the most part, the slab was clear of snow. (below the base of LL lay the snow that had slid of the LL slab). 

John led the Leprechaun's Lement Gully, then we rapped down into the vertical section of the slab where we did a couple of laps. We also did a couple of laps on the Hanging By A Moment. And finally, in the late afternoon, I led the Leprechaun's Lement Slab. I led the center since I had only led the left hand side of the slab. The ice on the first half of the route was really still good. But by that time the clouds lifted and the sun had shown through baking the top half of the route. And after the half way point, the ice was just pure shitty. So I only placed pro up to the half way point and ran it out to the tree anchor. I could've put one more piece of pro in if I just scraped the shitty ice off of the top layer. But the grade was easy, I felt good, calm and not pumped and made sure all my sticks and feet were solid. Enjoy some photos taken of our day at Kinsman Notch.



Sunday, March 26, 2017

Arethusa Falls (WI3-4) - Ice Climbing

ice climbing, winter, arethusa falls
Pano photo of Arethusa Falls

Arethusa Falls (WI3-4)
Crawford Notch, NH

Beautiful bluebird day for some spring ice climbing! John and I checked out Walk In The Forest and it wasn't looking good. Most of it was in full sun and looking really baked (scary). I suggested we check out Arethusa Falls so we back-tracked along the railroad tracks and headed up the Arethusa Falls Trail. The 1.5 mile trail was well-packed and there were some hikers already coming down. They confirmed solid ice and no flowing water like John and Phil had encountered couple weeks prior. Like Waterfall (WI3) the week before, we had the falls all to ourselves. But there were many photographers, hikers and their dogs who came to the falls while we were climbing. John did a fantastic job leading up the left-center. At the start the ice was solid. But at the middle there was a lot of snow and about 3/4 way the ice was pretty bad, but under it was solid. The flowing water in the center definitely caught my attention. At the top and off to the right, is a tree with a large red webbing  around it. John set up anchor and we rapped down from here. 

Great job sending Arethusa Falls John and thanks for another mellow day of ice climbing!


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Waterfall (WI3) - Ice Climbing


Waterfall (WI3)
Frankenstein Cliffs, Crawford Notch, NH

Great conditions, mild temps, no wind makes for a great climbing the last day of winter! John and I climbed the Waterfall route - had this area all to ourselves. Mellow day of climbing for sure!


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Rock Circuit Trail - Solo Winter Hiking



Middlesex Fells Reservation, MA.
Rock Circuit Trail: 5 miles roundtrip loop
Easy to Moderate

As with last weekend, I didn't feel like driving up north for a hike. The temps here were colder and it was more windy than a week ago. But the short ride to the Middlesex Fells Reservation suited me just fine. Plus, it was a distraction for the time being - while I wait and hope for more ice to re-form in the Kinsman and Crawford Notches. 

I had hiked part of the Rock Circuit Trail (white blaze) before, but just from Pinnacle Rock to White Rock. Today I parked at fire gate #53 and hiked counter-clockwise starting at fire gate #52. As with last weekend, there were many hikers and dogs but not a single biker on the trails of the Eastern Fells. Blog & video of last weekend's solo hike along the Skyline Trail here. Enjoy some photos taken along my hike.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Skyline Trail - Solo Winter Hiking



Middlesex Fells Reservation, MA.
Skyline Trail: 7 miles roundtrip loop
Easy to Moderate

Didn't want to head north for a hike today so I took advantage of the spring-like conditions and the short ride to the Middlesex Fells Reservation. Started the loop hike at Bellevue Pond parking area (fire gate #5). It was a pleasant hike with many hikers, bikers and dogs on the trail. I enjoyed the hike but next time I hike the Skyline Trail, I'd like to hike it in the clockwise direction. Blog & video of my solo hike along the Rock Circuit Trail here. Enjoy some photos taken along my hike.
middlesex fells reservation, sheepfold parking lot




The only thing that was very uncool on my hike was seeing all these poo poo dog bags along the trail! It was just past the Sheepfold Parking Lot. Totally nasty!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Crawford Notch - Ice Climbing






Indeed a quiet day for some ice climbing! Steff and I went out to Crawford Notch this morning. We went up Lower Hitchcock and then on over to Left Hand Monkey Wrench. The ramp on the right was mostly snow, and not as steep at the Lower Hitchcock. I led up to the steep section of the route and placed a piece of pro at the base. I stepped up a few to place another piece but realized it was too steep for my leading comfort. So I set up a TR anchor at the base of the steep ice and we top roped leaving all the pro in. Steff had to leave early to get back in time for the Bnaff Film Fest so she was only able to get in one TR climb. I went up and cleaned the anchor and removed pro as I down climbed with Steff on my belay.  It was pretty easy....grade 2.  We rapped down the Lower Hitchcock because it was pretty steep. Saw 2 groups of 2 on our way in. And 2 groups of 2 on our way out. The ice was soft...hero ice! It sure was good to get on some ice, especially with the warmer temps coming in for the next following days! I felt bad as I wanted more for Steff. But I felt good about staying safe. Thanks for the wonderful day, Steff!