Saturday, March 15, 2014

Frankenstein Cliff – Multi-Pitch Ice Climb



Frankenstein Cliff – Multi-pitch Ice Climbing
The Standard Route II 3+
Standard Route Area
Frankenstein Cliff
Crawford Notch State Park



Another MELLOW day for ice climbing! The weather forecasted precipitation but as I drove up it was only cloudy. Eager to do another multi-pitch, I prayed that we would have some sunny skies with no precipitation, and my prayers were answered!  From the tracks we could make out 3 climbing parties already on the blue cascade. But by the time we got up to the base of The  Standard Route Area, we had the place to ourselves with no one to push us from behind.

We completed the route in 3 pitches. Jeff led and then belayed both Geoff and I as we climbed in tandem. I don’t know what is it I enjoy the most about ice climbing, perhaps it’s everything about the climb. Sure the ice is pretty under the “right lighting.” But having a awesome leader and climbing in tandem with another climber, made it possible for me to focus and learn about our climb. The temps were very mild and at one point the sun came out making it a bit “hot” while climbing! The weather made the ice “very forgiving.” There were already so many holds in the ice, that for most of the first pitch I took to hooking my tools in deep holds and barely having to kick my frontpoints. At the first and second belay stations I studied Jeff’s anchors and carefully watched him transition to leading the next pitch.

At the second belay station Geoff pointed out that I wasn’t anchored in correctly. I had clipped myself into a locking biner but the biner was secured to only one anchor and not all three. I should’ve known that – it was my responsibility to make certain I was anchored in correctly. Even with also being anchored with a Munter Hitch, it was no excuse to overlook even with two ropes, three anchors and three climbers at the belay station.

All in all, it was wonderful day for climbing and I was truly stoked to be a part of a multi-pitch ice climb. Here are some iPhone photos I snapped along with some photos taken by Geoff.

The Train Trestle

Jeff - the approach to the base of the climb

Jeff making his way up the 1st pitch with Geoff on his belay
Making my way up the 1st pitch
The right-hand cave
 At our belay station after the 1st pitch (3)


Jeff leading up the 2nd pitch
Making my way up the 2nd pitch . . .
. . . and then the 3rd pitch

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