Sunday, February 28, 2016

Frankenstein Cliffs - Ice Climbing

Frankenstein cliffs, crawford notch, ice climbing

Frankenstein Cliffs
Lost In The Forest
Crawford Notch, NH

Hero ice is better than no ice! 

My buddy Geoff is a leader with the AMC Berkshire and organized an ice climb for today. We met up in the upper parking lot of the Arethusa Falls trailhead along with Steve, John, Dane, Toby and Graham. The day before NEClimb posted ice conditions which were very promising, so I was counting on getting in some laps! We hiked across the trestle and stopped to read the ice at the slab area - so thin in most parts and baked as well. So we continued down the tracks until we got to the bottom of Lost In The Forest. There were only two parties of 2 already climbing so we made our way up. To the left of Lost was a lower angle slab so one rope was set up and used for warming up, the other 3 ropes were set up on Lost. The rest of the day was pretty mellow with the 7 of us climbing. There was lots of fat ice, but it was soft and easy for the tools and kicks. It made it easy for me to practice my climbing technique that I learned during my lesson from Alexa the week before. Don’t know how much more of a winter we’ll have left. But sure am glad to get in as much climbing as I can! It was a great day for climbing hero ice! Enjoy a few photos taken of our day at FC! And thanks for the belays Steve!!! :)

Low angle slab to the left of Lost



Geoff with Graham on his belay

Graham and Toby

Dane and John

Toby taking a break on the rock behind me

Steep stuff to the right is really fun
John with Toby on his belay

Steve on the steep (short but sweet) stuff!


At the end of the day we rapped down to the tracks
Toby with Steve on his belay

On our way out, we came across Alexa Siegel & Laurie! 
Laurie was taking the 2-day, Ladies-Only Steep Ice Climbing workshop
through Cathedral Mountain Guides.  She was rocking the steep stuff!
cathedral mountain guides, alexa siegel




Friday, February 19, 2016

Private Lead Ice Climbing Lesson - Day 1

Crawford notch, ice climbing, trestle

A "technical" day on ice today! My lesson with Alexa Siegel of Cathedral Mountain Guides today was fantastic!! We spent the day at the "Slabs" area of Frankenstein Cliffs, an the area just past the trestle working on skills for leading ice. Alexa understood from the get-go what my goals were and what I wanted out of my private lesson with her. I wanted to learn new ice climbing skills such as leading ice and we covered everything on my list! I got to try out some Outdoor Research gloves...I really liked the OR Stormtracker gloves for leading! And I got an outline of what we covered in my lesson so I can practice these new skills every day. Thank you so much Alexa for an amazing lesson! Didn't get very many photos, just a few....


Learned how to read ice!
candling, baked, delaminated


Practiced placing pro with both my left and right hands


Also built anchors, learned to belaying a second as well as haul/lower a second. Went over Rope management at the belay station, Swing leads and Building V-threads.

I also did some mock leading, and my climbing technique
 was honed as both a follower and as a lead climber. 







At our lunch break, we got a little visitor. He isn't at all shy! He was trying to get into Alexa's backpack. He has probably been hand-fed.








At the end of the day I got some cool stuffs - couple
CMG posters, a cute pink beanie cap and a camp knife.
Put both posters in a frame and hung it up in my gear room/office.
ice climbing lessons

We couldn't cover everything in one day, so I've signed up for a second day with Alexa. Read here about my Day 2 of Private Lead Ice Climbing Lessons.

Alexa Siegel works year round as a climbing guide for Cathedral Mountain GuidesMooney Mountain Guides, The White Mountain Climbing Camp and The Kismet Rock Foundation. She is an AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor and Wilderness First Responder. Along with Janet Wilkinson, Alexa started a Ladies Only Climbing Series with Cathedral Mountain Guides teaching women of all abilities ice climbing and mountaineering skills. She is a grassroots athlete for Outdoor Research and a member of Mountain Rescue Service.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Railroad Cut, NH – Ice Climbing

cut, rr, keene, ice climbing, low temps, frigid cold

Railroad Cut – Ice Climbing
SW4-Cheshire North Rail Trail
Keene, NH

So here we go again....another single digit day, but the addiction is strong and I couldn’t resist, yet again! Was supposed to be climbing the Auburn Ice Canyon but that got cancelled because the floor wasn't hard enough and there was only one flow up compared to the 4 we climbed on two weeks ago. So Kevin and I drove up to Keene, meeting Jeff on the way. Nuno and his son David was in the parking lot when we pulled in. Later George Adams came by and climbed with us. The low temps were really tough on my asthma and breathing. It went from 13 to 7 degrees in 3 hours. Plus, The Cut is like a wind tunnel and as the temps dropped, it got harder for me to climb. At the end of our day I felt exhausted, like I had felt when I hiked to Lion's Head the weekend before. But my exhaustion was due to the low temps. I did get in 4 climbs but could only finish the first two, my hands were so cold. Just a few photos of our day at “The RR Cut”.

Jeff checking out the climbs
Climbs are in, but it's gonna be brutal!

Jeff gearing up

Nuno setting up

Jeff up top, Kevin & George looking on

David

Nuno with David on is belay

Kevin

George

Jeff did a fine job on this flow but near the top, lost his right crampon

Kevin and I selfie....it's too cold to smile!

Kevin

George leading some real nice, thin stuff!