Sunday, February 7, 2016

MW Ice Fest Weekend 2016

ice, climbing, petzl, lynx quarks, la sportiva

My quads kill! And Friday’s commute to North Conway totally sucked. But it was all worth it since the weather for the weekend turned out so nice. I also got to spend time hiking with my good friend Steff, eating pizza with fellow meetup ice climbers and climbing with my climbing buddies, Jeff, Geoff and Kevin. A great, full weekend!

My pack ready with my mountaineering and ice climbing gear

I didn’t sign up for any of the clinics at the MW Ice Fest this year, but I did get in an amazing hike and some ice climbing! Friday’s commute to North Conway was slow and sloppy, but once in North Conway the weather and the roads were good! Steff and I stayed at the Claredon Motel.  Although the d├ęcor is outdated, it was clean and the staff was very friendly. Headed to the Muddy Moose for a delicious dinner!

Muddy Moose Restaurant & Pub
So a Moose, a German and a Hawaiian walk into a bar . . .  

On Saturday morning Steff and I headed to the Mount Washington summit. We met a lot of folks along the way…Marc Chauvin and his group, Justin of EMS and his group, a couple who turned around because he dropped a layer, Marcus and friends who ice climbed the day before, June the solo hiker, Craig (also solo) the photographer and Tren whose hair and beard were frosty because he wasn’t wearing a hat! Like a couple folks, we only made it to Lion Head (5,091ft) because of high winds and low visibility. Also, my quads were starting to ache and I had to use my inhaler a couple of times the higher we got because of slight wheezing. If I had been solo, I would’ve turned around once I broke treeline! Maybe if I hike in clouds more often I’ll get used to it? Anyways, the mountain will always be there. And I brought along my iPhone and a Fujifilm FinePix XP80 but both eventually stopped working because of the cold – I completed forgot to keep a spare camera battery warm.

Here we go!

View from the Lion Head Winter Trail

A queue at the first steep rock section

Itty bitty mixed climbing with no rope

Pretty much all the way up
Above treeline (5)

On our descent we passed the jacket that a guy dropped

For the steeper sections of our descent, we just set up
some rope (8mm x 15m) to help with the descent. (4 photos)

Here's a photo of me on the descent of this steep portion. 
Honestly, I ice climb and was not very comfy with this axe. 
I would have preferred my technical ice axes on this 
trail (both on the ascent and the descent) since they feel more 
like an extension of my hands rather than this mountaineering axe.

Final stretch back to the parking lot

After our hike to Lion Head, Steff went off to stay with some friends as she was skiing Wildcats the next morning. I checked into the Briarcliff Motel. The staff was very courteous and friendly but the room they originally gave me (#15) had two sets of windows and the back one, didn't lock at all! When I first go into a room I always check to see that the windows and doors can lock, the water pressure in toilet, sink and tub is good and the tub and sink don't plug. I went back to the front desk and was immediately given another room - that worked out perfectly! I met fellow meetup ice climbers at Flatbread for dinner where we had a really good turnout. Delicious pizzas and lots of laughs!

Hungry ice climbers!

On Sunday morning I met up with Jeff, Geoff and Kevin – together again, the 4 climbing amigos. We climbed at Cathedral Ledge along with some climbers from the ice fest as well as the AMC Boston Ice Climbing program. We got in several laps of the North End Slabs and Pillars. So thankful for easy laps since my quads were still burning from the hike the day before!

Several "ice climbing firsts" for Kevin

 First time on lead belay...

....for Geoff

And first time "cleaning"

Geoff top belaying Jeff

Lovey and Kevin selfie at the top

Fireman belay for Jeff

Met another Hawaii girl who ice climbs!

Climb with Aloha!

Geoff and I