Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Lower Slabs - Rock Climbing


The Lower Slabs
Pawtuckaway State Park
Nottingham, NH

Abbie, Kierstie and I met for a mellow day of top rope climbing at the Lower Slabs. The gate to the Round Pond Road is now open so the approach from the parking area to the Lower Slabs, Lakeside Crag, Upper Cliffs etc is about 5 minutes. We were all set to expect humid conditions with lots of bugs. But surprisingly, the temps were very comfortable and it was hardly buggy due to the mild breezes. We had the crag all to ourselves! Enjoy some photos taken of our day!



Monday, May 1, 2017

3 Climbing Crags - Solo Hike



Spent the last few weekends of April hiking 3 climbing crags; Purgatory Chasm in Sutton, MA, Jockey Cap Rock in Freyburg, ME, and the Lower Slabs, Lakeside Crag and Upper Cliff of Pawtuckaway State Reservation in Nottingham, NH. Cool features plus lovely views - I love rock! Enjoy some photos taken on my hikes.

*Purgatory Chasm has a long history of rock climbing. A permit is required for climbing at Purgatory Chasm. 



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!

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Notches: A Rock Climbing Guidebook to the Western White Mountains


new england rock climbing guidebooks
New England Rock Climbing Guidebooks



Jon Sykes rock climbing guidebook



Stoked to find my copy of "The Notches" guidebook waiting for me when I returned home from the MWV Ice Fest! Mahalo, Jon Sykes, for signing my copy!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

MWV Ice Fest 2017




What a fantastic weekend at the annual Mount Washington Valley Ice Festival in North Conway - it went by way too quickly! Wanted to sign up for the Outdoor Research Women's Steep Ice Climbing clinic last year but I was too late. This year I made sure I signed up early, as the all-women's clinics usually fill up quickly. I met and ice climbed with some wonderful women. And we were guided by some of the very best in the industry, Majka Burhardt and Emilie Drinkwater. Also got to demo Petzl Nomic ice tools and Darts crampons. Really loved the Nomics....easy to swing and remove. The Darts took a bit to get used to but after a while, it felt like my dual point Lynx. Enjoy some photos taken of our day!





Got to demo Petzl Nomics
and Darts for the ice fest

Ali from Sterling Rope Company

Gearing up

Majka Burhardt demonstrating steep ice
technique with Emilie Drinkwater on her belay.

Champney Falls

Eliza Earle, Adventure Photographer, was on hand for 
the day to take our photos at Champney Falls.

Majka Burhardt giving me much needed beta!

Great group of ladies to spend the day climbing with!
Bottom left to right: Nancy, Elise, Moira & Kierstie
Top left to right: Majka, Emilie, Kimberly and me



After climbing, several of us headed over to Muddy Moose
for dinner. I love their Fruits of the Forest Salad!




At the entrance of the Theater In The Woods is the photo booth. Smile, put on a prop and a silly pose! Kierstie and I hamming it up! Featured presenter for the night was Guy Robertson. He gave an "insider's view" of winter climbing in Scotland. At the end of the presentation lots of sexy climbing gear was raffled off. 


Photo booth photos from Eric McCallister Photography. 











While at the presentation I got the chance to speak with Chris Magness and he let me know of the newly launched Protect Mount Washington campaign website and Facebook page. Please consider making a donation. Your donation will help with costs associated with retaining BCM Environmental & Land Law to represent the public's interest and community outreach.






Saturday, January 28, 2017

Leprechaun's Lement Gully (WI2) - Ice Climbing


Leprechaun's Lement Gully (WI2)
Thanks for the belay, Ken!


Usually when I shut off my truck engine, the headlamps automatically turn off. But not today. Had to make a trip back down to the parking lot to turn them off. If you ice climb at Kinsman Notch, you know that very steep approach well. Great warmup hiking the approach twice, fer sure. But would have rather spent the warmup actually climbing. But my truck - she started right up. ;)

Met Ken and Dominique for some mellow climbing at Kinsman Notch. Ken thought the ice might be thin from the thaw, but the conditions were really good!  I thought it would be crowded but we had the climbs all to ourselves. Counting the three of us, plus a solo climber, two parties of 2, and a guided group, there were 18 total at the crag today. At one point we even left our rope hanging on the Leprechaun's Lement route and went to check out The Beast. Enjoy a few photos taken of our day.



Dominique on Leprechaun's Lement (left) and Hanging By A Moment (right).










Ken on Hanging By A Moment

















This solo climber made his way up Hanging By A Moment. He climbed up to the trees, then rapped down. Then climbed back up to the trees on a solo belay.











Met Sharon and Don. Sharon is a new ice leader too! 
Look at her go! Yay Sharon!

We checked out The Beast - looking good!

From the base of The Beast

Leprechaun's Lement

Selfie



Sunday, January 22, 2017

Flume Cascade - Solo Ice Climbing

crawford notch, nh


Flume Cascade  (WI2)
Crawford Notch, NH

When you can't get any ice lead practice in, the next best thing is to solo climb (for me anyways). 

So solo climb I did, up the Flume Cascade, just up past the bulge on the right. Did expect to climb farther than 200 (?) feet. But lots of postholing, and finally a decision not to walk across on some f**king-scary ice (aka ice with very loud sound of rushing water under it) turned me back. Solitude and beautiful views. Will have to come back another day!






Followed the footprints up the right side of the cascade. Wasn't familiar with which side of the cascade the water flowed, so I studied a lot of photos of the falls that were taken in the summer/fall months. This gave me an idea as to which side to stay on, especially with the warm temps.
















Got up to this bulge on the right. Climbed the low angle ramp to the left of it and found a level floor of ice with running water beneath it. That's when I decided to turn back.




Looking back. The grade was easy to climb. My main concern on this climb was to not fall through the ice and postholing. 


















Route 302 and the Trestle Gully on Mt. Willard

Mt. Willard


Some fast moving water!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Handmade insulated beanies for winter sports enthusiasts!



handmade, beanies, merino wool, merino stretch fleece, spandex
Orange Paisley

Handmade beanies offered in lightweight and midweight versions - yes, I make these! The lightweight beanies are fully lined with 100% Merino Wool. And the midweight beanies are lined with Merino Stretch Fleece. I ice climb and they fit under my climbing helmet. I would guess they fit under a ski/snowboard/biking helmet as well! 





  • Ship to USA only - USPS First Class $2.60
  • Paypal and credit cards via Paypal accepted. 
  • Limited quantities in patterns and sizes.
  • Fully lined beanies - not just the ears!

Etsy:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/SummitShaka

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/summitshaka/


Purple Paisley - Lightweight
Lined with purple 100% Merino Wool


Green Swirl - Midweight
Lined with black Merino Stretch Fleece

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Lost In The Forest - Ice Climbing



ice climbing, top rope, crawford notch


Lost In The Forest
Frankenstein Cliffs


A frigid cold, but fun day at Lost In The Forest! Met Ken, Zarina and Tim for a cold day of cragging.  - 4 in the parking lot at the start of our day. I got in a couple of top rope laps; some solo-climbing on short, low-angle ice; some downclimbing practice; and some anchor building. So good to be back climbing at Frankenstein Cliffs and looking forward to coming back during the ice season!



We think think that's Art Mooney at the top of Chia