Showing posts with label North Conway. Show all posts
Showing posts with label North Conway. Show all posts

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Cormier-Magness 2016 - Multi Pitch Fall Rock Climb

Cormier-Magness (5.6)
Trad, 8 Pitches, 1150 feet
Whitehorse Ledge
North Conway, NH

No Rope? Wait. What? I yelled back to Sean that I needed more rope and his reply was clearer. "No Rope!" What I thought was insane rope drag, was in fact, the end of our rope. I had gotten onto a small ledge with a tree stump and had 12 feet more to the anchor at the end of the 6th pitch, The Low Beer Light pitch. Down-climbing was my only option. No worries. I had used the tree stump as a hold to get up to it, so it would have to do as a hold to get down. I girth-hitched a cordelette to the stump, then connected my anchor to it. I lowered myself slowly, unclipped my anchor from the cordelette and downclimbed by stemming the holds I stemmed to come up. 8 feet below this stump I had placed a #1 cam and removed it. 25-30 feet below the stump ledge was a ledge with several trees where I set up my anchor and brought Tom and Sean up. 

Sean, Tom and I climbed this route last July, with Sean leading. Like Sean, I had gone past the tree anchor on the short (60') 5th pitch, The Northwest Passage. And that's how I ended up on the "tree stump ledge". Sean said I just had a "lead epic." More like "newbie lead epic" I thought. I told Sean that I had had enough leading for the day and he laughed. We finished out the route with Sean on lead and met several other climbers also topping out before making our way down the hikers trail. 

Amazing views at the top - the fall foliage is coming in beautifully! I enjoyed the route overall and hope to get back. Distractions at the belay, (like that couple from Montreal who didn't know the route and wanted to follow us), as well as not knowing where the next belay station was didn't help my confidence level. So I really want to get back to make P5, The Northwest Passage, right. I will never forget this day. Enjoy a few photos! 

**Although downclimbing is a good skill to have, it could've been prevented today had I read the beta on pitch 5 before leading it, as well as having a more attentive lead belay.

P1, to the pine tree

P2: The Wheat Thin Arete
The "mental crux" pitch

This second pitch wigged me out at first, no lie. It took me a good 5 minutes to get onto the flake. After I got onto the flake and past the little tree in the horizontal crack, I realized that I was making the pitch harder than it really was. The holds got better as I ascended the pitch and I  was able to relax and enjoy the climb. I clipped into the bolts and used the edge of the arete as a hold. I'd definitely lead this pitch again!

Bringing Sean up P2

Tom at the P4 start, The Open Book

Climber Brian on Sea Of Holes with heli in the background

Looking back at the "Sea of Green" on P4

Here's where I ended up setting up anchor after downclimbing. The lead climber (of the Montreal couple) was making his way up as I was downclimbing to this ledge. We laughed as I didn't make the anchor on 60m ropes. And he wasn't sure that his 70m rope would reach the anchor. But it did. 

Tom making his way up P7, The Platinum Slab

Friday, June 19, 2015

Thin Air - Multi Pitch Rock Climb

Thin Air (5.6)
360 feet, 5 Pitches
Cathedral Ledge
North Conway, NH

We did this route in 3 instead of 5 pitches. My leader Geoff combined P1 & P2. And P4 & P5. The traverse section is my fave section of this route. On our last pitch, the area between the two flakes were really reachy for me, and on my first attempt I slipped. But I found the very top section of the flake on the right to be a bomber hold. It was plenty enough so that I could get my feet up and onto the bulgy flake on the left. I would def do this route again! Enjoy some photos I took  while on the route.

At the base of Thin Air

Anchor at a small ledge

Getting set to do the fun traverse!!!!!!
Geoff at our 2nd belay station

At our 2nd belay station
Geoff pointing out the Cranmore Ski slopes

At our 2nd belay station
Pat on "The Missing Link"

Our 2nd pitch

Gorgeous view!


Looking down from our 3rd belay station

Geoff and I end along the same route so we 
followed Pat and his partner to finish up on our last pitch.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Women's Trad Climbing Clinic - Rock Climbing

Women’s Trad Climbing Clinic
American Alpine Club Craggin' Classic 2013
Cathedral Ledge, North Conway, NH

Found out about this awesome event while I was still hiking in Hawaii. I had taken the AMC Rock Climbing Course with the intent of learning how to set anchors. But along with it came lessons on Trad Seconding and some ops to second. This clinic looked like the perfect op to finally get to learn about setting anchors, so after checking my calendar, I quickly booked my spot for the Women’s Trad Climbing Clinic.

Check-in was at the Glen Ellis Family Campground in Glen, NH. After meeting with Alexa of Mooney Mountain Guides, we drove to The North End of Cathedral Ledge. It was a short hike uphill from the street parking. There were 8 students, 1 instructor and 2 assistants and Alexa quickly got to demonstrating building bomber anchors.

In this clinic we learned components of building a safe anchor system using the  acronym ERNEST. In the AMC Rock Climbing Course the acronym SERENE was used. After doing some research on this, ERNEST and SERENE are to the two most commonly used/easily remembered acronyms for building anchors. They’re very similar with some climbing schools teaching it one way, and some the other way.

Strong (stable)

Solid: This means that each individual piece that makes the anchor (i.e., nuts, cams, ice screws, pins) are solid enough on their own.

Redundant: There should be more than one piece for the anchor. Common anchor examples are two bolts, three pieces of rock gear, etc. One exception is a single rock or tree that can be considered  as sufficiently reliable on its own.

Equalized: Each piece in the anchor should share the load of the anchor force equally. If there is slack to any single piece, that means that that piece is not loaded, and the anchor is not equalized.

No Extension: This means that if one piece should blow out of the anchor, there will not be a shock-loading of the anchor as a result. If there is slack to one piece and the others blow out, there will be a severe load directed onto that piece,  “a shock loading”.

Timely or Efficient: These terms relate to the common adage "speed is safety." While speed is not the only important element, it is quite important to make your anchors in a timely manner. If it takes 30 minutes to make an anchor, that can add up to a lot of time during a long multi-pitch route. The faster you can make an excellent anchor the better. Take the time you need to make a good anchor but remember that a fast but weak anchor is no good!

And we also learned important components when placing Cams;
1. Rock Quality (are you placing your gear in solid rock)
2. Direction of Pull (angling your gear in the direction of pull)
3. Surface area (that each of the surfaces of your gear is making good contact with the rock)
4. For placing Nuts, all the above but also look for constrictions

After the demonstration, we paired up (I paired up with Karrie) and spent the next 3.5 hours building our anchors. Alexa, Sam and Sara came around to check our anchors. We stopped to break for lunch and someone mentioned getting some climbing in. It was getting chilly and some of the women in our clinic wanted to warm up. So Alexa set up a top rope on Child’s Play (5.6). But Suzy and I wanted a chance to do some mock trad leading. So a top rope was set up on the right section of The North End. It was my very first time setting Trad protection and clipping in, and I was STOKED! Sorry, I didn’t get any photos of our mock trad leading!

I’m so glad I signed up for this clinic. It was packed full of information and I didn’t expect to learn such a great deal. I met other women of different levels of climbing, and got to work with really good climbing instructors as well! The only thing I didn't like about it was that it wasn't long enough. :) I wished it was over a course of two-days! The first day building multi-pitch anchors with some mock trad leading. Then the second day to go over the anchors then actually doing more trad leading on single/easy pitches! Thanks go to Alexa Siegal of Mooney Mountain Guides, Sam Bendroth of (IMCS) International Mountain Climbing School and Sara of CAMP. And thanks to the American Alpine Club for setting up Craggin’ Classic 2013!

Enjoy some photos taken the day of the clinic!

 The North End of Cathedral Ledge
Alexa of Mooney Mountain Guides (4)
Our turn to build anchors
Karrie and Alexa
For a bit of challenge, Sam had Karrie and I build 3 sets of anchors on two different cracks.
After building the first set of anchors, we set aside those pieces of gear and then built the
second set of anchors using the gear we had left on our harness.Then we set aside those pieces of gear and built our third set of anchors using the gear we had left on our harness.

My turn! (2)

Pam and Alexa
Helping one another with knots
Alexa Trad leading to set up top rope on Child's Play (3)

Karrie looking on, with another clinic in the background

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Whitehorse Ledge – Multi-pitch Rock Climb

The Standard Route – 1,080 feet (5.5)
Whitehorse Ledge
North Conway, NH

A day before I turned 51 years old, I went rock climbing outdoors for the very first time. Now just 4 days before my 54th birthday, I trad climbed over 1000 feet! It was an amazing day of climbing for me, indeed!

One of New England’s most busiest routes, The Standard (5.5), is a sweeping granite apron full of awesome classic friction routes. Ken, Catherine, Kristina and I headed out early to Whitehorse Ledge in North Conway, NH. The lower parking lot is for climbers and from there to the base of the Slabs is about a 10 minute walk. From the base, we walked/climbed up to the Launch Pad and set anchors to start our 2nd pitch. There was a bunch of other climbers already on the Slabs, but not the crowd we had anticipated.

On a personal note: I need to bring more fluids! I had 2 liters of frozen coconut water and 1.5 liters of frozen water in my Camelbak. I thought the 2 liters would suffice so I left my Camelbak in my truck. I should've brought it along! Although the 2 liters lasted me to the top, I could've used more. Especially since we spent longer time on the Lunch Ledge than expected.

The guidebook list this route with 9 pitches but we got it done in 8! I'm so stoked I got to trad climb over 1000 feet! 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Waterfall Photography Workshop

I had taken several workshops with Ian Murray through his Photography Workshops meetup group at But I was really looking forward to this particular workshop. This was going to be an full day workshop in the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire. We met up at 9:30am at the Dunkin Donuts on Route 112 in Lincoln, NH. I was 30 minutes early so I stopped by Lahouts Summit Shop first, browsed a bit and spoke with Chuck about ice climbing boots.

At Dunkin Donuts Ian handed out workshop notes and the 8 of us carpooled in 4 cars. The plan for the day was to start out at Dunkin Donuts, making our way up route 112, then onto routes 302, 16 and 3, southbound on I-93, and finally meet back up at Dunkin Donuts.

We started out east on 112 and our first stop was about 20 miles away, at Sabaday Falls. The parking lot was plowed but the trailhead wasn't. We decided to skip this falls and headed back out onto 112. We stopped in Albany at the trailhead of Rocky Gorge. The trailhead to the bridge is paved so there isn't a hike. Very easy access and our group spent about an hour photographing the Rocky Gorge from the bridge.

We had lunch at the Chef's Market in North Conway. By then the sun had come out and any signs of rain was gone. The Chef's Market is a quaint deli with healthy lunches at very reasonable prices. Chef Bryant Alden was behind the counter taking orders and his medals are proudly displayed on the wall behind their counter. I ordered the Hummus on wheat wrap and a cup of soup. It was delicious and the service there was both professional and pleasant! I highly recommend this deli if you are ever in North Conway. I do know that I will back to dine there again.

After lunch, we continued onto the town of Jackson. We stopped at the Honeymoon Bridge where Ian gave advice on shooting the covered bridge at different angles. I learned some tips on bringing out the 'red' of the bridge. 

On the other side of the covered bridge is Flossie's General Store and Emporium. It was closed but its front lawn provided many photo ops! 

Up the road a bit is Jackson Falls and it's such a lovely sight and sound - I just  love the sound of falls! At this falls I got to try out a filter I recently purchased, a Moose Warm (81A) Circular Polarized filter. I left my tripod in my truck, so I ended up setting my camera on the rocks at the falls edge.

Along route 302 we stopped at the Silver Cascade Falls. This is a no-hike falls. Just park your car, cross the street and setup your tripod and camera on the sidewalk....easy peasy. You don't even have to stop, just slow down as the falls can be seen from the road.
The Upper Falls in Bretton Woods was our last Waterfall stop and I donned my MicroSpikes as there was still a fair amount of snow on the ground. We parked along the roadside as the parking lot was not plowed. The bridge over the falls was just a short walk from roadside. 

It wasn't on the schedule, but we drove up the road a bit to the Mt. Washington Cog Railway. Half the group decide not to continue so there were only the four of us. It was exciting to be here at the base, as this was the closest I've ever been to Mt. Washington! 

Our very last stop of the day was the Irving gas station on the corner of route 302 and Base Road. We didn't expect it but there he was in the forecourt, a beautiful Red Fox begging for food. Slices of roast beef were tossed to him while we took photos. He didn't seem to mind posing for us, so long as we had food for him!

It was a long day and I didn't get home until well after dark, but I loved every minute of this workshop! I always enjoy Ian's workshops. He has a very calm method of teaching. He provides a comfortable setting for students of any level and is patient while providing guidance.

** Click on the photos to see a larger view 

YouTube Channel - Hawaii Girl Adventures

Check out my YouTube channel at:  Hawaii Girl Adventures I will eventually be phasing out blog posts and be posting videos of my climbing, h...