Showing posts with label multi-pitch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label multi-pitch. Show all posts

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Vermont Weekend - Climbing & Skiing

smugglers notch, vermont, ENT Gully, multi pitch ice climbing
ENT Gully Pitch 1

Great weekend in Vermont! Jackie and I made the 1.8 mile uphill hike in from the south (Stowe) end of Smuggler's Notch. Then solo climbed up the steep approach...breaking trail to the base of the climb. But due to recent sub-zero temps, the ice at ENT Gully was bullet hard and super brittle - so we bailed on the much anticipated multi pitch climb. We plan on coming back for this climb. And next time I won't be wearing as many layers! Dang, I wore waaay too many layers on this trip - base layers, mid layers and thick insulated pants and jacket - all made for a very uncomfortable, too warm, uphill hike!

ENT Gully can be reached by hiking to the top of the notch on route 108 from either the south end in Stowe, or the north end in Jeffersonville. There is an outhouse (brown building with several toilets/urinals) and coming from the south end we hiked past this building on our left. Just beyond it and on our left, we headed up to the base of ENT Gully. You can see the ENT Gully area from the road. Not surprised that there weren't a lot of climbers out today, since the ice was so hard. But there were many hikers, snowboarders, skiers and dogs too...lots of folks out hiking and skiing with their dogs. On our way out, there were several groups of AVI training courses.

The next day I tried out my new-to-me skis and ski boots at Jay Peak Resort. My skis just got a stone grind tune up and they're super slick, but I love them. It snowed the day before so there was plenty of soft snow! Usually the trails at Jay Peak are dead on Super Bowl Sundays, but since it snowed the day before, everyone wanted to get out and the trails were busy. Jackie and Noah are volunteers on the Ski Patrol and at lunch we met up for a delicious bowl of hot Ramen noodles from Miso Hungry Tramside! 

At the base of ENT Gully

Jackie breaking trail

View of the notch from the base of ENT Gully

Me downclimbing

AVI courses 

Gorgeous Smuggs Ice Routes!

Uphill hike along Route 108

Town line of Cambridge and Stowe

Jay Peak (Stateside) Pano

Miso Hungry Ramen lunch
Jay Peak (Tramside)
ramen, noodles, miso hungry, tramside, jay peak

Monday, March 30, 2015

Drone Camera - Standard Route - Multi pitch Ice Climbing

Standard Route  (WI3+)
Frankenstein Cliffs
Crawford Notch, NH

All last winter I had been asking him to go out ice climbing and he kept declining. So when I got Jeff B ’s email last week about ice climbing, I thought it was a joke and had to I read it several times. Jeff’s son Todd is a professional photographer/videographer and he needed some ice climbing shots/vids via GoPro Drone.

I contacted Jeff S. and made sure to check the weather - Sunday was the better of the two. Originally I had chosen Cinema Gully but was told that it would be too thin. So when Frankenstein Cliffs was suggested, I choose the Standard Route because of its short approach and exposure. And I thought Todd should have no problems piloting his Drone for shots. Plus, it was “still in.” But I chose Standard Route mainly because it’s a very recognizable route at the cliffs. So Jeff S. lead both Jeff B. and I up the Standard Route. We had a perfectly beautiful day for ice climbing. The sun was out, temps warm and for the sake of the Drone camera, hardly any wind. Enjoy some photos taken of our climb.

At the tracks of the Standard Route

Gearing Up

Jeff S. on lead - 1st pitch

Jeff S. exiting the ice cave - 2nd pitch

Exiting the ice cave

Me at the 3rd belay station belaying Jeff S. up our last pitch

If we hadn’t been told that it was noisy, I would’ve thought that Todd’s Drone camera was a swarm of bees because that’s exactly what his drone sounded like. Yup, at time 0:37 our ropes are intertwined. But no worries, Jeff and I navigated around one another with no problems. It ain’t sketchy until it gets sketchy, right? :) 

Jeff S. (green jacket) on lead. With Jeff B. in dark blue jacket and me (light blue jacket & white helmet) cleaning pro. Here's the YouTube video!

Monday, March 2, 2015

My First Ice Lead – Ice Climbing

Willey’s Slide Center (WI2)
Mt. Willey
Crawford Notch, NH

Super stoked! Did my first lead on ice today! The second pitch of Willey's Slide (center) with Geoff N. Didn't go too far....about 40 meters to set up an anchor on the face of a fat bulge. Placed two pieces of pro (very snowy pitch).

The approach (steep uphill) wasn’t what I was looking forward to. But once at the base of the climb, it was all but forgotten. There were rolls and rolls of ice, most of it on the left side. Geoff decided on the center of the Slide.

There was a group of 3 in front of us and Geoff and I quickly set up to come up about 20 feet to the right of them. In the meantime, a group of half dozen showed up, plus two more teams which set up on either side of us. The entire climb went on without a hitch. It was a bit chilly and few periods of sunshine, but hardly any wind. At the first belay station I stayed focus on belaying Geoff, it made me less nervous not to think about leading the 2nd pitch. 

Once at the 2nd belay station Geoff asked me if I wanted to lead the next pitch. There was no pressure to do so. In fact, he told me that I could place a few pieces of protection and lower down if I didn’t want to continue. Or I could continue to a bulge and set up our 3rd belay station. I decided to go for it. We made sure I had all the necessary gear for my lead. At first I was a bit nervous and slightly anxious. But once I left the belay station and started climbing, I was able to focus and relax. 

My ice screws went in easily - love that color-coded handle that makes it so easy to place/remove. I also made use of a couple of my Yates Screamers. At the belay station I set up 3 ice screws for anchors, clove-hitched myself into them and attached the cordelette for the Direct Belay. I didn’t know it then, but I should’ve been much lower than my belay device. It would’ve made it easier for me to take up rope. Once Geoff got up to the belay station, he gave me feedback. He demonstrated how easy it was to take up rope when well below the belay device and he critiqued my belay/anchor system. It was a good day! :)

Geoff's GoPro vid of my lead up the 2nd pitch. 

We ended up climbing the Slide in 4 pitches. That group of 3 (guide and two students) on our left took the “good tree” for an anchor so Geoff set up anchor just slightly right of the middle of our finish. We finished at the very tip-top of the Slide and that last pitch stretched out the 70m ropes to their very ends.

Back in the parking lot I had forgotten to hand Geoff his orange rope.  When I got home I didn’t empty my pack right away. I left Geoff’s rope and all my gear in my pack and weighed it….33 lbs! Didn’t realize I had hauled that weight up and down Willey’s. 

Overall, this was a fun day, but I do have to admit, however, it was tough. I thought climbing the Slide was tougher than climbing Lake Willoughby the week prior

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...