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

Monday, September 30, 2019

September Weekend Climbing

Farley Ledge
Met up with Iskuhi, Danica, and Jen at Farley Ledge. A bit crowded (a group of 13 at one area!) and managed to get in a lead and some climbs. Also met a bunch of really nice climbers (and dogs) as well. Super fun day! 

Thin Air, Cathedral Ledge
Jackie and I met up in the Cathedral Ledge parking lot. At the base of Thin Air. Jackie lead the first pitch and brought me up. I hemmed and hawed and finally decided to lead the second pitch. Everything was going great until I reached a really sketchy section and realized I didn't have the cam I needed. I knew right off the bat..." that crack was a #2 because that's my hand jam size." The feet at this particular section was sketchy, but I had to make sure. So I tried a #0.75 and #1, but both were too small. And the #3 and it was too big. I came back down to the little ledge and looked back at Jackie at the belay. I had both number 2's already placed. And why the hell did I place that #1 so closely to the second #2.......WTF Lovena? With no #2 to place, I had two choices. Climb through the section that sketched me out or bail. I bailed and back climbed to Jackie at the belay and she finished up leading the traverse. We rapped after the second pitch. Back down on the ground, I had a really good cry to get it out of my system. I don't know why, but I was really off today and crying was out of frustration and to vent. It felt good - time to move on! 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Beginner's Easy Variation - Multi Pitch Rock Climbing

Belaying Nuno up P2 

Congratulations Nancy! It was Nancy's first time on a multi pitch rock climb, and it was a lot of fun to be included on her special day! It was also gratifying to help her experience her first multi pitch rock climb. We climbed Beginner's Easy Variation on Whitehorse Ledge. After we got to the P2 belay at the tree, it started to snow light flurries - and then it just colder! In the middle of P2 I ran into a bit of trouble. 15 feet above my last piece of protection the rope wouldn't budge - it was stuck and I couldn't climb any further. Nuno had slack on his end and said it looked like the ropes were stuck around the corner. I had no choice but to downclimb to my last piece of protection. Then Nuno lowered me to the corner where I removed the pro, unstuck the ropes and flipped them onto the top of the corner. It was fine from then on. But it just kept colder so we bailed after completing P3. We used my 70m double ropes and rapped down in 2. Thanks Nuno for the lead belays and for including me. We'll be back to finish up the route when the temps are warmer.

Belaying Nancy up P1

Belaying Nancy up P2
Nuno at the tree belay

Nancy making her way up P3

Nancy rappelling 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The West Chimney: Eaglet Spire - Multi Pitch Rock Climb

tabletop, small, summit, spire, franconia notch, the west chimney, new hampshire, free standing
On the Eaglet Spire summit

The West Chimney (5.7)
Trad, 3 Pitches, 200 feet
Eaglet Spire
Greenleaf & Climbers Trails
Franconia Notch, NH

Cool temps are perfect for a hike and a climb in Franconia Notch! Sean and I met up with his son Tom and a few other Boy Scout troop members at the Lafayette Campground parking lot. We hiked up to Lonesome Lake to lunch and enjoy the views. After about an hour, Tom and the scouts went on their way to the Cannon summit. They had a long day ahead with plans to continue onto the Cannon summit, the Cannonballs, an overnight stay at the Kinsman Pond shelter, and then a second day bagging the north and south Kinsman peaks. 

Sean and I headed up to Exit 34B and parked on the side of the off-ramp at the Greenleaf Trailhead. We hiked up the Greenleaf Trail and took the "climbers trail" to the Eaglet Spire. Sean had climbed the Eaglet Spire 16 years ago and had been wanting to get back to climbing it again, so I was really looking forward to this climb. At the base of the route I felt that same excitement I always get when I'm about to ride a really cool roller coaster. Only thing, today I was going to climb a spire! I was stoked! Enjoy some photos of our day at Franconia Notch.

Lonesome Lake
Photos Lovena Harwood and Eric Reitter

On our way up to the Spire there were 5 parties ahead of us, some already making their way down. At the trailhead parking lot we bumped into Jay, Katlyn and little Bella who were on their way up. Making their way down from a hike were Will and his 3 kids. It's a popular place, and one I hope to visit again! 

The final push up the talus field
tabletop, small, summit, spire, franconia notch, the west chimney, new hampshire, free standing

Gearing up at the base of the route
Profile Lake down behind me

Making my way up P1

Making my way up the 'chimney' of P2. 
chimney, pitch 2, spire, franconia notch, the west chimney, new hampshire, free standing

Another use for the selfie stick!


P3 the traditional way. 
That bolt is reachy and the Mountain Project beta is spot on!
And yes, I grabbed it to get onto the ledge above it.

Eagle Cliff

Making my way up P3

Some old pins

At the summit!
Left to right: Anchors, rap rings, Profile Lake

Atop the Eaglet Spire summit
The tiniest summit I've ever been on!
tabletop, small, summit, spire, franconia notch, the west chimney, new hampshire, free standing

Twilight rappel
(there are a couple of overhanging sections on this steep rappel)

Franconia Notch at twilight

Hike out in the darkness

I am thankful that Alexa told me about the Sterling Hollowblock (shown below) during my private ice lead lesson this past winter. Afterwards I went straight over to IME and bought one, it's just $12! Today this "$12 piece of gear" saved my ass! That first step off of the Eaglet Spire is known to be notorious. As I was going over the edge to rappel, both my feet slipped out under me. I only fell a few inches and into the wall, but it was enough to make me let go of the rope and a sling that I was holding onto. That HollowBlock caught me - always back up your rappels!  Sterling Rope of Biddeford, Maine, USA. **Next time I climb this, will set up the rap from the rap rings that are higher.

rappel backup

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Beginners Route - Multi Pitch Rock Climb

North Conway, NH

Beginners Route (5.5)
Whitehorse Ledge
North Conway, NH

We were both were surprised when we pulled into the parking lot. We expected the parking lot to be packed, but it wasn't. When we got to the base of the Slabs, Sean and I were the only climbers there. But after finishing up the second pitch, a group of three showed up at the base of the C-M route to set up top rope at the pine tree. And a 3rd party of two climbers showed up for Sliding Board just as we were finishing up our 3rd pitch. 

Back to climbing with Sean again. He had injured his foot earlier in the season and only now was getting back to climbing. Since he was still experiencing a bit of pain when walking, we decided to cut the route short to rappel down instead of topping off and walking down the trail. We only climbed the first 5 pitches (490ft) but I got to lead the first 3 pitches. It was so much fun, especially that 2nd pitch. 
I was also stoked that we had no one behind us on the route. I didn't feel rushed and I was able to focus on looking for pro placements. 

Trad lead is addicting. Besides the mechanical aspect of the sport, I love that it involves problem-solving and climbing/risk management - it's totally fun! Looking forward to more trad climbing!

I didn't get a chance to take a lot of photos, so here are a few. Too busy climbing! ;D

Looking up at P2 from the belay

Bringing Sean up P2

Looking up at P3 from the belay

I was tempted not to place any pro
on this pitch since the climb was so
easy,  but I did end up placing 3 pieces; a cam, a pink tricam, and then another cam.

Little pedestal at the end of P4

Piton just above the P5 belay

Views from the Smile Belay

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Square & Whitehorse Ledges – Rock Climbing

Pinkham Notch, rock climbing
Square Ledge

Beautiful day for climbing! My buddy Geoff and I headed out to Square Ledge, Pinkham Notch’s local crag. You can see this cliff from the AMC Pinkham parking lot. Access is super easy from the AMC Pinkham Visitor Center – just park and cross the street (Route 16) to the Lost Pond trailhead. Cross over the wooden bridge, then turn left onto the Square Ledge Trail. Lots of tourists also headed to the top of the ledge to photograph the Ravines, Washington, Adams and Madison.  Afterwards we headed to Whitehorse Ledge where I got to lead the 2nd pitch of Sea Of Holes. Thanks for a great climbing day Geoff! Enjoy some photos taken of our day!

Hangover Rock

The face of Square Ledge

Thanks for the belay!

Gorgeous views of Pinkham Notch from 
the top of Square Ledge

Checking out Thriller Arete

At Whitehorse Ledge I got to lead the second pitch of Sea Of Holes. I gotta get used to climbing slab with all the gear hanging off me. Didn't even need it all considering I clipped into a piton and then I placed a .50 cam and then a #1 micro cam to the anchors.

At the anchor of P2 Sea Of Holes 
(I actually couldn't find the anchor at first. Started up to the tree on the
left as it had a sling and biner around it. Then I traversed back to the right
and after figuring out where to put my 3rd piece of pro, I spotted the anchors.)

Looking over to Cathedral Ledge

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Henderson Ridge – Multi Pitch Rock Climb

Huntington Ravine, NH
Looking down the Huntington Ravine, Mt. Washington, NH

Henderson Ridge (5.4)
4 pitches, 600 feet, Grade III
Huntington Ravine
Mt. Washington, NH

Nelson Crag (5,635 feet)
Via Nelson Crag Trail from Henderson Ridge
Elevation Gain: 1,055 feet
Mt. Washington, NH

“You folks are going DOWN?? But why??” . . . . said every hiker we encountered as we made our way down the headwall of Huntington Ravine! We explained that we were hiking down into the ravine to rock climb our way back up out of the ravine! Capeesh? They all got it. :) The Huntington Ravine Trail, btw, is considered to be the most difficult hiking trail in the NH White Mountains. And the AMC White Mountain Guide book suggest that “its use for descent at any time is strongly discouraged.” I’ll assume they mean descending the headwall…..that being said…..

I was hoping to get to hike the Huntington Ravine Trail sometime this year and got my chance when Sean, Tom and I did some multi pitch rock climbing in the Huntington Ravine. We decided on the Northeast Ridge at Pinnacle (5.7) with the Henderson Ridge (5.4) as an alternate. And rather than hiking up from the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, we decided to do the “Modern Approach” also known as the “Auto Road Approach.”  By using the Mt. Washington Auto Road approach, we cut out some hiking mileage from our day. Please note: the Auto Road is steep, narrow and  winding. It has steep drop-offs and  no guardrails. It is not a drive for folks afraid of heights!

We stopped off at the Glen House just across the street from the Auto Road 
toll booth to use the restrooms and grab a snack. At the toll booth the cost for the
3 of us was $44 - $28 for driver and vehicle and $8 for each additional passenger.
I put my truck in the lowest gear, like the CD says to do, and started up.
There were no  vehicles coming down so I pretty much drove in the middle of the road.
In 2012 I drove up the Auto Road with my three oldest grandchildren. I had forgotten 
about that non-paved section of the 5th mile and felt better once I switched to 4-wheel drive. 
The dirt road was full of loose gravel and there was a lot of running water on it. 

At the 6 mile marker there is the trail sign for the Alpine Garden Trail.
Just a few yards beyond that a small lot to fit 2, maybe 3 vehicles.  

We geared up and got on our way to the Huntington Ravine trail junction. 
multi pitch rock climb, auto road approach

Alpine Garden
multi pitch rock climb, auto road approach

Mt. Washington summit from the Alpine Garden trail
multi pitch rock climb, auto road approach

At the Huntington Ravine trail junction, we stopped to admire
the view into the ravine! The views were amazing!!

Fun on the headwall!
It’s a 4th class trail, exposed, steep and near vertical in some sections. 
Not recommended if you’re not comfortable with down-climbing.  
multi pitch rock climb, auto road approach

Aside from down-climbing fun, the headwall yields some really cool views!
Here's the Fairy Tale Traverse of the Northeast Ridge!
multi pitch rock climb, auto road approach

multi pitch rock climb, auto road approach

Awesome view of the Henderson Ridge!
multi pitch rock climb, auto road approach

multi pitch rock climb, auto road approach

multi pitch rock climb, auto road approach

On our way down to the base of the Pinnacle Buttress, we stopped to chat with all the hikers on their way up the headwall. We even met “Pepper” and John on their way up. Pepper is a great climber and I later found out that he is the first canine Redline Finisher! Woot! 

After making our way down to the base of the Pinnacle Buttress, we sat and discussed if we should climb the Northeast Ridge or not. There were already two teams on the route and a third team roping up at the base. 

Looking over at the Henderson Ridge, there was no one on it but there were 3 folks between the Yale and Damnation gullies. We thought there were just hikers scrambling around. So we decided to climb the Henderson Ridge and headed on over. To make our way over to the Henderson Ridge, we had to down-climb some more, then bushwhack, then down-climb and a second bushwhack. Then traverse over more talus to the base of the Henderson Ridge. It was my very first time bushwhacking and all I have to say is that I really don’t care very much for it! As I was making my way through the second bushwhack, I stepped into a drop that was about 3 feet deep. I was close to getting impaled but luckily, it’ll just leave a bruise on the side of my right breast! 

multi pitch rock climb, auto road approach

We got to the base of the Henderson Ridge only to find 3 climbers just roping up. We first saw the climbers between the Yale and Damnation gullies and thought they were hikers just scrambling around the ravine floor. But they were climbers who had scrambled up the wrong way. So Sean, Tom and I waited behind them for 45 minutes before Sean could lead our climb. And we would be waiting to start our turn at each pitch thereafter. Overall, we waited almost 2 hours.

What do you do when waiting your turn to climb?
Admire the ravine views......
multi pitch rock climb, auto road approach

.....and build a cairn!

Finally, our turn!
Sean leading up P1
multi pitch rock climb, auto road approach

Tom and I coming up P1
multi pitch rock climb, Huntington Ravine

Sean leading up the start of P2
It started to get windy and clouds came in.
multi pitch rock climb, Huntington Ravine

Clouds covering the Pinnacle and Central Buttresses

Sean almost at the belay station for P3
multi pitch rock climb, Huntington Ravine

North Gully

The ravine from the belay station of P3
multi pitch rock climb, Huntington Ravine

Me coming up P3
multi pitch rock climb, Huntington Ravine

Tom coming up P3
multi pitch rock climb, Huntington Ravine

At our belay station for P4
......waiting our turn
multi pitch rock climb, Huntington Ravine

Sean on the Diving Board of P4

Tom on the Diving Board of P4

...and me on the Diving Board of P4

Me coming up P4

End of our roped climb
4 pitches completed!

But despite our wait for every pitch, we had a wonderful climb up the Henderson Ridge. Our entire climb went smoothly except for both my quads and left arm cramping up as I started up the 2nd pitch. Even after taking in more food, water, electrolytes and Tylenol, my quads still cramped up and stayed that way until we got back to my truck. So many moments of pushing past the pain.

As we climbed, we kept looking back at the 3 teams on the Northeast Ridge of the Pinnacle. We watched as the leader of the first team down-climbed the 3rd pitch. We watched the third team make their way up the Allis Chimney. While our entire day of climbing was in the sun, by 12 noon the Pinnacle Buttress was no longer in the sun. And wind and low clouds swept in and covered the Pinnacle for a few moments. We watched as the first team made their way across the Fairy Tale Traverse, with the second team skipping the Fairy Tale Traverse. And finally, we watched the leader of the 3rd team make his way across the Fairy Tale Traverse as we topped out on our 4th and last pitch. We made the right decision ….it was a Henderson Ridge climbing day!

multi pitch rock climb, auto road approach

We packed our ropes and gear away. But even after 4 roped pitches, we still had a ways to go, to get to the top. So to finish off, we carefully scrambled up the North Gully which is full of loose rock, wet spots, bushy terrain and thick moss. 

Looking down at "The Diving Board" 
as we made our way up the North Gully
multi pitch rock climb, auto road approach

Wildcats Ski

multi pitch rock climb, auto road approach

The scramble took us onto the Nelson Crag Tableland and trail. 

Making my way to the Nelson Crag Tableland
multi pitch rock climb, auto road approach

We made our way to the Nelson Crag summit - Bagged!
Then back to my truck and the scenic ride down the auto road.
multi pitch rock climb, auto road approach

Yes! A great day for climbing! Although there was only a brief moment of cloudiness and wind,we had warm temps and sunny skies for hiking and climbing. There were 6 climbers on the Northeast Ridge of Pinnacle route and 6 climbers on the Henderson Ridge route. I counted 42 hikers on the trail making their way up the fan and the headwall. I stopped counting when we started our climb up the ridge. And as far as the cramps in both my quads and upper left soon as we got into my truck, they were gone!

Rock Climbs in the White Mountains of New Hampshire by Ed Webster.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Cormier Magness (5.6) - Multi pitch Rock Climb

 It was a short, but brutal hot day for us! But still glad to be able to get out and onto a couple of pitches of the Cormier Magness route o...