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My First Ice Lead – Ice Climbing

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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. The Slide looked different. When Sean and I were here this past January, there were hardly an rolling bulges. It was a different story today. 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 wi…

Willey’s Slide – Multi-pitch Ice Climbing

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Willey’s Slide, WI2 Mount Willey Crawford Notch, NH

It's a beautiful, blue sky day, and you don't think you'll get wet but from the bit of sweat from climbing. But anything can happen. And thin ice with running water under it happened to us on today's climb at Mt. Willey!

Is it cold enough yet? Zero degree temps were forecasted for today but Sean and I went anyways. We were the first at the parking pullout below the Slide and the cold blasted us as we stepped out of my truck. There is a direct correlation between the cold temps and my profanity. Immediate frustration set in as my fingers went numb. I couldn’t get the toe and hand warmers going and that didn’t help as well. Sean was able to get two pairs of hand warmers going, but I went without toe warmers.


Views from Willey's Slide (2)


The approach was a workout for me, especially with my EIA (exercise-induced asthma) and the cold temps. We finally reached the base of the Slide, were still the only ones there and we set…