Monday, March 27, 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!


Monday, March 20, 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!



Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Left Hand Monkey Wrench (WI3) - Ice Climbing



Got to the base of the Left-Hand Monkey Wrench and I started up the ice. 
I hadn't even put my first piece in yet when my belayer kept asking me if I knew what I was doing. 
From then on I didn't want to even be there climbing with her. 
Near the top of Left-Hand Monkey Wrench, I stopped and made the decision to back off.
So I downclimbed while removing my pro.
I'm so glad I quit when I did.
Better safe than sorry!

Lesson learned!
Having a lead belayer who starts doubting you (out loud) as you're climbing, is no fun to climb with - it also says a lot about their own lack of confidence. Before I go out on a climb, especially a multi-pitch climb, I always make sure I'd be comfortable on that grade and with that climber. If not, I don't go. And if I'm leading, I always ask my belayer if they are comfortable lead belaying me on a climb. If not, I don't go.

Sunday, January 29, 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!

Monday, January 9, 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






Sunday, January 1, 2017

Leprechaun's Lement (WI2-3) - Ice Climbing

ice climbing, lead, kinsman notch, leprechaun's lement
Thanks for the belay, Ken!

Great to get out on the ice for the first time this season - a meetup event at the Kinsman Notch in Woodstock, NH. Just got a couple of top rope laps in but my last climb of 2016 was a lead on the fun & easy, Leprechaun's Lement. The grade was easy (WI2-3) but the ice brittle, so I re-bored a couple of screw holes. 

At one point I looked up and thought that it would so much faster if I didn't place any protection and just climbed this route to its anchor. I have to admit that thoughts of solo-climbing an easy grade has crossed my mind several times. But I have to learn to keep mum about it. I find that openly expressing an interest in solo-climbing freaks people out. 

Climbing this grade was uber fun. Shit, leading is fun! And if you've been reading my climbing posts, you've probably noticed that there have been several multi-pitch climbs where I have climbed as a "follower/middle" climber. I'm trying to get away from this type of climbing as at this stage, I would prefer to either climb as a "second" or "lead" climber. I learned how to lead on grades 2 & 3's. Now my goal is to get as much mileage in leading grades 2 & 3's. Ken Domino on my belay.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Mount Monadnock - Solo Hiking

white cross trail, solo hiking, NH 52 with a view, summit selfie



Elevation: 3,165ft
Trail: White Cross
Elevation Gain: 1,765ft
Distance: 4 miles roundtrip
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Took a short drive west to hike up Monadnock and it was so refreshing! Originally I wanted to head north but with some overnight snow fall and ice, I didn't feel like driving in the stuff. So Monadnock was a good call for me. At the Poole Road entrance, park rangers said that there were 50 mph winds with reports of ice and snow at the summit. Felt good to get back out and hike the last of Autumn season.....winter will be here soon! 



Summit selfie Video
Along the White Cross Trail
white cross trail, solo hiking, NH 52 with a view,
Snow along the trail

mt. monadnock, white cross trail, solo hiking, NH 52 with a view


mt. monadnock, white cross trail, solo hiking, NH 52 with a view


mt. monadnock, white cross trail, solo hiking, NH 52 with a view


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







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

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

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...