2 Day Private Ice Climbing

A couple years ago I introduced brothers Greg and Chris to ice climbing during a 2 Day Winter Mountaineering course. That trip report is here. Two weeks later Greg came back and climbed Hitchcock Gully with me, trip report here. After almost a two year hiatus Greg has come back for two days of climbing with goals of learning to lead and bagging the classic East coast route, Pinnacle Gully. Insanely warm temps (and rain) kept us away from the ice yesterday, so we focused on some self-rescue and glacier skills on the top of Cathedral. Namely;

1) Belay Escape

2) Ascending fixed rope

3) Canadian Drop-Loop

4) 3:1 Improvised Pulley

5) 5:1 Improvised Pulley

Along with looking at some of the advantages and disadvantages of various belay methods. To finish the day we rappelled the Book of Solemnity and Lower Refuse, 450 feet of steep exposed rappelling in wet conditions…

Rapping the Book
Rapping the Book
Bench anchor on the Book
Bench anchor on the Book
Rapping Lower Refuse
Rapping Lower Refuse

Short clip finishing the rappel:

Day 2 was the start of the Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest so we knew climbs would be busy. Being a private 1v1 kind of day I suggested we meet at 7am to get ahead of the crowds, and off we went to the most popular climb at Frankenstein Cliffs, Standard Rt. Pulling up to the parking lot we were greeted by two good size foxes enjoying some food that a careless hiker/climber had lost on the road. One was quite unafraid as we drove by slowly:

http://youtu.be/6TLdZQmDMR0

We were the 2nd car in the parking lot and the 2nd party on route. Since the first party started up the middle we climbed up to the cave via the right hand start.

Close to the top of pitch 1
Close to the top of pitch 1
In the cave, Standard Route
In the cave, Standard Route

After waiting for the bombardment of dinner plates on P2 we headed up to the 2nd comfy belay ledge.

Finishing 2nd pitch
Finishing 2nd pitch
Lots of people behind us
Lots of people behind us

Greg finishes the route in style:  http://youtu.be/4cGT8E95NTc

We headed down to the slab to the right of the Hanging Gardens and worked on some technique while running a couple top-ropes, then returned to the base of the climb.

Standard Route? Check!
Standard Route? Check!

Greg is amped to get on Pinnacle. While high avalanche danger kept us away this trip, I’m thinking next time I see him we’ll be making tracks for Huntington after a quick warm-up day. Now to get ready for 3 more days of guiding ice before heading to Lake Placid next week!

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