Saint Patrick’s Day fun an Kinsman Notch, and Colonial Knife Ameba Review

I’m a big fan of holidays and wanted to do more than just cook up some corned beef and cabbage this year (though that is still happening thanks to my slow cooker). When I connected with long time local climber and recent friend Matty B our sights were set on an ambitious gully on Mt. Webster, The Green Chasm. A questionable higher summits forecast had me second guessing our ambition, and realizing there were some even more suitably named climbs in the protected Kinsman Notch area that I had yet to visit we adjusted our plans last minute and headed out to the west side of NH Route 112, 5 miles west of Woodstock, to see what Irish luck might bring us.

We started off with Pot O’ Gold, a short but steep Grade 4 right where the approach trail ends. This is a short 50ft route but quite fun. A solid fixed anchor on a tree at the top allowed a quick lower before Matty cleaned and lowered off.

Matty cleans Pot O' Gold

Matty cleans Pot O’ Gold

We moved left to Shamrock, listed in the guidebook at 3+/4- in the guidebook. Matty made short work of a nice plastic line up the left side.

Matty on Shamrock

Matty on Shamrock

We moved left again to what I believe was Leprechaun’s Lament, grade 2+/3 in the guidebook. I took a mellow line up the left side then traversed right to a fixed anchor on a tree an dropped a top-rope over an attractive piece of vertical ice on the far right of this flow.

Enjoying the great late season conditions

Enjoying the great late season conditions

Matty not lamenting on a steep variation of Leprechaun's Lament

Matty not lamenting on a steep variation of Leprechaun’s Lament

After these 3 warm ups we set our sights on The Beast, grade 4+, referred to in a previous guidebook as “Luck O’ The Irish“. The guidebooks said this route was about 400 yards left of Leprechaun’s Lament. After only 200 yards we passed a route we suspected might be The Beast, but given how close it was, and that it didn’t quite look like 2 pitches, we kept post-holing our way though actively sluffing slopes until we reached a bit of a knoll and realized we must have passed it. When we returned we confirmed The Beast was a bit sunbaked and much fatter than the guidebook photo. We opted for “The Ramp Route“, a very mellow Grade 3 up the left side that merges with the Beast.

Leading up Ramp Route

Leading up Ramp Route

Since we had a 60 meter rope I stopped just short of the top and belayed Matty up. The last 20 feet looked meh so we V-threaded off and called it a day.

Rapping off The Beast

Rapping off The Beast

A quick glissade down and short hike brought us to the cars where we enjoyed a quick “Green Head IPA” before hitting the road. I’d like to check out some of the stuff higher up the notch next time. I’ll also be posting a gear review shortly of a sweet new knife that has found a home on the back of my harness.

Colonial Knife Ameba in rescue orange.

Colonial Knife Ameba in rescue orange.

Stay tuned for a review of the Colonial Ameba Knife Review and Happy Saint Patricks Day!

About David Lottmann

David grew up skiing in the Whites and started climbing at a summer camp just north of Mt. Washington when he was 16. Those first couple of years solidified climbing as a lifetime passion. From 1996-2000 he served in the USMC, and spent the better part of those years traveling the globe (18 countries). After returning to civilian life he moved to North Conway to focus on climbing and was hired in 2004 as a Rock and Ice Instructor. Since then Dave has taken numerous AMGA courses, most recently attaining a Single Pitch Instructor. He has completed a Level 3 AIARE avalanche course, is a Level 2 Course Leader, holds a valid Wilderness First Responder and is a member of Mountain Rescue Service. When David isn't out guiding he enjoys mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, backcountry skiing, trying to cook something new once a week and sampling new micro-brews. He lives in Conway, NH with his wife Michelle, son Alex, and daughter Madalena.
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