Once a Climber, Always a Climber

It has been a couple of decades since Oliver has tied into a climbing rope, but to paraphrase a well known military adage; “Once a climber, always a climber”.

I discovered in the first few minutes of meeting Oliver that his list of adventures was long. From a NOLS course in the Cascades back in the 70’s (yes before I was born), to exploits in Yosemite while dirt-bagging at Camp 4 for weeks on end, to sky-diving, to scary leads in his first pair of EB’s, the conversations through-out the day would be as entertaining as the climbing.

While a professional career had put climbing on the back-burner for quite some time that burner stayed lit, and now, for his 65th birthday, his wife is sending him back to Yosemite this Fall for a week of reminiscent adventure. Oliver figured it would be beneficial to get a bit of training in before his trip to Yosemite, so he came to EMS Schools for a bit of refreshing.

After sorting our gear we made our way over to Whitehorse Ledge. The first few pitches of Cormier-Magness provided the perfect “Oh ya I remember how to do this” type terrain as we quickly dispatched 3 pitches.

The famous Whitehorse Ledge Slabs

The famous Whitehorse Ledge Slabs

Second pitch of Cormier-Magness, the classic

Second pitch of Cormier-Magness, the classic “Wheat Thin Arete”

Echo Lake and Cranmore Ski Mountain in the background

Echo Lake and Cranmore Ski Mountain in the background

After the 3rd pitch we practiced descending with 3 double rope rappels back to the shaded ground. A quick drive over to Cathedral had us eating lunch after looking at Whitehorse from a different vantage.

Whitehorse Ledge

Whitehorse Ledge

After lunch we rapped the Barber Wall and headed over to Upper Refuse.

That back-burner flame is fully lit now!

That back-burner flame is fully lit now!

Cruising the first pitch

Cruising the first pitch

And the 3rd pitch

And the 3rd pitch

We topped out right around 3pm, and started making plans for a couple more sessions before the Yosemite trip.

Thanks for the panorama Joe!

Thanks for the panorama Joe!

Every day I work in the mountains is rewarding, but I’d be lying if some didn’t stand out as a bit more rewarding than others. Watching Oliver reconnect to something that has always been a part of his life since his college days was very special, and I’m really looking forward to our next day together, which happens to be next week!

Thanks for reading, and as always if you like to you can follow NEAlpineStart at the top right of the blog. I have a lot of gear reviews coming up this Fall, along with some great foliage climbing!

See you in the mountains!

-NEAlpineStart

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.
This entry was posted in Rock Climbing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Once a Climber, Always a Climber

  1. Pingback: The Whitney Gilman Ridge, Cannon Cliff (11/4/15) | North East Alpine Start

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s