Winter Climbing 101, 1-24-16

This past Sunday I had the pleasure of taking David, Charlene, and Sam out to Cathedral Ledge for a Winter Climbing 101 Course. David had attempted Mount Rainier last year and was returning for another attempt this August, so this course was intended to help hone the skills needed for such an objective.

We started the day with some self-arrest practice on the auto-road. An icy sled path that came down through the woods provided a great little spot to gain some momentum. We then worked on our crampon technique employing different styles to different grades and difficulties, all with an emphasis on conserving energy. As the day progressed we got a bit more technical with our ice axes as we took a climb up the North End Slab. After some lunch we rappelled the North End Pillars, learned and practiced a hand-rap rappel, then looked at some basic glacier roping up options, with a look at short-roping & short pitching to finish out the day.

ice climbing cathedral ledge new hampshire

David goes over the edge

ice climbing cathedral ledge new hampshire

Then Charlene…

ice climbing cathedral ledge new hampshire

Sam leaning back on the rope with no fear… well, maybe a little

I wish David the best on his next Rainier climb, it’s obvious to see he has the climbing bug, and hope to see Sam back her for some focused waterfall ice climbing, as she showed a keen interest in doing more of that by the end of the day!

See you in the mountains,


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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One Response to Winter Climbing 101, 1-24-16

  1. Pingback: Ice Climbing Willey’s Slide and Frankenstein | North East Alpine Start

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