Kids Climb Free! Auto Road Alpine Climbing!

I’m excited to announce two new programs at Northeast Mountaineering! First is a summer long promotion we are running where kids climb for free with a paying adult!

Kids Climb Free!

Rock climbing Whitehorse Ledge
All smiles (and awesome helmets!)

This is an awesome way to make a Family Rock Climbing Day an affordable adventure!

Normally the rates would look like this for this 8 hour program:

1 person: $250 per person
2 people: $150 per person
3 people: $130 per person
4 people: $120 per person

So a family of 4 would cost $480. With this new promotion two paying adults would total $300 and both kids would climb for free! That’s $180 savings and all kid rental gear is included!

You can book this here and use promo code “kidpower” to get the discount and enter “DavidNEM” in the reservation notes so they know you heard about this awesome offer from me! Let me know at nealpinestart@gmail.com if you would like to request me to be your guide so I can check my calendar!


Alpine Climbing via Auto Road Approach!

Northeast Ridge of the Pinnacle
Guiding Northeast Ridge of the Pinnacle, photo by Peter Brandon

Huntington Ravine has some of the best alpine rock climbing in the East! Traditionally the climbing is reached after a 3 hour hike and after the technical climbing is over a 2+ hour hike down. By using the Auto Road we can access this terrain after walking downhill for 30-45 minutes. When we top out of our climb it’s about a 30 minute walk back up to the car. There are three classic climbs I’ll be guiding this season:

Henderson Ridge, a great introduction to alpine climbing with moderate climbing (5.4) and some cool situations.

Northeast Ridge of the Pinnacle, the ultra-classic 6-7 pitch 5.7 alpine ridge climb on Mount Washington. This is a must do!

Cloud Walkers, a two-pitch 5.8 that ends with a long double rope rappel back to the ground.

These trips are for experienced climbers. You should have your own gear and a fair amount of multi-pitch experience. We will also re-schedule or cancel if the Higher Summits Forecast calls for afternoon rain or thunderstorms as “retreating up” is problematic.

The rate for this program will include the Auto Road entrance fee!

1 person: $250 per person
2 people: $175 per person

To book this program first check directly with me on availability. Let me know what date you are looking at by emailing me at nealpinestart@gmail.com. Once availability is confirmed you can book directly on the Northeast Mountaineering website here and put “DavidNEM” in the reservation notes to further flag the reservation.


From climbing with the kiddos at the in-town crag to moving through big terrain high above tree-line I just love to share climbing with my guests. I’m excited about these two new options and hope to see you out there, in the mountains!

Northeast Alpine Start

Family Rock Climbing

Yesterday was one of the most fun guiding days as I got to introduce 3 amazing kiddos to their first outdoor rock climbing experience. David, their father, had considerable previous climbing experience but was coming off a long hiatus and thought a guided trip might be the best way to get the kiddos climbing on real rock after quite a few months of indoor gym climbing.

We met at the Northeast Mountaineering Bunkhouse promptly at 8 AM and made our way over to Whitehorse Ledge. My original plan was to take the family to the Echo Roof area because of the great kid friendly slab climbs that exist there. As we walked up the road towards the cliff I felt a couple drops of rain. I had checked the radar an hour earlier and things looked clear but something had since developed and an updated check indicated a passing cold front had about an hour of rain in-store for us starting… now.

Rock climbing Whitehorse Ledge
All smiles (and awesome helmets!) just before the rain starts

We were heading into the hotel for a last minute potty break and when David came out I showed him the radar and let him know we would need to stall an hour and let this rain pass. He was game to sit it out in the lobby of the hotel with the most well behaved kiddos I could imagine. A huge thank you to the White Mountain Hotel staff who were so accommodating to us “non-guests” who sought shelter from the quick rain. They brought the kids juice and mini-muffins and offered free coffee to David and I. We ended up sitting down in their scenic dining room and ordering up some of the best blueberry pancakes with maple syrup butter I have ever had… If you are looking to stay in North Conway and fancy staying at the base of one of the best rock climbing cliffs in the east you should check this place out! The staff is amazing! Ok, back to our climbing day!

My original plan of Echo Roof was out, I didn’t fancy lead climbing 5.7 wet slab, so we walked (or skipped depending on age) back down to the climber parking and drove over to Cathedral Ledge.

Rock Climbing Cathedral Ledge
The quick storm is over and we are skipping our way back to the parking lot

Around 10 AM we were hiking up to the Thin Air Face. The excitement and natural curiosity of these kids was a sight to behold and my Instagram story was getting pretty epic. I ended up saving the story and will upload it here so you can see what I’m talking about:

Crazy inspiring right? I know. Multiple climbing parties that came through during the day were super jealous of our insane helmet game. Here’s some of the best pics from the day:

Rock Climbing Cathedral Ledge
E., aka “Unicorn Helmet” is ready for the first climb…
Rock Climbing Cathedral Ledge
E. quickly finds herself at the top of the climb and will go on to climb 3 different variations of increasing difficulty for a total of 5 times!
Rock Climbing Cathedral Ledge
J. climbs even better than Spiderman in my book
Rock Climbing Cathedral Ledge
E. figures out the sequence on wet slippery rock!
Rock Climbing Cathedral Ledge
Proud dad and inspiring daughter!
Rock Climbing Cathedral Ledge
Minions climbing Cathedral Ledge!

We climbed for 4 straight hours and these kiddos wanted to keep going! David… your kids are awesome! I was so happy to get to spend the day with you guys and I look forward to swaying you into some ice climbing this winter!

For those wondering about how old your kiddos should be before taking them rock climbing I’d say for many the 5+ age group is ideal! Their legs are strong enough to get them to the cliff and you would be absolutely amazed at what your kiddos are capable of!

David, thank you for choosing Northeast Mountaineering, and me, to be part of this epic day! I really had a great time with you guys!

For more information on getting your family out rock climbing start here and let me know in the comments if you have any questions!

See you in the mountains!

Northeast Alpine Start

Shop Kids’ Outerwear and Gear at Eastern Mountain Sports

Family Rock Climbing 8/7/16

Really fun day today climbing with this family from Austin, Texas! The Weaver’s are adventurers extraordinaire and were wrapping up a 3 week trip in New England before heading back south. Fresh off some intense downhill mountain biking the day before they were ready to rock. We started out day over at Whitehorse Ledge under the giant Echo Roof.

Rock Climbing New Hampshire
Kids first
Rock Climbing New Hampshire
No hands
Rock Climbing New Hampshire
Echo Roof looms above mom & daughter
Rock Climbing New Hampshire
Casual
Rock Climbing New Hampshire
Belay practice
Rock Climbing New Hampshire
Camouflage

After climbing “Holy Land” 5.6 and “Relic Hunter” 5.7 we had some lunch then headed over to the North End of Cathedral Ledge.

Rock Climbing New Hampshire
Resting
Rock Climbing New Hampshire
Afternoon light

Everyone took a spin on Child’s Play, then we headed for the top for some rappelling to round out our day.

Rock Climbing New Hampshire
Family pic before going over the edge
Rock Climbing New Hampshire
Over the edge
Rock Climbing New Hampshire
And down we go
Rock Climbing New Hampshire
Still got energy
Rock Climbing New Hampshire
Hooked on climbing
Rock Climbing New Hampshire
#adventurefamily

Thank you guys for another fun day in the mountains! See you next time for another adventure!

Plenty of great climbing days ahead and the forecast looks great! Come climb with EMS Schools before the summer slips away!

http://www.emsoutdoors.com/north-conway/rock-climbing/

See you in the mountains,

NEAlpineStart

 

 

Rock Climbing Summer So Far…

It’s been a great summer so far with lots of families & camp groups climbing with EMS Schools. I haven’t done as many individual trip reports as most of my free computer time has been spent on reviewing some of the coolest new packs & gear on the market. Hope everyone has been enjoying the summer!

Congrats to Ed. S. for winning the Friendly Foot giveaway on the LaSportiva TX2 Approach Shoe Review and Taylor for winning the Colonial Knife giveaway on the Petzl Bug Backpack Review! I have a quite a few more product reviews & giveaways planned this season so if you’re into that sort of thing be sure to subscribe to the blog.

Here’s our pics from yesterday as I introduced Maya and Seth to multi-pitch rock climbing!

 

See you in the mountains!

You can also follow NEAlpineStart on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

AMC Teen Wilderness Camp and Private Rock Climbing

Last week I got to spend three great days with 6 kids in the AMC Teen Wilderness Program and yesterday with Kathy and Carl in a Private Rock Climbing Course.

On the first day of the AMC Program we started at the Classroom and practiced some movement skills.

EMS Schools Guide Craig Porter explains how using a flake to lay back on can help one's feet stay glued to the wall...
EMS Schools Guide Craig Porter explains how using a flake to lay back on can help one’s feet stay glued to the wall…

After the bouldering session everyone experienced a few rappels down the cliff.

Sophia goes over the edge
Sophia goes over the edge

We spent the rest of the first day top-roping at The North End. On the second day we headed over to the Echo Roof area at Whitehorse Ledge. Everyone got to climb Ladies & Gentleman, Holy Land, and Relic Hunter by lunch.

Miranda lowers off of Holy Land
Miranda lowers off of Holy Land
Patrick finds his way up Relic Hunter
Patrick finds his way up Relic Hunter
Dennis starts up Ladies & Gentleman
Dennis starts up Ladies & Gentleman

Shortly after moving over to Beezlebub Corner & Seventh Seal and rain shower blew through and shortened our day a bit. On our 3rd day we started with multi-pitch climbs on the slabs, reaching the overlaps 600 feet up before rappelling back to Terra firma for some lunch.

Teamwork at the sandwich factory
Teamwork at the sandwich factory

We headed back to the climbs we were rained off of the day prior.

Patrick starts up Seventh Seal
Patrick starts up Seventh Seal
Tiara gets creative on Seventh Seal
Tiara gets creative on Seventh Seal

We wrapped our third day up and said goodbye as the group left for many more days of backpacking & kayaking adventures. Working with these kids is quite rewarding and I’m looking forward to the next group coming later this week.

Yesterday Kathy & Carl joined me for the first of a two day Private Rock Climbing course. Both had a fair amount of gym experience and were starting to make the transition to outdoor climbing. We started our day at the Classroom and covered anchoring strategies before enjoying a run up Upper Refuse. We spent the afternoon down at the North End looking at top-rope management issues and working on some crack climbing techniques. They are out again with another guide today and I hope I get a chance to climb with them again.

Carl at the top of Upper Refuse
Carl at the top of Upper Refuse
Cathy at the top of Upper Refuse
Cathy at the top of Upper Refuse

Thanks for reading! See you in the mountains,

-NEAlpineStart

2 Day Private Rock Climbing

Dillan and Cole have been putting in time in the climbing gym and chomping at the bit to get climbing outside. To that end they joined me for a 2 Day Private Rock Climbing course that ended today. It was my first rock guiding days of the season and the motivation was high all around. We covered a ton of info in just two days and I could tell they were hungry for more when they left. Here’s a brief recap of our two days:

Yesterday, 8:30AM

We met at EMS North Conway and after getting acquainted headed out to Cathedral Ledge. We drove to the top and spent a little time at “The Classroom” learning about traditional protection, anchoring, and rappelling.

Cole's first rappel
Cole’s first rappel
Dillan's first rappel
Dillan’s first rappel

After a short practice rappel we made our way down to the Barber Wall and rappelled down Laytons Ascent/Chicken Delight.

Layton's Ascent being descended
Layton’s Ascent being descended
Cole rappels
Cole rappels

We then short-roped over to the classic Upper Refuse.

Top of the first pitch of Upper Refuse
Top of the first pitch of Upper Refuse
Dillan finishing Upper Refuse
Dillan finishing Upper Refuse
Cole looking physced
Cole looking relaxed

4 short pitches up that had us on top at noon, where we enjoyed lunch on top of Airation Buttress.

Family shot
Family shot

We then headed down to The North End and learned a little about threading a sport anchor in preparation for lowering or cleaning a sport lead. We then worked on our crack climbing skills on Child’s Play and Kiddy Crack.

Working on crack climbing skills on Kiddy Crack
Working on crack climbing skills on Kiddy Crack

Back at the shop we reviewed some of the skills we had covered before calling it a day.

Today:

We drove up to Pinkham Notch and hiked up to Square Ledge. The focus was on building quality top-rope anchors but we also wanted to get some climbing in.

Learning the bowline
Learning the bowline
Still snow on that hill
Still snow on that hill
Contemplating
Contemplating “The Brain”
Attentive belaying
Attentive belaying
Working
Working “The Nose”
West Face multi-pitch practice
West Face multi-pitch practice
Dillan closing in on the anchor
Dillan closing in on the anchor
Chillin' with a view
Chillin’ with a view

Couldn’t have asked for a better start to the rock season. These guys were 100% engaged in the learning process, asking questions, practicing skills, buying helmets! Seriously days like this remind me how lucky I am to be a climbing guide. I look forward to working with Cole and Dillan again… it’s obvious they have the climbing bug and I am sure I’ll see them in the mountains again!

BTW, 4 more days left to enter to win a sweet climbing knife! Details here!

See you in the mountains!

NEAlpineStart

AMC Rock Climbing 7/14/14

Yesterday I enjoyed another day on the rocks with an AMC Camp Group. This group in particular loved the teamwork involved with belaying and back-up belays. From carrying ropes to the cliff to helping each other with belays and support this was a really great group to work with. And the weather! We are really having a great climbing season this year, knock on wood!