The 22nd Annual
Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest 2015
Feb. 6th-8th, 2015, North Conway, NH
- Ice climbing, mixed climbing, and mountaineering clinics with IMCS & Guest Guides (room still available!)
- Climbing demos from 12+ sponsors
- Morning coffee sponsored by Frontside Grind at the American Alpine Club Table
- Beer sponsor, Tuckerman Brewing Company
- FOOD! Gusto’s Food Truck will be at IME during Apres and at the evening events
Evening events held at Theater In The Wood, Intervale, NH
Friday Evening Events, 7pm, $10, at Theater In The Wood, Intervale, NH
- Featured Presenter: Sarah Hueniken
- American Alpine Club Silent Auction to benefit the Live Your Dream Grant
Saturday Evening Events, 7pm, $10, at Theater In The Wood, Intervale, NH
- 15 Minute Opener: Miron Chlebosz
- Featured Presenter: Jonathan Griffith
NEice and The Soup Kitchen Return with delicious homemade soup during the Apres Climbing Hour at IME Friday & Saturday, 3:30-5:30. NEice has been bringing hot soup to ice climbers for over a decade and contributes to all the major Ice Festivals in the Northeast. The soup is alway a hit after a day out in the cold! Doug will also have his latest drones and some awesome footage from the UP project.
See more details at www.mwv-icefest.com/blog/
and at www.iceclimbingforums.com
The 17th Annual Catskill Ice Festival
January 30, 31, February 1, 2, 2015
This year again they will have multiple clinics on all the skills and techniques you need to get out on ice – from basic skills, to dry-tooling, to glacier travel techniques.
Demo ice climbing gear from Black Diamond, Petzl, La Sportiva, Outdoor Research and Rab.
Slide show will be held Saturday at Rock and Snow at 8pm.
NEice’s Doug Millen – Oh What a Long Strange Trip it’s Been!
Doug Millen reflects on the last 15 years at the helm of of NEice.com. Doug takes us on a journey of the ups, downs and glory days of NEice “A journey beyond my wildest dreams”. The Best of the Best from NEice.com. Including never seen photos and video from the Northeast. And a look at the UP project. Drones are fast becoming common place and Doug is on the leading edge. Have a look at his latest machines and where he is headed.
The demo gear will be located at Rock and Snow – so you can try out the latest Harnesses, Ice Tools, Crampons, and clothing from the best companies. You know them – Black Diamond, Petzl, La Sportiva, Outdoor Research & Rab.
Rates are $150 per person per event – Slideshows are free!
As an added bonus – Rock and Snow will offer 15% off for ice gear and apparel for all icefest registrants from the time they sign up through the end of the ice fest. All you need is to print out and show them the confirmation email we send when you register for it.
NEice will be at the Devils Kitchen on Saturday handing out hot soup and flying the drones. Hope to see you there!
Please respect the owners property rights and don’t trespass. Use the standard trails from the campground to access the cliff. Please see the information below and tell all your climbing friends. Thank You! – Doug Millen
Climbers should be aware that the land in front of the Main Face at Poke-O is private. Climbers need to use the main trail that runs from the [now closed] campground to the Main Face near Discord. Under no circumstances should climbers approach directly from the road. Of course it’s totally fine to scope out your routes from the shoulder of the road.
There have been several incidents where ice climbers have inadvertently wandered into the private property in front of the cliff. The local land owners have no tolerance for this and will close access should climbers continue to trespass. The Access Fund, with funds raised by The Mountaineer, have added signs to help delineate the boundaries and instruct climbers to stay on the cliff-base trail. Please be extra vigilant and stay on the trail that runs along the base of the cliff. -Jim Lawyer
Meet WooKong 3.0
The Beast of the NEice Fleet – Built to meet the demands of flying, photographing and filming in the winter weather of the Northeast.
After two winters of building, flying and filming with RC helicopters, I have learned a lot and had a ton of fun. But, it wasn’t enough, I needed more. I needed a better machine to complete my dream. I realized first I needed a better camera. The Gopros are light and very durable and have served us well, but they have many shortfalls. The lens is too wide. It leaves climbers looking like they are a mile away unless the drone is right on top of them. The camera is also not good in variable lighting conditions. It can’t handle fast changing or low light, where the only settings you have for creativity and enhancement is ‘ON!’ Here is where the Sony NEX-5N is far better.
The Sony NEX-5N 16.1 MP
This new camera is great. It gives DSLR quality still images up to 10 fps. When it comes to video, it pulls in full AVCHD at 60p with a 16.1 MP Exmor APS HD CMOS image sensor. A Sony E-mount 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 lens rounds out this camera set-up providing NEIce with the lightest DSLR quality camera you can put in the air. I can now point the camera up or down, rotate it, take a photo and turn on and off the video, seeing it all from my radio controller. Finally, I feel like I can properly film the action I have been dreaming of. The difference in quality still amazes me!
Last year we just turned the GoPro on, sent it up and hoped for the best. Courtney Ley, who edits footage for us, will be excited this year. With the remote I can activate video recording whenever I want to start and end, eliminating all the takeoffs, landings and other useless footage, saving her hours of editing time in front of the computer.
The still images are just as exciting, with the cameras’ ability to shoot RAW and JPEG Fine files simultaneously. Plus, good photos require good glass. I now have many options with the wide variety of Sony E-mount lenses available.
But, getting the new camera also meant I now needed a bigger helicopter to lift it. Putting all I have learned into this new build, I considered many factors in the new design – wind, power, reliability and flight time. The machine is a dream to fly and fulfills everything I have been looking for, lifting the Sony Nex5N with ease. In the past, wind was one of the biggest problems we encountered at the crags while filming. I have flown the new WooKong in 25+ mph winds without a problem. You can see this was not the case with early models as this footage in Huntington Ravine reveals.
With eight motors spread out above the Sony, I now have reliability and lift. I can lose an engine without crashing dramatically into the ice and hemlock. As entertaining as it might be to watch, it’s usually not ideal footage. Many pilots flying Octocopters report not knowing that an engine was out till they land. As the gear and cameras get more costly, redundancy and backup of critical components becomes more important.
Now that I had the increased power I wanted, came the need for bigger batteries. I decided to invest in three 16,000 mAh batteries ($250 ea) that will give our bird 10 minutes of flight per power pack – twice as long as Wookong 2.0. That’s plenty of time to film what I want and …believe me, when flying in the cold and snow, 10 minutes can seem like an eternity.
The Black Pearl 7″ High Definition LCD Screen
Last year, I found the goggles were too restrictive and hindered my ability to keep the helicopter safe and out of trouble. So, with the new rig on the flight pad, a new way of keeping connected with what was going on in the air was needed. A new high definition monitor is my dashboard and the OSD (on screen display) system gives me vital feed back, such as height, speed, rate of rise and descent. That’s right, now I can compose the photos and video from the ground, and still keep an eye on the conditions around me. I can also double-check the camera information to make sure I am shooting with the right settings.
Since it first lifted off early this summer, I have logged over 100 flights with WooKong 3.0. Posted below are a few photos I have taken during tuning and testing. The photos and video just keep getting better with more training flights. I am light years ahead of where I started two years ago with smoother video and sharper stills. I can’t wait to start filming winter and ice climbing in the Northeast and bringing it to you here at NEIce.com. UP!
WooKong 3.0 – Some Test Photos
*Click photos to enlarge.
NEice Gear Review for 2014/2015
The cool gusts of Autumn are blowing in, scattering a kaleidoscope of leaves. The first snow flurries of a new season sift down through the mountain air. Rock climbing seems a mere distraction now as the cold seeps into numb fingertips trickling down to chilled toes, hinting at what will soon arrive – the ice is coming. Eagerly, we await that first good thunk of our favorite ice tool sinking into soft early season ice. The thought of it, harkens up a familiar sensation of security and the satisfaction that comes from knowing you couldn’t fall from the steep blue ice at that moment.
“We await that first good thunk of our favorite ice tool sinking into soft early season ice.”
As memories like these bring on the promise of new adventure, we pull dusty gear out of the dark closet depths and sort and re-sort it all. Tool picks are sharpened. Ice screws inspected in a pre-season ritual.
Our minds wander back over the years of ice climbing, maybe to our earliest terror-filled winters bashing a line up a route too hard for us, almost certain that death lay just a little higher. So, illogically, we just swung harder and gripped tighter.
Over 20 years ago, on one of my first stout leads at Lake Willoughby in northern Vermont, I nearly lost an arm placing a screw. Untested ambition had put me there, high on the grade 5 crux, my stomach flipping with a lurch from the fear and overexertion. I tightened the twist leash on my left hand one more turn, cutting off more vital circulation, and using a tool pick in my right, turn the tube threads further into the ice. The fearful sound of that screw screeched in my ears as it resisted the effort. Burning up too much energy, I quit before it was even close to safe. I clipped the hanger and sucked in a frigid measured breath of partial relief and leaned my forehead against the ice, still too proud and scared to take on the rope. There I was, filled with aching terror when fresh powder lay on the easy slopes in the next town over, just a cozy lift ride away. But, I kept going back for more of that fear. Exactly why, I can’t tell you. But, with experience, it improves. With time, the joy overtakes the fear. Things change. Life changes.
Along with us, the gear changes too. It was nearly 20 years ago, Grivel purposefully bent the shaft of their latest ice tools – giving us the Machine and essentially taking one whole grade of difficulty off the routes. A few years later, Beal gave us lighter, skinnier ropes – their Ice Lines. Our clothes got lighter, warmer, better. Ice screws actually went in like rock gear – fast. Leashes got quicker, then disappeared with Petzl’s Ergo tool, and have sort of come back again as tethers. This sport is now much easier and safer. Even without our training harder, technology has made us faster. Yes, death is still waiting, only a fool would deny it, but now I can smile at yesterday’s memories and fear no longer fills me while I’m walking up to that same steep route at Willoughby.
“Even without our training harder, technology has made us faster.”
As this season arrives, and you finish another set of pull-ups… maybe you’re dragging a file across the worn pick of your old ice tool, and perhaps you can’t help but wonder – will a new change in gear eclipse all that hard training? Only you will know really…all your training and preparation could take a back seat to that new piece of equipment that just clicks with your climbing style. Now you flow with it, as you start up a steep column, swinging smoothly. The tool thunking firmly in soft ice, again and again, and suddenly you’re at the top of that serious line you always dreamt of leading and you smile clipping into the anchor. The game has just changed for you…and life is even better.
There’s nothing worse than bad gear – It’s too heavy, it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t do what you want it to, or worse yet, it breaks and leaves you stranded. There’s a lot of really good gear out there nowadays so it’s tough to pick out the best of the best. Starting out on our first real gear review, we decided to mostly look at what’s new or nearly new this season. We gave up some precious climbing time to delve into the real meat and potatoes items of the sport, checking out the latest in tools, crampons, ice screws, jackets, harnesses and gloves. The more we looked, the more we realized, a lot of it is orange (or most of it is available in caution-type colors anyway) Thus our headline, a play on the TV series, Orange is the New Black. So, go forth with the colors of caution, maybe whether you like it or not.
CAMP X-Light (new) – $199.99 A superlight and versatile tool for the technical alpinist, with a hot-forged aluminum alloy head that allows for multiple set-ups. The removable X-Alp grip has a soft hand for good grip and can be swapped out with the X-Dry grip.
Petzl Summit EVO – Due out January 2015. This tool should find a similar niche to the CAMP X-Light.
Black Diamond Fuel Ice Tool (new) – $259.99 A high-performance, all-around cragging tool that’s at home on steep ice and overhanging rock. BD says the Fuel is the quiver of one for the modern winter climber.
Grivel Tech Machine (new) – $249.95 A nice technical tool for mixed and big steep ice. The new round clip hole in the head makes it easy to clip on and off your harness. The Tech Machine comes with their Ice Blade (3mm tip) but it also takes an optional mixed pick for more extreme drytooling.
There are some great standby ‘poons’ that hardmen and hardwomen of the Northeast have been crushing with over the past few years (Grivel C4, Petzl Lynx & Dart, BD’s Stinger) so not too much has changed recently or dramatically other than CAMP’s new setup.
CAMP Blade Runner – $349.95 Not really new to start this season but when these crampons came out late last season, they were making quite a splash during the ice festivals in the Northeast. CAMP athlete Ian Osteyee put up a new severe test-piece at Poke-O Moonshine with them last winter. Yup, they’re pricey, but hey, so is a good single-malt.
Petzl Laser Speed Light – $74.95 If light is right, these just might be the screws for you. The speed light is an ultra-light screw with aluminum tube, an ideal weight-cutting tool for mountaineering. These screws seem to start as easy as the BD Express screws that are very popular. The folding crank works well and folds away reasonably quickly, perhaps not as easy as one might prefer. Hey, we’re spoiled compared to 20 years ago. Durability over the long-haul of hard climbing use through multiple seasons remains to be seen. They’re pricier than regular weight screws but several long-time NEIcers admit they’re going to add at least a handful of these to their racks.
New materials continue to improve the outerwear available for ice climbers on the move. A number of companies have come out with softshell tops that work great for keeping the sweat from building up too much and keep you cruising with one of the new wool-blend layers underneath and a belay jacket over them in harsher conditions.
Black Diamond Dawn Patrol Shell – $349.00 A minimalistic softshell jacket, the Dawn Patrol LT Shell uses Schoeller® stretch-woven softshell fabric to handle the demands of fast-and-light alpine climbs.
Mammut Nordpfeiler (men’s and women’s) – $350 This has a new WINDSTOPPER® fabric. more breathable and stretchier with pit zips for added cooling. This is a prime GORE® WINDSTOPPER® jacket for high alpine use, offering high abrasion resistance and good stretch, ideal for colder conditions and as a second layer. This is not an insulative jacket so you’ll want to choose the right layer to go underneath depending on conditions.
Mammut Morangun Jacket (new features)- $425 Mammut has given this a more durable surface fabric than before with the combination of a 2-layer GORE-TEX® face fabric and the proven OTI™ Element synthetic fiber filling. It is waterproof and excellent in cold temperatures.
Outdoor Research Clairvoyant (women’s model) – $324.95 Streamlined, durable and functional, the Clairvoyant is built for high-alpine climbing epics and aerobic backcountry tours. And unlike many waterproof shells, the polyester face fabric is soft, supple and quiet, yet easily repels unpleasant weather during all-out adventures.
Mountain Hardware Quasar Jacket – $400 A waterproof 3-layer shell is designed to be as compact and efficient as it is hardworking. Dry.Q™ Elite technology starts expelling excess heat and vapor right away for nearly instant breathability. A sleeker fit than most jackets.
For some of us, this is the business end of modern ice climbing. If your hands are frozen or you can’t feel the tool, you’re already half-finished. Most experienced climbers bring two or three pairs in their craggin’ packs. These are a few of what’s new on the scene.
Black Diamond Torque Glove – $59.95 A performance softshell glove with a tricot lining. BD says this model was built for high-end mixed climbing and drytooling, featuring a super-sticky palm and low-profile construction for unmatched grip and dexterity.
Black Diamond Punisher (women’s version) – $99.95 The company’s classic ice climbing glove but with a different fit for women. Maintains the pre-curved construction with articulated fingers with a waterproof breathable BDry™ insert and EVA padded knuckles so you can still wrap your hand around a cold beer at the end of the day.
CAMP GeKO Light – $99.95 A nice leather-palmed technical glove for mixed climbing and warmer days on the ice. The model forgoes insulation in the palm for better grip but offers a thin 4 oz Primaloft® insulation on the main body combined with box construction using durable and water resistant polyester fabrics for a precise and snug fit.
CAMP GeKO Hot Dry – $109.95 This medium-weight glove is a new upgraded version of their best selling G Hot featuring a Hipora® waterproof/breathable membrane for extra protection in wet conditions. The palm and fingers feature their Grip’R technology to help with holding power and durability.
CAMP Air CR – $84.95 If you’re looking to slim down, CAMP says it used the same lightweight design on the AIR CR model as the Air harness but added adjustable leg loops. Constructed from 2mm perforated EVA foam attached using edge-load construction to soft polyester mesh on the interior and durable nylon mesh on the exterior. The Air CR seems a good bet for any kind of fast and light climbing endeavors including advanced alpinism and ice climbing with two slots to accommodate clippers or carabiners for racking your tools.
Petzl Hirundos – Due out January 2015. A lightweight high-end model, which the company says is ideal for sport and alpine climbing. Also features two slots for the Petzl Caritool holders for racking your ice tools.
First Impressions – Camp Air CR Harness: October 13, 2014. AMGA member and guide Tim Farr – “The Camp Air CR Harness is light, real light. Previous experience with past harnesses in this category had me expecting an uncomfortable and hip-bruising fit for anything but an un-weighted stance. But the Camp Air CR Harness is comfy. Proving that an ultra-light harness doesn’t need to sacrifice comfort for weight. On long rock routes with hanging belays and lots of rappelling, I haven’t even thought twice about the fit except for in amazement for the surprising level of comfort. While this harness obviously doesn’t have the comforts of a marketed big wall harness, I still found myself grabbing for the Camp Air CR over my beefier all-a-rounder for just about everything. The three auto locking buckles, comfortable leg-loops and four good-sized gear loops on the Camp Air CR offer plenty of climb-ability and durability for everyone from the crag dweller to the weight conscious alpinist. Its light, packs small, has enough room for a large traditional rack and doesn’t restrict your freedom of movement. From long rock routes on Cannon Cliff to cragging 5 minutes from the car, the Camp Air CR delivers. While the ice and mixed season hasn’t quit started here in the Northeast, I’m expecting the Camp Air CR harness to shine simply based on my experience testing it this summer.”
So many good boots out there to choose from! We should all feel lucky. But, sometimes there’s always room for improvement. We felt adding a custom liner, like Superfeet, could help improve the performance fit of all these boots. Hey, they’re your feet, do what feels good!
LaSportiva Nepal Cube GTX – $575 LaSportiva says it’s a technical, warm, lightweight mountaineering boot with state of the art technology for mixed climbing terrain. If you’re a fan of their Nepal Tops, these are lighter but with a more flexible ankle. meaning less support but more mobility for technical climbing. It also comes with removable additional tongue padding for an adjustable fit under the upper lacing.
Mammut Nordwand High GTX – $595 Mammut says this double-insulated carbon insole full-gaiter boot is the lightest in it’s category. A double GORE-TEX construction in the inner shoe and on the gaiter provides plenty of protection for moisture regulation and water resistance. We found the built-in gaiter has more room to go over pants than the Scarpa Phantom Guide, if that’s how you roll.
Scarpa Phantom Guide – $599.00 Scarpa says it’s got the same materials and construction as their Himalayan boot, the Phantom 8000, for more warmth for extreme environments, but with the added sensitivity of a slimmed-down full-gaiter boot. One of our testers said this had a bit more room toward the front for wider feet.
Trango Extreme EVO Light GTX – $420 All synthetic, waterproof and insulated. The silver lining, so to speak, of this boot is a lightweight, warm technical mountain boot for ice climbing, plus the performance for mixed climbing and cold weather alpine goals.
Stay tuned for a gear review on ropes. Get the skinny on the phattest alpine cords – Coming soon!
BITS & PIECES (Some new and some favorites)
Black Diamond Peter Beanie (new) – $25 No, it’s not for your Johnson but we can’t help but snicker at the name a little. This double-layer beanie is for super-cold days. and ‘Yes’, it’s available in orange.
Mammut Nano 8 (new) – $14 Not for your everyday ice climbing outing but a very lightweight (and orange) rappel device that pairs well with their new 60M 6mm static rap line for going light on that solo climb and descent or for getting down past that gnarly section while ski mountaineering.
CAMP X-Dream Ice Tool– $279.99
Petzl Nomic Ice Tool – $299.99
Black Diamond Arc glove – $69.99 This is one sticky palmed light-to-mid-weight glove that performs great. Like a lot of grippy gloves, don’t rappel down with them, you’ll wear them out too fast.
Mammut Guide Work Glove – $109.99 A warmer leather glove for use when that light grippy glove doesn’t cut it but the big bulky ones are too much. The company says it’s ideally suited for mountain guides, patrollers, lift staff and everyone who works regularly outdoors.
by Don Mellor
I just finished reading Training for the New Alpinism, and I’m feeling equal parts inspired, enlightened, and useless.
It’s a book that does just what it promises: it explains in scientific detail what it takes to be an elite athlete in today’s mind-stretching world of alpine climbing.
The technical density of the book came as a surprise to me. Maybe I was expecting some rehashed advice about running stairs or lifting weights. My BA in English Literature didn’t really prep me for the science, and so I had to read it twice just to get hold of some of the concepts. A third time wouldn’t hurt, either.
Interspersed among the technical chapters, however, were high-octane adventure stories about the ‘research” behind the instruction. Here Ueli Steck tells us that he’s a control freak and that his two-hour forty-seven minute dash of the Eiger North Face was not some spur-of-the-moment antic; nothing, even the weather, he says, was left to chance. Mark Twight weighs in about his initial crush on CrossFit training, his own failed attempt to find a quicker route to fitness, and his ultimate admission that Scott Johnston was right about the relationship between endurance and intensity training. TINSTAAFL is the title of Twight’s essay about the importance of realizing that There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.
This is all about what they call “the new alpinism” It’s hard for a lot of us even to conceive of the mountain marathoning that’s going on out there. Eiger North face in less than three hours. Six days of continuous climbing on North Twin (in winter, after dropping a boot from half way up and finishing in an inner boot wrapped in athletic tape!). Eight days on the Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat, the world’s highest wall. Enchainments. Speed climbing. Gobbling up more hard climbing in less time and with less gear than we ever considered sane or possible.
This “new alpinism” isn’t following a line of fixed ropes as you push to higher and higher camps, acclimatizing on your way. Nor is it working some 5.13 flared crack above a port-a-ledge on El Cap. “New alpinism” is putting on a 35-pound pack and climbing non-stop till you get to the top. Sometimes you might grab a little shivering nap or maybe fire up your stove. But a lot of the time you just push on, telling your body to do stuff that most bodies can’t imagine.
Thus, this book is really the first to examine the distinctly more complex training requirements to make those bodies capable. And this is just it: changing our bodies – the capillaries and neurons, the muscle fibers and cell structures, altering things we may never even have heard of.
A little about the authors:
Steve House – If you really need me to provide his bio here, you don’t want this book. Just go back to your Facebook page.
Scott Johnston, on the other hand, iisn’t well known to most recreational climbers. Even though he has a proud resume of Himalayan and Alaskan mountaineering, he comes mainly from the world of swimming and Nordic skiing, both at the World Cup competitive level and as a coach. Most of us know that cross-country ski racers are probably the fittest athletes out there, and so his research and perspectives are absolutely applicable to alpine climbing. If ever you are in the Adirondacks and want to take a day off from ice climbing, go check out the college kids training at Mount Van Hoevenberg. You’ll come away feeling flabby.
House and Johnston make it clear that this isn’t just upping the reps or increasing the mileage – it’s a new game, one that doesn’t come without a huge investment. Nor it is intuitive. They make it clear right in the beginning that, “three forty-five minute Stairmaster sessions a week” will not do it. Instead, it takes a disciplined and difficult regimen of training that will alter both the anatomical and neurological structures of the alpine athlete. Like it or not, they say, “your results will be proportional to the time you spend in preparation.”
So much for the pep talk. Now comes the bulk of the book, the science and the reasoning behind a methodical and purposeful training routine. That preparation cannot consist solely of Great Range runs or maniacal gym workouts.
House and Johnston begin with the basic aerobic – anaerobic dichotomy, moving logically through the fuels of fats and sugars, the human body’s “functional and structural” adaptations to stress, strength training, periodization, and nutrition. These pieces come in logically sequenced, well explained packets, and most are supplemented by real-life experience as empirical support.
Again, the science is complex and I’d probably screw it up if I endeavored to summarize. Let me instead list some of the salient points that I’ll keep in my own training mind:
* It’s all about duration and frequency, not intensity. Maybe ninety percent of our training ought to be at a pace where we can still have a trail conversation.
* General training is every bit as important as specific training.
* You can’t try to maintain peak-level fitness for any length of time; instead, you must aim to reach your peak fitness just in time for your project.
* Recovery takes a long time. House tells of having to bail on a big Himalayan route because he hadn’t fully recovered from Nanga Parbat a full twelve months earlier.
* Endurance exercise burns fats. Intense exercise burns sugars. Every high-intensity burst is really costly, as it switches the fuel over from fats to sugars, which aren’t so plentiful in storage.
* Keeping records helps.
* Be patient. Progress is gradual and it results only from the cumulative effect of many, many hours of productive work.
I wonder how many of you NEICE.COM ‘ers are actually aspiring to do the high-end routes in Alaska or Patagonia. I wonder if most of you (like me) are instead thinking about a winter scoot along the crest of the Presidentials (those aren’t yeti tracks – Alan Cattabriga came by before breakfast) or maybe you want to take a whack at Emilie Drinkwater’s time on the Adirondack Trilogy. Whatever the goals, I think the House / Johnston book would do you well. Your pack might feel lighter, and the route might feel easier. And you might just make it back for happy hour.
Now a small complaint. Every time I would sit down to write this review, I’d find myself so inspired (OK, a little shamed as well) that I’d put it down and go for a short speed hike up a little rocky bump near my house in Lake Placid. It happened again today. The wind on top was pushing me around a bit, the year’s first snow pellets were biting my face. But no shit, there I was, alone, eyes closed, fantasies flipping back and forth between House’s climbs on the world’s big peaks and my own plans for an early season run on Agartha.
TRAINING FOR THE NEW ALPINISM
Steve House and Scott Johnston
Patagonia Books, Ventura California 2014
Buy TRAINING FOR THE NEW ALPINISM at The Mountaineer
October 12-14, 2014
Some years you find ice to climb in October, other years you are hiking in your underwear. The weather started out cold on our trip and we were hopeful, but this was not an ice climbing year. We still had fun and explored some new areas to the Northwest of Baxter Peak. The Northwest Basin is simply amazing and worth the 8 mile approach. Below are a few photos from our trip. Enjoy!
*Click Photos to Enlarge
– Doug Millen
Franconia Notch NH
April 17, 2014
What happens when you get a ton of rain over a snowpack, and than a cold front moves through…Omega in April…that’s what! Here again it proves that you have to anticipate and be ready for unique ice climbing conditions. Peter Doucette has been following the conditions all winter and taking advantage of the unique conditions as they happen. Peter and Adam were ready and got a 3:45 am start for this adventure. Perfect! What great ice climbing. Just look at the photos…great bonded ice, and the lighting could not be any better. Fantastic late season ice climbing. Remember…It’s not “OVA” till it’s “OVA”.
Photos by Adam Bidwell and Peter Doucette
Also see Here Today, Gone Tomorrow!