Pole Dance

Frankenstein Cliff, Crawford Notch NH

Matt McCormick following the business part of the climb – Bayard Russell

Pole Dance- NEI 5

FA: December 17, 2010
Kevin Mahoney, Bayard Russell & Matt McCormick

“After an exciting afternoon on the ground dodging missiles in the south facing sun, “Pole Dance” went down. This new route at Frankenstein is right of the Bragg-Pheasant in a spot I had never seen any real ice before. The oblique afternoon sun cooled things off and we went for it. We all had a chance to lead the easy first pitch, but it was Kevin Mahoney’s turn when we finally had a chance to do the pitch that mattered.” – Bayard Russell Jr.

More at…
MattMccormickClimbing.blogspot.com

Source: Matt McCormick & Bayard Russell


BOLD New Ice Route

Simian

Poko-O-Moonshine, NY

NEI 5+R/X, M-fun, 450-500 ft

FA 3/9/11 – Ian Osteyee & Bill Simes

“Basically no gear on the first pitch until the topout ledge, then just a 10cm screw. Similar to Stingray but no anchor to clip halfway up. They went up the face where summer rock routes Cooney-Norton, 10b and Cosmopolitan Wall,10c are located. I think the upper pitches are all original” – Alden PellettSi

By Ian Osteyee

simian topo

Topo

Bill and I had a great time doing this route. You couldn’t have a more perfect time out. It was sunny and warm, and two old friends were alone at the cliff for most of the route. A couple of Canadians showed up to do PT as I was belaying Bill up the second pitch, other than that it was quiet. Really just a perfect session. Having done the second ascent of “Stingray” years earlier it allowed me to ponder and compare the two fine lines. This new line was similar in some ways. The first pitch a little longer, and began and stayed steep the entire length of the pitch. They both have a side-foot rest a third of the way up, but “Stingray” has a bolted rappel anchor to clip at that point. The upper pitch of “Stingray” is more mellow without the exciting moves over rock and on to steep thin, hanging ice. This is a fine line, one of the best routes I’ve climbed, anywhere.

I’ve seen this thing try to come down on several occasions, but never saw it get to the ground. Bill Simes and I headed over and went in for a closer look. It seemed almost too good to be true, it even looked like it might take some stubbies. I headed up with a light rock rack and a few screws. The ice was good, a little soft, but good climbing. There was a spot about a third of the way up to get a foot sideways, and try to fish for some gear in a seam. The seam didn’t pan out, but I left a TCU there anyway, it was about as useful as a Christmas ornament, but I lightened my load by a fraction. The last two thirds of the long first pitch were steep. The ice still climbed well, but would thin out in spots putting forward progress in doubt here and there. Roughly 5-10 feet from the end of the pitch I was able to place a 10cm screw, though the ice was a little soft for it to inspire. Once on the ledge a short,15 foot, insecure, snowy traverse right brought me to a rock corner system. A four piece, less than perfect anchor and Bill was on his way up. Pitch 2 starts with thinly ice rock at a roughly 3+ angle. Forty feet of that and I reached the over hang and got some good rock gear. An M fun rock traverse right and the most eligible hanger becomes obvious. Some thinly ice/mixed moves allow a committing launch onto the thin, but stable ice. Ten more feet of steep climbing leads to casual, beautifully exposed grade 4- ice that gets less steep as you climb higher. 70 meters isn’t enough, and an ice screw anchor is necessary. One more grade 3+ pitch, which lessens as it goes, gets you to the top.

Photos by Bill Simes & Ian Osteyee

Ian Osteyee
Adirondack Mountain Guides
www.adirondackmountainguides.com

The only AMGA certified guide in the Adirondacks with more than 20 years of local experience

More from Adirondack Mountain Guides

Simian

Simian

Fluffy

Go back Mountain, NH

Fluffy – NEI 6 X 60m – FA: Josh Hurst, Ian Austin

 

Start: Immediately left of Valhalla in the Valhalla Amphitheater

Protection: Stubbies, Screws, .5-3 Camalots

Descent: Rap route

Extenuating Circumstances: Ice was 1/2″-2″ thick at start for the first ascent, first good protection was a Camelot behind an excavated flake at 80′.

Fluffy
Notes: Incredible, sustained, scary, incomparable; longer than Valhalla by 25′, finish to the trees on top.
Photos by Ian Austin

New M8 at "The Lake"

Tiny Dancer

Lake Willoughby, VT

FA: 01-21-11 Ryan Brooks and Josh Hurst

“Tiny Dancer, It’s between Plug and Chug and Call of the Wild.  It’s a modern mixed route that deserves to see a lot of traffic due to it’s accessibility, reliability and rock quality” -Josh Hurst

tiny-dancer-3a

tiny-dancer-1aP1: M7  Climb 20′ of Plug and Chug than diagnal right on ice blobs to the center of the overhanging rock.  Take the weakness up and right to more ice blobs on the mid-cliff ledge.  Belay on left in the ice.  It is possible to take ice blobs directly up to the rock in some years.

tiny-dancer-2aP2: M8  Start up the flake system to a small roof.  Trend right, crux, to a shallow corner system.  Once behind the icicles take the line of least resistance to the top.

Rack: 5-8 ice screws, standard rack to 2″, no pins needed, 12 quickdraws

Photo’s by Ryan Brooks.

Endangered Species

Poko-O-Moonshine – Adirondacks,  NY

01/14/2011
Adirondack Mountainfest 2011

Story Up-Date 1/20/11 from Bayard Russell

True to Mountainfest tradition of establishing new climbs, Bayard Russell, Matt Horner & Matt McCormick established – “Endangered SpeciesM6+ NEI5+ R. The climb is just to the right of Jeff Lowes legendary line “Gorillas in the Mist”.

“It’s so cool that, after all these years, the Northeast continues to generate some of the most exciting winter climbing in the country” – Dougald MacDonald

The 2 Matts having a go on Gorillas In The Mist. No tools left this time. Photo by Smike

The 2 Matts having a go at Gorillas / Endangered Species earlier that week. No tools left this time. Photo by Smike

We were treated with photos and a video of the ascent Sunday night at Matt McCormick’s slide show.  A very impressive climb by some very motivated and committed climbers. Well done.  See the video..

Matt Hornor,s tools on Gorillas in the Mist. - Photo by Jessew

Matt Horner’s tools on Gorillas in the Mist, 2008. – Photo by Jessew

Many attempts over the years have been made on this section of cliff . Lack of good ice has always blocked the way. Back in 2008,  Matt Horner tried the climb in an after-work ascent where he ended up lowering off his tools in the dark, that was the best anchor he could build in the thin, candled ice (see photo).

See Fifty favorite climbs: the ultimate North American tick list By Mark Kroese  for information on Gorillas in the Mist

The Big Wall section of Poke-O. The thin strip of ice is the new route "Endangered Species" (Horner/McCormick/Russel). Photo by Jim Lawyer

The Big Wall section of Poke-O. The thin strip of ice is the new route “Endangered Species”. Photo by Jim Lawyer

More on the NEice Forum

Source: Matt McCormick, Matt Horner, Bayard Russell, NEice Forum, Facebook & Climbing.com

Story Up-Date 1/20/11

 

“There are a couple of things that we did do, and a couple of things that we didn’t do; here’s the deal” – Bayard Russell


Hydropower M9 WI5-

 

Possibly the hardest mixed route in the Catskills

FA Matt McCormick 2/22/10

“On my first attempt of the day on the new route I made it all the way to the ice before elbowing my ice tool out of a hook while clipping! AAAHHHH! I couldn’t believe it. I had the route in the bag only to knock my own tool off the route!

After climbing 90+ feet of drytooling to get there it was hard to motivate to get back on but I rallied and sent on the next try. After pulling onto the icicle I moved above the attachment point and fired in a screw about 3/4 of the way when a high powered stream of water cam shooting out the back of the screw! I had never had this happen to me and was startling to say the least. I moved quickly to avoid being totally drenched and climbed to the trees to top out the line” – Matt McCormick.
Read all about the FA and more Catskills action on Matt McCormick’s Blog
StandardLine

Video by Ryan Stefiuk of Bigfoot Mountain Guides

Read more about “Hydropower” and the Catskills Ice Fest 2010

The Bossman

The Bossman

Bayard Russell & Matt McCormick

were crushing it in the “Dacks” during Mountainfest

True to Mountainfest tradition of establishing new climbs, Matt McCormick and Bayard Russell opened up “The Bossman” (M9) on the High Falls Crag in Wilmington Notch. This section of cliff had repelled some of the best ice climbers in North America recently, including Maxime Turgeon, LP Menard and Steve House.

“The Bossman (M9, 3 pitches) follows a single, continuous crack for 230 feet. The first pitch climbs technical, steep terrain on turf shots and thin pick torques. Pitch 2 contains the crux, an extremely reachy move with chickenscratch for feet. The last, short pitch corkscrews behind a minor icicle then “worms out” onto the ice” – Matt McCormick

“I whined a little bit starting the first pitch, on unbonded thin ice, but pounded a specter hook in some turf and muckled up onto a ledge anyway” – Bayard Russell

See Alpinist.com for more on this climb and Bayards blog Cathedral Style

More on Matt and Bayard – Astro Turff / The Painted Wall Icicle / Strippers

Strippers!

Josh Hurst about to fire the FA of “Strippers” Frankenstein Cliff, Crawford Notch NH. – Bayard Russell

“it was impressive, the final roof suiting his style of climbing – extra burly pull-ups”

-Bayard Russell

The route is between Cocaine and the Wrath of the Valkyrie.

Read more at Cathedral Mountain Guides

 

Source: Bayard Russell

The Painted Wall Icicle

M9 WI 5+

FA – 1/6/10  Bayard Russell – Peter Doucette, Kevin Mahoney & Doug Madara
Peter Doucette following the ice pitch. The first pitch climbs overhanging rock from the right.  The icicle was in unusually fat condition  1/6/10

Peter Doucette following the ice pitch. The first pitch climbs overhanging rock from the right.  The icicle was in unusually fat condition  1/6/10

russellKevinM

1/6/10 – Climbing guide Bayard Russell has succeeded on the first ascent of a stunning mixed climb on the Painted Wall, Kancamagus Highway NH.  This climb has seen numerous attempts over the last few years but this week every thing came together for Bayard.

Read the full story on Bayard’s blog – Cathedral Style

Source: Bayard Russell

Photos by Bayard Russell & Kevin Mahoney 

.

Silent Spring

The Bethel Crag

by Josh Hurst / Photos by Eric Eisele and Ian Austin
Josh on Slient Spring

Josh on Silent Spring

Finally got the job done!  Super psyched! We called it Silent Spring, M12

The real praise goes to Ian who was a patient driver and belayer for the 4 days of redpoint attempts and 3 days needed to equip the route.  He never bitched once about the 3 mile approach, would never let me break trail and was always full of encouragement.

Training all fall and winter paid off- just in time!  Silent Spring feels harder than the current routes in the Cathedral Cave and is way more powerful.  It’s a combination of precise, technical feet and super burly power.  I was tearing muscle every time I tried it and could only take 2 tries per day before being totally wiped-out.  I would then hurt for the next 2 days.  A week after sending it my obliques and lats still hurt.  I’ve learned that you don’t just train for strength, but mentally for the pain associated with a pitch like this.  The route is 110′ long and overhangs 45′.  It’s 14 bolts, 1 cam and a screw.  The ice was getting beaten by the sun so I dropped a rope with a draw on it to protect the ice.Josh on Slient Spring

Silent Spring starts on a thin slab to a stance where you look out horizontally past 8 draws hanging above the valley.  You torque out a flake system to the lip, the crux, where your feet lead above you.  Once around the lip it’s M8 to the hanger, characterized by big moves on an overhanging wall.  My first go the day I sent I got the crux move for the first time and then dropped my tool- it took a 250′ fall into the trees.  Ian rapped down to get it while I took a rest.  Ice was crashing down around us and I knew that this was the last burn of the season ssJosh03no matter what.  When Ian returned, tool in hand, I turned it on and got the job done!  The funny thing was one of my front points was really loose so I couldn’t get the needed heel toe rest after the crux so was left to improvise the M8 moves, then ‘rested’ my way up the final 30′ of M7 to the top.  Usually the ice is the easy part but even it overhung 2′!  The whole time I was thinking about Jim Ewing’s advise on how to get up hard routes- ‘JUST DON’T LET GO!’  YeeHaa!!!

Josh