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 

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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

Moody Aunt Ruby

Lake Willoughby, VT

Moody Aunt Ruby (WI 6 R/X, 110M) – Will Mayo, Joe Szot & Ian Boyer
MoodyAuntRuby

Photo by Doug Millen

Across the Lake on Mt. Hor, Joe Szot, Ian Boyer and I climbed the ethereal yellow icicles that hang from those compact limestone cliffs today, 12/13/2005, naming the route. Arriving at the base of the cliff with the temperature not much above zero and racking up above the southward rolling fog along the surface of the open waters below after having traversed the entire south end of the Lake, I realized that I had left the rock rack in the Flying Brick (my van).  I asked the boys with a straight face, “Okay, who’s got the rock rack?”  But, they knew the mistake was mine.  My punishment was to lead the thing with only ice gear, which made things rather run-out. The first 60M pitch was the crux and involves a hollow vertical column of ice to a ramp to attain the golden double-tiered free-hanging icicles that hang above.  These daggers of ice were the cruxes and required launching up gymnastically onto the hangers with gear well below.  Joe Szot climbed the 50M WI 5 second pitch up mushroomed ice to a tier of free-standing columns and reached the trees.   Moody Aunt Ruby was climbed on-sight in “ground up” style and was yet another in a string of phenomenally exciting days of ice climbing with close friends.  Moody Aunt Ruby is definitely one of the most exciting ice climbs I have ever done.

-Will Mayo

NOTE: This Route is Reportedly to have been climbed before by either Barry Blanchard or Kurt Winkler. The information is unclear and no details are available at this time.

Premature Birth

Poke-O-Moonshine – Adirondacks, NY

“Premature Birth” WI5, M6 – Joe Szot & Ian Boyer

Joe Szot established this new line right of Mid-Life Crisis just before the sixth annual Adirondack MountainFest. With little ice around Joe was definitely working out side the box, or in his case shall we say the cage. He and Ian Boyer rappelled down to the ledge for the first ascent of “Premature Birth” WI5, M6. Midlife Crisis, another Szot test piece to the left was first established in this same way since the ice rarely reaches the ground. True to form Joe gave it what I believe is an understated rating of WI5, M6. On Friday Jim Shimberg and Will Mayo cleaned up the line by climbing the first pitch of Discord and then used the Garter traverse to reach the climb. Shimberg said “it felt like we were climbing 5.12, the gear was truck! What a great climb”.

Photo: Premature Birth is the broken ice line on the right – Photo by Doug Millen