The Father of the Harvard Cabin

The Farther of the Harvard Cabin

Ted Carman

Winter is still alive on “The Rock Pile” and I was lucky to meet Ted Carman this weekend (3-26-16). Referred to by some as “The Father of the Harvard Cabin”. Without Ted the cabin as we know it today would not have happened.

He drew up the plans, literally, in his dorm room. Got the required permission, and did the fund-raising. Then Ted went on to recruit volunteer labor to get the supplies up the hill and built the cabin we see today. Thanks Ted, your efforts have been greatly appreciated by many over the years.

– Doug Millen

Click Here for the complete story of how the cabin came to be.

Photo by Lisa Poole: Rich Palatino, Ted Carman and Doug Millen

Harvard Cabin Report 3-17-16

March 17, 2016

Harvard Cabin Mountaineers,

Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

In celebration, The white mountains have been turned green! But, don’t worry, there is still plenty of skiing and climbing to be had before we let all the ice fall down. Sure, it’s been raining like the Emerald Isle, but with what little luck we have had this season we are psyched for this weekend’s forecast – SUNNY AND COLD! This might be the last time, if not the first time, you will have felt ol’ jack frost all Winter. So, why not try your luck at a chance for thescreaming barfies? Come defy the winter that wasn’t, grab the fat bastard and file away a seasons worth of anticipation, come climb and ski some of the last snow and ice remaining in the northeast.

With superfluous amounts of water draining from the mountain along with plummeting temps, you might even consider scratching around a buttress or two this weekend. This will be a fun few days on the mountain. Right now, it looks like we could have a 72+ hour reprieve from the persistent melt-out we’ve been dealing with over the last two weeks. We could even pick-up a few inches of snow over the next couple of days, which would help to cover up all of the green decorations.

Snow and Ice Conditions

  • O’Dell, Pinnacle – In
  • South, Escape, Yale/Harvard – Out
  • Damnation, North – Possible with Re-Freeze, but not recommended

With the low snowfall this season and above normal temperatures, Trails on Mt. Washington look like you might expect in May. Tread-way on the lower 1/3’rd of the Tuckerman Ravine trail between the trail-head and Hermit Lake is comprised of mostly mud and rock.

The remaining 2/3’rds is mostly melting ice and snow. TRACTION IS REQUIRED! The ice has become much more manageable in recent days as temps have soared. This is an improvement over the nearly bullet-proof and contiguous sheet of protectable ice that has made the Tux trail a viable water ice adventure for most of March. No exaggeration, V-Thread practice was possible on the the Tux trail some weeks. Think I’m kidding? A couple of weeks ago, Snow Rangers felt the need to perform technical lowers of snow machines in order to get them safely back to their summer berths. It’s been a tough winter, but Spring has sprung and conditions are improving as they degrade. Come enjoy what remains!

The Huntington Fire Road is mostly snow covered and should be so through the weekend and beyond. The fan hasn’t really changed too much from what is has been most of the season. Travel towards your gully of choice remains mostly summer like. Snowfields do still exists on the upper portions of approaches to O’Dell, Pinnacle, Central, and the Yale Buttress.

As far as ice conditions – O’dell and Pinnacle are hanging tough. Ice/snow above the first pitch of Pinnacle has really taken a beating in the last few rain events. There are climber-sized holes in the snow and ice caused by excessive water draining on-top of the ice during monsoon-like events. With the potential for new snow fall tonight, Friday, and Sunday, I would be mindful of possible snow-bridging that could occur in the gully, particularly above initial steep-ice pitch. Slipping into a water-fall thanks to a hidden manhole could be unpleasant.

Portions of Pinnacle above the main ice flow will become more difficult to protect over the next two weeks. Thankfully, I believe melting will slow significantly over the weekend. If you were hoping to climb Pinnacle before the season is out, I would consider doing so in the next week.

Thanks to Eric Winter and Jake Kenealy for the great photos taken earlier today in Pinnacle. Eric and Jake live and work in Vermont and are totally stoked for skiing and climbing in the East. Sure hope to see more of these guys in the future!

Pinnacle Gully - March 16, 2016 - Click to Enlarge

Pinnacle Gully – March 16, 2016 – Click to Enlarge

Spring Skiing

While I’m not definitely not one that welcomes the crowds that come with a spring snowpack, we are definitely in the period of persistent isothermic snow. In other words, the spring corn cycles have begun. Besides the obvious ski lines over in Tuckerman Ravine, there are some manageable turns to be earned in Huntington Ravine at the moment. The forecast return of freezing temps might keep skiers out of the steeps this weekend, but once we begin to warm up again the experienced ski mountaineer might find some worthy turns in the upper stretches of O’Dell, South, and maybe Escape. None of which, are offering top-bottom skiing, unfortunately. As always, there are plenty of turns high-up on the summit cone, but don’t expect to make it down to the ravines without first removing your skis. Better luck next year.

On Wednesday (March 16th), I had the pleasure of making a very vegetated approach into Diagonal Gully (Huntington) for a very nice snow climb followed by a fantastic ski descent. It certainly wasn’t the best conditions I’ve ever experienced in Diagonal, but it skied about the best I can remember as a result of the stable snowpack. It was quite pleasant to charge hard! I was skiing with Sarah, Hermit Lake Caretaker, a super stoked skier and climber! We are looking forward to having Sarah in the drainage again next winter again, for sure!

After some tight turns in Diagonal, it was time to boot back up to the ridge and head over the Tuckerman for a surprise two-ravine day. I wasn’t sure it would happen this season, citing mountains condition and motivation problems. We considered dropping into Right Gully, which has been fun this season, but it never really filled-in the way it normally does. As Sarah pointed-out as we wandered across the Alpine Garden, “Skiing Right Gully would be like voting for Trump; Doing so probably wouldn’t effect the election, but it would be a crappy thing to do.” Coincidentally, we decided to head over to LEFT Gully, where we launched off the top and skied some truly hero snow all the way to the mouth of the ravine. That run alone seemed to make-up for an extremely painful and frustrating season. Not only that, it put a the wrapper on a fantastic day on the mountain! I predict we have only a few more similar days left in the season. It’s already skiing like May, so you better hurry-up and get here. Come prepared and stay safe! Keep an eye on the  avy report for daily condition reports.

Tuckerman Ravine 3-17-16 / Photo by Jake Kenealy

Welcome Back Ted Carman, Cabin Visionary

As a reminder, Ted Carman will be spending the weekend (March 19 & 20) with everyone at the Harvard Cabin. In no uncertain terms, Ted is the Father of the Harvard Cabin. He built the place. He got the permission, he did the fund-raising, he had the itch that had to be scratched. He drew up the plans, literally, in his dorm room. He then went on to recruit volunteer labor and got the supplies uphill. Not bad for a  college kid. Following his time as a Naval Officer, Ted went on to a career in non-profit community development. It’s no surprise that the construction of the Harvard Cabin is still listed on his CV.

I was hoping the mountain would be more winter-like for Ted’s return. Luckily, it does seem like the forecast calls for the most winter-like weather we’ve seen in weeks. You can help fill-in the gaps by bringing along a rope, rack, a partner, and your love for the Harvard Cabin. Please consider coming up and spending the weekend with Ted. If you can’t make the overnight but are on the mountain – Please stop-in and introduce yourself to the guy we all owe a great deal of gratitude, if you don’t mind my saying. As you might have guessed, he’s a pretty interesting and lively fellow. Click Here for the complete story of how the cabin came to be.

Hope to see you this weekend,

Rich Palatino

Harvard Cabin Caretaker

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Ow0kjRFKsHI/VbrSBKBRUAI/AAAAAAAAeaA/2k3Gp6CnfQs/s288-Ic42/Chautauqua.jpg

Rich and Marcia – Cabin Caretakers 2015/16

NOTE – Harvard Cabin is not affiliated with the Appalachian Mountain Club. Harvard Cabin is maintained by Harvard Mountaineering Club for use by the general public. The cabin is operated under a special-use permit granted by the USDA Forest Service. Cabin space and tent-sites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis between December 1st and March 31st each year. Specific instructions for staying at the cabin can be found online at http://www.HarvardMountaineering.org/cabin

Blue Lines 2

BlueLines-1

New Ice Climbing Guide for the Adirondacks in the Works.

The guide is scheduled to be available for the Fall of 2016.

As the final touches of the new Ice Climbing Guide nears completion, a few photos are needed. Here is the list of areas where overall cliff photos are needed (with ice if possible).

Photos wanted for the following:

Crane Mt
Barton Mt
West Canada
Wallface
Deer Leap
Silver Lake
Exit 30
Knob Lock
Moss Cliff – we do have a photo, but no ice routes visible
Pitchoff North Face

Photos should be sent for review to:

[email protected] and [email protected]

Thanks for your help!

Harvard Cabin Report 3-3-16

March 3, 2016

The Harvard Cabin, Huntington Ravine, Mt. Washington NH

Harvard Cabin Mountaineers,

How’s everybody doing? I’m sure you’re all equally as frustrated with the yoyo-like weather we’ve been dealing with here in eastern North America. It seems like there have been more storms in Texas this winter then here in New Hampshire. No, that wasn’t a political statement, but damn near reality. But, before you just give up and wait for the warm, dry rock to return let me just say; While snow and trail conditions are stuck in December, the ice conditions in Huntington Ravine are already looking like April. The ice climbing right now is phenomenal! No sense in waiting for it to get better, don’t take the chance. Not this year.

Trust me when I say it, the climbing is really good right now. So much so, we’ve been having tons of fun swinging tools in the “back yard”. The lack of snow this season might have a lot to do with my increased joy and pleasure in climbing waterfall ice. Also, I realized I can stop waiting for the fan to “fill-in”. Three quarters through the season, it’s probably not happening this year! But, If not for the lack of snow or deciding not to be lazy, it could simply be the great ice conditions that have gotten me into steep terrainwithout my skis!

Pinnacle is so fat and plasticky right now, that “stick, stick, kick, kick” is as joyful and efficient as skiing a thousand feet of beautifully linked powder turns. My point is I think you should come to Huntington Ravine soon. More importantly, you should spend some time at the Harvard Cabin! It’s good up here!

As odd as it may sound, we just enjoyed our first weather event of the 2015-2016 season that I would categorize as a snow storm. Tuesday into WednesdayMt. Washington collected about 8″ (20cm) of new snow. At times, it fell with the intensity of the multiple super-soaker type events we’ve dealt with this season. It was hope-inducing for sure. We dodged rain for just enough time, that I was able to make it to Hermit Lake for a top-to-bottom run on the Sherburne Ski Trail, my first of the season! It was thick and sticky and not so much fun for making turns, but the snow was over our boot-tops and a desperate bunch of powder-hungry skiers and riders were happy just believing winter was happening, even if it was just for a moment. By the time we made it to Pinkham, precipitation began to switch over to snow/rain mix. A couple of hours later temperatures plummeted, winds began to rage, and the heavy, wet, tracked-out Sherburne would become an ugly two-miles of nasty, frozen mashed potatoes.

Snow and Ice Conditions

In case my intro didn’t make things obvious, the ice is in and well-worth climbing even if the approaches are less then ideal. Without being crass, travel through the “bowels” of the ravine can be described accordingly. Still, things have much improved. Despite still following the summer hiking trail for much of the way, the trail is well-packed. Some pretty dense, wet-slab debris that cleared out all gullies during the last rain event (1.75″ Rain on Feb 24/25) has settled between many of the large boulder fields that still sprinkle much of the fan. This has helped to fill-in the ravine a bit and provide better “catch” for the snow that followed. Point is, while wide-spread slope stability concerns are absent across much of the lower ravine area, crampons are still useful and provide somewhat speedy movement towards your intended climb.

Snowfield development is still severely delayed down low. However, slopes are starting to come into season in the upper stretches of gullies, particular those with a northern aspect (Escape Hatch, South, Odell, (Hillmans Highway, Left Gully in Tuckerman Ravine). This past week, such gullies have begun to offer the possibility of a descent option other then Lion Head. While many climbers have made the bushwhack necessary to climb these routes, there is much better climbing to be had elsewhere in the ravines.

Central and Diagonal Gullies have also made fantastic descent options given proper conditions. They have also been pretty scary to even look at some days. Central was awarded a danger rating of High only yesterday. I’m sure today’s wind event will have cleaned central bringing it back into condition for the weekend. Come on up, the weekend weather outlook is favorable. Bundle-up and stay attached, it’s going to be windy!

Love For Landen

Truth be told, this has been a tough season for Marcia and I. Besides the lack of winter, our 8 year-old nephew started experiencing unexplained seizures on December 1st. Long story short, symptoms persisted which led to the the discovery and resection of a 4.5 cm tumor from his brain on Jan 11. Two days later, we received just about the worst cancer diagnosis one could get – Stage 4 Glioblastoma Multiforme. After reaching out to cancer centers around the country, Landen began receiving radiation therapy in Hartford, CT. He is now into his fourth week of a 6.5 week course.

I’ve spent an abnormal amount of time away from the cabin this winter. I spent my birthday moving Landen’s medical records around New England only to realize how overwhelmed with pediatric patients cancer treatment centers are. Talk about depressing. At a glance, it can seem like gaining treatment for certain types of cancer becomes competitive. This whole experience has been surreal. News and nervous phone calls from the fire road. Long walks down the trail in pouring rain so you can help your sister deal with a life-threatening diagnosis. For two months, I’ve been wanting and needing to be in two-places at once. Suffice it to say, it’s been difficult to keep the stoke factor high this winter. Sorry if that has been evident in my updates, caretaking, or cabin life..

Landen, Audrina, and Uncle Rich – March 2013
Thank You….

On a personal note, Marcia and I have been able to balance the needs of the cabin and family life. Thankfully, we’ve been able to maintain our responsibilities at the cabin without interruption. I was uncertain of how the season would unfold. At one point, we were considering the possibility of needing to find a new caretaker in order to be closer to Tina and the kids. It’s been difficult. I can’t imagine how my sister is dealing with all of this. My heart goes out to her and all of those who’ve ever dealt with cancer in any capacity. It’s been really hard to go out and have fun this year realizing more fully that at any given time millions of people are dealing with this terrible disease.

At the same time, it has really made me ever thankful for the Harvard Cabin and the lifestyle and relationships and “struggles” it has brought into my life. All good things. I am forever thankful and never take it for granted. Climbing in general has given me something that I can never stop being thankful for. Appreciating the terrain in which we are able to move and enjoy. The great climbing community of which I feel a part of. I am really fortunate. So much so that I feel guilty at times. Often left searching for ways to make sure I am putting more good into the World then I receive. That is the ultimate struggle.

While I am thankful and appreciative of how my life has evolved, for the first time I am left wishing I had played my cards a little differently so that I could better support my sister at this moment. She is a single mom with two amazing children. She has been a strong example in my life of what is means to persevere, to stay the course, and to always demand excellence of yourself and those around you. She worked hard in college and continued to educate herself as she built her career in early-childhood education. As of late, she is employed as a social worker providing early childhood intervention for families with children with learning disabilities, but she is currently out of work on medical leave. Given the aggressive form of cancer, Landen’s treatment is intense and requires daily hospital visits. Following Radiation, Landen will begin receiving chemo therapeutics as part of a clinical trial at Sloan Kettering on Long Island, NY.

If you interested to learn more about my sister Tina and my niece and nephew, Audrina and Landen, you can click here.  Thank you for letting me share this part of my life with you.

Welcome Back Ted Carman, Cabin Visionary

To end on a more upbeat note, I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been contacted by Mr. Ted Carman, the President of the Harvard Mountaineering Club circa 1962-63. To my great delight, Ted will be spending the weekend of March 19th, 2016 with us at the Harvard Cabin. In no uncertain terms, Ted is the Father of the Harvard Cabin. He built the place. He got the permission, he did the fund-raising, he had the itch that had to be scratched. He drew up the plans, literally, in his dorm room. He then went on to recruit volunteer labor and got the supplies uphill. Not bad for a  college kid. Following his time as a Naval Officer, Ted went on to a career in non-profit community development. It’s no surprise that the construction of the Harvard Cabin is still listed on his CV.   I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Ted on a number of occasions. In August 2012, I spent time with with him and members of his family at the Harvard Cabin in celebration of the cabin’s 50th Anniversary.


Cabin Construction

In his words, Ted is looking forward to seeing the cabin in its winter habitat. With a little bit of luck, we’ll be  in the clutches of winter come March 19th. While we can’t control the weather, we can ensure the cabin is full of alpine ice climbers and true winter mountaineers which is when the cabin in full-glory and serving its intended purpose. Let’s help show Ted the great effects and affects his vision and tenacity as a twenty-something have had on the east coast climbing community. Please help show Ted what a great institution the Harvard Cabin has become over the years. Let’s fill the cabin with technical climbing teams!  Come be part of share in the camaraderie that keeps me coming back season after season! Come meet the guy that has made a huge impact on everyone reading. If you never read the store of the cabin construction, you’ll appreciate the article Three Sweaty Months on Mount Washington. The writing, as does the cabin, requires your full attention and appreciation. It is amazing!

Think Snow,

Rich Palatino

Harvard Cabin Caretaker
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Ow0kjRFKsHI/VbrSBKBRUAI/AAAAAAAAeaA/2k3Gp6CnfQs/s288-Ic42/Chautauqua.jpgRich and Marcia
Cabin Caretakers 2015/16

NOTE – Harvard Cabin is not affiliated with the Appalachian Mountain Club. Harvard Cabin is maintained by Harvard Mountaineering Club for use by the general public. The cabin is operated under a special-use permit granted by the USDA Forest Service. Cabin space and tent-sites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis between December 1st and March 31st each year. Specific instructions for staying at the cabin can be found online at http://www.HarvardMountaineering.org/cabin

The Ala Archa Eco-Leader Project

Spreading New England Outdoor Ethics to Kyrgyzstan
Peak-Ratzek_Teasdale_25FEB16-(1)

The Ala Archa Eco-Leader Project

As climbers, most of us are shaped by the history, ethics, and geography of a few special places in the climbing world. We are proud of learning to climb on runout North Carolina slabs, placing pro for the first time on sandbagged Poke-o-Moonshine cracks, or taking on our first big wall in Yosemite. From each of those places, we take away certain styles not only for climbing, but also for our relationships with other climbers, with the community, and with the environment. For those of us fortunate enough to travel abroad to far-flung destinations on other continents, we always bring a little of those outlooks with us.
In 2014, I was preparing simultaneously for my first major international climbing trip and working on my graduate studies at the University of Vermont. I had encountered the towering peaks of the Kyrgyz Tian Shan mountains in 2012, en route to a military deployment to Afghanistan, and I had made a promise to myself that I would one day return to Kyrgyzstan to explore the glaciers, ridges, and amazing culture. Two years later, I had the time and finances to return to Kyrgyzstan and was actively making plans to spend my time in a small but rugged glacial cirque within Ala Archa National Park, just an hour south of the capital city of Bishkek. It was during that preparation period that my graduate work in Environment and Natural Resources led me to read a critique on the Kyrgyz National Sustainable Development Strategy, the Kyrgyz government’s attempt to reconcile its need to develop economically with protection of its amazing natural landscape. The Sustainable Development Strategy, the paper observed, failed to reach its full potential due to a lack of education in leadership, conservation, and the skills needed to develop a strong outdoor tourism industry. With no programs teaching these skills, the paper observed, the country would continue to struggle with developing visionary leaders in the outdoor tourism industry. As I continued with my preparation for my Kyrgyz climbing, I couldn’t help but consider how I might be able to make a positive contribution to this issue through my graduate work. Within several months, additional research and some phone calls to universities in Kyrgyzstan had kicked off a seed of an idea – the Ala Archa Ecological Leader Program, the first outdoor adventure and environmental education program for college students in Kyrgyzstan.

Now, nearly two years and a trip to Kyrgyzstan later, the Ecological Leader Program (ELP), is gaining momentum towards its August 2016 debut. Styled after US programs such as NOLS or Outward Bound, the ELP is a two week program for 14 Kyrgyz college students from the American University of Central Asia (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan) that will cover lessons in three key topic areas: outdoor hard skills (backpacking, rock climbing, glacier travel), ecology (with a special focus on glaciology and human interaction with natural systems), and leadership. The curriculum, written especially for the ELP as part of my graduate work, is designed to build leaders who demonstrate responsible environmental behavior in their respective career fields and to inspire a vision for a sustainable future in Kyrgyzstan. The prospects for the project are exciting – as the first outdoor adventure education model in a country that is increasingly looking towards activities such as ski mountaineering and alpinism to build its economy in a sustainable manner, the ELP’s lessons can have truly strategic effects on how Kyrgyzstan crafts its tourism economy towards responsible and socially beneficial activities.

However, being first also has its drawbacks – namely, the Ecological Leadership Program is a completely grassroots effort with little support from outside organizations. As with most outdoor programs, the ELP has a critical need for items such as tents, sleeping bags, stoves, and other outdoor gear to provide its students with a quality backcountry experience. As the I and the other ELP instructors work diligently to secure grant funding to cover many of our startup costs, we are also reaching out to the local outdoor community to assist us in bringing our Northeastern outdoor ethics to a new group of people living and playing in the mountains a world away. As the winter draws to an end and you begin sorting through your gear room and replacing old gear with newer models, please consider donating gently used and functional gear to assist the Ecological Leader Program with having a successful inaugural year. We all understand what a special place our home in the ‘Daks, Green Mountains, or White Mountains is to us, largely based on the environmental ethics that they inspire. Help us share those ethics with the communities of the Tian Shan. And, if you’re looking to plan your next climbing or skiing trip, give some thought to heading over to Bishkek!

Please follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EcoLdrProj/, take a look at the ELP video at https://vimeo.com/141578430, or visit https://www.gofundme.com/ecoldrproject to provide monetary support. You can contact Nathan Fry, the project leader, at [email protected] for more information.
Nathan Fry is currently a graduate student at the University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, a company commander for a mountain infantry company in the Vermont Army National Guard, and a part-time guide for Adventure Spirit Guides of Burlington, VT.

The Ala Archa Ecological Leader Program is in most need of the equipment listed below. If shipping cost is a problem, we can cover associated shipping expenses! Simply contact Nathan to discuss options.

Items / Quantity

3-season tents
3x three-person tents / 4x two-person tents
Backpacks (45-50 liter)
13
Canister stoves
3
Sleeping bags (at least 15 degree)
14
Foam pad (closed or open cell)
14
Microspikes or similar hiking crampons
14
Headlamps
14
We also accept any down/synthetic layers, hard or soft shells, fleece jackets or pullovers!

Kevin Mahoney

The Robert and Miriam Underhill Award 2016

AAC_Logo_Block-01January 15, 2016, Golden, CO—The American Alpine Club (AAC) announced its 2016 award recipients.

Every year the AAC recognizes outstanding achievements in conservation, climbing, and service to the climbing community. This year the awards were presented during the AAC’s Annual Benefit Dinner weekend, February 26–27, 2016, in Washington, D.C.

Local Northeast Hard Man Kevin Mahoney was given the The Robert and Miriam Underhill Award for 2016. His name now resides with such great climbers as, Yvon Chouinard, Jeff Lowe, Fred Beckey, Henry Barber and Steve House. Way to go Kevin!

Kevin2

Kevin with an empty glass after receiving his award. Someone give this man a refill. Wait, is this Matt Horner? 😉 – Photo: Matt Horner,  Face Book

The Robert and Miriam Underhill Award is given annually to that person who, in the opinion of the selection committee, has demonstrated the highest level of skill in the mountaineering arts and who, through the application of this skill, courage, and perseverance, has achieved outstanding success in various fields of mountaineering. This year’s winner, Kevin Mahoney is a lifelong climber and mountain guide with a wealth of experience in Alaska, the Indian Himalaya and Europe. He was nominated for the Piolet d’Or for his new route, Arctic Rage on the East Face of Moose’s Tooth in Alaska which he completed with Ben Gilmore.

The Robert and Miriam Underhill Award—Robert L. M. and Miriam O’Brien Underhill are recognized as two of the great pioneers in American mountaineering. In their memory, The American Alpine Club has established the Robert and Miriam Underhill Award for outstanding mountaineering achievement.

Past Recipients:

Kim Schmitz Awarded : 2015
Steve House Awarded : 2014
Tom Frost Awarded: 2013
Mark Richey Awarded: 2012
Fred Beckey Awarded: 2011
Royal Robbins Awarded: 2010
Layton Kor Awarded: 2009
John Gill Awarded: 2008
Carlos Buhler Awarded: 2007
Henry Barber Awarded: 2006
Mark Wilford Awarded: 2005
Charlie Fowler Awarded: 2004
Jay Smith Awarded: 2003
Conrad Anker & Nancy Feagin Awarded: 2002
Annie Whitehouse Awarded: 2000
Jim Bridwell Awarded: 2000
Jack Tackle Awarded: 1999
Jim Donini Awarded: 1999
Allen Steck Awarded: 1998
Steven J. Swenson Awarded: 1997
Greg Child Awarded: 1996
Robyn Erbesfield Awarded: 1996
Stewart Alexander (Alex) Lowe (Deceased) Awarded: 1995
Alison Keith Osius Awarded: 1994
Michael P. Kennedy Awarded: 1994
Louis F. Reichardt Awarded: 1993
Terrance Manbeck Mugs Stump (posthumously) (Deceased) Awarded: 1992
Catherine Calhoun Grisson Awarded: 1991
Peter Croft Awarded: 1991
George Lowe Awarded: 1990
Yvon Chouinard Awarded: 1989
Todd Skinner Awarded: 1988
Paul Piana Awarded: 1988
Catherine M. Freer (posthumously) Awarded: 1987
Jeff Lowe Awarded: 1986
David Finlay Breashears Awarded: 1985
Lynn Marie Hill Awarded: 1984
John Roskelley Awarded: 1983
John Bachar Awarded: 1983

Kevin Mahoney

Kevin MahoneyKevin resides in Richmond Vermont with his wife Claire and two daughters Annika and Eliza.

Kevin worked rock climbing and mountaineering courses for the National Outdoor Leadership School for six years averaging 30-40 weeks a year in the field. So after college where Kevin had discovered his new passion for rock and ice climbing, he was now living his dream of spending more time in the backcountry than not. This is where Kevin became a teacher. Experiential education was the name of the game at NOLS and facilitating individuals’ learning experiences was as important as the technical skills being taught. This is where Kevin was the example. His leadership skills, his judgment, and his knowledge of the mountains were all scrutinized everyday, all day.

AWARDS
2010 Copp/Dash Inspired Award (Inaugural Grant) for Nupste in Nepal
2010 Lyman Spitzer Award (team member) for Nupste in Nepal
2009 Hans Saari Memorial Fund Ski Exploration Grant (team member) for Denali, AK
2008 Mugs Stump Award for Kangtega in Nepal
2004 Mugs Stump Award for the Mooses Tooth, AK
2004 Nominee, Piolet d’or Award for the first ascent of Arctic Rage on the Mooses Tooth, Alaska
2004 Golden Piton Award for the first ascent of Arctic Rage on the Mooses Tooth
2002 Lyman Spitzer Award, American Alpine Club for Thalay Sagar in India
2002 Alpinist B-team Award (Inaugural Grant) for Thalay Sagar in India
CERTIFICATIONS
IFMGA/UIAGM Certified Guide
AMGA Rock Guide Certified
AMGA Alpine Guide Certified
AMGA Ski Mountaineering Certified
AMGA Alpine Instructor
NOLS Senior instructor
Exum Mountain Guides senior guide
AIRE level III avalanche training
Wilderness First Responder


The AAC

https://www.americanalpineclub.org/

MISSION:

To support our shared passion for climbing and respect for the places we climb.

VISION:

A united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes.

AUDIENCE:

Everyone who loves climbing.

CORE VALUES:

Authoritative climbing information, knowledge and resources benefit and inspire us and future generations.
Advocacy and leadership advance our climbing interests and promote conservation.
Community and competency strengthen and embolden us to push our limits.

Source: The American Alpine Club, Facebook, Mahoney Alpine Adventures

DROPLINE

Frankenstein Cliff, Crawford Notch NH

Solo captures Jonathan Baldassare leading “Drop Line”(WI5),at Frankenstein Cliff, Crawford Notch NH during the 23rd Annual Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest

Video by Solo, flown by Doug Millen

 

BD Recall notice

VOLUNTARY RECALL OF BD CARABINERS AND QUICKDRAWS

Black Diamond Equipment

Carabiners

Salt Lake City, Utah (February 4, 2016) – Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd., in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), voluntarily issued a recall, subject to user inspection, of carabiners/quickdraws because of the possibility of defects in the gate that could cause the carabiner to fail or function incorrectly.

This recall concerns carabiners/quickdraws with manufacturing codes between 4350 and 6018.

Full information here....

recall-biner2-S16

Runners

Salt Lake City, Utah (February 4, 2016) – Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd. in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), voluntarily issued a recall, subject to user inspection, of 18mm Nylon Runners 60cm/24in (Style Number 380060) and 18mm Nylon Runners 120cm/48in (Style Number 380061) because of a possibility that the Nylon Runner is not load-bearing and will fail under standard use.

This recall concerns nylon runners with a manufacturing code of 2014 or 2015, which is found on the sewn in label.

Full Information Here…

recall-runner2-S16

 


The Devils Kitchen

The Devil is in the Details

The Catskill Mountains of NY

Access

Press Release 1-30-2016

Devils Kitchen MS

Ice Climbing at The Devils Kitchen – Photo: www.mountainskills.biz

The Devil’s Kitchen of Platte Clove, NY has been donated to the state of New York to be included as part of Catskill Park, for future generations to access and enjoy.

Elka Park, New York. Two ice climbers and local land owner work together to donate a unique parcel of land known as the Devil’s Kitchen to the State of New York.

Climbing partners Morris Sachs of Greenwich, Connecticut, and Marty Molitoris of Rosendale, New York, have been working hard the past two years to acquire a treasured piece of property in the Catskills with the vision of donating it to the state for future use and access. That vision has finally come to fruition. The property known as the Devil’s Kitchen, is located at the top of Country Route 18, Platte Clove Road in Elka Park, Greene County, NY, just above where the road is closed in winter and the plows turn around. The parcel is known by many — from hikers to ice climbers — and starts at Mossy Brook, right under the old stone arch bridge and goes down the gully into the cliff-lined gorge known as the Upper Devil’s Kitchen to where it meets existing NYS property in the Lower Devil’s Kitchen.

The existing state property known as the Lower Devil’s Kitchen is regularly visited by ice climbers in winter. Over the years, Molitoris and Sachs have had many adventures on the ice in the Lower Devil’s Kitchen. They came to realize how special a place it is and how, with the intricacies and difficulty of the current access, how vital the upper parcel is for access in the future.

Molitoris, author of An Ice Climber’s Guide to the Catskill Mountains, operates Alpine Endeavors, LLC (www.AlpineEndeavors.com), based in the Hudson Valley region of NY. When he learned the property containing the Upper Devil’s Kitchen parcel was listed for sale he contacted Viera Bolcek, the land owner, to gauge her interest in dividing the land and selling off the parcel.

Hearing about the possibility of purchasing and donating the land, Sachs along with his wife Sheryl and their family, decided to support the project 100%. From their generosity, the idea become a reality. It took well over a year to work out the arrangements and purchase the property, then just over another year to complete the necessary paperwork and permits to gift the property to the state. As of November 1, 2015, the property is officially part of the Catskill Park.

For more information on ice climbing in the Devil’s Kitchen and all of the Catskills, please visit:

Alpine Endeavors – www.AlpineEndeavors.com
Catskill Ice Climbing – www.CatskillIceClimbing.com
Rock and Snow – www.RockAndSnow.com


Harvard Cabin Report 1-21-16

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January 21, 2016

Harvard Cabin Mountaineers,

Howdy, y’all! I trust everyone is enjoying the political climate developing in the lead-up to the 2016 US Presidential Election. After seven years of mildly entertaining (boring, maybe even depressing) politics in the good ol’ US-of-A, we’ve returned once again to another unforeseen period of American political excellence! Could we have ever imagined another leading political figure as entertaining as the former “Decider-in-Chief”? More so, you say? Not in a lifetime would I have thunk it possible. Talk about a trump card! You can’t make this stuff up!

SnowmanGood news! If it is not the political climate you’re yearning for, don’t worry, New Hampshire is still the place for you. Finally, it seems winter has settled in for the season. Now that is one party we can all get behind! Many of you should know by now but in case it’s not obvious, I really enjoy politicking so long as we are able to enjoy the free, open, and peaceful exchange of ideas. That said, this go-around I think it possible for anyone, anything, or any idea to gain a podium spot at the next Republican Presidential Debate and so I am encouraging you, my fellow North Americans -Citizens, Immigrants, Illegals, and other variously labeled Earthlings – Vote for Winter 2016, It’s gonna be HUUUGE!

Snow and Ice Conditions

Huntington Ravine ICE is IN!

We’ll folks, we are inching little by little towards full-on winter. Right now, we have a solid 15 inches (40 cm) of settled snow pack from Pinkham Notch all the way to the ravines. Thanks to what has been a relatively snowy and WINDY week, the Tuckerman Ravine Trail and Fire Road are both snow covered. After a busy MLK Jr weekend, trails are packed out and fast moving. Some light traction or skis and skins will make for a speedy approach to the cabin.

Temperatures over the last several days have ranged from -10 to +15 Degrees F (-23 to +10 Degree C) preserving snow and encouraging the continued growth of climable water ice. The explosive growth of frozen waterfall ice can be largely attributed to what is known as the Arctic Oscillation Index finally entering a negative phase. In simple terms, high pressure over-took the arctic zone, pushing very welcomed cold air into the middle latitudes. The opposite was true for all of December. Low pressure dominated the polar region, allowing for a strong and consistent east-west jet stream to dam-up arctic cold air.

Thanks to this change in AO, the dam was finally breached between January 10 & 11, 2016. The metaphor is appropriate given the 1.4 inches (3.5cm) of rain that fell on the summit of Mount Washington on January 10. The tropic-like monsoon brought thigh-deep water to some parts of the fire road and the Cutler River seemed to become a tributary of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. The latest gully-washer of the season was followed immediately by the sudden rush of arctic air that brought the first substantial winter weather of the season. It’s been cold ever since!

Weather
If you are interested, you can read more about Arctic Oscillation HERE. I’d also like to take the time to admit that I learned only this week of the existence of a National Snow & Ice Data Center. Where the hell have I been?

Travel in Huntington Ravine

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Huntington Ravine – January 20, 2016 – Click to Enlarge

While the veil of winter is a welcomed sight across the Presidential Range, it should come as no surprise that we are still dealing with quite a snow deficit here in the Northeast. Thankfully, last weeks’ snowfall has made most travel on the mountain feel like it should given the time of year. Unfortunately, the lack of snow thus far has kept travel through the lower portions of Huntington Ravine very summer like. You can expect plenty of boulder-hopping, alder-cursing, and longer then usual approach times into your favorite gully. This weeks winds have been the major culprit. Velocities peaked on Tuesday night reaching 127 MPH (~205 KPH). With recent snowfall I would have expected improving travel conditions in lower portions of Huntington Ravine (The Fan), but as winds raged most of the snow was transported to treeline or below. The upside being, once you make it to your intended climb, the ice is what you would expect it to be for late January! So, come and get it, there is plenty for everyone!

Avalanche Conditions

5-Scale Avalanche Forecasting has begun for the 2015-16 Season.

AvalancheLadies and Gentlemen, Skiers, Climbers, and Mountaineers – WE HAVE AN AVALANCHE SEASON! On Monday, January 18th the first 5-Scale Avalanche Forecast was issued for Tuckerman Ravine. Snow safety concerns in Huntington Ravine remain within the context of a General Bulletin. However, with the implementation of 5-Scale forecasting Rangers will be in the drainage daily and will keep a steady eye on changing conditions in Huntington Ravine. Until then, be sure to continue reading daily updates posted by the snow rangers. This will help keep you up-to-date with the developing snowpack and key weather events that will result in unstable layers to be of concern in coming weeks.

Even with the disparity in snow conditions, human triggered avalanches have been reported in both ravines this week. An obviously “upside-down” snow-pack kept climbers on their toes in Huntington with a few close calls being reported. An avalanche accident occurred in Tuckerman Ravine on January 17th, 2016 when two mountain travelers triggered an avalanche in the area known as “The Chute”. A total of 6 people from multiple parties were effected by the slope failure. Injuries were all non-life threatening, but one victim was transported from the ravine to Pinkham Notch where an ambulance was waiting. You can read more about this avalanche on the Incidents and Accidents portion of the MWAC Website.

Avalanche Advisories and MWAC Website – Know Before You Go!

You can receive the daily avalanche advisories through several social media outlets. Of course, I find it easy enough to browse over to the recently remodeled MWAC website at http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org.

Once there, you can read the latest advisories, check out recent photos from the ravines, get in-depth insight into the snow-pack as snow rangers blog from “The Pit”, and share in a wealth of news and resources relating to snow, weather, and safety on Mount Washington. Oh and don’t forget Rangers are looking for your snow-pack observations from across the White Mountains this Winter. Observations can be submitted via the MWAC Website at this link.

Plenty of Winter Ahead…

This year, Martin Luther King weekend was back to normal in terms of mountain travelers. Last year, the same weekend was absurdly quite. It probably had a lot to do with super cold temps and plenty of winter weather south of the White Mountains. Fortunately, this year MLK weekend came just after the first real dose of winter here in New England. The right combination of precipitation (snow), temperatures, wind, and sun made perfect the recipe for playing in the mountains. The Harvard Cabin filled to capacity on Thursday night (as well as the tent-sites) and remained so throughout the weekend. It was a much needed change of pace and we are looking forward to continuing the trend this coming weekend. Plenty more sunshine in the forecast for the weekend without much in way of weather.

If you need a little extra motivation, it will be a good weekend for a true alpine start. Not only will you get a good view of mountains but, you’ll also have a great shot to 5 of our planetary neighbors. If you haven’t heard, for the next couple of weeks in the wee hours of the morning the planets Mercury, Mars, Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter will be on display in the eastern sky. The 2016 Planetary Conjunction should look great from Mt. Washington!

If you are in the mid-Atlantic states, I’d consider jumping in the car right now. If you don’t waste anytime you’ll miss the apocalypse and things will be all cleaned up by the time you return. In the mean-time, you would have enjoyed a few great days in the Alpine and helped carry-on the fine tradition that is The Harvard Cabin! We hope to see you!

Upcoming Events:

2nd Annual Backcountry VE Session @ The Harvard Cabin
HAM Radio Exam Session – Feb 20, 2016

EventOkay…well, many of you know that Marcia and I are shameless promoters of the hobby that is Amateur Radio (HAM Radio). Many of you also endure the endless harassment that goes with our promotion of the utility of radio, especially among all of you – our mountain friends! The White Mountain Amateur Radio Club will once again be hosting a Volunteer Exam Session at the Harvard Cabin this Winter. All License Class Level Exams will be offered this year. So, weather you are new to the hobby or an “old fist”, if you spend time in the mountains, we’d sure love to have you stop by for our 2nd Annual Backcountry VE Session. Click here for photos of last years session!

If you are interested but, not sure where to start, fear not. You too can join the increasing number of backcountry travelers who have joined the ranks of radio operators. There have been many who caved to the Marcia’s persuasive wit and so far haven’t any regrets except for not having done it sooner! The utility of radio is not only fun, it is also a great way to increase safety for yourself and your group. But, don’t take my word for it. Read this short White Paper presented as part of the International Snow Science Workshop 2012 titled TALKING THE TALK:Human Factors, Group Communication, and the Next Frontier in Snow Safety.
Ham RadioThe Ham Radio License Manual, published by the American Radio Relay League, is all you’ll need to pass your test. The book may be available at your local bookstore or library. Check there first or order from Amazon by clicking here.

Study time is about an hour a day for a week. Then you take a 35-question, multiple choice test. Get 26 correct and you’ll be issued your own callsign and have instant access to the Harvard Cabin from anywhere in the world…I kid you not! Pricing for high-powered, light-weight, handheld transceivers begins ~$30 US. Click here to browse!
Smugg’s Ice Bash – January 22-24, 2016
Mount Washington Valley Ice Festival – February 2-7, 2016
Adirondack Backcountry Ski Fest – March 5-6, 2016

Rich Palatino
Harvard Cabin Caretaker
Rich and Marcia
Cabin Caretakers 2015/16

NOTE – Harvard Cabin is not affiliated with the Appalachian Mountain Club. Harvard Cabin is maintained by Harvard Mountaineering Club for use by the general public. The cabin is operated under a special-use permit granted by the USDA Forest Service. Cabin space and tent-sites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis between December 1st and March 31st each year. Specific instructions for staying at the cabin can be found online at http://www.HarvardMountaineering.org/cabin

Our mailing address is:
Harvard Mountaineering Club
Student Organizations Center at Hilles
59 Shepard St #73
Cambridge, MA 02138