A sure sign that the winter season has started!
Greetings Harvard Cabin Mountaineers,
Bet you were wondering when you’d see another cabin update. I know because I found a few inquires in a dusty corner of my inbox…sorry I didn’t get to them sooner.
I’m sure you’ve been making plans to get up to the Harvard Cabin this season. You’re in luck, the Harvard Cabin opens for the season today. The 2015/16 ice season is off to a fine start with consistently cold temperatures and a fair bit of early season snow. I’ll have a better feel for conditions as the week goes on but, I hope you’ll come up and see for yourself…..we’ll be here until April!Come join us for our best season yet!
FYI, if there are any early birds heading up the hill, be advised we will be cutting-off the pad-lock at the cabin around mid-day. If you are out and about on the mountain and planning to spend the night at Harvard, feel free to stash your gear in the vicinity of the cabin. Rest assured, the cabin will be open and warm when you return.
Staying at the Harvard Cabin
As a reminder, staying at the Harvard Cabin is on a first-come, first serve basis. The rate is still $15 per person, per night. (US Cash only). Check for space available at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center before heading up the trail. You can find the Harvard Cabin Register at the Trading Post Front Desk or downstairs in the pack-up room after-hours. All guests need to arrive prepared – sleeping gear, toiletries, food, and other equipment as needed. The cabin is equipped with full-kitchen amenities, so bring fresh food and leave the stove and cook kit in the car. If you will be camping at the Harvard Tent-Site, we are happy to help you any way we can, but campers need to be fully-prepared for a winter bivy – tent/shelter, cook stove with fuel, adequate warm weather gear. The water source is the Cutler River, located behind the cabin. No need to melt snow. Due to it’s size of the facility, cabin amenities are to be used strictly by those guests who have signed-up to stay inside the cabin.
The best approach to the cabin from Pinkham Notch is to travel about 1 3/4 miles up the Tuckerman Ravine Trail to the Huntington Ravine Fire Road. If you are not certain of the way, be sure to ask a trail information specialist at Pinkham Notch.
You can find out more about the staying at the cabin at http://www.harvardmountaineering.org/cabin/
Rich, Marcia, and Sprinter Update
It’s been a hectic few weeks since Marcia and I returned to New England following a summer of skiing and climbing the the western US. Fortunately, we made it back just in time for the annual Harvard Cabin work weekend on Nov 14/15th. At that time, we delivered eviction notices to the summer “residents” and began hauling gear and supplies up to the Harvard Cabin.
As is always the case, it was wonderful to be back at the cabin. A couple of weeks before our return trip up the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, Marcia and I enjoyed a wonderful ascent of Mt. Whitney via the East Buttress. A week out, we were still enjoying Southern California and the shores of Malibu where I snapped this photo. Heading across northern Arizona and New Mexico we encountered a pretty sweet snowstorm. We would of broke out the boots and boards had we not made plans with family in the midwest. Soon after, we arrived back in the northeast. I’ve said it time and time again -There is no place like New England. We are so glad to be back at the Harvard Cabin for another season. Thank You to the Harvard Mountaineering Club for having us back for a 7th season!
Many of you may have heard of the stress we had been dealing last week. In the end, it turned out to be nothing more then a bizarre event. In trying to process what happened, knowing that we came really close to loosing everything we’ve worked so hard to obtain – a lifestyle more then anything -we were left looking for some higher meaning. We come up with a few far-out ideas, but simply stated we were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Thankfully, everything turned out okay. The Sprinter was recovered and all of our belongings were safe and sound. A crazy, stress-filled 18 hours. Thanks to everyone who reached out and offered support. Given the lengthy theft reports and insurance paper work we were dealing with at the police department, we hadn’t realized the extent of the response from the climbing community until after the van had been recovered. We were truly humbled. Thanks to everyone for your support and encouragement throughout. I’d like to thank my sister ,Tina, for being so pro-active after being awoken at midnight with the news. She really helped spread the word. If you have no idea what I am referring to, you can read about it here. But, please don’t mention it 😉
With that said, thanks for reading. We are hoping for a record breaking season in terms of overnight users. Thanks for making the Harvard Cabin what it has come to be. It’s constructed of wooden logs, but it is held upright by an amazing climbing community here in the Northeast! Let’s have another safe season on Mt. Washington. Come, enjoy a pinnacle backcountry experience at The Harvard Cabin!
Harvard Cabin Caretaker
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
They save the best for last. The biggest Ice Fest in the Northeast was incredible this year. My only regret was that there was not enough time to do all I wanted, and not enough time to be with my friends.
I left home with 10 gallons of soup and two Helicopters. I returned with no soup and two intact helicopters ;-). Soup is not a hard sell when it is 10 degrees and I had a great time at Cathedral Ledge Sunday dishing up hot soup to cold and tired climbers. The weather was not the best for flying and my time was tight but I did manage to get some good footage of the valley and Whitehorse Ledge.
Sarah Hueniken, Jonathan Griffith and Miron Chlebosz gave great presentation to a full house. Miron gave us a look at the incredible Tatras Mountains in Poland and Jon had the audience in stitches and kept it moving with spectacular images! Jon is also into Drones and we had a great time talking as we watched Peter work “Black Magic” at Cathedral Ledge.
Ice fests are like a family reunion to me and I am sad that this was the last one of the season. I am already looking forward to next year.
And a special thank you to Courtney Ley for her help at the Ice Fest and all she does for NEice.
Enjoy the photos and videos below.
Some Great Climbing
Photos by Doug Millen and Majka Burhardt
A Few Ice Fest Photos
Photos by Krissy Noel Carey
Valley and Ledges by Ardu
Mt Washington Valley / Whitehorse Ledge, North Conway NH
I managed to get some free time between Ice Fest duties and meetings to do a little flying. I had never flown at Whitehorse Ledge so I meet up with Scott Barber (scottbarberfilm.com} Saturday morning to show Scott my machines and test some new settings. Scott is just getting in flying and we had a lot of fun. I was able to catch some good footage of the Valley and the Ledge on my test flights Saturday, and while heating the Soup up that afternoon. I wish the weather was better on Sunday when I had more time, but single digits, wind and snow grounded the fleet.
Flight by Ardu, flying, filming and editing by Doug Millen
Cathedral Ledge, North Conway NH
Peter Doucette working out the moves on Black Magic (M9) during the MWV Ice Fest 2015. Peter sent it clean on Tuesday, ground up placing gear the whole way. Nice work Peter!
Peter Doucette / Mountainsenseguides.com
Photos by Doug Millen
Apres fun at IME
MWV Ice Fest Recap & Thank You’s!
“The 2015 Mount Washington Ice Fest was hands down our best ever, but it only happened with many helping hands, talent, and passion! Wow, we are still coming down from an awesome high, we had a blast this year!”
Greetings Harvard Cabin Mountaineers
We hope everyone had a great summer and is enjoying the Fall. Bonne Action de grâce’ to all of our friends in Quebec! September was fantastic with lots of warm, dry rock for all to enjoy. A relatively dry Summer and early Fall left the foliage looking tired. However, the last couple of weeks have been very wet and the foliage is rebounding nicely. The explosion of colors is peaking this week and it looks like we might see the sun soon! Of course, all of this rain has us thinking about the aquifers that will be helping to grow the early season ice!
Your Help is Needed – October 13th and 14th, 2012 – Please Read Solar Electric Upgrade Below
In case you didn’t hear me say it last season, this coming winter marks fifty years at Harvard Cabin! The construction of Harvard Cabin alone makes for an interesting story. Let us not forget the historical significance it hold here in the White Mountains and the role it played in the pursuit of modern technical ice climbing! Most importantly, we can’t forget the memories we’ve all made at the Harvard Cabin. It is a special place for sure -an experience you’d be hard-pressed to match anywhere in the World!
I had the privilege of spending a weekend at the cabin this summer with Former HMC President Ted Carman (Harvard Class of 1963) and some of his family members. Mr. Carman was the prime mover in the construction of the cabin following the demise of the Spur Cabin, which was located on the John Sherburne Ski Trail. Ted had the great vision, the proper sense of urgency, the tenacity, and the resourcefulness to get the job done! It’s no surprise that following his service in the United States Navy, Ted went on to become a pioneer in running non-profit community development companies. He focused on affordable housing and revitalization projects throughout New England. The construction of Harvard Cabin is still listed on his resume in a long list of projects he has lead. Click Here for a photo of Ted visiting the cabin this August!
In conjunction with our 50th Anniversary, we have been working on a number of cabin renovations. Marcia, myself, and a handful of other volunteers have enjoyed many a pack-board trips up the Tux Trail over the last couple of months with new materials. Click Here for some photos of recent changes at Harvard Cabin.
The Caretaker’s Den has been gutted and will soon be reconstructed with all new framing, plywood, rigid-foam insulation, and a new window. The renovations will help to keep warm-air in and rodents out! The Caretakers Den has been an unusable, unhealthy space for the last few seasons due to high-moisture levels that lead to mold. Renovations will hopefully resolve these issues by reducing moisture and keeping warm-air in and rodents out!
Solar Electric Upgrade
Click Here or the link below to Volunteer to Haul!
In other exciting news, the club is planning an upgrade to our Solar Electric System. The purpose of this project is largely to increase cabin safety by increasing emergency radio time and allowing the club to replace the gas lights we all know and love. Besides being expensive and not very user-friendly, the lights produce Carbon Monoxide (CO) and present a burn hazard. The plan is to retrofit the gas fixtures with ultra-soft LED Lighting. We are hoping to maintain a color temperature that will mimic the soft glow of the gas lights.
As part of this upgrade, we need to build a mast to mount our new panels. The mast will be set in concrete…about 2000 Pounds of concrete to be exact. We need to set the foundation within the next three weeks, but first the cement mix must be brought uphill. This is where you can help. By volunteering to haul a 40 pound bag of concrete up hill, you can help get this job done quickly. The Annual Harvard Cabin work weekend is October 13th-14th. This year we are asking for some help from outside the club. We are calling for help from all people who know and love the Harvard Cabin! Come be part of preparing the cabin for another 50 years!
If you are available to help next weekend, October 13th or 14th, please take a minute to fill out this form. That way we can know approximately how many bags of concrete to have on-hand. We will be meeting in the Pinkham Parking lot at 10 AM on Saturday and Sunday. Volunteers are asked to bring a backpack suitable for carrying a 40 pound (18 Kilogram) bag of cement mix. Lining your pack with a plastic trash bag wouldn’t be a bad idea. Don’t forget food and water!
Sorry, our permit will not allow use to accommodate overnight guests, but feel free to spend the day at the cabin!
If you can’t make our work weekend, but will be in the vicinity of the cabin anytime in the next couple of weeks. Feel free to hike up a bag of cement mix. 40 pound bags of Quikrete are available at your local hardware store for about $3.00! Thanks for your help!!!
Thanks everyone and please let us know if you are interesting in lending a helping hand at the cabin. We could really use help hanging new windows and someone who is good with DC lighting. Perhaps someone who is familiar with marine lighting and circuitry.
Thanks again. Get after it and stay safe! As always, Think Snow! Hope to see you next weekend! Bring your friends!
Harvard Cabin Caretaker