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Mt Washington Valley Ice Fest Recap – 2015

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.

Many thanks to Rick & Celia Wilcox, Brad White,  IMEIMCS guides, Guest guides, the Ice Fest Planning Team and all the people that make the MWV Ice Fest happen. Thank You!

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.

~Doug Millen

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 DSC01158Scott 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

Black Magic

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!

THANK_YOU

 The Guides and Crew

“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!”

See the full Thank You From the Ice Fest Crew 


YES!

Let the “Games” begin!

Damnation Gully – Huntington Ravine, Mt Washington NH

Sunday October 10, 2010

AlfonzoEarlyIce1

Alfonzo finds some early ice on Damnation Gully, Huntington Ravine 10/10/10 – Doug Millen

 

While others were climbing warm rock at Rumney, or having their Sunday coffee, Alfonzo, the alpine junkie was in his element climbing some early season ice. We found more ice than expected, and it was well bonded, but by mid morning the sun was starting to take it’s toll. Looks like a great start to the season. Look for more photos in the gallery .

Doug Millen

Mt.Webster, more than easy Gully's

Trip Report

Crawford Notch,  NH – North Conway Ice Fest Weekend

By Alan Cattabriga

I spent four days in the Saco River Valley last wk. and climbed on Mt. Webster everyday, it’s an awesome, complex climbing area with ton’s of fun options and hidden walls of ice.

After getting shut down by “considerable” avy conditions Thurs. morning at the Harvard cabin board I booked it down to Webster. The hike up to Shoestring, the climbing and the trail down were in some of the best conditions I had ever had there. While on top I notice I had a good time going so I totally ran the trail down and logged in my best car to car time yet.

approachingI hung out with with Doug, who just happened to be driving by as I ran the road and hydrated while I waited for Brady Libby to show up for my afternoon session on Webster’s cliffs just north of Central Coulour. By early afternoon Brady & I were hiking up for a recon of a golden flow on the north end of the cliff band that forms Central’s left side. We climbed a long (~300′) slab of ice to get to this section and were totally psyched with the ice we found.

The cliff is overhanging with beautiful, yellow ice all over it and a huge curtain with a window in it coming over the biggest part. This has a super cool looking route that would start behind the curtain with a tough mixed move then tunneling up a hollow tube and out the window onto the sheet.

Many other climbs could be done here, after spending some time checking the place out we traversed over towards Central and passed another wide flow on our way. We finished the day on Central, with daylight waning, traversed off right and down.

cauliflowerFriday Emile Drinkwater, Doug Millen & I had a great time soloing up Cinema and the awesome Cauliflower Gully, Doug did not have much time so he headed to Frankenstine Cliff for a quick solo of Chia and Bobs and then to IME to get his delicious soup ready for the Ice Fest. Emilie and I headed off to do Central to the big ledge. It was fun climbing and the rock above with it’s big gashes was glowing orange in the setting sun.

brady-gallery-3Saturday Doug, Brady, Dave Rioux, Ted Hammond, Todd Shafer & Tim Gotwols  went back to that cliff Brady & I had checked out on Webster, we were exited to show it off to our crew. Brady did an excellent lead of the Gallery route we had looked at and Dave did a cool looking mixed line on the cliffs left side.

There is also a sweet soloing all over the left end and a unusual low angle chimney line that exits thru a curtain that Todd had chopped a hole thru to get out! It was sunny and somewhat free of wind there…. what a wonderful climbing spot.

todd-landslideSunday was a bit nasty out so we all, with the addition of Courtney Ley, who for some reason wanted to join this crew of misfit toys, did the conga up Landslide Gully… Like I found on Shoestring, every bit of it was excellent!

The gullys on Webster are great fun, Central’s finishes are totally classic but there is so much more there… wonder up to the north slabs and climb something… I’m sure others have visited the yellow wall, we could not have possibly been the first…. I mean holy crap, it’s a roadside crag!

eguide

Alan Cattabriga

Mt. Webster NH

More than Easy Gully’s

Cover-Dave-Webster

Dave Rioux mixing it up on Mt. Webster, Crawford Notch, NH
Photo by Doug Millen

Trip report by Alfonzo

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Steve House Solos Repentence and Remission

News Flash!
North Conway NH – 2/10/10

Steve House Solos two Classic, hard routes on New Hampshire’s Cathedral Ledge

“I soloed Repentence and Remission today. Maybe the first solo of remission. Way inspiring routes” – Steve House

Repentence WI5  /  Remission WI5+ 5.8

 

Source: Facebook, NEice Gallery

The Painted Wall Icicle

FA – (M9 WI 5+) 1/6/10

Icicle_Peter 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
russellKevinMPhotos by Bayard Russell & Kevin Mahoney – Mahoney Alpine Adventures

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

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The Black Dike, Finally!

Franconia Notch, NH  12/08/09

The Black Dike - erik Eisele- RAS 12-8-09Erik Eisele leading the 2nd pitch of the Black Dike in lean conditions –  December 8th, 2009
Photo by RAS

In normal years the Black Dike usually is fat by now. The first Ascents usually happen in the first week of November. Jim Shimburg has climbed it in early October. This is as late a start as I can remember….Doug

Condition Report 12/8/09

Eguide  – Franconia Notch, NH

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Huge Transition Underway

Real Winter Pattern Coming!

All indications point to Major Cold and very stormy weather over the next 15 days

ted_odellsdec-6-09Ted Hammond enjoying the start of this weather change.  Odell’s Gully – Huntington Ravine, Mt. Washington NH  12/06/09
Photo by Alfonzo

All long term and short term indicators (NAO, EPO, EL Nino etc…) have been pointing to cold and stormy (For weeks). Well that is now coming to full realization for Dec to Jan. The last two storms were the beginning of the pattern change. We have one last one (Dec 7/8) to complete the transition and lock the NE into below to well below average temps and a very active storm track as well. Blind fate-Smuggs

What Ice if any survives this weeks storm should rapidly start building by the end of this week into the weekend. (Even in the southern sections to some extent) Next week should only continue to reinforce the ice building.

Blue ice Buldge-smuggsSnow Cover:

Check out the massive and rapid snow cover buildup over the US in just over the last 6 days ( Today –  December 1).  This is why the cold push will be so much stronger over the next 10 days, as the fresh snowpack will help in keeping the arctic air from moderating.

Source: Smike – NEice Weather Outlook

Photos by Rockytop
Blind Fate and Blue Ice Buldge Smugglers Notch VT 12/07/09

Damsel In Distress

Doug Madara on “Damsel In Distress” Mount Willard (Upper East Face), Crawford Notch NH

by Karen Paine/ Doug Millen


Lincoln’s Throat

Mt. Lincoln, Franconia Notch NH

by Doug Millen
Mt Lincoln NH

Mt Lincoln NH – “Lincoln’s Throat”

I have often looked over and speculated on what the climbing on Mt. Lincoln might be like. Fred Bieber and I went to find out. We were not disappointed.

How to get there

Take 93 North to Franconia Notch. Park at the trail head parking just after the Basin parking or at the Lafayette Camp Ground. Hike the Old Bridal Path till you are in line with the gully (see 1st photo). Bush wack down through thick spruce to the brook. Cross the brook and head up the right drainage. Follow this drainage till you hit the basin then take the right drainage to the summit. Follow the ridge trail right to Haystack Mt. and descend the Falling Waters trail. It’s about 9 miles round trip.

[mappress]

When to go?

Early winter before the snow get too deep. The gullies are subject to avalanche danger, be careful.

How much climbing can I expect to actually get in?

About one pitch of WI3 ice. If you are looking for lots of ice, this is the wrong climb. This climb is about getting away from the crowds and climbing a mountain.

Is it worth it?

Absolutely! No trail, road traffic or other climbers. I felt like I was walking up some big drainage out west. Great views all day and you top out at 5000 ft.  A great leg work out and a great adventure. This is a remote climb so act accordingly. Enjoy!


Mt-Lincoln-nh-wide view