As a working NH Ice Climbing Guide I seek to develop longtime guests and partnerships. Eight years ago Jerry and I met. Since that time we have climbed together on the rock and ice climbs logging in many excellent days throughout each year. Our friendship, our common goals, our team work have led us to find a higher ground and develop a strong bond together.
This past week is one fine example of a climbing partnership that truly works. Jerry and I pushed ourselves to our edge and each of us came away with success and smiles. I found my edge on difficult ice pitches and Jerry found his edge leading us up the ice climbs .
Climbing is a main part of our lives, it never shuts down. When at home, both of us maintained our fitness and focus through a plan of training and diet. It is with this total commitment to the sport we both continue to break through barriers and reach new heights.
Jerry and I on the ice climbing test piece named Fafnir. This ice climb has been on our route list and patience paid off. We found a day on Fafnir with excellent ice climbing conditions.
Fafnir – Ice Climb
The entry to the Black Dike and Fafnir. The snow slope is filled in and on this day was firm making it easy to boot up with crampons. This firm/neve type snow was like climbing on styrofoam. Climbers must use caution here as new snow on top would be suspect for a surface sluff or slab avalanche.
The top pitch, (right side) of Fafnir in great ice condition.
I am getting into the goodness on this fantastic ice pitch. The thin vien of ice rises upward with twists, turns and overhangs.
The climbers view approaching the final moves of the route. The ice parasol on top is the result of wind driven water freezing upward and out, forming this crazy looking umbrella of ice.
Looking down the final pitch. Jerry is keeping his eye on me as I negotiate the moves around the parasol. The belay is positioned of to the side in case in generate any ice fall.
Repentance – Ice Climb
Repentance a classic NH ice climb on Cathedral Ledge. This prize of a route forms consistently each season and it is common to find a line up of climbers at the base.
Beautiful bubbly ice greets Jerry as he dances up the first pitch.
The Repentance column forms differently each season. This years it is fully connected, we climbed up to the right then back left onto the column itself. It was steep and engaging climbing for both of us.
After to column the routes enters a chimney. Jerry is worming his way up the confined space. Ice fills the back but the walls on each side are solid granite. A mixture of ice sticks and rock moves with crampons are needed to climb this pitch.
The Repentance finale is the chockstone at the top. Jerry found the focus to execute the complex moves. Delicate footwork, hand jams, stemming, and then ice tools wedged into the granite crack, all must come together to complete this incredible section of the route.
Kinsman Notch – Ice Climbs
Jerry on the lead at Kinsman Notch. Kinsman has a variety of steep pillars to climb. We climb at this area on storm days as the location is sheltered in the forest. The north facing ice climb are reliable each winter
Mt Willard – Ice Climbs
Mt Willard is another favorite area for Jerry and I. Today we chose a link up of Monkey Wrench, to East Slabs Right, with a final pitch on the Upper Hitchcock. Jerry did a brilliant job of leading all of these routes.
Jerry starting up the East Slabs Right.
The Upper Hitchcock ice climb. A fantastic ice pitch nestled in this vertical canyon of rock. Jerry is finding wet sticky ice, the climbing is a blast. Easy for Jerry and I to place the ice tools and crampons making the purchase necessary to gain ground. We both enjoyed fun times, fast moves, in this alpine environment high up on Mt Willard.
The view from the top of Mt Willard. This U shaped valley is a reminder of where it all began. The glaciers carved out this valley and left the steep walls on each side. Crawford Notch is one of our favorite alpine climbing areas in NH.
A huge Thank You to Jerry once again. This past week was an absolutely fantastic beginning to our 2017 season.
Art Mooney – NH Ice Climbing Guide