The Lake Willoughby ice climbing area is one of finest steep waterfall ice venues in the northeast. The Lake is known for long, steep, and difficult ice climbs which drape the southwest, sun bathed walls of Mt Pisgah. The Last Gentleman, the Promenade, Called on Account of Rains, The Glass Menagerie are a sampling of the classic routes. These routes are sought after prized achievements for myself and many visiting ice climbers.
On the north end of the Mt Pisgah cliff is what looks to be a small amphitheater of ice. This area hosts three fantastic routes, Plug and Chug, Mindbender, and Renormalization. I had my sights set on the Mindbender a steep and very technical grade 5+. Its one of the steeper ice lines at the Lake and a true test piece of movement, skill, and physical endurance. I rallied my friend Mike for an early meet up, leading to a fine day of hard ice climbing at the Lake.
Lake Willoughby Ice Climbing
Over view of Lake Willoughby taken from south end. The Mindbender area is the tiny dot of white ice at the left edge of picture.
Mike taking the lead to establish our first belay in a sheltered location near the steep ice.
With Mike off to the right side I traversed into the ice climb, getting right into the business, the steep ice.
I climbed the route in 2 pitches. The mid point belay was in a very cool cave center in the ice.
Lake Willoughby is southwest facing and once the sun comes around the colors shine. Mike enjoying a break after a section of powerful climbing up high on Mindbender.
This beautiful photo reminds me of a few ice venues, The Canadian Rockies, Mt Kineo, and Quebec. I always feel fulfilled after completing one of the prized ice lines a the Lake. Mindbender is on the top of my list for a steep pure water ice route.
Thank you Mike – What a fantastic day!!!
Art Mooney – Mooney Mountain Guides