New England weather is certainly a mixed bag which is full of twists and turns. The Ice Climbing conditions in New England can drastically vary from week to week.
This is a view of Cannon Cliff in mid winter ice climbing and mixed climbing condition.
Han and I made plans for this 3 day ice climbing trip and kept a close eye on the weather. Han had a 5 hour trip from NY and wanted to be sure we had plenty of new ice to climb. Lake Willoughby was on our list so we headed right up to the Northeast Kingdom on Friday Feb 19. It was a cold morning but the bright sunshine quickly warmed the routes to a plastic and even slushy condition.
Saturday morning we awoke at the lake to high winds and above freezing temperatures so we decide to try the Flume Gorge for a few stiff ice and mixed routes and shelter from the storm. Climbing in the Flume was overall good the ice was steep, thin and challenging just what we had hoped for. The floor of the Flume was not frozen and we shared the small amount of space with climbers from Tufts, the AMC and a few locals who had a similar plan.
Our final day was clear and quite warm. The 50 temps overnight caused a bit of concern. We headed into Kinsman Notch looking to climb the Beast.
Wow, the Beast looked fantastic. Surprised for sure, the sheltered north facing location is keeping this route in good shape even with the wild swings in temperature. We climbed steep ice lines on both the left and right. One side was solid ice and the other was candled and slushy in spots. One route with two totally different experiences for us.
Han is fully engaged in the climbing. Steep and technical this was a fine choice for our final day on the ice.
Thank you Han for these three great days ice climbing together in NH and Vermont.