Mooney Mountain Guides and Mammut teamed up for the very successful Mammut Alpine School ice climbing trip. This was MMG’s and MAS’s first trip with more to come.  Each of our guests joined in for this weekend of instruction, followed by experience and mileage on the ice climbs. By the end of the weekend we all had climbed over 1000 ft of ice at Frankenstein Cliff and on Mt Willard in Crawford Notch NH. The Highland Center Lodge was fabulous, the food was delicious, our rooms were quiet, and our meeting space was private and the staff was super friendly. Our next MAS  trip on the list is our Mt Washington Weekend climb over St Patty’s Day weekend March 17 – 19, 2017.

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 Our MAS team of Art, Laurie, Jodi, Andrew, Sarah and in front MMG guide Mike. Smiles of enjoying from the rewards of our first ice climbing day. We each reach new heights on this warm and sunny day at Frankenstein Cliffs

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Jodi and Laurie working together for Jodi’s first ascent the Trestle Slab ice climb. This is Jodi’s first experience on the ice and  Laurie comes with miles of mountain and ice climbing experience. This mix creates a perfect situation for both ladies to empower  and climb to new heights.

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Mammut the brand is well known and highly respected. Mammut clothing and equipment is innovative alpine mountain gear that stands up to the rigorous test of day to day use in extreme environments. Mammut is the finest mountain climbing products on the outdoor market.

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Jodi climbing the steeper ice on the Standard Route at Frankenstein. Jodi learned the basic moves then she was able to turn on the  focus and determination to ascend each ice climb.

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The AMC Highland Center was our meeting and lodging location.

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The Highland Center nestled in Crawford Notch is perfect for easy access to a variety of ice climbs.

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Laurie setting up anchors and the belay as she guides Jodi on the ice. MMG guide Mike is nearby coaching and giving advise as needed.

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Beautiful ice on the East Slabs right on Mt Willard. We all climbed to the top then rappelled back down for another route nearby.

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Andrew in this new vertical ice element. Andrew learned about  solid ice tool placements, flexibility and  balance, and kicking of good steps, allowed him to move upwards with confidence.

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 Sarah having a blast, high on the ice above the roadway on the East Slabs area of Mt Willard.

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Jodi and Laurie climbing side by side on the East Slabs right. Mike set up a parallel rope system so the ladies could climb together. This technique is faster, guests stay warmer, and its tons of fun for all.

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 Standard Route in the afternoon, for one more ice pitch. Sarah and Andrew coming into the cave area on Standard Route.

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 A successful weekend on the ice. The conditions were fantastic, the crew was awesome, all in all a very fun weekend full of excitement  and challenge.

Thank you all!!!

Art Mooney

Mooney Mountain Guides has a new ice climbing course which I termed the Mileage Plus+.  This is a specialized course for ice and rock climbers seeking to fast track their movement and technical skills. Under the mentorship of Art, Laurie has developed a plan with a mutual commitment of time and energy.  The Mileage Plus+ days are full of education followed by mileage which equates to experience. This winter Laurie and I have immersed ourselves together into the finer aspects of the ice world. Our instructional topics include movement skills, ice protection, ice anchoring, belay techniques, v threads and once again Mileage Plus+. Over regular intervals Laurie is quickly advancing, with a solid understanding of the many intricacies of the ice.

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Kinsman Notch, a fabulous area for moving into ice leading. Laurie has set off on Lepricuans Lament NEI2. This route is perfect for Laurie to sharpen her mental focus to lead,  to place ice screws at regular intervals,and  then set up the anchor at the top.

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The ice climber can never take a casual approach, stay connected to the tools, to the gear, to the ice. Laurie has three solid points of contact to free up her right hand to place ice screw protection on the pitch.

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As Laurie approaches the top she is deciding where to place her top out ice screw. It is the rounded out bulges with thin ice above that may look easy but climb quite hard, thus need the extra attention and protection.

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Laurie is climbing on Shamrock NEI3. Pictured is the lower crux which a very steep corner leading to a rest. Laurie is keeping her cool knowing that once on the above ice ledge she can rest and re energize for the remainder of the climb.

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Laurie brought along these tasty home made energy bars of dates, walnuts, and cacao.

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The Beast at Kinsman – here Laurie is testing her movement skills on a steep NEI4+

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Multi pitch transitions is where the technical action takes place. Being able to swap leads with efficiency is key to keeping the flow, staying warm, reducing the time and risk on the climb.

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A backed up V thread – a recommended technique before committing the entire team to this tunnel into the ice.

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Last week was a huge break through for Laurie and I. We logged in many hours on the ice together, Laurie took on the task on leading the routes and we worked on fine tuning skills along the way. This all happened in the White Mountains of NH, one of the finest ice climbing venues in the world.

Thank you Laurie for this amazing experience.

Art Mooney