My first climbs at Lake Willoughby were in the mid 1980′s. From then on – year after year I have been venturing to Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom in search of ice. The lake as we call it – is home to the longest, steepest water ice climbs in the northeastern US. The amazing setting is set with a southwestern exposure high above the lake on the flank of Mt Piscah. By far the Lake stands by itself as a highly respected ice climbing area.
From the highway Mt Piscah comes into view. It is days like these that bring out the brilliance of the area – clear sky, cold temps, and no wind.
Max and Cheyenne going for the Last Gentleman – another prize route at the Lake.
Jerry reaching high for the sticks into the ice.
Hundreds of feet off the deck – truly amazing exposure on the ice.
The Lake is the place I want to share with good friends – Jerry and I on the top of the Promenade.
Steep exciting rappels down the routes – walk offs are along way from here.
The Gentleman and Promenade Routes rise above.
For me this has been a great year at the Lake and its only mid January.
Looking forward to more exciting climbing at this amazing venue.
Jackson and I have climbed together since the summer of 2010. It all started on the warm sunny rocks of Rumney, then led to bigger routes at Whitehorse. As the years went by Jackson decided he could not wait until the summer anymore. He was determined to get out in winter which meant he was in for a try on a mountain/ice climb in NH.
The NH mountains and ice climbs are no easy task. The winter environment is harsh and the terrain is usually very rough, this all adds up to pretty tough conditions for anyone. Jackson is 10 years of age and for most kids this would not be a fun time. Jackson keeps focused as he climbs up the mountain while maintaining a steady pace. On the ice he climbs like a champ, he overcomes each difficult section one at a time and always going for the top.
Yesterday was a huge achievement for Jackson, Mike and I as we ascended the Cleft on a very cold winter day. Jackson never voiced one complaint, he just kept moving up the mountain one kick, one stick at a time.
For me it is totally awesome to have this opportunity to work with Jackson – a young climber/skier with a huge Quest for Adventure!!!
Three is good company – a fine day in the mountains.
On approach to the Cleft on Mt Willard.
Jackson equipped and ready for ice climbing in the mountains
The Cleft – a deep chasm choked with ice – amazing!!!
Jackson and Mike climbing together up the narrow Cleft.
The Final top out onto level ground – time for a recharge with hot drinks and food.
On our way in to the Cleft we passed a beautiful climb – the Rocket in Crawford Notch.
Thanks to Jackson and Mike for closing out 2014 with this exciting day in the mountains.