The ridge in its entirety.
Over the seasons I have had to opportunity to work with many individuals; young and old; highly experienced to complete novice. I typically find reward and incredible enjoyment out of my work, climbing with others. My guests ability has no baring on my enjoyment. 5.5 or 5.10, to me sharing the climbing is most important. I feel that the guide enjoying the climbing is fundamental to the success and enjoyment of the guest. I strive for each of my guests to drive home feeling accomplished and psyched.
This can be easier some days than others. Weather and conditions can have a large effect on psyche, my route selections and preparation, my relationship with the guest, and other climbers in the area can all effect the experience. For one guest, none of this matters, because every day out climbing is “the best day ever.”
Mark, high on the ridge.
I met Mark two years ago. It was January around his birth day, and Mark an avid adventurer wanted to try his hand at ice climbing. Out of chance, I was Mark’s guide. It was just he, I, and about 3 inches of rain. This was January and the ambient air temperature was around 31 degrees. Essentially, everything, including the roads were coated in a thin layer of ice, and as soon as the road crews put down sand, the rain would wash it away. The number of car accidents in the area set records, and kids were ice skating down the sidewalks. Thank fully the ice climbing was awesome the entire weekend, and with double layers of Gore-Tex, we were warm and dry.
That evening when it was time for me to head home, about 35 minutes down the highway, I couldn’t get my truck out of the parking space on all the ice. During my struggles there was a 5 car, slow speed pile up right in front of me. I decided that going home was a bad idea. Good thing Mark was there suggesting that I stay with him. I was super thankful for this kind gesture.
We managed to shuffle down the side walk to a local pub for dinner and refuel for the next day. The next day we saw a slight improvement in the weather and enjoyed many more pitches of blue water ice.
We were off to a good start.
Over the past two years Mark and I have shared a few adventures. Each one just as awesome as the last. Mark who has been climbing lots and building his skill set, has allowed us to climb larger and more complex objectives. So when Mark said he had a day to kill before catching a flight, I knew exactly how we should spend it. The Whitney-Gilman Ridge is a New England Classic 5.7 alpine rock climb. 5 pitches of stellar moves on high quality granite. Cracks, corners, lyebacks, crimps, exposure, slabs, and knife edge ridge are only some of the features that make up this stellar route. Since I knew that no matter what Mark has a great time, I knew that climbing the Whitney-Gilman would be a memorable experience.
One of the middle pitches, friction up the shady corner.
With blue skye and high friction the day was indeed a beauty. The climb seemed to go too fast. I would have enjoyed a few more thousand feet of climbing. However, after ever pitch Mark would exclaim, “best day ever.”
When people ask me who I think the best climber in the world is, I think of Mark. Why? Because he is having the most fun.
Thanks Mark for another “best day ever.”
Mark, on top of the W.G.
Jerry and I completed a varied day of climbing on a few classic climbs at Whitehorse Ledge.
Wavelength – Seventh Seal – Loose Lips – Childrens Crusade 1st pitch.
We are in the middle of SENDTEMBER and it felt like it today. The climbing on the slabs and the central wall of Whitehorse Ledge in NH was exceptional. The morning temps were in the 40′s, the sky was cobalt blue thus the rock on the slabs was perfect for the sticky rubber shoes, the edges on the face routes were crisp and the jams in the finger cracks felt dry and and solid.
Seventh Seal and classic 5.10a finger crack on the Ethereal Buttress. Jerry approaching the crux which he cruised by with ease.
Our morning warm up on the first pitches of Standard Route.
The high end games began as Jerry took on the tricky leads of Wavelength 5.8.
Jerry styling the perfect granite finger crack leading up to Loose Lips.
Loose Lips – Wow this is an awesome route. The route is a personal favorite of mine and now Jerry. A techy 5.10 face leads to a traverse and then the finale, a beautiful long finger crack.
Today was the start of a week long trip for Jerry and I. Cathedral Ledge is our next stop and certainly a visit to Cannon Cliff will round out the trip. We are in certainly luck this time as the weather looks to be clear, sunny and cool for the entire week.
Thanks Jerry for a great day on the stone.