For the past few years MMG and Mammut have had a working relationship., in the form of mutual promotion of the goods and services that the two companies provide. Over the seasons of rock and ice climbing that relation ship has grown.
It has been an honor and a privilege to use the gear that Mammut produces to help me in my guiding craft. There is no question that together with Mammut, MMG guides have an extra edge when working in the field. An extra edge ultimately means, an improved guest reward.
This spring, the office staff of Mammut North America, decided to go out for some adventure. I was honored that they called on their industry partner, Mooney Mountain Guides, to help guide them through the terrain of New Hampshire’s Presidential Range. There were two objectives as part of this adventure. The first, a group of climbers would go for a summit bid on Mt. Monroe; the second objective, a ski decent of Monroe Brook.
Saturday morning dawned cloudy with a fresh blanket of snow (April 25th). It was still winter in the Presi’s. Our team, decked out in Mammut gear, made excellent progress to tree line. We made it a point not to talk shop, but rather take the time to build friendship between colleagues and between the two businesses.
Once above the trees, the famous bad weather of Mt. Washington made itself known. High winds, cold temperatures, and poor visibility were staring us face. As guides who work regularly in environments like this we know the importance of good gear. It was great to watch the Mammut staff put the gear they sell to the test, in the conditions the garments, boots, and backpacks are designed for. We all were equipped with the right stuff, making out objectives of a summit bid and ski descent possible even in these alpine conditions. So in many ways, the poor but manageable weather was a plus.
Standing on the summit of Monroe, feeling the alpine fury, the team was stoked to have achieved something together. At this point the skiers headed down into the ravine, and the climbers doubled backed to the Lakes of the Clouds hut, before there decent into the trees.
The ski team was blessed with 10 inches of new snow, on top of a very stable snowpack. Any avalanche danger was moderate, with potential for D2 avalanches in isolated terrain features. We stayed out of those pockets and we ripped it up out running our small sluffs down the 1000’ descent.
At the end of the day everyone was proud of there accomplishments and I was proud of the effort the two companies put forth to make this adventure happen. As I said before, the Mammut products MMG guides use in the field give us an extra edge. II was psyched to be able to share that with the staff at Mammut North America.
Finally springtime has made the appearance in the lower elevation areas of the White Mountains and most climbers are ready to put on the rock shoes in search of a warm dry climb. Mt Washington on the other hand is Easing the Grip ever so slightly. The snow pack is melting out at the parking lots (2000 ft) and the temperatures on the mountain have moderated but even so once you venture onto the mountain its a snowy white world all the way to the summit and its May 1.
Kelly has a Rainier climbed planned for this July. She has been working hard at fine tuning her skills in the mountains. This trip was planned for additional work improving overall fitness on long tough climbs, to refine footwork on snow and to gain comfort on the steep descents.
Conditions for Kelly’s goals were perfect on the mountain.
We planned for overcast the entire day – but the skies opened just enough for great views of mountains and the valleys below.
The summit cone was entered encased in snow.
Quite casual on the summit with a slight breeze and 25 degrees.
Kelly’s 2nd time on top of Mt Washington – Congrats to her for a great climb.
The descent was steep and slick. Kelly worked on the plunge steep and other moves to gain comfort while facing the downhill line. The following day Kelly and I climbed Cannon in under three hours and our descent was less than and hour. Kelly improved in all areas on this two day trip – she was able to Ease her Grip in the mountains.