Monthly Archives: December 2011

Very nice for the last climb in 2011.

Lake Willoughby – A truly spectacular place!

Daniel on the Last Gentleman.

Steve, Chris and Mark of Team Cody approaching Kinsman Notch.

Jerry sending the classic ice routes in New England.

Great times with Aubrey – climbing hard – full of fun and laughter.

Mike fully engaged at Cathedral Ledge.

Steep ice climbs in The Gaspe Region.

For some time I have reached a plateau in climbing. Early in the season I work up to a certain level then do not break through to the higher grades. I have a burning desire to climb at a higher level and have realized that this will not happen unless I Stay On Track with a focused training and fitness workout during the off season and each week through out the year.

They may look small but they work.

Matt and I have designed a current plan that will have us peaking just in time early spring rock climbing. Our focused indoor workouts are for two hours twice a week, in addition we are running and climbing.

Homemade parallettes puts the focus on the core.

No matter how I look at it climbing it requires a high level of fitness. I am scaling vertical or overhanging walls of rock and ice. Climbing requires a very good overall fitness level, including exceptional grip strength, a strong core and last but not least is the cardio which must be included.

Specific movements on this 45 degree angle.

As I look out ahead to the winter ice and spring rock season I am excited. This will be the season to reach new heights climbing exceptional routes with good friends.

Try staying on this for ten minutes.

Stay tuned for updates on Fitness and Training with MMG.

Art Mooney

Patrick and I made plans over a week ago to climb on Cannon. At that time all was good, the the temps were cold, and the ice was in fine shape. This weeks warm up was a slight concern to me. New England has been having a very inconsistent winter pattern and one never knows for sure what ice conditions will be from one day to the next.

New snow blankets the talus and climbing routes.

Patrick drove up from Mass in the middle of the night through rain and sleet and I woke on the middle of the night with rain hitting the skylights, we both wondered what the day would bring. We kept with the plan and drove to the notch in the dark on very slippery, slushy roads. It was wet and warm.

Would the ice have held up, was in delaminating, are the cracks all covered in verglas?

A day in the clouds on Cannon.

The talus was covered in snow with verglas on the boulders. We took a slow steady walk up to the base and when we rounded the Whitney Gilman Ridge all looked to be good. The ice appeared to be plentiful and well bonded, it would be wet climb and screws may be questionable but we were first in line and we could take a look.

A snow covered first pitch.

This was Partricks first climb on Cannon. Wow, he looked around at this very awesome and imposing ice climb. The first pitch looked do able but the long skinny runnel snaking its way up the left corner got his attention. I mentioned we would take it one pitch at a time and see how it goes for us.

Climbing to the pin belay on pitch two.

We both found the climb to be in very good shape, just wet. Plenty of ice, good gear, and our sticks and foot placements were solid.

Patrick working the moves on the final corner.

It is easy to second guess the plan from the couch and one never knows for sure until they are at the base of the routes. We enjoyed a fun day on the route, quite relaxed as we had the climb to ourselves. Thanks to Patrick for keeping focused and sticking with the plan.

Happy Holidays,

Art Mooney

Tuesday was the day to be out on Cannon. It was a locals day for sure with multiple parties on the Black Dike and Fafnir, a team on the Mean Streak and another on Omega. I have climbed at Cannon since 1980 and I have never seen this much action on a winter day.

Jerry leading the way to the Black dike on Cannon.

Jerry came over to Plymouth Monday night as I figured we would need an early start to be ahead of other parties – just had a feeling. We met at 5:30 am and motored up to Franconia Notch. Yes we were the first in the lot and now I could relax a bit. We readied our gear and put headlamps on to see our way to the base of the Black Dike.

Jimmy joining us at our sheltered belay station.

The route is currently in fantastic condition. Each pitch has a complete runnel of ice on it. Protection is good with plenty of screws and rock gear on the thinnest sections. We climbed the route quickly – the cold and parties on our tail kept us moving. Our top out was before noon making our climb a 5.5 hour ascent.

Great mixed conditions on this section of the route.

We took a casual pace on the descent, taking about the route and the season to come.

Jerry sinking tools into the frozen turf.

Thanks to Jerry for a great day on Cannon. Art Mooney

The Ice Climbs in the photo called Black Dike (on left) and Fafnir (right trending line) took their time to come back into shape. The Black Dike was climbed just before the October snowstorm but the warm weather melted it out until this week. This photo was taken Monday morning Dec 12 when Matt, Jay and I went up there and were pleasantly surprised at the amount of ice. It was quite warm and pleasant in this often hostile area We enjoyed a great time on the ice together.

First glimpse of the ice as we approach up the talus.  Black Dike and Fafnir in early season conditions.

Jay climbing the yellow buttery ice on the first pitch.

Matt fully engaged as he steps out onto the steep runnel of ice on the middle pitch of the route.

 Matt enjoying the steep technical final pitch of the route.

Art Mooney