Monthly Archives: May 2012

I’ve been fortunate enough to climb all over the USA, and quite a bit abroad as well. There was a time when all I wanted to do was travel and climb. I’ve come full circle these days, and am more psyched than ever to climb right here at home in the North East. Among my favorite destinations anywhere is the Adirondack Park and Preserve in northern New York. One of the crown jewels of Adirondack rock is Poke-O Moonshine. I got out to Poke-O the other day with Garrett, and we had a blast, climbing a wide variety of classic traditional pitches from 5.8 to 5.11. Enjoy this series of Garrett sticking the intricate final crux on Pitch 2 of the Casual Observer. Poke-O at it’s finest!

He emerges from a superb corner and crack, now out of sight below him. Looks kind of blank above, huh? The picture is deceiving. It’s also vertical…

Garrett works upward to thin face moves on small features…

And then commits to a tenuous layback.

He stays in balance, and tip toes through!

I didn’t get the shot when he latched the finishing hold (which you then have to mantle to the belay!) so you’ll have to take my word for it: He stuck it.

Comparable in size and quality to New Hampshire’s finest, I’ll venture a guess that Poke-O sees less than a quarter the traffice. Maybe we’ll see you in the Adirondacks this season. It’s certainly worth the drive!

Derek Doucet, MMG

The AMGA Single Pitch Instructor course is an ideal training program for proficient recreational climbers wishing to transition in to the world of professional guiding and instruction. Despite some weather related challenges (Read: Thunder, downpours and hail!), I just wrapped up an excellent SPI course with three well prepared and motivated participants. Here are a few scenes from the course.

Solid anchors are essential components of effective guiding. SPIs should be able to build them quickly and with a minimum of equipment to maximize efficiency and climbing time for guests. The two solid pieces below are joined using a two-loop figure eight knot on a static cord, forming one of two legs which will comprise the final anchor.

 Below we see the overall rigging used to create an actual anchor.This is a bombproof system constructed with just the placements themselves, four carabiners and the static rope. Efficient indeed! The extra strand on the right leg is an instructor tether, offering a secure clip-in should both ends of the climbing rope by otherwise used, as in a belayed rappel system.

This is the big picture. Peter is thoughtfully arranging his belay station as a tidy and efficient work space. Visualizing how to organize a given belay stance to maximize its utility for working is a key SPI skill, and surprisingly tricky for many folks at first.

Here, Peter practices running a belayed rappel. Note that he is connected to the tether mentioned above by his GriGri, which allows him to easily adjust his position and maintain good line of sight as Taylor descends. Just out of frame on the tether line is a catastrophe knot, a prudent measure to close the system and eliminate the possibility of going off the end of the tether should the GriGri not engage.

Peter, Taylor and Brian were a pleasure to work with. Thanks, guys. I look forward to seeing you out on the cliffs this summer!

-Derek Doucet, MMG

Two Boston area Doctors Karen and Kelly joined me for a tour of Rumney Rocks this past weekend. The weekend was warm and sunny with lots of climbers around enjoying our first stretch of good weather in a while. We climbed at the Meadows and the 5.8 Crag sampling a few of the areas classics routes in the 5.8 to 5. 10+ range.

Karen on lead on Lies and Propaganda 5.9 – Meadows area.

Kelly prepping for Romancing the Stone – 5.8 Crag

Kelly leading Snakeskin Slab.

Karen working the rests on Romancing the Stone.

The Steep schist of Rumney.

Thanks to Kelly and Karen.

Art Mooney

Steve and I have put together a training plan and it is to climb consistently on a variety of rock climbs and mountain adventures. We have set into action a program taking place in NH and Maine for the next three months. These regular mountain tours and rock routes will prepare Steve for his visit to the Alps this August where he will climb the Matterhorn with Miles and Liz of Smart Mountain Guides. The training plan is a cross fit type – designed to work the body in a variety of ways. One must endure the burn to make necessary gains for bigger adventures on the horizon. Steve has no problem with this he is a player, always ready for the action, never a complaint, he loves to bring it on.

Enjoy the photos of our two and half days of sunny climbing in NH last weekend.

Getting going – our first climb Whitehorse. We took it to the top in 8 pitches of calf burning climbing movements.

Next was the No Good Ritter showing us good style on Cathedrals classic climb called  Funhouse.

Steve jamming the crux of Funhouse.

Its May 12 the temp is 30 and the wind chill 13 and the wind is howling at 80 plus MPH.

Steve is cruise mode on the Jewell Trail, we posted a better than book time of 3.5 hours to the top.

The unrelenting winds kept pushing us around all the way to Lake of the Clouds area.

Lenticulars – no surprise with the winds we encountered.

This could be the last ice and snow of the season for us.

 At Rumney Rocks working sport moves.

Steve climbing the schist in mountain boots.

Terry joined us for a fun time at Rumney.

It was a great weekend of training, climbing and getting together.

Thanks to Steve, Matt, Teresa and Terry

Art Mooney

The parallettes are a very simple training tool that anyone can use to make wicked gnarly strength gains. Made to replicate the parallel bars from gymnastics, parallettes, or “P-Bars” can help you to up your climbing game, increase strength, and dial in your gymnast physique (aka JACKED!).

Made from PVC or wood, P-bars cost very little to make and plans can be found online. The investment will be returned many fold if used properly and will deliver immense strength gains in just about every muscle you own. If used in conjunction with a set of gymnastic rings you will need to warn your loved ones about the Incredible Hulk that you are about to become.

The L-sit is fundamental to gymnastics and gymnastic training. Requiring full body strength this exercise alone “could” make you a stronger climber. Begin by sitting between the P-bars. Space them approximately shoulder width. Grasp the bars in the middle with your thumb in line with the bar resting on top. In this position, you should have a straight wrist. Now wrap your thumb around making sure your wrist stays straight. This is important.
Now press down with straight arms. Engage your triceps, shoulders, and lats as you lift your feet off the floor, bringing your thighs close to your chest. Keep the arms and wrists straight!
If you felt good with the Tucked L-sit, try extending one leg out. Bring the foot back and extend the other foot.
Pretty soon, if not already, you will be able to extend both feet out. Now you can time yourself. How long can I hold this L-sit? 20 seconds is great. 30 seconds is awesome!

 If you are already freakishly strong you may be able to, without touching the ground, bring your feet all the way back here into a Tucked Planche. Notice the shoulders in front of the hands and the rounded back. It is difficult to keep the arms straight while trying a Planche but it should be stressed.  More on this later!

When the L-sit gets stronger a slight variation may be added. The V-sit is a very subtle change in body position that has a very drastic feel. From a solid L-sit raise the straight legs so that the thighs come closer to the chest. This will be felt a lot in the Tricep area and is much harder than the L-sit.

 Part of out workout today involved some tire dragging. In this case Art is dragging an unweighted tire up hill in a long sprint. Strength training can be used in conjunction with various forms of conditioning to train for the rigors of climbing but remember that the two most important sections of a good workout are the warmup and the cool down. Our warmup consisted of rowing, endurance bouldering, pushups, pullups, etc. Our cool downs are usually easy easy  rowing or cycling. Be sure to rest a lot and listen to your body.

Matt Ritter

MMG Guide

Terry and I climbed for two days at the Gunks. Our timing could not have been better, cool crisp mornings led to warmer temps and fine rock climbing by mid day. We climbed multiple routes in the Trapps mostly repeats but fun none the less. The steep overhangs can be quite challenging but once you understand the rock you realize there will be a jug of a hold coming up very soon.

Terry on the Son of Easy O.

The Trapps viewed from the drive in – over a mile of routes with the carriage road along the base for easy access.

Terry on the classic climb CCK – headed for the overhangs on the direct finish.

Another great route called Strickly from Nowhere.

I am already looking forward to our next trip here its an amazing place to climb.

Art Mooney