Monthly Archives: July 2012
Last Friday I had the privilege to climb with Caren, Rich, Emily, and Nicole for the second time. It had been a full year since we had climbed together and I already look forward to next year.
Spending the day with this excited, high energy family is tons of fun. We enjoyed a half day at “Upper Vader”
We sampled climbs ranging from 5.4-5.8 in a supportive and always hilarious atmosphere.
Friday was a hot sunny day though we managed to stay in the shade and enjoy cheddar cheese pretzels and Gatorade between climbs.
Thanks to the whole family for a super fun day! Enjoy the rest of Summer! See you next season!
One of the best parts of my job is that guiding folks up iconic routes such as Cannon’s Moby Grape is like a granite time machine. It takes me straight back to my own first forays up New Hampshire’s most imposing hunk of stone, now more than 20 years and many hundreds of pitches in the past. Through the eyes of our guests, I get to experience the thrill of these early ascents all over again, which is a real gift. It’s all a new and grand adventure to them, and I’m fortunate enough to be a part of it. How cool is that? This past weekend, I shared ropes with father / daughter team Steve and Bridget. It was a stellar trip up the Grape, and brought me right back to my roots as a New England climber.
Here they are, psyched to be over the infamous Finger of Fate pitch. By this point in the route (4 pitches up) we’d left the parties below us well behind and enjoyed a nice break and some lunch on this spacious ledge. It was hot, but a pleasant breeze made it very enjoyable.
Bridget cruising the classic dihedral of the Kurt’s Corner finish. This aesthetic left facing corner adds another clean 5.7 pitch with thrilling position to an already fine route.
Thanks for letting me be a part of the adventure, Steve and Bridget. I had a blast. Hope to see you both on the rock again soon!
Derek Doucet, MMG
Father and Daughter team, Bob and Lisa joined us for a half day of sport climbing in Rumney this Wednesday. We headed for the right side of the Venus Wall to climb in the shady and cool Dirtigo Gulley. We spent the day here learning to belay, lower, and tie the rope while we climbed some of the best moderate pitches in the Baker River Valley.
We warmed up on Mowgli Grape, and Dirtigo. These are two super-classic climbs with great views from the top.
After a warmup we needed a little more challenge so we tried our hand at the testy White Knee Gill Man Ridge. A climb that requires balance ant the use of the “smear” technique. Bob and Lisa both performed beautifully on this striking feature.
To wrap up the day we climbed a very tough 5.7 known as Preppy’s Crack. This is a footwork intensive and delicate climb. In order to succeed one must balance and dance from hold to hold. Both Bob and Lisa got to the top in fine style.
Lisa on the belay and Bob about to fire the route!
Lisa stylin’ the moves on “The Ridge”
Bob high on the sunny wall.
Bob now enjoying the shade on Dirtago.
Thanks to Bob and Lisa for a great half day! I hope Y’all enjoyed the rest of the day, and found some good swimming.
Vivek and I teamed up on Saturday for a cragging day at Cannon Cliff. Though Cannon is known for hosting some of the best alpine multi-pitch climbing in the east, this thousand foot dome of exfoliating granite is also home to a slue of one and two pitch classics.
We started out on Slow and Easy, a wonderful 5.8 arching crack climb.
Then we went over to the Duet Buttress where we enjoyed two pitches of super classy 5.7 climbing. Pitch one laybacks, jams, and stems up a beautiful corner system. Pitch two starts off with a tough move off the belay followed by some enjoyable off-width on great rock.
We then headed to the Conn Buttress, home to the formidable and famous Reppy’s Crack, one of the purest, clean hand cracks in the east. This pitch is not to be underestimated, as it is burly, and puts a hurt on the ankles if one does not move with assertiveness
To finish off the already full day, we ran a lap on Sinister Satisfaction. The name says it all for this one. Put your friends on this climb and tell them it is 5.8. Soon you too will be giggling with Sinister Satisfaction as they make rounded insecure layback moves that feel a little more like 5.9.
Another great day on the Big Cliff.
We didn’t quite get our fill on Saturday so we returned the next day with Abhinav to climb the Whitney Gillman Ridge. It was a beautiful and very windy day. Just hearing each other was a challenge but we were graced with a mosquito and black flyless climb. We were first in line for the route despite our long winded philosophical conversation on the approach. We made good time to the top and enjoyed easy chatter and each other’s presence on the descent.
John and I enjoyed climbing the ridge on Tuesday. It was a cool windy day just about perfect for climbing on Cannon. The temp on Mt Washington was 45 so I am guessing mid 50’s on the route. This was John’s first climb on Cannon and he enjoyed the Ridge. It is a wild – exciting place to get a first experience on a multi pitch route.
New Hampshire’s Classic Climb – The Whitney Gilman.
John climbing the lichen covered granite.
Glad to have my Mammut wind/rain shell.
John at a mid climb belay station.
John on the top.
Thanks John I hope to climb together again soon.
Jerry is back on the rock. After a few weeks rest he was ready and excited to log in some pitches at Whitehorse. It was a bit on the hot side so we cruised up to the Sliding Board headwall and took a run on Wavelength then descended to the shade of the forest.
The left of the slab section of the cliff looked to be partly shaded so we went over to Short Order 5.8+. This is a great route with a scrappy crack and face to climb on pitch one then a beautiful clean face on the second pitch.
Next on our list was the Seventh Seal. Slippery feet are overcome by tight finger locks in the granite crack. This is one of the must do cracks on Whitehorse for sure.
We kept going with the Beelzebub Corner then completed our day by climbing the first pitch of Sleepy Beauty.
Whitehorse – The Sea of Granite.
View from the headwall.
Short Order P1.
Sharp lieback finish to Short Order.
In the heat – The Seventh Seal
Good ole trad climbing NH style – Beelzebub Corner.
Jerry topping out on Sleepy Beauty.
Great day climbing on Whitehorse.
Michelle and I climbed the Whitney Gilman on Friday. We met in Holderness in a pretty steady rain but kept our positive thinking as the weather forecast was for clear skies by mid morning. We drove up 93 and sure enough by the time we arrived at the base of the route it was a bluebird day. The rock had a few wet areas but the ridge was mostly dry and to no surprise we had the place to ourselves. Cannon is prime right now, the bugs have subsided, rock is mostly dry, and summer is here.
Its Time to Climb!!!
Pemi Valley to our south.
Michelle with light feet on the loose talus.
Pitch one starts off with a tough crack, Michelle making it look easy.
Parallel cracks on pitch three, keep your knee out of this one.
Michelle just above the rock fall area.
The one fixed anchor on the route.
Exposed climbing right on the ridge.
The final dihedral with granite covered in green lichen.
At the top by mid afternoon – it was a great time climbing together.
Thanks to Michelle.