Monthly Archives: September 2013

It was Sunday – Game day and our early morning meet up to climb strategy paid off. The Stonemasters aka Peppercom team arrived at Rumney Rocks, all players were fresh and ready to play ball. The goal of this day was Challenge by Choice although there may have been a slight bit of pressure from the viewing players below.

Todays stone to be climbed was the Rumney schist. Our route choices today began with a few technical faces requiring the climbers to execute decisive and delicate footwork. Alignment and balance was also a key component to the necessary smearing of the feet to stick to the stone. After a few of these testy face routes the guns appeared to tackle the steep overhangs – a fast pump was delivered to one arms.

Rumney is loaded with climbing routes – unusual wavy grains of rock, countless tricky bulges, and overhangs loom above in every direction. Rumney Rocks is the northeasts number one sport climbing area.

Our Sendtember game session was a winner!!!

It is fall a prime time to be climbing the stone.

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Chris belaying Steve (aka Repman) up the route named Truth and Advertising.

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Mark sporting a fine set of calfs on Hippos on Parade.

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Sendtember – cobalt blue skies, crisp rock, and vibrate colors!!!

Photo of Steve tackling the steep overhang.

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Our Rookie of the Year – Sean Dog Reddy working the tecky moves high on the wall.

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Deivis – this man has plenty of excess power.

Just to be sure a mid day protein shake fired him up for the sending fest.

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A focused Adel, climbing in fine style, thinking ahead and using good  footwork.

Today he was on the move – Rise and Shine!!!

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Sean – on the last ascent of the day – the game was played and played well.

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Thanks to the team Stonemasters for an amazing day at Rumney.

Art Mooney, Alex Teixeira

Aubrey has taken on a powerful approach and I am quite impressed with his dedication to the game.

Each time he joins me for a climb his goal is to clinic on the difficult routes at Rumney. Aubrey enjoys figuring out the complexities of the movements on steep, technical 5.10′s and 5.11s. All of these routes require the climber to think ahead, to use the power when needed and to conserve the energy for the final push to the chains. Our climbing clinics are lengthy lasting 5 or 6 hours on route after route.

Stacking the odds in your favor.

The preparation for these days should be well thought out. The body must be rested prior to the clinic – fresh and energetic is what one needs to push the body and mind to the limit. Equipment should be suited to the game, shoes are a personal choice but a highly important one.

My personal favorite is the Five Ten Arrowhead with Stealth Rubber.

A new standard in high friction rubber with unbeatable hardness for precise edging and stickiness for friction.

The Five Ten Elite team raves about the Arrowhead’s fit and performance. You will instantly feel the difference in the casually down-turned toe and heel cup that grips without pinching. The upper is a supple, breathable Cowdura™ that molds to the foot.

IMG_2181Aubrey on the ground after a run on Know Ethics 5.10 c.

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Gold bug Main Cliff another tricky 5.10 plus route.

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Steep rock with wild moves up the flaring dihedrals.

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Rumney schist – unusual grainy rock, with good friction, underlings – side pulls and many unusual holds.

Aubrey – great day working the routes with you.

Thank you,

Art Mooney

Hats off to Dustin, Derrek, Grant and Will for their dedication, performance and excellence in guiding!!!

 For each of these Gents this AMGA Rock Instructor Exam in North Conway was the culmination of many years of education, training, and mentorship. The finale being a week long assessment of guiding skills and expertise while leading teams up multi pitch rock climbs.

Any exam can be a stressful experience, to pass or to fail runs through one mind. The ego can set in, the nerves get racked both which alter ones performance. As an AMGA examiner it is my job to manage and mitigate the overall risk, critique and grade ones performance and at the same time develop a positive learning environment that will allow each student to perform at their peak level of guiding.

Sound easy its not – for me or the students.

This group of Gents worked long hours, they trained on difficult climbs and learned how to balance the soft client skills. This was a key factor during their preparation for this week long examination process. It showed and was noted on the exam. Alain and I were both highly impressed with the top quality of technical guiding skills and the solid professionalism brought forward.

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Dustin on the tricky final pitch of Inferno – Whitehorse Ledge.

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Will running two ropes on the sparsely protected Sea of Holes.

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Scenic NH – Mt Washington Valley.

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“Guides Guiding Guides”

My Experiences with the AMGA Rock Instructor Exam

I had been considering doing the Rock Instructor exam for quite a while, and this year I finally decided to commit and go through with it.  I know quite a few people who skipped the RIE and went straight into the guide program, and that was what my original plan was.  Having just finished the instructor exam, I am certainly glad that I went through with it.  I think that I may have learned more on the exam than I did during the course, and I also think that I will be able to better and more confidently serve clients now that I have completed it.

After signing up for the exam, I wasn’t sure what to expect, especially since I do not know that many people who have done it.   I got quite a bit of exceptionally vague advice, and my imagination ran wild with expectations of obscure routes, girdle traverses, heinous descents, and examiners that were going to be constantly trying to untie their knots or undo their harness buckles.  Needless to say, none of that ever happened.  The examiners work to minimize guide stress and bring out the best in folks, the routes are guide routes, and there were few tricks thrown at us.  Having completed the exam, I have the same vague advice to offer to others as was given to me:  Wait until you are ready—the exam shouldn’t be a test, but rather a chance for you to show the world what you can do.  Be able to climb the grade comfortably, you should be able to focus entirely on guiding and not have to worry about crux moves.  Lastly, keep it simple.  Rock instructor terrain is straightforward and doesn’t require any guide tricks or rope work.  The routes are short and there is plenty of time; take advantage of it and think through everything you do.  Guide confidently, give the examiners the same experience you give paying clients, and believe in yourself.

 Thanks to Will for the extra effort in providing this fine critique of his experience.

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Dustin instructing us on the jam crack moves – Funhouse Cathedral Ledge.

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 Derrek – demonstrating solid, steady moves on the classic crack climb – Retaliation

Overall, the AMGA Rock Instructor Exam met or exceeded my expectations. I was very impressed with both the professionalism of the examiners as well as the examinees. This certainly aided in creating a less stressful atmosphere throughout the entire process. The feedback I received from the examiners during the exam was pertinent to my success and will help me continue cultivating my guiding technique.  It is apparent the exam is designed both as an educational piece as well as a standard for certification.

Thanks to Derrek for his review of the RIE. 

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Grant finding solid hand jambs on Inferno.

Thanks to everyone for an amazing week of guidance in New Hampshire.

It was a pleasure to meet up with each of you again.

Art Mooney

On approach to the Eaglet and Franconia Crags we were treated to the thick air and humidity on the lush forested trail. Our friends Sandy and John were in for a real treat – first the sweat fest up the steep boulder strewn trail then a multi pitch climb on the exposed granite spire that loomed above us.

The thick air and steep approach is understood for most NH climbers. Our visitors were from Taos New Mexico – the Land of Enchantment  -  from the hot and dry south west with humidity in the 10% range. Yesterday was a very special day – one to showcase New Hampshire our hidden gem of a state. The day was to Access the Goods – a hike to start, a trad route next, Rumney sport pitches later, then the finale a lake side dinner table overlooking Winnipesaukee.

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John, Sandy and Terry packed up and ready for the tour to begin.

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The day was one of the finest in recent weeks.  A KAVU day – klear above visibility unlimited!

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Sandy learning about the chicken wing move and the heel and opposed knee combo to work her way up the chimney.

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Terry in style – moving over the boulder problem.

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Keeping in control – focusing on the guiding during this fun day with our Taos friends.

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John enjoying this fantastic climb and alpine area.

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Gang of Four – on top of the Eaglet Spire!!!

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Summit shot – with the NH Watcher in the background.

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Found this photo online of the Watcher above the Eaglet

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To round out our day – a warm night, the outside table, a fine dinner at Lago in Meredith.

Awesome time – thanks John and Sandy it was so good to see you!

Art & Terry