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.

Art Mooney

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.

Art Mooney

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.

Art Mooney

It was the first day of summer also NH’s first heat wave. Rumney was the place to be with belays spots and climbing routes in the shade of the forest. I was quite surprised at how comfortable the climbing was with temps in the mid nineties through the day. Aubrey and I worked the cliff in both directions and logged in ten pitches of climbing. Just enough to drain our energy and tenderize our finger tips.

Aubrey on the Arete 5.10+

Egg McMeadows 5.10a the Parking Lot Wall.

Meadows Area left side – Dung Beetle 5.8

Easy Terms 5.8

Aubrey after the crux of the intricate Easy Terms.

If you trying to escape the heat of summer try out the shaded routes at Rumney on a hot day, you may be surprised.

Thanks Aubrey.

Art Mooney

 Matt and I went to Cannon Cliff on Saturday. The cliff was soaked in the morning and there were large piles of hail along the base of the wall. We decided to seek out and climb dry crack routes along the base. By days end we were please as we put together  5 routes for fun circuit of crack climbs. The wall dried out quickly during the windy day. With the good weather coming in Cannon is prime to climb.

Cannon from Lafayette Trailhead.    

Matt on Sinister Satisfaction.

Matt using finger jams on Tip Trip.

Matt leading pitch one of Union Jack.

Another great day on the mountain.

Art Mooney

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