There are many reasons why we climb. I think that any climber would agree that a big factor in making climbing a lifestyle is the friendships that we forge while tied into a rope. I had the pleasure of climbing with a legend at MMG, Nick. Nick is a climber of a different caliber. Of course the summit is the ultimate goal, however Nick has the wisdom and experience to see the big picture. The climbing with Nick was awesome, but even better was the good conversation. Nick fits my definition of the best climber I know; “the best climber is the one who is having the most fun.” I feel that I have made a friend. A friend I made in the mountains.
Thank you Nick for an awesome week.
As you can see by the Matt’s previous post, the conditions were perfect for the Brown University’s annual ice climbing trip. It was a spectacular day for this high energy group to enjoy the climbs of Kinsman notch. It was awesome to spend the day with such great people. I look forward to seeing some, if not all, of you next year!
Thank you all for a great day on the ice.
Meaghan, Mike, & Alex
This is a special time of year! Spring conditions in the mountains are great for ice climbing, mountaineering, and skiing, and the valleys are perfect on these sunny days for rock climbing, cycling, and coffee shops. We are getting our first real glimpse of Spring and our happy reminder to take full advantage of our ephemeral ice climbs. Kinsman Notch was a gleaming ball of sunshine in the morning, sunglasses were almost mandatory. It was awesome and so warm! As the shade took over the crag it became a good deal colder, but we stayed warm as we sampled Kinsman Notch ice climbing at its best. The ice is in very full and was nice and buttery due to the warmer temps. I had the privilege of climbing with four great folks. This friend and family outing was a blast! Amanda, Diane, and the two Daves go to swing ice tools for the first time, learning the new and rewarding techniques for ascending steep waterfall ice. Sometimes they even climbed with one ice tool, a few of them got to climb with three! Occasionally an ice tool gets left in the middle of a hard route and needs to be rescued but we came home with all six! Great job to everyone, and thanks to you all for a great day! Enjoy!
Thanks again for a super fun day! Hope you all enjoyed and learned as much as I did!
This past Saturday, a boy scout troop from Groton Mass came out to seek some adventure on the vertical ice waterfalls of Champney Falls. This is the troop’s second year climbing with MMG so most of the scouts had some experience with the gear and skills necessary to climb the steep ice. After the beautiful walk into the falls we got right to it. MMG guides Matt and Alex led the routes and in no time the scouts were flying up the frozen waterfalls. Each of the scouts climbed every route that the guides could set up. Some scouts climbed with only one ice axe, and some even with no tools at all, completely relying on foot work and determination to ascend the difficult routes. Here are some photos from that trip. Enjoy!
I must say that I was very impressed with the leadership and outdoor skills these scouts possessed. It was easy to see that each of them enjoyed being challenged, learning new things, and have had great instruction from their scout leaders.
Thank you all for the awesome day climbing at Champney!
Alex Teixeira & Matt Ritter
Bill Enjoying the Alpine Environment.
Bill is a climber. Even if it hasn’t been that long, he is totally into it. Bills goals are to climb the long, beautiful, moderate alpine routes that can be found in the mountain ranges all over the world. I don’t blame him; these routes are some of the most fun to climb. However, the mountaineer must have a toolbox of skills that he or she can employ to climb or escape a mountain objective. Bill came to MMG to be introduced to that toolbox.
Sending a steep section of ‘snice’.
Practicing rope travel techniques.
Bill Taking on the Crux
The location was Willie’s slide in Crawford Notch, NH. The long moderate ice and snow climb was the perfect classroom for Bills objectives. Some of the topics covered were rope travel, self-arrest, belaying, anchor building, multi-pitch ascents, ice axe use, crampons and many more. Bill was like a sponge absorbing the all the information he could about the sport he loves. Bill has what it takes to climb the big routes determination, technical skills, and above all a positive attitude. I can hardly wait for the learning to continue.
Thank you Bill for an awesome day of climbing in the alpine.
Delphine is a new mountain explorer. She has been a skier for some time in the resort areas, until a little while ago when she tried ice climbing. It seems that with this experience she has caught the mountaineering bug. Delphine contacted MMG to go backcountry skiing on Mt. Cardigan near Bristol, NH. Since the ice climbing trip she went on, Delphine has begun winter camping and ski touring on her cross country skis. All this has left her wanting to get into the steeper back country terrain.
To enter these areas one needs to have many skills beyond the ability to ski. Navigation, back country travel in winter, avalanche awareness, and many others. All these topics were discussed while we toured the Cardigan loop.
Our day began as we skinned up the Dukes trail towards the Firescrew. Once in the open face of the Firescrew we decided to take the skins off for a quick run through the trees. Here Delphine ripped it up, speeding and carving perfect turns around the trees and through snow drifts. After climbing back to our packs, we continued our ascent up the Firescrew towards the summit of Cardigan.
On our traverse of the exposed ridgeline the wind and the snow picked up giving us a real alpine feel. We skinned right over the summit of Cardigan! After a picture or two we began our descent. With a little navigation in the fog we found our next objective, the long steep Alexandria trail.
Soon we were flying through the trees to where the Alexandria really opens up. Once there Delphine and I let it rip full speed down the trail. It’s amazing how fast one can travel through mountain terrain on skis. What took us a few hours to climb, we were down in minutes. All together, the grand tour of Mt. Cardigan on skis is one of the mountain gems of New Hampshire.
Thank you Delphine for a great day in the mountains. I look forward to more skiing and learning about avalanche awareness in the Mt. Washington backcountry.
Its almost March and it has been an awesome season of ice climbing here in New Hampshire, with some recent snow the landscape is looking like a winter wonderland. This, combined with mild temperatures set the stage for Erin and Jason to have an amazing ice climbing trip in Crawford Notch.
The newly married pair come from the D.C. and N.Y. areas, and were excited to check out New Hampshire. I guess their first impressions were good, because they mentioned that this would be a great place to retire. Of course I added, “Its a great place to live now.” Maybe getting geared up in front of the warm fireplace at the AMC’s Highland Center had something to do with it, or maybe is was the snow covered trees and bright blue ice waterfalls. Either way both Erin and Jason were happy and we had only just begun our approach.
Day one was spent on Mt. Willard climbing Left Hand Monkey Wrench and the Hitchcock gullies. It was a blast blazing our own trails through fresh snow and climbing popular routes that we had all to our selves. Day two was spent at the Frankenstein area. We climbed Standard Route followed by some leading and anchor building practice. When all was said and done we were perfectly tired, content on strolling back to the cars as the sun went around the hillside.
Thank you Erin and Jason for a great couple of days out on the ice. I hope to see you both again in the hills.
Amber on the Summit of Mt. Willard
Amber was raised in western Canada and is no stranger to the mountains. She moved out east for the city of Boston, but ever since she has missed the mountains of the west. Last year she decided to climb New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington and spend a night in the Weather Observatory. On that trip she discovered that the mountains of the Northeast have a lot to offer, and that Mooney Mountain Guides could help her achieve her goals.
Earlier this season, Amber wanted to take a stab at ice climbing. She enjoyed the challenge of climbing steep frozen waterfalls, but missed the aspect of moving through the mountains and reaching a summit. So she gave us a call and wanted to combine hiking with ice climbing into a more mountaineering type objective. Mt. Willard was the perfect choice. With its gullies that combine sections of snow with sections of ice and top out onto a summit with a spectacular view, it is the perfect mountaineering combo.
Preparing for the crux of Left Hand Monkey Wrench
Amber and I linked up a few routes as we made our way to the summit of Mt. Willard. It all ended in the bright sunshine overlooking the beautiful glacially carved Crawford Notch. Mt. Washington’s summit and a bright half moon were also visible, making our day complete.
Thank you Amber for a great day in the hills.
Location: Mt. Willard, Crawford Notch, NH
Climbs: Left Hand Monkey Wrench & The Cleft