After a long winter, rock season seems to be developing some momentum here in Vermont. Time to shake off the cobwebs. Last Sunday Heidi and I went to the crag to do some climbing and dial in some technical skills. The venue was Bolton, Vermont, home to some of the best schist climbing in New England. The goal was not only to refresh some older skills, but to also work on some current techniques and learn some new ways to add more safety and efficiency while climbing
We began the day at Lower West Bolton, a popular and easily accessible cliff with plenty of route options for every level. Both Heidi and I were psyched to have most of the crag to ourselves. Here we reviewed multiple belay techniques, focusing on the finer points of belaying with the GriGri. After some climbing and Facebook shots with the Iphone, we got more serious and moved on to cleaning sport anchors and rappelling with the use of the autoblock and extension.
To wrap up the day we hit The Quarry, another Bolton crag with a variety of sport climbing options (and awesome ice in the winter). Some of the routes were damp, but we finessed through the wetness and Heidi got to practice some of her new skills.
Awesome job Heidi, thanks for a great day of at one of my favorite local Vermont climbing areas!
Moderate Temps on Sunday Morning- Game on!
Last Sunday Matthew and I caught a break from the recent frigid temps and spent the day climbing some Smuggler’s Notch classics. On holiday from Australia, Matthew had plans to sample some Vermont ice, and the weather couldn’t have been better. We decided to head to the South Wall, which tends to serve up a great selection of consistently well-formed single and multi-pitch ice routes. Today was no exception, and we found plenty of ice.
The agenda for the day was to expand on some technical skills, explore some interesting terrain and get in as many ice pitches possible. Matthew has a solid climbing background, and was hungry both to climb and to learn. During the day we were able to cover a bunch of topics including ice evaluation and basic screw placements, belaying techniques and efficient movement skills.
We began on the steep and wet Blue Room, a great challenge with varying ice conditions. Great place to hone movement skills.
Matthew midway on Blue Room
After descending a dripping Blue Room, we continued along the South Wall to climb a two pitch moderate flow. The view from the top was brilliant, and we were able to practice some V-threads on the way down.
One thing I’ve learned living in New England is that a splitter day during the winter months is a gift!
! Thank you Matthew for a great and enjoyable outing. It’s always awesome spending a day climbing in the Notch, especially with good company and good weather.