Lake Willoughby Ice Climbs

Following our week of ice we transitioned right into a weekend of ice. On Saturday Alex ventured north to Lake Willoughby with guests Mark and Matt.

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This is the premiere venue in the east for big, bad, bold ice climbs! starting the day in -20 temps tempered the expectations some, but they still managed a couple of multi-pitch 4+ lines. Certainly a day for all to be proud of.

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On Saturday and Sunday, Erik had two couples for an introduction to ice climbing. Day one was spent at Kinsman Notch, honing in the basics. Day two was spent basking in the sun (first day temps were above freezing in almost a month!) at Newfound Lake.

Thanks to all our guests from this weekend! we hope to see you again soon.

The Mooney Mountain Crew

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My first climbs at Lake Willoughby were in the mid 1980′s. From then on – year after year I have been venturing to Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom in search of ice. The lake as we call it – is home to the longest, steepest water ice climbs in the northeastern US.  The amazing setting is set with a southwestern exposure high above the lake on the flank of Mt Piscah. By far the Lake  stands by itself as a highly respected ice climbing area.

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From the highway Mt Piscah comes into view. It is days like these that bring out the brilliance of the area – clear sky, cold temps, and no wind.

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Max and Cheyenne going for the Last Gentleman – another prize route at the Lake.

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Jerry reaching high for the sticks into the ice.

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Hundreds of feet off the deck – truly amazing exposure on the ice.

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The Lake is the place I want to share with good friends – Jerry and I on the top of the Promenade.

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Steep exciting rappels down the routes – walk offs are along way from here.

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The Gentleman and Promenade Routes rise above.

For me this has been a great year at the Lake and its only mid January.

Looking forward to more exciting climbing at this amazing venue.

Art Mooney

 

 Many of the Lake Willoughby climbs are ready for action and there are a few that need another week or two before the ice is fat enough to climb.  The route Plug and Chug pictured below could be climbed but the sun was to much and throughout the day large daggers of ice were falling off from the intense heat that gets absorbed by the rock.  The morning temps were 5 degrees but the mid day high was thirty two.  Ice climbing can turn on frenzy type attitude with climbers – everyone wants first sticks.

Read Ryans blog in the link below and stay safe out there.

Why you should be careful out there!!!

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Great picture of Plug And Chug – it makes one want to climb it.  See the climber at the base.

A smart decision to descend was made by this climber as he decided conditions were not right for this day.

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Jerry and I climbed Renormalization on the far right.  The route was shaded and far enough away from the daggers hanging above.

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This is the easy line in the Mindbender area – just another stout grade 4 route at the Lake.

IMG_5082   The bright mid day sun – getting water to flow and fatten up the lines.

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Pure fun in the afternoon – plastic/ buttery type ice at the tablets.

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 The end of a perfect day – it was a beauty, calm and warm.

Art Mooney

Mike and I just had two days of steep ice climbing together. Each time Mike come to NH we take climbing to a higher level. This time is was the steep ice and two great venues Frankenstein and the Lake Willoughby.

As you will see the climbing is fantastic right now – get it while you can.


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Lots of steep long routes at the Lake.

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Mike warming up on the hobbit.

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Pegasus done – lots of varied climbing on this one.

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Chia right side – beautiful ice climbing in the sun.

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Lake Willoughby

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Thanks for a great two days Mike!

Art Mooney