Rock Climbs

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The Ridge from the bottom of the talus.

For almost any climber the striking arete’ that forms the Whitney-Gilman ridge begs to be climbed. The shear size of the feature is imposing. It can be easily see from the road and when walking along Lafayette Ridge, Cannon’s 5,000ft neighbor to the east. Needless to say, the climbing is just as fun and aww inspiring as it looks from the ground. Parallel cracks, perfect corners and exciting face climbing only add to the appeal.

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(Left:) The excellent second pitch. (Right:) Mat, headed directly for the 5.9 exit moves on the final pitch.

Mat, came down from Montreal to climb the ridge. Together we made great time. Each pitch flowed smoothly into the next. The warm sun and cool breeze provided perfect rock climbing temperatures. It was truly a great day for Cannon.

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What made this climb come full circle, was climbing it in October. Typically October brings cool temperatures, clear blue sky, and the amazing foliage. Watching the hills change from a sea of green to bright oranges, yellow’s and reds makes this experience even better. I’m not sure what it is about perfectly dry rock and collared leaves that makes climbing this route so fun, but I invite you to come and see for your self what the Whitney-Gilman ridge is like in October.

Thanks Mat for a great day on the ridge.

Alex Teixeira

For many sports one suffers along the way, there will be sweating and pain, then the prize comes as one reaches the finish line.

In climbing the ultimate prize is the summit, the peak of the climb. The high fives and cheers are at the end of the route or on the top of the peak.

This Red Rocks trip has been full of suffering, sweating and then cheers. Many of the approaches are long, and for us the routes have been quite challenging. When Terry and I top out together a sigh of relief comes upon us. It is then the smiles come from another amazing route completed together. This is our scene together on the rocks and its been this way for over thirty years.

As you will see in the photos Terry and I very much enjoy the tough challenges along the way.

The high points, the lofty summits, the  outstanding views keep us coming back for more!!!

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On are way into Black Velvet Canyon.

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Terry powering through the cruxes of two very different climbs.

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Yoga = Balance, Power, Focus!!!

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Dream of Wild Turkeys – a three star route on some very fine rock.

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Overview of the Red Rock Canyons from fossil ridge.

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The Great Red Book.

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Frogland and  Black Velvet.

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Terry guiding me for the day on Frogland.

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High on the wall – friction moves and thin cracks.

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Another day in paradise.

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Hanging belay stations – high on a route called Unimpeachable Groping.

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The cheers after a long day on the rock – we are at the base of the routes just completed.

Next March and April MMG will be back in Red Rocks – join us for your spring fling on the rock!!!

Art Mooney

This Labor Day weekend, my wife and I were looking for a nice moderate climb away from the crowds at Rumney, Cathedral, and Whitehorse.  We decided on Endeavor, a classic 5.7+ route at White’s Ledge in Bartlett.  I had first heard of the route more than ten years ago and wanted to climb it but never made it out there.

While the beginning of the trail seemed a little perplexing, we followed our instinct and realized quickly we were on the right track.  The short hike and approach through the boulder field warmed us up this cool morning, and before we knew it, we were at the base.  No other parties had arrived yet.

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The first look at White’s Ledge after exiting the boulder field.

The first few pitches went smoothly as we encountered some technical sections and beautiful exposure.  Taking our time, we chose not to link any of the pitches, though it would have been possible.  The fourth pitch (5.6) was a little “spicy,” and challenging to find gear in some places, but the half of the crack that continued on to the next pitch was superb: solid jams, good gear, and footholds outside the crack in case your feet hurt too much from being in climbing shoes all day.  We enjoyed the view from the top and set up our rappel.

 

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At the rappel station at the top.  You can see the Saco River in background.

About ten feet from the rappel station – close enough to see your partner and communicate clearly but far enough to be truly on your own – I stepped on a large rock that shifted slightly and came loose.  I stuck my foot out to try and stop it.  Before I realized what was truly happening, I saw that the rock rested on my right foot.  I held it in place and yelled rock to the party below me.  A small stone fell toward the woman at the anchor, which was right below me.  I told her there was a huge rock still loose as I carefully bent down and steadied the rock with my hand before picking it up with my right hand.  Though I was aware at the time that I had wisely backed up my rappel with an auto block, a practice I employ regularly when rappelling without a fireman’s backup, in retrospect, I am even more thankful for taking the extra two minutes to do so.

Gripping the rock tightly to my chest, I told her we were still not entirely safe.  She informed me that there was at least another party below her at the base.  I eventually managed to finagle the rock in my backpack (my wife’s suggestion) and rappelled down with the extra weight.

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I hope the photo gives a sense of the rock’s size.

We made it down safely, warning everyone we encountered about the precarious section right below the rappel and made our way back to the car and then home.  Despite the scare at the end, I would highly recommend Endeavor, a nice, long classic route with moderate climbing with a fairly short approach and less crowded than the popular crags.

I expect the views are even more spectacular once the leaves change.

Todd Goodman

MMG Guide

The adventure begins – here is the entire Cody, Barr and Hall team on top of the summit of Welsh and Dickey.

This was a very special trip – the MMG guides enjoyed showing off the NH climbing areas to Catharine and Nicole who join Team Cody for their first rock and mountain climbing adventure.

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This past week Team Cody reached yet another milestone – leading rock climbs!!!

It all took place during the end of summer climbing trip where the main goal was to have a fun time and climb rock and mountains in a variety of areas. We had six days planned so this could easily be achieved if the bodies would do the job – hold up from day after day of climbing.

The other goal planned was to learn the skills to lead rock. Learning the skills is one part then another one comes into play when the sharp end of the rope is taken on – its the focus and the change of mindset that automatically comes on board – it happens to everyone.

We all joked around when Chris tied in for the first lead – the mood immediately took on a serious note – he was Scared Straight!!! Chris did a fine job leading multiple sport routes and Steve took on the challenge too. By days end we all had racked up a few notable leads and we all had a blast of a time.

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Team Cody and Barr setting up for the day.

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A focused Chris getting some action clipping bolts on lead at Rumney Rocks.

The attentive belay is no easy task – nice work Adel .

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Repman alive and feeling the sharp mindset change with the rope hanging below his feet. Fantastic job leading these routes.

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Suns out guns out – summer returns to NH.

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Cathedral was also on out hit list. It was a hot day so we opted for a fast ascent of the Funhouse and Upper Refuse.

Here I am topping out on the lookout of Cathedral Ledge.

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A surprise visit from Alex yielded these great photos. Alex dropped a fixed rope and came down to see and record the action. Here is Steve mid pitch on Funhouse – a three star crack climb!!!

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Chris hanging on by a thread – looking casual up high on the granite faces of Cathedral Ledge.

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Scared Straight – the vision is clear – more leads and more adventure to come.

 Thanks to all of you for an awesome week on the rocks in NH.

Art Mooney

This past week my work has been with a group of 4 rock climbing instructors seeking to raise the bar for themselves and their guests. Each of these instructors put themselves and their skills on the line by guiding Alain and myself around Cathedral and Whitehorse. The end goal was certification as a Rock Instructor with the American Mountain Guides Association.

Rock Instructor Certification is designed to apply to most “cragging” style rock climbing areas in the United States. It is meant for guides or aspiring guides who work on routes that are Grade III or shorter. While these routes are multi-pitch, they are relatively straightforward and may involve complex approaches and/or descents. Time factors are  important on all of these routes.

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  The photos below are of the instructors guiding us around last week. Great job to all of you for continuing your education and your commitment to guiding!!!

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Whitehorse – a pleasurable day out on the slabs with AMGA guides.

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Cathedral Ledge – fantastic steep cracks and flakes.

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Diedre – one of the best corner systems around the NH area.

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Rock rescue skills in action – mock drills for the instructors tool box.

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Solid, efficient,movement – is number one for the climber, instructor, guide.

When choosing your guide look into the guides page. The information in bios will tell you who may be the best fit for your instruction and guiding day.

SPI guides are trained for the single pitch terrain and the RI are trained for multi pitch. Many certified SPI guides are in the process with mentorship and training for the RI. The Rock Guide is trained for the longest, complex routes.

Thanks to all of you for a great week.

Art Mooney

Summertime is here and today the August visit from Mike his family was on. We all enjoyed a great day on Whitehores with Jackson – Miley the two superstars climbing exceptionally well.  Mike, Amy and I looked on as both of these young climbers motored up the climbing routes.

Smearing their climbing shoes on the smooth friction, making high steps to overcome the overlaps, both Miley and Jackson reached new personal highs today. They both have been climbing for many years and it has become a natural activity. Tying into the rope, on belay from above or below, lowering from the top anchors – these two climbers are able to rise up and gain control in a calm and positive way.

Nice job to both of them – keep up the good work!!!

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The day began with a fun selfie at the crag. IMG_3842

Miley and Jackson on side by side ropes up the friction wall.

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Jackson very cool, calm and well balanced as he lowers to the ground.

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Miley enjoying a bit more motion as she tries out a pendulum swing on the rope.

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Big supporters of Black Diamond gear.

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And also of Mooney Mountain Guides

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Jackson putting some focus into proper footwork and positioning.

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Two helpers teaming up as they pull the rope down.

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A very awesome day with Mike, Amy, Jackson and Miley – thank you all very much.

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Our crag for the day – Whitehorse with the Echo Roof area just left of center.

Art Mooney

Jerry and I met at Whitehorse this past Saturday. It was a pleasant day with bright sunshine, temperatures in the 8o’s and a light breeze. As the weather man on the radio 93.5 in North Conway would say this day is a keeper or otherwise a fifty cent day.

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Jerry and the belay station on pitch one.

 Todays plan was for Jerry to get back on the sharp end of the rope. He decided on a full length route up the Whitehorse Slabs. I recommended the Beginners route with a few variations as another great introduction to the slabs. Do to the long unprotected areas on this route I would give a word of caution to any beginner leader who is not accustomed to this type of climbing. Jerry and I have been on Whitehorse many times – so he was up for the task.

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Pitch three winds its way up the slabs for 190 feet with only a few pieces of protection. Jerry out there in the sea of granite, maintaining a cool head with steady and solid climbing movements.

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Jerry leading out on yet another sparcely protected pitch. Seems to be a theme here at Whitehorse.

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A watchful leader can get lucky and find solid solution pockets to thread the slings through for bomber protection. It took me a few times on this route before I got lucky and noticed this solution hole went right through.

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Here we begin our afternoon session, at the middle of the South Buttress – the Seventh Seal area. Jerry is preparing to crank hard on this lie back hold, then a smear of a high left foot is key to gaining the reach up into the finger locks above.

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Another hidden gem of a route.

Loose Lips is a fine three star 10.a which starts on a delicate thin face then follows thin cracks for 140 feet in a rising traverse. Awesome positions and great movements on this one. Hats off to Alain Comeau for finding this route but he gave the secret away  in the coffee shop and Jimmy Dunn took the first ascent prize.

Hence the full name Loose Lips Sink Ships!!!

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The final moves ease up a bit with climbing on nice finger locks to the chain anchor.

A phenomenal day for Jerry and I – thanks very much.

Art Mooney

Lexi, Lola, Bri and Robert joined me for a day of fun rock climbing. This was their first experience in the outdoor environment and it would be full of challenge. These two young ladies along with Mom and Dad were up for this exciting indoor to outdoor transition. Geared up with harnesses, helmets, and comfortable shoes – off we went to the Meadows area of Rumney Rocks.

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We found ourselves down by the Baker River during a mid day break from the rock climbing action.

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Super Hero – Lexi successful after her first climb on the Meadows Wall.

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Lola getting started with Dad on the slippery first moves – then she took off on her own climbing to new heights all by herself.

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Lexi lowering down and clipping gear for the next climber – learning and practicing the outdoor ropes.

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Lola – gaining trust in the system and confidence in her guide. Floating up the rock on a beautiful day.

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Future rock leaders Lexi and Lola placing stoppers in a crack.

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Baker River – summertime in NH.

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A big thanks to the entire family.

It was pleasure to meet all of you and climb together.

Thank you,

Art Mooney

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Do you have tickets?

For the past four or five years now, camp Wildwood has come to climb with Mooney Mountain Guides. Sometimes for a few days, other times for an entire week. We are very lucky to have created such an awesome relationship with Wildwood. The campers that have attended these trips are great kids, and the camp instructors are professional, friendly, and great with kids. It is a real pleasure to spend time with Camp Wildwood.

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Technique overpowers strength every time, here a camper gets her feet high to reach the next hold.

MMG and Wildwood schedule these trips far in advance. We cross our fingers in the weeks leading up to the trip that the weather will provide us with beautiful days for climbing. This year, the weather forecasts were not perfect. Despite the forecast, MMG and Wildwood kept it positive, and went climbing anyway.

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Rappelling is a vital skill for a climber; here MMG Guide Todd teaches a camper with the added support of a belay from above.

Day one was calling for thunderstorms. We all had our raincoats along with our climbing gear and super sticky 5.10 climbing shoes, ready for anything. By the time we reached the cliff we were going to climb, there were patches of blue sky and intermittent sun. The rock was perfectly dry, and even better, we had Rumney to our selves. Due to the fact that we wanted to get everything in before any rain, the group climbed a ton, and the rain never came. We had a beautiful day of climbing despite the forecast.

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Working on technique, crimp session.

In the a.m. of day two we woke to rain, but it looked as tough it was heading east towards Maine and away from central N.H. Again, armed with our positive attitudes we headed up the trail to climb, with the idea that we would climb until we couldn’t. Yet again, the more we climbed the better the weather became. Day two was just as great as day one.

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The team out climbing despite the drizzle; MMG Guide Todd looking sharp in his Mammut Rain Jacket

It was the power of the positive attitudes we all came to this trip with that allowed for two great days of rock climbing. It goes to show that climbing is about more than rocks and climbing them. Its about spending time in beautiful places with positive people.

Thanks to MMG Guide Todd, Wildwood Instructors Shannon and Matt, and all the campers.

Alex Teixeira, MMG Guide

This Saturday, Eric and Amy came to Rumney to take a step in their climbing experience: leading.

We started the day in the Meadows on Mom”s Pancake to warm up and talk generally about lead climbing.   After, we headed over to the Parking Lot Wall and hopped on Glory Jean’s.

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Stopping for a snack and water, we practiced clipping techniques and spoke further about setting anchors before giving A Week With Pete a go.

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Eric looked solid with his climbing, rope management, and anchoring.

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With a little more time in the day, we hiked up to Dirtigo where we climbed, led, and rappelled, broadening the skill set.

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A lap on the Wimpy Gilman was a fine finish to the afternoon.

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Thanks Eric and Amy for a fantastic day on the rock!

Todd Goodman MMG