On any given week you could bet good money that the MMG crew is out at the cliffs introducing folks to climbing and or new climbs to them, as well as working on their own climbing and guiding progression. This past week was no different! Below is a quick collection of updates from the past week.
Early on in the week Erik got out to Rumney Rocks for a half day of climbing with Jen and Amanda. These gals were visiting the area for the week, coming from Long Island. They’ve started climbing in the gym back home and venturing into Top Rope terrain when they travel. We had a gorgeous day for a sampling of classic pitches at Rumney!
This weekend Mike got out with the Schildge family. While on vacation in the north country they joined MMG for a day on Square Ledge. This venue has great moderate climbing for a family outing, with what is possibly the best backdrop of any crag in New England.
Earlier on in the week, Art was joined by Jerry “the Gale force” They had a couple of great days swinging leads at Rumney and reclaiming perennial classics on Cannon!
On the personal training front, Alex has headed out to CO to take the Advanced Rock Guide Course through the AMGA, one of many professional development courses MMG guides are involved in this summer. The course, and his acclimatization are taking place in Eldorado Canyon and Lumpy Ridge in the Estes park. Back home, Erik is taking advantage of dry days between the rain to regain strength on some steep sport routes. Most intriguing of these days was at the Groton High Grade Wall, in Marshfield VT.
Alex in CO
Erik in VT
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.
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.
Jerry and I climbed Renormalization on the far right. The route was shaded and far enough away from the daggers hanging above.
This is the easy line in the Mindbender area – just another stout grade 4 route at the Lake.
Pure fun in the afternoon – plastic/ buttery type ice at the tablets.
The end of a perfect day – it was a beauty, calm and warm.
The Zieglers made the trek over from Vermont to sample the Rumney Rocks last week. Having previous experience both inside and outside, they were able to make the most of the gorgeous day.
Jackson belaying on Bolt Line
Don after the crux on Bolt Line with Kelly in the back on Beginner’s
We started at the Meadows, working on footwork as we ascended the slabs while staying cool in the shade. After warming up and talking about anchors, we headed over the to the Parking Lot wall for a few more climbs and then finishing the day back at Mom’s Pancake and the testy Lies and Propaganda.
Don at the top of Lies and Propaganda
Jackson pulling the tricky start of Lies
Kelly starting up on Glory Jean’s Devin working his way up Easily Amused
Thanks so much for a wonderful day at Rumney!
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!
Each week is so different in the guiding I do. I move around NH and Vermont climbing on the ice climbs, different peaks and all over the rock faces. It is a very challenging and exciting line of work that I love. This past weekend after a week on the ice I met up with a great group of new climbers and headed to the peaks to learn and practice skills for a couple of winter ascents. Our prep led us to climb NH’s big one – Mt Washington.
Ten of us summited the mountain in whiteout conditions. Being on top with this group was a fantastic experience for sure. We were able to climb efficiently and safely up and down – and all came home with great memories of a weekend adventure that will last a while.
Enjoy the trip photos of our Mt Washington climb.
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.
The time is here – New Hampshire & Vermont Ice climbs and Mountains are ready for your guided winter ascent. Here at Mooney Mountain Guides we do our part by holding an annual pre -winter guides training day . The theme varies from year to year but one thing is common – frequent meet ups and training with the MMG guides put us all on a similar page when we are working alone or together in the mountains.
New complete anchor
One theme this year was to Yank the Mank on Kinsman Notch Ice Climbs. The guides climbed all of the popular routes at the main area and cut out all the old webbing and replaced with bomber new redundant rope anchors – complete with double links to use when descending the routes.
As always another theme for the guides was to ice climb. This is what we love to do climb and ascend ice routes of all types is what we did.
Todd getting into action!!!
Mike working up the center route – tricky crux at the top.
Jim – MMG’s Mountain Master.
Erik – thank you – for prepping all the anchor material.
No down time today – a technical clinic.
Refresh, Renew, Reboot the mind.
Simple Anchors – the connection to ice and the belay.
Erik and Matt
Efficiency when working the Window Munter and One Handed Clove
Mooney Mountain Guides Team.
Thanks to all for joining in.
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.
Lots of steep long routes at the Lake.
Mike warming up on the hobbit.
Pegasus done – lots of varied climbing on this one.
Chia right side – beautiful ice climbing in the sun.
Thanks for a great two days Mike!