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!!!
Miley and Jackson on side by side ropes up the friction wall.
Jackson very cool, calm and well balanced as he lowers to the ground.
Miley enjoying a bit more motion as she tries out a pendulum swing on the rope.
Big supporters of Black Diamond gear.
And also of Mooney Mountain Guides
Jackson putting some focus into proper footwork and positioning.
Two helpers teaming up as they pull the rope down.
A very awesome day with Mike, Amy, Jackson and Miley – thank you all very much.
Our crag for the day – Whitehorse with the Echo Roof area just left of center.
I must say I have an absolutely fantastic job. Yes guiding rock, ice, mountains is not for everyone. This is what I chose for a career and it is weeks like this past one that showcase how good a guides work can be.
The people – my guests – these folks are what make each day interesting, engaging, and fun. They all have a choice of who to climb with and I do feel very special that they choose to spend a day in the mountains, on a climb with me.
A huge Thank You is in order to all the guests who climb with me and the guides at Mooney Mountain Guides. I/We do appreciate your choice and climbing with each of you is a blast.
Jerry – aka the force – a driven man who loves to climb. Whether is be the rock, the ice, or big mountain faces in the Alps Jerry loves it all.
Aubrey – trains hard at home and plays hard when he gets out. A busy man running his business but still manages to find the time to get out on the cliffs to refresh the mind.
Charlie – our second season together – Charlie is on his way to becoming a major player on the stone. This week we crushed the routes at Rumney and with three upcoming sessions planned – new personal heights will be gained.
Ryan and Amy – new friends – on the Whitney Gilman.
We enjoyed a fantastic day on Cannon together. Amy was challenged but maintained her focus on the big stone. Ryan and I swapped leads and worked on transitions and systems.
Ryan on lead the final pitch of Whitney Gilman.
A special day for Ryan – Happy Birthday!!!
Thank you all for spending your time with me. This was amazing week of guide work/fun in NH.
Franconia Notch and Echo Lake viewed from the Hounds Hump Ridge. The Eaglet and Flatiron are two of the many granite formations perched high above the valley floor. This area is absolutely amazing with alpine rock climbs of all types. The steep granite faces of the Flatiron, the wide cracks and awkward chimneys on the Eaglet, airy free hanging rappels all test a variety of movement and technical skills.
Aubrey and I were looking for a multi pitch climb of the unusual sort. A climb that we had not been on for a while would be nice and if possible a new pitch or two would top off the day. The Eaglet came to mind as the start to a perfect outing. The weather was good and it even held out for us. In the afternoon we bagged a new route ( for us) on the Flatiron Wall called Salt Packed Pig Sack a beautiful 5.8 climb.
The slab in center named the Flatiron and the free standing spire on right called Eaglet
Jagged formations loom overhead above our belay area.
Manky anchors – as they say buyer beware – we set up our own to be sure.
Chimneys and under cut overhangs – Aubrey in action.
Three points make and anchor – well maybe. These pitons are a piece of NH climbing history.
Aubrey busting a move on the crux of the final pitch.
Aubrey arriving on the summit – just enough room for two.
Me – prepping the airy rappel set up.
The descent from the Eaglet Spire – 180 feet rappel to the base.
Afternoon clouds boiled up around us.
The radar looked great so we opted for a few more pitches on the Flatiron.
Aubrey climbing Salt Packed Pig Sack – leave it up to Jon Sykes and you get a name like this.
The route is 5.8 and is one of the finest face climbs in the Notch. The protection is good and the vantage point is incredible.
Aubrey – very psyched at the top of this amazing pitch.
The approach and descent weave the way throughout this boulder strewn forest.
Hounds Hump Ridge as seen from the bike path.
The visitors center leads folks to the viewing point for the Old Man. We choose a different path one that offered a birds eye view of the entire Franconia Notch.
Thanks to Aubrey – it was an awesome day climbing with you.
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.
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.
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.
Jerry leading out on yet another sparcely protected pitch. Seems to be a theme here at Whitehorse.
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
We found ourselves down by the Baker River during a mid day break from the rock climbing action.
Super Hero – Lexi successful after her first climb on the Meadows Wall.
Lola getting started with Dad on the slippery first moves – then she took off on her own climbing to new heights all by herself.
Lexi lowering down and clipping gear for the next climber – learning and practicing the outdoor ropes.
Lola – gaining trust in the system and confidence in her guide. Floating up the rock on a beautiful day.
Future rock leaders Lexi and Lola placing stoppers in a crack.
Baker River – summertime in NH.
A big thanks to the entire family.
It was pleasure to meet all of you and climb together.
It was a pleasure to climb with Mike and Luke today at Cathedral and Whitehorse Cliffs. Both these guys are experienced climbers which made our day flow very fluidly. We started at Whitehorse to regain our footwork (precise movements) then we ventured over to Cathedral to play on two crack lines. By days end I felt we found the Beat as we ended up climbing 10+ pitches and took the final route to the top.
Early morning at a wet Whitehorse. I spied a dry line that went directly up to the bolts on the third pitch of Sliding Board.
Luke climbing fast and light.
Mike revisiting his old playground.
Our highpoint on Whitehorse. We descended from here – three rappels landed us on the ground.
The country club scene on the approach.
Time for some steep climbing – here is Luke on pitch one of Fun House.
Mike on the cracks and corners of Fun House.
The climbing is varied and fun – Fun House to Black Lung is a great link up to the top.
Luke flying high over the Mt Washington Valley.
Along with the climbing a few new techniques were getting attention. Mike is working on the butterfly coil.
Thanks to Mike and Luke for this day – its was a privilege to climb with both of you. I look forward to seeing you gain soon.
Ridge running has always been one of my favorite workout activities. Putting on the trail shoes, carrying a small pack with the essentials, and moving light and fast gives a feeling of a free spirit in the mountains. Lightweight travel and quick moves over boulder strewn trails leave the miles behind as one runs along the trails and ridges in the high peaks.
The Whitney Gilman Ridge is another type of ridge running adventure. The vertical 5th class kind! The game is played in a similar way, lightweight gear, efficient movements, and quick transitions all add up to topping out on the ridge in a short amount of time. The Whitney Gilman Ridge route is positioned along an exposed knife edge of stone, the route wanders back and forth with moments of exceptional exposure over the dark north wall. The route is somewhat committing as descending is not an easy task – there is certainly an excitement factor on this climb. This is Cannon and getting to the top in a timely way is the common goal.
The Whitney Gilman – 600ft of technical 5th class climbing.
Bill – happy to be back on Cannon!!!
Today we had a slight breeze and light cloud cover – this kept conditions quite nice on this hazy, hot, and humid day.
Team Mammut in action – Grib coming over the exposed pipe pitch, great vistas of the Lafayette Ridge from this spacious belay ledge, and Grib on the final corner pitch.
Pitch 5 has a steep corner system – excellent climbing high on Cannon.
The pitch 5 exposed belay station perch.
Great times – back in action on Cannon.
What a fantastic climbing area – right in our backyard of NH.
The Flatirons dominant the skyline high above Boulder on the slopes of the Rockies. These unusual formations of stone are numbered 1,2,3 and all are climbed regularly by Boulderites and visiting climbers.
Steve arrived in town and Flatiron number 1 was our first objective. Our choice of routes today weaved up the center of the wall and offered over 1 thousand feet of mindful movements in 10 pitches of varied roped climbing.
Steve giving the thumbs up to the Flatiron. There would be no wrinkles on this ascent – we pressed onward to the base.
Special times – breaking in the new rope.
This Mammut Revelation rope is a beauty and will be treated with care.
Today we went for comfort and performance and both of us chose to wear our new Five Ten – Guide Tennis shoes. These shoes went right into action, sticking to the stone. A great choice of climbing footwear for the moderate routes, much more than the so called approach shoe.
Learning the ropes, clove hitches, belays techniques and protection.
At the top of the face is an alpine style ridge. Here Steve is breaking down the anchor ready for the summit bid.
Our early start paid off big. The early morning approach was quiet and peaceful then the masses of climbers and hikers arrived. No worries for us we were on top for the day.
High above Boulders open space lands.
First Flatiron climbed, next stop Eldorado Canyon.
Great warm up day for Steve and I – let the fun times continue!!!
Mooney Mountain Guides calls this blog posted trip the New Hampshire sampler – a day of sport climbing, a mountain adventure, and an alpine rock day on Cannon Cliff. This three day action packed event is not one for a week heart or mind.
Steve is a motivated man, when he sets his sights on a climb, a goal, a project he gives it 100+ percent. This was crystal clear from the beginning. United a not so favorite airline of his canceled his flight earlier this week and within a short time Steve was in the car racing from New York to New Hampshire. The weather pattern was solid, a mid week break from Peppercom was needed, and the body and mind were ready to climb.
Rumney Rocks was the first stop on Tuesday. The skies had cleared from the weekends low pressure and the cliff was drying out fast. A visit to the Jimmy Cliff got us off on the right tune, Bonsai was next with a fine display of sending a project by MMG guide Alex, and then to complete we ventured over to the Main wall for a steep technical face climb that put on the first of many pumps during the week.
A quick cardio workout romping up the Clippidy Do Dah!!!
Main Cliff action as Steve nears the belay.
Off to a good start.
The great weather continued on Wednesday which happened to be our Mt Washington mountain day. To both our surprise the mountain was in late winter condition with snow and ice covered trails from the Cog Station to the summit. There has been over 1 foot of new snow since May first which is quite unusual even for the rock pile. The new snow along with brisk temps and a stiff breeze make us feel like we took a step back in time by a few months.
Thanks to Julbo for keeping our vision in order – excellence with eyewear for mountain travelers and more.
Bluebird skies, wild rime ice, all in all a spectacular day.
The summit cone was tough – bear down and keep on trucking.
The prize Steve’s 13th time on the summit
The base area – four thousand feet lower – in spring time condition.
Our third day – time to ramp it up!!!
Cannon Cliff is New Hampshires finest alpine rock area. Our 1 hour approach to the Whitney Gilman wanders up the steep talus field to the base of the serpentine ridge. The WG ridge is a classic old school 5.7 route first completed in 1929. This was our last day objective and we were set to take it to the top.
All the movement skills are put to the test climbing on Cannon. Cracks, faces, loose shattered rock, wildy exposed moves as one works back and forth along the 600ft ridge climb. The Whitney Gilman Ridge can make one feel like they are climbing in the Alps.
The final pitch – Steve jamming and liebacking the final corner to the top.
The descent – snow and ice again?
Micro spikes on the Guide Tennies was the ticket home.
Steve and MMG guide Alex blasting home on the return.
Steve has come to New Hampshire many times to climb with MMG. This trip was one of the finest, it was
full of SERF – Surprises, Educational, Rewards, Fun time for all.
Thanks to Steve – for this amazing three day sampler.
Movement – a core skill on the rocks, in the mountains, on the ice.
All climbers strive for exceptional movements on the stone. The precise movements in the vertical realm require a great deal – a calm focused mind, agility and flexibility, a well tuned body and positive mental drive all are needed to advance up the wall. It may sounds easy but I can assure you its not. Hours into days of specific training and practice sessions help one maintain a high level of climbing. To advance into to the next level specialize training sessions are a must.
Motion – a body in motion should remain in motion.
Right now is exciting time spring is here and it the time to rock climb – develop new projects and advance. Motion is needed to keep us on task. Frequent runs and walks are helpful for the cardio and certainly known to be an effective way to start each day. The pace of the day is set with a light and fast tone when I start with a motion exercise in the am.
Guidance – help and advice to reach the higher level.
Whether it be climbing or yoga I need guidance to break through plateaus. Yoga has become a necessary part of life for me. Practice on and off the mat yoga is helping prevent injuries through breathing exercises, flexibility, balance, power and mindfulness.
During this past month Terry and I took on a more focused spring training project. Each day we start with movement in the form of early morning walks and/or runs. The main part of the day is set aside for focused climbing sessions. Then many evenings find us at a variety of yoga studios being guided through Vinyasa sequences of all types.
Alyssa – grace and flexibility on the stone.
Power, Balance, Alignment.
Reaching for the higher ground.
Footwork – standing right upon the front toes using the Five Ten Anasazi.
Ready for the move.
Calico Hills – Red Rocks.
These steep routes require the body to stay in motion. The fore arm pump comes on fast.
Mountain hikes and runs in the desert. Fast and light
Spring time is here – it is time to leave winter behind and get into gear.