This blog serves as a personal journal to document all my outdoor activities. It helps me keep track of all the places I've been to, things I've seen and done, and people that I've met along the way. But most of all, this blog serves to document my 'journey of climbing' and to inspire other women to climb, no matter what age!
My first day out on the rock and I met up with Jackie and Noah for some Mother's Day climbing in Killington, VT! This was our first time climbing at this roadside crag and we had it all to ourselves, except for the hikers. We met up in the Long Trail trailhead parking lot just across the street from the Inn at Long Trail. Took the hiker's trail to the top of Deer Leap Mountain, and then hiked down a side trail to the base of the climbs of the Main Cliff - Left End. We set up top rope anchor on a set of anchors at the top of the Toot Route (5.7) and climbed the route-starts off The Monkey (5.8), Center Crack (5.7) and Turkeyland (5.8). The rock felt really good, sticky...even the quartz was sticky! Cool-to-cold temps kept the bugs away and on our way out, we hiked down the climber's trail passing the climbs of the Lower Tier. Enjoy some photos of our day climbing at Deer Leap crag. And thanks, Jackie & Noah for the photos and your help and support for my "Turning 60 and Climbing About It" project!
Jackie on Turkeyland (5.8 PG13)
Noah starting up "The Monkey" and onto "Center Crack"
The Deer Leap Mountain Summit End of maintained trail - from here we descended to the left
And hiked past this face which I think is the "Upper Tier"
At the base of the Main Cliff - Left End Looking into "The Pit" (not really a good photo of the pit)
Start of Off Width (5.6)
The Long Trail trailhead parking lot from the base of the Main Cliff - Left End
Descending along the Climber's Trail Yes, it is steep
I think this is the Lower Tier area which is accessed via the Climber's Trail
Bringing Jackie up the 1st pitch of Parasol Gully (me in the bright green pants)
Looking up at Parasol Gully (WI2+) from the pullout, we had no idea if the ice was good. In fact, I was actually skeptical. But Jackie said, "let's go take a walk up there and check it out." And so we did. And I'm so glad that we did. I can certainly understand why this route would be on the list of the top 10 ice climbs in New Hampshire. The climbing is fun, straight-forward. And the views of the notch from along the route are gorgeous! We even bumped into Nick and Isa who climbed a couple of laps on the route.
This climb was a little over 3.5 hours drive from my home in Massachusetts. So I opted to stay overnight in Colebrook. I had dinner and breakfast at the Wilderness Restaurant on Main Street. I stayed at the Colebrook Country Club Motel (not a country club) and although the rooms are very dated, the room was clean, it was very quiet at night and the staff was very friendly and helpful.
All in all, it was a pretty damn stellar day for climbing. Certainly can't complain about mid-April, spring ice climbing! Thanks, Nick for the photos - it was great to finally meet you and Isa while out climbing. And thanks, Jackie for the photos and your help and support for my "Turning 60 and Climbing About It" project - at this point, I'm more than halfway to my 60-pitch climbing goal!
We ended up skipping the ramp of the 1st pitch and scrambled off to the right, through the snow section and to a couple of trees to get our harness and gear on.
From there we scrambled up to the edge of the ice and started the climb.
On our way out we followed Nick and Isa's bootprints. Jackie took this photo of Nick and Isa on their 2nd lap up.
....and then we did the butt slide down to the parking. The End.
Besides my #Turning 60 & Climbing About It project, I also ticked off another bucket list item this year! I have never had any desire to ski, but this year that all changed when my youngest granddaughter took up snowboarding at a nearby ski learning center. Plus, I couldn't resist the "Learn To Ski" deals! I signed up for 3 lessons at Mt. Sunapee Resort and fell in love! It was easier than I thought it would be. The balance on skis is very similar to the balance on ice skates - plus it was super fun! Like climbing, I wished I learned this sport sooner. But really glad to have another winter sport to love, spend money on, and get stoked about.
Felt great to finish off the week of climbing with a climbing lesson with Tino! I try to get in at least one lead climb a week whether it's outdoor or indoor climbing. It definitely helps to keep a lead head! We worked on "Sloper" holds and I realized that certain body techniques used are very similar to the body techniques used in crack climbing. On my lead lesson, I really love that instead of just clipping my rope into the quickdraws, I get to place the quickdraws! Indoor climbing gyms already have quickdraws set on the lead routes so that the lead climber just clips into them. But since I'm having a lead climbing lesson, Tino will make sure to get me on a route where there are no quickdraws. That way I get to place the quickdraws as well as clip my rope into them - so much more interesting and enjoyable!
During my crack climbing lesson, I found the slightly overhanging, upper section of the crack to be easier than in the past lessons. And so is reading the crack to see the right places for good hands and feet jams. But I felt insecure about some of my jams. "Not all jams will feel totally secure", says Tino. I feel defeated. "Don't worry, you can do this....just climb past the jam", he says. He's right and I am hopeful! Embrace crack climbing!
We took a look at Willey's Slide from the road and although there was blue ice, there was a lot of snow on the left and bottom of the slide. Plus it was super windy. So Nuno and I opted to check out Frankenstein Ice. Good choice - we stuck to the sheltered Lost In the Woods area. We hiked up to the base of the ice cliffs and there were a pair just finishing up. I led the right side of Lost In The Woods (WI2) and set up a top rope anchor, and Nuno and I climbed a couple of laps. Since the left side was full of snow, we just climbed laps on the center and right sides. Then I led the right side of Drip In The Woods (WI4) and set up a top rope anchor so we could finish up on the steep curtain. Warm, lots of sun and a good day for ice climbing! Thanks, Nuno for your help and support for my "Turning 60 and Climbing About It" project - at this point, a little more than halfway to my 60-pitch climbing goal!
Met up with Brandie to climb at the North End of Cathedral today. We parked at the intersection of Cathedral Ledge and Chapel roads and walked in. We got up to the base of Thresher with the intent for me to lead a quick climb. But with too much fresh snow, I bailed after placing the first piece of pro - so much work clearing the snow in order to look for a good placement. There was a guide and his group of clients at the North End Slab so we headed over. They had just finished up and was climbing at the Pillars. There was a lot of snow on the slab, but I knew there was a trail where the guide and his clients went up so I could follow. I got up about 4 feet past my first piece of pro when I realized that my right crampon had popped off. I'm all about downclimbing but when I placed my crampon-less foot in a pocket it slipped out. I looked over at Brandie and said: "I'm going to fall if I continue to downclimb." So I put in a piece of pro and had Brandie lower me so I could put my crampon back on and continue climbing. So much snow, but it was such a gorgeous day! Afterward, Brandie and I had (Poke) lunch at Delaney's Hole In the Wall.
It was Brandie's first time on ice this season and her first time ice climbing at Cathedral Ledge. We parked at the intersection of Cathedral Ledge and Sanctuary Roads and walked in. I was going to lead Brandie up the North End Slab but there were two guides with their clients. So instead, I set up a top rope anchor and we did laps on the North End Pillars. It was super windy on the drive up to North Conway, but being well-sheltered, the North End was free of wind. It was also quite warm, perfect! A mellow, relaxing day for getting in some ice climbing laps. Thanks, Brandie for your help and support for my "Turning 60 and Climbing About It" project! ❤️
North End Pillars
From the top of North End Pillars
Brandie left. Guide Dave Lottmann in the red jacket
Ice climbed at Kinsman Notch today. Only our group of 5 and another group of 5 climbing here today and after leading Leprechaun's Lement, I know why. Super.hard.ice. Gotta admit, it was a lot harder to lead than I expected. But it was still a stellar day to be outdoors and climbing. It was good to finally meet up and climb with Catherine, Kristen and Steve!
1 lead and 3 top ropes down....47 more pitches to go! Thanks to Jeni for her help and support. ❤️