Archive for December, 2010

Scoping Ice for New Year’s Day

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Took a walk to the Waterfall Wall this morning to see how things are developing. Good news: the Tempest side of the Waterfall is building. Soon, we will be able to climb a bit steeper ice on the starting pitch.

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The “normal” (i.e. easiest) route goes to the left. The Tempest variation climbs directly up the ice curtain.

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The Waterfall’s third pitch is fat enough to also provide more exciting climbing.

I climbed the first three pitches (admittedly, not taking the hard way), then followed the walk-off south until I could cut across to the base of the Slanting Cracks Wall. I hoped to find a feasible new route running up along the base of the steep cliff guarding access to the Black Arches Wall. There were a few possibilities, but nothing I felt confident soloing, so I continued, walking up along the cliff base, then cutting across the landslide area beneath the Pinnacle Overlook Block.

 While beside the Pinnacle, I stopped to take some pictures. First, looking over to the Isobuttress section of the BAW.

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The BAW Portal (3 – 4) is left of center, Isobuttress Left (2+) is to the longer one to its right.

Turning around, I snapped one into the sunlight, looking up at the South Corner Cliff. There’s some wild ice to climb there, but it looks pretty sun-baked in spots.

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Looking up at the South Corner Cliff’s abundant, but sun-baked, ice flows.

I reached the BAW path and began walking out, breaking off for awhile to climb up to Blueberry Ledge and have a look-see. Todd Paris’ route Mme. Blueberry may well yield a narrow, exhilirating ice route. I gave it a short stab, but deemed it a bit too much without a belay.

After that, it was time to head homeward. Having come around the lee of the mountain, a chill, steady breeze hurried me down and off the slopes, onto Sky High Road, and from there back to my house.

Casualties are Mounting

Friday, December 24th, 2010

We went up north yesterday. Climbed Roaring Brook Falls to start; Bruce had a grand time on that (hard not to). I tried pulling off the direct start of the first pitch, but the vertical wall was a chandeliered mass of unconsolidated ice a foot thick. Stemming wasn’t an option for a short guy like me. I could not reach the righthand wall, or at least mentally couldn’t face doing so across that watery chasm of death. Unable to go straight up, I finally worked out a tenuous traverse left onto the rock slab, hooking uncertain ice blobs in the brittle maze until I could turn the corner onto more reliable media.

Bruce followed speedily, and took over the forefront for the rest of the climb. He took the steep notch option in the central pitch (where folks usually walk around), then practically jogged up the last pitch, hardly pausing even at the top-out, where dry-tooling is necessary.

After walking down, we drove to Lake Placid to take care of some chores and say Hi to the hard-working crew at the Lake Placid Eastern Mtn. Sports store. The town was busy; ski season is in full swing I suppose, so we didn’t stay long. After taking care of business, we headed back out of town, winding away and down into Cascade Pass.

 Bruce wanted to familiarize himself with the Buster area, partly to be better prepared for guiding it, and partly just to have some fun. We just missed getting the prime real estate, Buster itself, to ourselves, beat out by a guide and his charges, but no matter. We looked over the approach (a good place to practice crampon technique), then wandered right, past the next little flow to the last of the trio of WI2 options in that group.

A ridge of ice ran almost straight down near the center of this formation. It looked interesting, so Bruce roped up and set off to lead this “directissima” line. At first, all went well. Near the base, the ice was slightly crusted, but solid underneath. Above this however, it was wind-scoured and platey. At the midpoint, a short vertical wall, perhaps seven feet tall, blocked the way. Bruce stood up beside it, placed a screw, and then began working his way upward. The ice was terrible: it plated off in five and ten pound chunks mercilessly and repeatedly. A moment of adrenalized sketchiness ensued when, at the crucial moment, his left tool and both of his feet popped. For an instant, his right crampon tangled in the quickdraw of his pro, and I envisioned an upside-down hurtle onto the lower-angled ice below. But his right tool held, Bruce quickly regained his feet, his left axe, and his composure and, making one good heave, pulled through.

That was the only excitement on the climb; Bruce made it to the belay, and I cleaned the pitch for him. As I reached the belay, I noticed Bruce’s nose was bleeding. Neither of us had seen the cause of injury, and it wasn’t serious, so I forbade him cleaning it until I could snap a photo: 

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This is the second battle wound I’ve witnessed this season, the third one among ice climbers I know. And it’s early yet. Note to all: keep your face away from the tools!

Another Virgin Bites the Ice

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

The past few days have seen a flurry of never-evers taking their first whacks at ice, many of them (both the whacks and newbies) here on Crane Mountain’s Waterfall. Saturday, four freshmen had their inaugural swing, yesterday an EMS customer spent his second dayof ice climbing the entire line, and today Tom Lane and I finally had a match on the calendar.

Tom has made a splash on Crane’s rock scene this summer, with FAs of excellent lines like Oddy’s Crack of Horror, but until today he had never tried ice climbing. I figured that should be remedied ASAP, so with our schedules coinciding, we decided to head to the Waterfall. We got a late start, but figured we could make up time with rapid climbing and no dawdling at the belays.

In short order, we traipsed the half hour hike out, arranged our gear and ourselves, and began climbing. I led up, placing a screw or two along the way on the first pitch. Tom followed as if he had ice climbed for years, never once slipping, overlifting a heel, or popping a tool and, possibly assisted by extreme emphasis from his partner, never once smacking himself in the face with one, either.

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 Tom comes over the steep part of pitch one.

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Pretty good with those tools, already.

We moved onward, ascending the second pitch in a trice. Tom went from front-pointing to French technique, pied en canard  and piolet canne when the angle eased. It came pretty easily to him, apparently.

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As he anchored into the belay, I asked him the Big Question:

Wanna lead the next pitch?

OK, the third pitch is no great shakes, but keep in mind Tom had never laid hands on an ice tool before, had never placed an ice screw – hadn’t handled one before. I knew he was good, cool-headed, and efficient on the sharp end of a rope, of course, and his performance below was easily good enough to do much harder than the short stretch of WI2- ahead. Without hesitation, Tom jumped at the chance. I handed him two screws, pointed out where they would best go, and he set off for higher ground.

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Tom sets off on his first ice lead, pitch 3.

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Tom places his first ice screw.

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The sun came out briefly as Tom led his pitch.

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He’s liking this ice thing!

 Tom was his usual efficient leading self, despite the newness of the medium. He tied off to a handy tree and belayed me up. We sorted gear and coiled the rope, then walked the “fourth pitch,” a couple hundred feet of hiking to the base of the fifth pitch. This one is also pretty easy, but it is doggone sparsely protected. One can get a screw in about six feet off the ground, after that it’s a 35′ run-out to the next opportunity. I decided maybe Tom could lead this some other day.

We climbed the sketchy pitch and belayed in the shadow of the final, steep pitch. It’s a toughie; I only just climbed it without a top-rope last year. I’m not feeling in tip-top shape just yet, but decided to give it a try. Without going into detail, we managed the feat, though I can’t claim to have done it without some trepidation and whimpering. I belayed Tom up, and he came steadily, without a fall – but he did lose points for dropping an ice screw along the way. Still, WI4-, no falls, first time out: that’s impressive.

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Past the worst difficulties, Tom moves up to the last pro before topping out.

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High above the valley, Tom concentrates on each placement of the thinning finish ice on the final pitch.

The ice wanes at the top of the pitch, presenting a bit of sketchy travel to finish the trip. There’s enough for climbing, it’s just sparingly laid out, and once again, protection isn’t an option. We sorted gear and rappelled the pitch, then decided to walk off the rest, in order to look at a few other lines and one route that has been established.

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Fifi’s Frozen Fingers

The descent southward involves some steep, but walkable ramps, passing one excellent ice route along the way, Fifi’s Frozen Fingers, WI3+, a swathe of ice coating the rock route Fifi Fingers. Tom was duly impressed by this, but we didn’t have time to fire away at it today. That will have to wait until after New Years, when perhaps we can get together and do some more hard ice. Who knows? By then, Tom might be leading 4’s!

Cataract Brook Falls, Eleventh Mountain

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

No photos today: in my rush, I forgot the camera. Aargh! Hopefully, my partners in crime will post some of theirs on Facebook so I can steal ’em.

Couldn’t miss church today: big Christmas program. I love these things, especially since Robin & I don’t “direct” it anymore! The kids were wonderful, the Christmas message loud and clear. But the sun was shining outside and there were friends heading up the falls on Eleventh Mountain, a climb I’ve wanted to do ever since first seeing it more than 15 years ago. When the closing bells rang, I trotted to my car, said good-bye to Ra, and sped northward to Route 8.

Turning south (west? southwest is most accurate), I drove past Baker’s Mills toward the Thirteenth Lake trailhead. Quizzically, this lies in the shadow of Eleventh Mountain. A long bushwhack northeast leads to the base of the obvious falls visible as one passes the old farmhouse surrounded by stony pasture. Look for it before attempting the bushwhack, and mark carefully any signs you can for the correct cirque.

Once in the main creekbed, it’s not hard to pick the main flow, just follow the widest ice. I came upon the brook well below any technical sections, and tromped upward rapidly, trying to catch up with the gang. I had spied them as I drove by, already halfway up the flow; so I had to hurry.

I dropped my pack alongside theirs just below the first technical flow, a short WI2 step of about 15′. A stretch of grade 1 walking led to another steep spot that I zig-zagged up the easiest parts of, and in turn another, slightly steeper, easy bit led up around a bend to the first significant pitch. Climbing up this, the familiar bark of Mammut announced my presence and signified mine to the group standing below the first grade 3 section. Kevin (on his second ice climbing day ever), Val, Mike P., Mike G, and Worth were working out a few ways around or over this wall.

I joined the fun, climbing up an easy bit, then moving to the base of a fine-looking flow issuing from a rock notch about 20′ up. A rope was offered, and screws, too; I accepted them all and climbed up wonderful sticky ice, a bit soft from the sunshine, but comfortable enough with a piece or two for good luck. A swathe of level ice between the top of this and one more short, steep bit, and that last a bit thin as well: I sniffed out enough ice to get me up it and slung a tree for belay.

Soon we were all on this fine bench, surveying the next blockade: a sun-rotted vertical rampart bounded on the right by a pasty-white cleft. I took one swing at the steepest part and backed away: my pick sank to the handle and easily tore through the slushy, sun-baked goo. I moved left and availed myself of more solid, easy ice in a low-angle gap replete with perfect ice steps.

A stout little spruce offered belay potential at the top of the easy-angled stretch above the rampart, so I belayed Worth and Val up, then Worth took over the station while Val and I explored the remaining flow. All of about 8′ of it, as it turned out: just above one last sketchy bit, the creek wandered into the dense spruce forest typical of the Eleventh Mountain upper plateau. We wandered around in the thickets awhile, looking for signs of other potential climbing venues, but got nothing for our efforts other than an occasional dumping of light, frigid snow down the back of our jackets. Out of the sunshine, it was definitely cold.

Speaking of which, we now had seven of us (Todd had also caught up with the group shortly after I did) high on the side of the mountain, and it was almost 3 o’clock. It would take awhile to descend. After rigging the first rappel anchor, we began that process, thankfully with Worth’s double ropes, making each pitch close to 200′ long.

It was very close to headlamp time when the last of us exited the woods, but no one complained. One more wonderful day on ice, here in the Adirondacks.

Zeroeth Annual Crane Ice Fest

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

When Saturday looked to be a day off, I suggested to a bunch of climbing cronies that a day on Crane Mountain’s Waterfall Wall would be a good thing to do. At 9am sharp this morning, a squadron of vehicles pulled into the driveway: the stars aligned and a whole lot of people were able to attend the occasion.  Val & Kevin, Bruce, Neil, Mike P. & Cheryl, Mike G., and Jaysen packed into our humble abode and began sorting gear for the event. It took awhile to organize ourselves enough to begin marching. Work had made it impossible to break trail the day before, but fortunately there wasn’t a lot of snow on the ground yet. With nine people tromping through the woods, we were certain to make it easy to follow, a good thing since one more person would be joining the party later.

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Gearing up at the base of the Waterfall Wall.

Arriving at the base of the Waterfall, it was obviously fine for climbing, though not as fat as I had hoped. No ice adorned the steep crack of The Tempest, which would have made an excellent WI3+ line if it had; but otherwise, the flow looked wide enough to hold two ropes easily and a third without much overlap. People began donning harnesses and helmets, and Neil, ever-psyched for good ice, was soon pecking away at the left verge. I headed toward the right edge and began climbing. Neil reached the belay ledge and brought up Mike P. as I neared the top, which cleared the way for Bruce to add another rope to the collection.

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This has to be a first: three leaders setting out on the Waterfall!

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Captured on (virtual) film: the author leading the Waterfall. Photographer: Kevin Heckeler

I set a TR for the newbies, which we had four of today: Kevin, Jaysen, Cheryl, and Chris (the late arrival) were here to swing their first ice tools. Jaysen geared up and took his first run, then Cheryl gave it a go, by which time Chris had arrived and could tie in. In the meantime, Kevin followed Bruce for his first ice route.

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Chris takes his first whack at ice climbing.

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Bruce finishes leading the second pitch, avec sweet new tools.

After getting the freshmen inducted, Bruce, Jaysen, and I headed up the second pitch. I had spied a series of steep cascades about 200 yards north of the Waterfall, but being uncertain as to how hard they might be, wanted to TR them first: way too early to try leading hard stuff. We reached the top of the Waterfall’s second pitch, then walked north along a bench, dropped down along a large right-facing rock corner, and traversed farther north to an obvious drainage gully running down to an abrupt drop. Grabbing a tree and craning out for a look, I could see ice, could tell it was steep, but couldn’t get any detailed information beyond that. Setting an anchor on the tree, I began rappelling down. In moments, it was obviously not the best position to work with. Ice ran down a nearly vertical face for about fifteen feet, then hung across a huge overhang, with only a few emaciated threads touching the ground another fifteen feet lower. To the right, a pillar, firmly planted in the ground, offered more realistic amusement, so Bruce and Jaysen shifted the belay before joining me.

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Jaysen works steep ice with vintage equipment. Love those fuschia boots!

We commenced doing battle with this short, pumpy flow. Jaysen was the first to find out how different climbing really steep ice is. He made it to the top, then Bruce and I took our turns flaming our grips. It was great fun, an excellent contrast to the relaxed climbing of the Waterfall, and it had turned out to be pretty easy to get to, as well.

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Bruce styles his way up the pillar.

We were however, still quite high above the base of the mountain. Our large ledge sloped down to yet another short, steep wall, with another glint of ice, just out of range of inspection. We affixed another anchor and rappelled down, inspecting the steep pasting of ice as we descended. Reaching a functional ledge, we set a belay and once again prodded the acolyte into tying in first. Jaysen worked hard, made it up, but those gripping muscles weren’t used to this prolonged exertion, and since it was growing late anyway, he lowered straight down after topping out and headed back toward the Waterfall. Bruce took a run, climbing well all the way back up; then pulled the belay and rappelled down.

We wound through the talus back to the Waterfall. No one was there. Several packs remained; two were ours, but it looked like Val & Mike G, who had set out to climb the entire Waterfall, were still somewhere above us. My rope was still on TR, so Bruce belayed me while I ran up to see if I could spot them. Sure enough, they were just arriving as I topped out, having done the whole enchillada. They stowed their rope, we rappelled on my line, and we packed up in fading light.

Bruce & I headed out a bit ahead of Val & Mike, plodding the long trek home (why does it seem farther coming out than going in?). The last ten minutes should have had headlamp assistance, but we managed it without serious injury, and soon entered the woodstove-warmth of home. Jaysen and Kevin were relaxing inside, and a few moments later, the last of the day’s climbers joined us. Gear was sorted, wet clothes removed and dry ones put on. We chatted awhile about the day’s events, then everyone that wasn’t already there headed for their homes.

Ten of us, including several beginners, managed a day of ice climbing with minimal organization and planning. No one got hurt: no frostbite, nobody got lost, no parties benighted on that dark and windswept mountainside. Everyone had a good amount of “climb-time” and a good time in general. That makes it a perfect day of climbing.

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Neil tutors Cheryl on the finer points of ice climbing.

Waterfall Wall Tomorrow!

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Third December:

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Ninth December:

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I suspect that, a few days later, that pesky warm spell made it look similar to the former photo once more. However, the mercury plunged Monday afternoon and remained in the depths for days. I’m confident tomorrow’s venture will be a whiter one, and more solid still, than my first run up it. It looks like a group excursion with six or so people, so it should be a lot of fun. Tomorrow, we get to see the flow avec snow!

With a large group, we may even look around for new ice, maybe even tackle a new project…

Burlington, VT Trip

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

No pictures again!

Robin & I took a run up to Burlington, in part to assuage Ra’s traveling addiction, and in part to drop in on Jamie McNeill’s workplace and have a look around. My vast network of travel-savvy friends and natives (i.e. Bruce Monroe, and the aforementioned Jamie) told me the city was a nice place to visit, walk the streets, and shop around.

We didn’t expect a sea-change in weather when we first planned the trip. At this time of year, you take whatever weather you get, and we got a lot of it. The temperature was mild to start, but rising winds hinted at on oncoming switch. It was still raining when we arrived in Burlington, but snow was already mixing in as we pulled into the parking garage. The wind carried a cutting edge now, so we bundled up before heading outside.

Church Street is a pedestrian thoroughfare, with occasional vehicular traffic crossing through at the intersections. A mix of privately-run and corporate businesses line each side of the street, and near the center, a mini-mall provides a respite out of the weather. Robin and I wandered through jewelry stores, kitchen stores, Christmas shops, and clothiers, our atypical tastes finding enough assortment to keep us interested, then we came to the Outdoor Gear Exchange Seasonal Outlet. Being related to my friend’s place of employ, we stepped in and browsed awhile before asking after the main store. The “Mother Ship”, as it is described, lies up the road a piece, on Cherry Street. Looking around this temporary extension, it was clear we were in for a treat later.

Travel had taken a wee longer than expected, so we were hungry. However, we didn’t want to stop and dine just yet, and we were at that point in Christmas shopping where the outflow starts to strangle the bankroll, if you know what I mean. In short, we needed a quick, cheap spot of food. Fortunately, a tattered gift card matched a nearby Starbucks (thank you, Mom!), and we soaked up some hot caffeine while sharing a small breakfast sandwich, decent if unremarkable, and satisfying enough to carry us another few hours without pinching the account at all.

Ra wandered an Old Navy store while I ran back to move the car. We hadn’t looked at the parking rates, but that pesky account thing made me a pinchpenny. The first two hours are on Burlington; after that the current rate is $1 per half hour. This isn’t bad, but one can circumvent the bill by shuffling in and out regularly, and while the place gets pretty full, there is usually a space to be found somewhere.

Rejoined, we trekked up to the “Mother Ship” for a looksee. And what a place it is. This is Outdoor Gearhead Paradise: new, used, demo; if it’s outdoor stuff you dream about, then you’ve got to visit this store. Give yourself plenty of time to wander the aisles and mingle with the crowd of enthusiastic fellow adventurers that I suspect must always be there. Something like three days should do it.

We spent over an hour in there before our stomachs finally drove us out again, seeking real food. It was pressing close to 3:30; we found out that many of the diners and cafes nearby close at 3. Fortunately, Henry’s Diner, lying just down the hill on Bank Street, remained open until 4, so we slipped in under the wire. A good thing, too: Ra had one of the best and biggest Sourdough BLTs we’ve ever seen, and I had a wonderful little cheeseburger and fries. The waitress was friendly and unhurried despite our late arrival, and no one complained when I disappeared briefly to do that car-shuffling thing once more.

Having satisfied our hunger, we went back to the streets. Now, everything was covered in snow, and the snow covered a skim-ice that made walking adventurous. The evening plans were definitely going to change. We ran back to Outdoor Gear Exchange to try on a pair of boots and chat briefly with Jamie. After a short visit, Jamie had to get back to work and we had to consider our options.

We knew what was going on outside would make the drive home more interesting than either of us cared to ponder, so we couldn’t stay. Plans to visit the local indoor rock gym would have to await another day. Robin and I walked to the car, a tad too late to avoid donating one dollar to the Burlington parking cause, and proceeded homeward, driving across back streets muffled in snow until we finally connected with Route 7 and joined the masses exiting the city. It would be a long, tense drive home, but we made it safely; now all we have to do is get another chance to go back and spend a real day wandering that fantastic store…

That Peculiar Gift of Ice

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

It began in late November, early for this neck of the woods, but a several-day swathe of clammy rain undid the early buildup. Ice I climbed on my initial foray fell and the ground became saturated with a warm soup, rather than a moderate snowfall. The latter is preferable: it provides a continuous, gradual supply of meltwater and shade blanket for the flows that, around here at least, mostly face sunward. Instead, it rained, washing all the ice away and storing a thermal surplus that took a week of bitter cold weather to empty.

We rushed out the next weekend, hoping to find decent ice, but all was thin and still loosely connected, underlain by sheeting water wherever good runoff could be found, and not thick enough for safe passage on less-damp areas. We had fun, scraping our way up scary-thin, poorly-pasted films of ice, but it had to be on TR.

Along with two partners, I made an annual trek to the High Peaks area for a nighttime bout of ice climbing. With Charlie D. and Jason B., we drove up to Crystal Ice Tower and, after spending an inordinate amount of time finding the anchor, top-roped it twice each. Six headlamp-assisted runs on that thin line guaranteed us noteriety amongst our fellow ice brethren: we left the scene, replete with a much-mutilated Ice Tower, as evidence of our visit. With continuing cold temps and no precip in the forecast, that devastation would no doubt remain for the weekend crowd to view.

Work and such kept me busy, but I did get out to the Waterfall Wall (aka The Eastern Waterfall) on Crane last Thursday, and it was finally good enough to climb. Weather was sunny but chilly cold, and I felt the beginnings of a bug coming on, so I didn’t dawdle; just climbed the first three pitches and walked off. I was content to be outside, finally poking thick ice instead of blunting my tools on rock. It looked like a great season had begun.

The forecast held steady, cold until the weekend. Yesterday, guiding season opened for the Lake Placid EMS. I spent the day with two wonderful guys, learning the basics on Buster, then taking the lessons learned and applying them to the steeper venue of Crystal Ice Tower. We had a blast, calling it a day just before needing headlamps for our exit.

Now the forecast is calling for rain this afternoon, followed by yet another cold snap. I keep thinking of the ice out there, forming, falling, reforming. Not sure when one could say the real season begins. Was it back on my earliest scratch up that meagre ‘cicle on Wedding Cake? Or is it yet to be, only official when the ice forms and stays awhile? It got me thinking about the myriad fickle ways of water.

I teach science in my spare time (so to speak), and one fact that spans all the high school curriculum is water’s peculiar place among the common compounds of Earth. Unlike most molecules, its densest form (here on Earth) is liquid, a tad above freezing; not particularly interesting until you realize that, save for this property, ice would sink rather than coating over bodies of water. We would have to canoe across Chapel Pond to climb Chouinard’s Gully, at least until the entire pond froze through. And those flows of ice we climb? Most of them would be covered in seepage all winter long, the ice lying under a chilly stream or worse, hidden deep within rock fissures.

It also takes a lot of energy to change state. As one of my climbing buddies (an Earth Science teacher in his spare time) reminded me, it takes the same amount of energy to turn 32-degree ice into 32-degree water as it does to heat that liquid from 32 degrees to 112 degrees. While it works against us in the opening months of ice season, this is the fact that allows a late March charge to the North Face of Pitchoff for one last swing.

Ice is also incredibly resistant to solar radiation – a lot of the solar radiation it receives gets bounced back into the atmosphere – so we’re afforded even more late season time for frolicking on the vertical stuff. What doesn’t get reflected generally passes through to the underlying rock, which admittedly makes some lines scary carapace climbs, but also supplies the remelt that heals pickmarks, screwholes, and clubber pockets (those big divots nervous climbers excavate with their crampons).

An amazing molecule, indeed.

So I’m sitting here in my house, warm, cozy, and sick (that bug finally caught up with me), watching the snow fall outside. The forecast still says rain this afternoon. That will no doubt make things dicey for awhile, but I’m thinking this time, the initial blanket of snow will house a lot of the energy the later rain brings. That should somewhat neutralize the shift back into ice by expending it to become water today, instead of storing that energy in ground water. The cold returns with a vengeance Monday night, so the ice should quickly return to its former glory.

And all those toolmarks will be gone! 

Brief Return to Rock, Ice Reforming

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Tom and I went out along the SE face of Crane today in hopes of doing some ice climbing. It was not to be, the rains and warmish temps of earlier this week took it all.

However, we were fortunate enough to get to the BAW and find it dry. With enough sunshine to keep our hands warm, we made the best of the situation, and climbed the original line of Full Recovery.

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I can’t complain about another chance to get on rock, though I do wish I had been more motivated early this morning. I could have sent that one last project…but hey, it’ll be there.

After a speck’o’rock, we wandered down to have a look at cliffs lower along this side of the mountain. Eventually we came to the Waterfall Wall, where I was hoping to see fast-building ice. Alas:

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So it may be awhile yet before we’re running up this Crane Mountain classic. Oh well, I’ll either accomplish some way-overdue chores, or blow them off some more and join the gang scrounging for ice in the High Peaks area tomorrow.

We did see some fantastic potential projects for next year. No surprise there, the mountain is chockful of cliffs.