Providence (in the state of Crane)

Not the Rhode Island one. Val and Todd braved the apocalyptic forecast for the day and came out to play on Crane. We took one quick lap up the Tempest variation of the Waterfall Wall, then trudged up to Providence for a go at it.

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Leading up the first pitch.

Jason Brechko and I made the same slog in 2006 for the first winter FA of this rock climb/ice route, and I’ve been itching to have another go ever since. When Tom Lane and I stumbled upon two guys climbing it last Friday, I was flumoxed – here were two guys I did not know, snagging the 2A of the line, without even knowing its name! We chatted awhile, and it turns out they were visiting the area, had flipped through Lawyer & Haas’ Adirondack Rock looking for climbing areas that might ice up. The Waterfall Wall sounded like the ticket, so they came out to Crane and began searching for that. A bit off their mark, they had nevertheless found good ice, and paid it a fine compliment. That compliment and the way the line looked that day made the decision to climb there today easy.

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Val and Todd reaching the base of Providence.

The snow was letting off as we reached the base of the route, but it had done the damage. With no trace of the platform those two intrepid climbers had stomped out on Friday, we had to build our own, and wallow through a refreshed giant snow cone to reach the route’s start.

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Spindrift cascading down the Slanting Cracks Wall…

Conditions were nearly optimum: the ice was a bit brittle at the edges, but took good sticks in the middle. Of course, we’re talking a band of ice that in spots was only six inches wide, so accurate swings and gentle footwork were necessary. No screws down low: judging where the deep ice lay was difficult, and regardless, it was such a narrow band of ice I didn’t trust it; however, there were plenty of cam placements in the right wall along the way. Up higher, I was able to get a couple screws in before heading right to belay, with almost 200′ of rope to reach a stout oak tree.

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…and onto climbers trying to go up the route!

We continued up the second pitch, a much less glamorous affair of low-angle, thin and crunchy ice under snow to a brief blip of steep ice before the finish. This gave us the opportunity to go stare at the much more difficult venues awaiting the bravehearted up on the Black Arches Wall. Hopefully, tune in soon for tales of one or two of those…

Thanks to Todd for the great photos, and to both Val & Todd for coming up to climb today.

2 Responses to “Providence (in the state of Crane)”

  1. Bill says:

    Hey Guys! Looks like it was great fun and quite the workout! Gud on ya for getting out and getting it done. Been a bit lazy myself. Haven’t been out since before the holidays. Been too cold to climb or boulder. Inspired by reading of your outing I’m going to head out and do some solo aid Sunday. Always a bit of a grunt but at least is will get me out and on the rock.

  2. admin says:

    Good to hear from you, Bill. Do you chop ice at all? Can’t say this is the best season we’ve ever had – the snowpack makes getting to stuff arduous, and anything low-angled is a slog – but there’s plenty to be had in the Adks and Cats this year.
    Let me know how the Aid-outing goes. Any big trips planned for 2011?

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