Archive for January, 2016

Moose Inspection

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016
Looking up the slopes of Moose Mountain from low on the side of Burnt Mtn.

Looking up the slopes of Moose Mountain from low on the side of Burnt Mtn.

I’ve been up on and around this mountain a handful of times in the past two decades. Always it seems I am just out of sight of something significant. With a day off and nobody to play with, I decided to take one more look.

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First Trip to Starbuck Avec Comparison Pix

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016
Paul on the early thin ice of Dark Roast

Paul on the early thin ice of Dark Roast

In the flurry to post several late entries, I missed a couple, one of which was mentioned in another article in the batch put out yesterday – but not published itself. Hence this late addition. In order to lend some true usefulness to this tardy edition, photos taken on our last trip are included for comparison. Likely, conditions are even better now.

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Starbuck with Steve

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016
Steve climbs the thin smear lying along the right edge of O'Ryan's Belt

Steve climbs the thin smear lying along the right edge of O’Ryan’s Belt

With a serious thaw between, I should add. The ice at Starbuck has rebounded well from the New Year’s thaw, and was better than ever when Steve O and I passed through last Thursday.

We were able to set up TRs and run down the line, right to left, skipping only Cool Beans. I managed to get up five runs, Steve made six, before our arms were shot and our time run out. That makes close to 350’ of steep ice for me, about 400’ for Steve, all in less than five hours car-to-car. Starbuck has certainly turned into a good choice for time-limited ice days.

We began on O’Ryan’s Belt, which has yet to see a lead; not surprising, since the pro would be sketchy at best. The initial ten feet is extremely sketchy, almost naked slab. Realistically, it’s the crux of the route, though the ensuing thirty feet to a first possible – and none-too-good – ice screw doesn’t seem easy, either. The small comfort of the bolt above the bottom slab wouldn’t help for long, though it might be backed up by a cam or sling in the slot above it, for an additional three feet of safety. In any case, we chose, like everyone else so far, to rely on a rope from above.

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Tracking the Waterfall Wall

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016
The Waterfall Wall as of the 17th January 2016.

The Waterfall Wall as of the 17th January 2016.

Two thaws but still doable. I went out Sunday afternoon and climbed three pitches. From my high point, it looked plausible to at least TR the top pitch of the climb, and the penultimate pitch looked climbable still. Fifi’s Frozen Fingers is still up, or up again perhaps. I guessed that Providence would be too wet to climb Sunday, but with this week’s cold snap, that will change. This coming weekend may be the prime time to get on that one.

Still plenty of windows on the water.

Still plenty of windows on the water.

First Jaunt with Friends

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016
Matt Wood coming up pitch 1 of the Waterfall Wall

Matt Wood coming up pitch 1 of the Waterfall Wall

Paul C, Matt W, and I ran up the entire Waterfall Wall on Saturday the tenth of January. A thaw was forecast and already beginning to be felt as we finished up the day.

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2015 Climbing Year in Review

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

Ice on the Early Side – Ditto for Late

There is little to tell about ice climbing in the January – March side of 2015. For various reasons, I would only climb ice a total of 11 times, so I wasn’t in on a lot of the action. I was able to direct many folks to the pleasantries of the Waterfall Wall, Fifi’s Frozen Fingers, and Providence, so Crane didn’t get left out in the cold (pun intended)

Lukasz on an early top-rope run of his project Polish Roast, which he led successfully early in 2015. Congratulations!

Lukasz on an early top-rope run of his project Polish Roast, which he led successfully early in 2015. Congratulations!

The lone bright light in an otherwise dim FA season is Lucas Czyz’ send of his longtime project, Polish Roast. At M7, it is one of the more difficult mixed routes in the Southern Adirondacks.

The Big Split as Lukasz approaches the finish line of Polish Roast. The hardest climbing lies just before reaching the ice.

The Big Split as Lukasz approaches the finish line of Polish Roast. The hardest climbing lies just before reaching the ice.

The Late-Year Ice season did not exist for 2015. Warm temperatures remained well after Christmas, with never a long-enough cold spell to form sane quantities of ice.

The Waterfall Wall as it looked on New Year's Day, never having iced up enough in December to climb.

The Waterfall Wall as it looked on New Year’s Day, never having iced up enough in December to climb.

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