Archive for February, 2016

Two Strikes

Thursday, February 25th, 2016
Two days' meandering yield no worthwhile climbing, but a pleasant short hike and a potentially fantastic ski trail

Two days’ meandering yield no worthwhile climbing, but a pleasant short hike and a potentially fantastic ski trail

During Presidents’ Week, friends and I did a little ice climbing and a lot of exploration. The following covers two day’s worth of near-fruitless searching for that “Next-Great” crag. Pictures are few, stunning discoveries none, but this is the way exploration goes.

(more…)

Ragged Mountain Rerun

Thursday, February 25th, 2016
View of Ragged Mountain from the west.

View of Ragged Mountain from the west.

Last Spring, Tom, Robin, and I took a walk south of Route 73 to look at some open rock I’d spied with the help of now-ubiquitous Web-based satellite mapping systems; these particular ones on Ragged Mountain. There are several such labeled lumps of stone in the Adirondacks; this specific one lies along the Short-Swing Trail as it curls around a large swamp and the side of the ridge where I’d seen the crag from my virtual perch in LEO. That day, our exploration detoured onto Bear Mountain, a lovely summit to be sure, but a total derailment of my original objective. We did spot cliffs up along Ragged’s western ridge, but from a distance, too far to judge their potential climbing value. We were by then too tired to go up and look. With the near-total lack of snow, and fluctuating mercury this winter, I laid plans to remedy that lack during Presidents’ Week.

(more…)

Outlet Falls 2016

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016
Jason leads up the left-side option of the Outlet's first pitch

Jason leads up the left-side option of the Outlet’s first pitch

For the first time since 2010, we climbed the entire Outlet Falls. Back then, I’d dragged Bruce Monroe with me, this time Jason Brechko made the trip.

(more…)

Afternoon at the Northeast Cascade

Monday, February 8th, 2016
Jay takes his turn up the corner.

Jay takes his turn up the corner.

A day after walking out to inspect conditions on Crane, I returned with friends for an brief afternoon run on the only feasible ice left on the mountain: the Northeast Cascade.

(more…)

Latest Crane Ice Report 6th Feb 2016

Saturday, February 6th, 2016

And it isn’t a good one. I packed enough gear to climb any casual ice that was in – which meant I took my gear for a walk today.

Waterfall Wall 6th Feb 2016: Not In

Waterfall Wall 6th Feb 2016: Not In

The photo looks better than it truly is: the thickest ice at the steep part of the Waterfall Wall is currently under current: there is water cascading along that sole thick swatch. The pitches above look even worse.

Having confirmed my suspicions, I continued NNE along the base of the mountain, to see if perhaps the NE Cascade is in.

NE Cascade: Barely Doable

NE Cascade: Barely Doable

It is, though barely. A way could be made up the easy right side, though my guess is there is no ice on the uppermost slab, so the route would have to bend right to escape.

The good news is, the left side of that cascade is in very well. While leading it may not be feasible, top-roping both the corner and the sheer face would be fine.

Steep options on the left of the NE Cascade are in fine condition

Steep options on the left of the NE Cascade are in fine condition

For those who might be tempted to walk even farther, the news is bad. I did go awhile longer, but everything I saw was out: Gem’n’I, Ramps (why bother anyway?), Three White Rappers are all no-go. I did not get in sight of Nightshade or Leap of Faith, but doubt they are in (the latter is definitely not in; I can see that from the road).

Fifi’s is probably in enough to top-rope. Tier Drops is not, By Golly Gully is not in (could probably hike up it with occasional tool-use and a lot of weaving to avoid bare slabs); in short nothing else is in.

NOTE: if you want to leave a response, email me first. If you are not sure of my email address, search around, you will probably find it. Or drop me a line from the Mountain project site.

New Routes 2015

Friday, February 5th, 2016

NEW ROUTES 2015

Bruce descends after the FA of "All Wet" the entire run, including the top pitch, of the Waterfall Wall.

Bruce descends after the FA of “All Wet” the entire run, including the top pitch, of the Waterfall Wall.

This summary has been a long time coming. Lots of new routes were put up in 2015, with a lot of people pitching in to get the jobs done. This season added several strong climbers to the parties digging for FA nuggets on Crane, and resulted not only a lot of new routes, but a marked increase in the difficulty of routes here.

(more…)

One Visit to Fifi’s Thus Far

Friday, February 5th, 2016
Paul Leads up the second pitch of Crane Mountain's Waterfall Wall

Paul Leads up the second pitch of Crane Mountain’s Waterfall Wall

On the 23rd of January, Paul and I climbed three pitches of the Waterfall Wall, then headed left to climb Provando. That route wasn’t in, so we walked back to Fifi’s, where another pair, Mike and Mike, were setting up to climb. We each borrowed a run up this before calling it a day.
Thus far, this is our only visit to this lovely flow. The weather of early 2016 has not been kind to SAdk Ice.

And our one and only chance so far this winter to climb Fifi's

And our one and only chance so far this winter to climb Fifi’s

So Wrong Feels So Right

Thursday, February 4th, 2016
Selfie looking straight down On the Fence

Selfie looking straight down On the Fence

ROCKCLIMBING on February 2nd. That just isn’t expected. I might go out on one of those rare, barely-possible days to prove a point, crazy as it seems. But to go out and have a great time, warm fingers, sunny views?! This winter has a few nice surprises up its sleeve.

(more…)

Castle Rock

Monday, February 1st, 2016
BlueMtn

View of Blue Mountain from Castle Rock

With a still-minimal snowpack, conditions are optimal for exploration, so this weekend, Ra and I headed for a small summit near Blue Mountain Lake. We were to find that, while still far from normal depth this winter, the snow around that part of the country is quite a lot deeper than our neck of the woods.

(more…)

Another Starbuck Run

Monday, February 1st, 2016
Steve powers up Banana Almond Bread

Steve powers up Banana Almond Bread

Another brief run to Starbuck awards us with even better ice, and this time some company joining in the fun. Tom, Steve, and I made a midweek trip to the now-familiar parking spot on the side of Route 28 and, after an extended delay (don’t ask), headed in to Starbuck Right once again.

(more…)