Archive for February, 2017

Another February Jammer Day

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017
Tom on Provando's Direct third pitch

Tom on Provando’s Direct third pitch

Having just pushed over 700’ of ice climbing each of the two previous days, I still couldn’t pass up heading to the Jammer Wall on such a nice day as I awoke to on Wednesday. Calling Tom, we arranged to meet up there. I would provide the rope, he the rack. Racing through a minor amount of housework, I was soon on my way. (more…)

Two Visits to Pitchoff North

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017
The top pitch possibilities of Screw & Climbaxe

The top pitch possibilities of Screw & Climbaxe

Day One

With a forecast spelling doom for North Country’s ice season, JB’s second day out options were limited. The remaining reliable sanctuaries of ice left in the Adirondacks would be busy places this day, so we had to decide where to go and get there early. JB’s choice: Pitchoff North. (more…)

Premature Expectations

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

Saturday morning, the sun shone unhindered from a cloudless bluebird sky. I packed my regular winter gear, but stuffed a pair of rock shoes in as well, thinking to break trail to the Jammer Wall. We’ve had a lot of snow over the last three weeks, gradually building from a few crusty old inches left from January to over a foot and a half on the ground. I knew the trek would be difficult, but this sudden warmth made me too antsy to sit around. Shortly after 9a, I was on my way.

Looking up at the Animal Charm Wall in February 2017

Looking up at the Animal Charm Wall in February 2017

It may be early yet. (more…)

Snowstorm Hike Take Two

Monday, February 13th, 2017
Nathan nears the top of the Access Slot

Nathan nears the top of the Access Slot

Almost ten years ago, Nathan and I hiked up Crane Mountain in a snowstorm. With a wild nor’easter ripping around the mountain on his birthday, this seemed like a good weekend to reenact that adventure. (more…)

Blue Mountain Ice

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017
Jason starts out leading the Blue Mountain Ice

Jason starts out leading the Blue Mountain Ice

…nothing that you’d travel for.

Thus spake the master; and he is write, er, right. The ice along the Tirrell Pond trail listed in Blue Lines 2 won’t, and shouldn’t, draw a crowd. But for two intrepid ice-scratchers, it did provide a pleasant  amount of climbing surrounded by an even more pleasant forest setting. (more…)

Hoffman Notch Ice Climbing Trip 2017

Monday, February 6th, 2017
Steve heads up to the Trailside Wall

Steve heads up to the Trailside Wall

Hoffman Notch harbors a lot of ice. Outside of the traditional venues around Keene Valley and Lake Placid, this is probably the best climbing locale in the Park, with a lot of different flows to climb, a wide range of difficulty and style, and almost-guaranteed solitude. Other than the occasional skier passing by, a climbing party here will probably meet no one else.

The approach explains the lack of crowding: it is relatively long, two to two and a half miles; so the majority of ice-seekers will congregate elsewhere. But the trail leading in is easy and the time it takes – about an hour – passes quickly. It first enters a conifer woodlot, descends to cross the Branch, meanders through a sparsely-wooded floodplain, then heads into and up Hoffman Notch itself. The ascent is very gentle, with occasional gullies to cross or blowdown to circumvent; but nothing greatly hinders snowshoes and stout trekking poles. It would indeed make a great ski-through trip but for those obstacles. (more…)