Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

I’m working on recovering the website, updating the guide page, and in general, fixing things that have been broken for a long time.
Note first of all, the change in address; if you’re reading this after a Google search, the new URL refers to what is now my only domain, – I’ve let all the others go, as they were doing nothing worthwhile any longer. So if you or someone you know is still looking at mtnsideview, look no more.

Secondly, I’m reviewing website editing software for managing my guide pages. So far, I’ve found nothing that really fits my desires. I’ve considered switching entirely over to a WordPress-managed structure, but for various reasons, this doesn’t satisfy. If you know of a software solution that: keeps it simple, uses straightforward HTML, is cheap, and can be run without an Internet connection (so I can edit offline and upload later), and doesn’t use a lot of bandwidth – specifically no broadband connection required – I’m interested.

Thirdly, I still climb, a lot. I’ve slowed down a bit since the heydays of 2008 – 2012, for various reasons, but I still get out frequently. I plan to use this blog to keep track of those excursions, as well as other, less vertical, activities.

As always, if you put in comments, let me know (email me if you know). Otherwise, they may not get posted.

A Day on Coney

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

Ra and I spent the Fourth of July wandering off-trail on Coney Mountain. Robin and I discovered this little mountain’s incredible scenery a couple years ago, and I’ve since brought some climbing buddies to explore its technical potential. We’ve been up the mountain this year already, hiking to the top with one of our daughters on a cloud-shrouded, damp day. This day’s foray was in some ways a make-up for our weather-blocked plans of that day, and also another stab at finding decent rock climbing there.

Robin making her way up pitch one of our Independence Day Route.

Robin making her way up pitch one of our Independence Day Route.


October Rambling

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Columbus Day weekend was one of the most colorful ever, with good weather from Saturday through Monday. We sandwiched a day at home on Crane with two traveling days.

View from Crane Mountain's Jammer Wall. The Isobuttress and Black Arch Arete are visible.

View from Crane Mountain’s Jammer Wall. The Isobuttress and Black Arch Arete are visible.


Southeast Flank Ice

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
The main routes along the Southeast Flank of Crane Mountain

The main routes along the Southeast Flank of Crane Mountain

I’ve consolidated, updated, and collated some ice data for Crane’s SE flank. Picture links to a larger image. This is not comprehensive.

1. Providence WI 3 M2 270′: probably the best ice climb on Crane. Ascends a narrow thread of ice in a giant left-facing rock corner. Bring a run of cams from C3s to #2 C4, and a few ice screws. Needs prolonged freezing temps to form. First pitch is 170′. Rappel to the base via three raps with a single rope, rappelling on the outside of the face at the top of the first pitch (there is no intermediate rap position inside the corner).

2. West Coast Connection (M4) and Fifi’s Frozen Fingers WI 3+ 80′: WCW runs up a thinly-glazed chimney system. Bring a #4 C4, just in case. FFF climbs the fat ice flow on the steep face. There is a pitch below these routes, consisting of short steep ice and large ledges.

3. Waterfall Wall WI 2 (with top pitches from WI 4 to M3) 800′: the other contender for best climb on Crane. 4 pitches of grade 2 ice, one nontechnical pitch, and options at the top wall between WI 3, 4-, or M3.

4. Tier Drops WI 4 M1 (with harder options) 125′: this short route ascends a boulder pile to reach a large ledge with a row of 20′ curtains above it. The left side is harder than the rightmost pillar.

5. By Golly Gully WI 2- 500′: This route is more an alpine adventure than ice climb, however there are options to either side along the way that bump up the challenge considerably. And it tops out beside a nice, flat viewpoint. This gully is a potential avalanche chute.

6. Northeast Cascade WI 2- 110′: While the right side is trivially easy, the left side sports strenuous corner or face climbing.


Catch-Up and Other Condiments

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Rock Season rushes along. I’m starting to get behind in covering the “goings-on hereabouts” so here is a brief summary of the past week or so. This doesn’t include a run to Fish Mountain, which (obviously) has its own post, nor Eagle Falls (ditto), and there is nary a mention of our trip (which I hope to cover in separate installments).

Ra tries out Val’s new route, Yodellaybackloon.

While Ra & I plied the waters of the Thousand Islands, Val came out to Crane and sent her project, the attractive right-facing corner right of Oddy’s Crack of Horror. She dubbed it Yodellaybackloon, it registers in at 5.6 and definitely wants big cams. Think everything from Camalot C4 size 1 to 5, maybe even six if you’re timid on the sharp end. Ra & I climbed it on Saturday, and it’s a fine addition. Congratulations to Val on her first official FA!

That same day (Sunday May 6th) was yet another Crane Mountain Group Day. I heard that in addition to Val and Kevin, Keith, Lukasz Czyz, Michael Gray, and Tom Lane were also there climbing. I don’t regret our trip, but I do miss you guys and these times on the mountain!

I spent much of Thursday working on a new project, or rather, a renewed project. Tom and I climbed a rather unpleasant chimney/cave system on the left side of the amphitheatre last year, escaping out of the darkness onto the face about fifty feet up. The upper pitch we did seemed good enough to make into a route, but our starting pitch was not pretty. I’ve found an alternative that combines to make one of the better multipitch routes at the BAW. Hopefully, more on this shortly…

Yesterday, Tom Rosecrans made his annual pilgrimage to Crane, dragging Lake Placid Rock guide Royce along. I played tour guide for the day, showing them to a few of the routes put in since Tom’s last visit, and a route or two he hadn’t yet done. Pictures say it better, so here’s the rundown of our activities:

We warmed up on Stairway to Heaven’s first two pitches. Tom led the show.

Royce then led Moe-hammed, Larry, & Curly.

Royce is nearing the finish line.

Tom followed Royce up the route.

We all took a TR lap on Long Play. Here, Tom throws for the foothold.
Interestingly, Royce found an alternative start, utilizing a freshly-revealed foothold.

We then headed to Amphitheatre Crack. Tom took first shot at the lead.

Royce finished it off. We then TR’d Broken Broom before calling it a day.

Alas, Elantra: R.I.P.

Friday, April 6th, 2012

I won’t be zipping along in my snazzy lil’ blue car anymore. I knew it was decaying to the point where “safe” was no longer an applicable adjective, but I didn’t know just how deeply it had dived into the danger zone until last weekend. After seeing $1600 of needed repair work before pulling off the last wheel – and suspecting another 1K worth – we chose to get what we could out of the Elantra and buy another. No complaints about the Elantra: with 172600 miles on its odometer, it was one of the best cars we’ve ever had.

We found a used car that fit most of our requirements, its only obvious fault being an automatic transmission (I tremble in fear of CoO on that account), but having desperate need and no other appealing alternatives, it made it to the finals and won (if being driven into the ground by the Harrisons can be construed as “winning”). Introducing our new car, a 2008 Kia Rondo:

Yep, that’s Jesse Maiolo again. He must cringe every time he sees us walk in!


Filling in Between the Lines

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

We’ve added a variation to the first pitch of Recuperation Boulevard. Two, actually; one a good alternative lead that ups the ante by one grade without greatly changing the protection level, the other a good TR option.

Tom leads the 5.8 variation of Recuperation Boulevard (yellow). The green arrow shows the 5.10d TR move. 

It began last Saturday, while climbing with Tom. After a run up Recuperation Boulevard’s  standard line, we both thought a variation heading directly up the face above the casket-sized alcove might be possible, so we shifted the anchor to the right and began working the line. Both of us flailed away heartily at different ways to climb the steep face without success. I could see that it would be possible if we allowed the initial start up the flaring chimney, but excluding that option, we couldn’t manage the feat, and after torturing ourselves for an hour or so, let it go for awhile.

Monday came, with no calls to keep me busy, so I decided to risk a drenching and head out to the BAW. After a few hours’ work scrubbing and tidying up a winter’s worth of clutter, it still hadn’t rained, so I headed up Full Recovery. Rigging the rope at the top, I heard Tom’s halloo below. Rappelling down, we had a handy top rope set before I touched down at the bottom, so we began working the variation once more, and once more got shut down. I pulled the rope and we decided to give the easier method a shot on lead.

Tom set out, and without any real difficulty, reached the anchor. His lead adds a nice 5.8 option to the route, and of course, gave us one more chance to find a solution to that lower bit.  This time, Tom switched feet on the key hold and pulled off the move, albeit barely. It looked way too stretchy for me to manage (Tom is 6’1″, I’m 5’5″). On my turn, I flailed away at an intricate set of crimp and bump moves, and after awhile, thought it might go in one shot, but no amount of trying could link all those tenuous moves. I finally took a lesson from Tom’s playbook, and managed to emulate his line. At 5.10c or d, it’s a strenuous, tenuous move, but it goes, at least on TR. Without contriving protection via the regular line before tackling the move, a fall would result in one’s back would hitting that alcove, so we deemed it better to remain a TR variation.

Ongoing Rain.

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

Pretty much says it all. We climbers voluntarily go out, bruise, batter, and scrape ourselves to exhaustion for fun, and do it smiling. But hit us with four rainy days in a row – especially on the weekends – and we wail like the Israelites in the Wilderness. So coming up with reasons to be thankful for this wet spell goes against the grain, but here goes:

First, MCA graduation was yesterday, and Lord knows twould’ve been hard to pull myself off the mountain to attend it, had the weather been luscious. So without resentment, I was able to enjoy the ceremony and proud to see so many young people I know swing that tassel. Congrats to Hannah (great presentation, btw), Beffers, Scottie, Rachel, Fluffy, Shin, and the rest of the gang.

Second, it must help wash away the grime I scrubbed off El Muerte Rojo. Heh.

Third…well, it’ll make me appreciate good weather more??

So it’s a no-sun Sunday, looks rough for tomorrow again, then Tuesday dawns nicely – but I’ll be motoring to Massachusetts that day. Ugh! Maybe a desperation run to Rocksport is in my future…

Weather Woes

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

So much for Farmer’s Almanac. June will be dry. Not quite accurate from my POV.

Worked as an Spec Ed teacher sub at an Elementary school today; quite interesting work. Good kids, no rough bits; but challenging to teach Earth Science stuff with no props and very few fundamentals preplaced. How does one define “mineral” without any other complicated terms? Describing a few helps, but distinguishing them from plain ol’ rocks…

Spent the afternoon and evening working on erosion control at a nearby climbing area. Far too wet to sneak a TR in before dark. This is tough weather for rock climbing, even for someone willing to deal with a little dampness. This is a LOT of wetness.

Another Joy of Home Ownership

Friday, March 5th, 2010

I’ve traded the upward world for a decidedly downward one today. Our septic line clogged up somewhere, so I spent the entire evening up to my shoulders in a toilet pipe. I have no idea whether I fixed anything or not, but I got plenty of exercise forcing 45′ of snake down the line in an effort to clear whatever out of it. All the hot water we have can’t make me feel clean right now. Six or seven showers more and I might feel OK.

Looks like I only have one day of guiding this weekend, which is OK, considering that I have subbed every day this week and will tomorrow as well. I am really looking forward to a rest day – whenever it comes.

Even more, I’m looking forward to climbing some ROCK. If the temps do indeed get up in the 40s and it is warm on Sunday, perhaps a snowshoe out to the Measles Wall in the afternoon for some ice AND rock climbing…