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Archive for the ‘Featured Stories’ Category

Smuggler’s Notch Ice Bash 2015

This Weekend!

Join NEice at the fastest growing Ice Festival in the Northeast! We will be at the notch road gate Jeffersonville side, dishing out hot soup and flying the drones. Hope to see you there.

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January 23-25, 2015

Kick-off party | Clinics | Slideshows| Raffle | Camaraderie

Drytooling Competition: The East’s only Mixed Spectacle

Free gear demos, clinics for the beginner to advanced climber, multimedia slideshows, dry tooling competition, raffles and camaraderie in Vermont’s premier ice climbing destination, Smuggler’s Notch.

Don’t miss Saturday nights slide show by Climbing Magazine’s Golden Piton Award winner  for Ice Climbing for 2014, Will Mayo. Local hardman Alden Pellett and Michael Wejchert of North Conway will also be giving some great presentations.

The goal of the Smuggs Ice Bash is to promote the sport of ice climbing, to educate climbers, to exhibit and demo new gear, and to share a weekend of fun, challenge, and inspiration with other winter enthusiasts in one of Vermont’s most amazing places, Smuggler’s Notch. Learn forme some on the best guides around.

The Smuggs Ice Bash is managed by Petra Cliffs Climbing Center & Mountaineering School 105 Briggs Street Burlington, VT 05401 802.657.3872

See more here…http://www.smuggsicebash.com/about/     https://www.facebook.com/SmuggsIceBash

 

 Saturday Night, January 24th, 2015 @ 6pm

Presentations will take place at the Smugglers Notch Resort in the Meeting House Ballroom

CASH ONLY!

$20 for Italian Style Food Buffet and Presentation – Starting at 5pm

-or-

$5 for Presentation Only

Purchase Tickets in advance here:

Food and Presentations -or- Presentations only!

Cash Bar available too!

The Monster at Lake Champlain

Kevin Mahoney on " The Lake Champlain Monster".

Kevin Mahoney on ” The Lake Champlain Monster”. Alden Pellett keeping one eye on Kevin and the other for the Lake Monster.

Kevin Mahoney and Alden Pellett having fun escaping from “The Monster” during a midday break from their gear demo responsibilities at The 19 annual Adirondack Mountainfest.

* Click photos to enlarge
Photos by Doug Millen

Kevin Mahoney – Mahoney Alpine Adventures
The Mountaineer – Keene Valley NY


Adirondack International Mountainfest 2015

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The 19th annual Adirondack International Mountainfest

January 16, 17 and 18, 2015.

Mountainfest is an annual celebration of ice climbing and mountaineering, featuring guest athletes who entertain us with tales of climbing adventures, instructional clinics taught by visiting climbers and local guides, demo gear, and a chance to gather with the climbing community for an exciting winter weekend.

Mountainfest 2015 boasts an excellent lineup of speakers, including Marmot and CAMP/Cassin athlete Fabrizio Zangrilli and Patagonia Alpine Climbing Ambassador Kitty Calhoun. Their slide shows on Saturday and Sunday evenings promise to be entertaining and also offer a chance to win raffle gear and free giveaways.

We’re offering more clinics than ever this year, including tons of ice climbing courses, snow and alpine climbing, snowshoe mountaineering, avalanche safety, and wilderness first aid. Many of the event sponsors will be here with the latest gear for you to take and climb with on both Saturday and Sunday.

Whether you come for the clinics or just climb on your own and check out the evening entertainment, Mountainfest is the place to be this Martin Luther King weekend.

More information on the event can be found here….

 


A message from Don Mellor

Greetings to ice climbers near and far:

Mountainfest is coming to Adirondacks for the 19th consecutive season. Most folks are really psyched – about the clinics, the demos, the presentations, the camaraderie, and the opportunity to meet some of the world’s best.

But we are also VERY aware that our presence can put a serious snag in your own climbing plans. We don’t own the local ice. We often wonder if it’s even right to get up early and drape a crag with ropes. But what we hear over and over from you is that Mountainfest is a good thing, and as for the crowds – well, most of you are happy to adjust. Thanks!

Our plan, so that you can plan:

Mellor’s Steep and Chicken-hearted course will be at the Pitchoff Quarry.

Visitor Fabrizio will do his advanced thing in Chapel Pond Canyon.

James and Andrea will be at Rock and River’s private property ice park.

Ian O. usually scouts out some ridiculously thin things around Chapel Pond, probably starting at Laceration.

Horner and McCormick are waiting to see how things set up.

Whether or not you are in a clinic, there’ll be a friendly welcome to hang out, listen, maybe even share a rope. The ice ain’t ours (except for the ice park!), that’s for sure, and we’ll do our best to make it a happy, jazzed weekend. See ya.

Things could change – we’ll keep you posted. Check in at the Mountaineer for the latest.


Frankensteins South Face

Frankenstein South-Face

Some of the main climbs on the South Face and the New “Odin’s Tiers” – Jan. 11, 2015

Conditions are everything in ice climbing and they happened this past week on the South Face of Frankenstein Cliff. This extended cold spell and cloudy skies have brought in some great ice climbing on the South Face. On Saturday we climbed the rare visitor “Cocaine” in “Fat” conditions and had a grand view of Peter Doucette putting up his new climb “Odin’s Tiers”  NEI 6 – 25 meters, to the right of  “The Wrath of the Valkyrie”. The conditions could not have been better and it was a very busy place with as many as 14 climbers in sight at one time. Everyone wanted to take advantage of these conditions. The lighting, climbing, conditions and scenery were fantastic and I was lucky to be part of it. I felt like a kid in a candy store with my camera. I took as many photos as I could while waiting, belaying and dodging ice from above ;-).  Below are a few of the best photos. Enjoy!

Doug Millen

Click photos to enlarge


Odin’s Tiers

Frankenstein Cliff, South Face, Crawford Notch NH

FA: Peter Doucette with Majka Burhardt

Saturday January 10, 2015
Peter-New-Line

 

“Odin’s Tiers”  NEI6, and 25 meters long was protected with 2 tri-cams (brown and red), ice screws and a couple of slung icicles.  Most of the attachment points were shaded by small roofs or curtains of hanging ice so that was helpful. Like all the routes in the amphitheater it’s super sensitive to sun.

Odens Tier topo

Climb Topo – Peter Doucette

“It was fairly pumpy and technical with a lot of creative rests leaning against curtains and or locking legs behind them” – Peter Doucette

“Back in the NH swing of things” – Majka Burhardt

 

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Peter-New-Line-top

 


The Wrath of the Valkyrie

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Will styling on “The Wrath”


Cocaine

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Steve Larson enjoying a fat “Cocaine”.


An Aerial View

The South Face of Frankenstein Cliff, Crawford Notch NH – January 11, 2015

 

Flight by ARDU – Flying and  filming by Doug Millen

More on the South Face


Source: Facebook, Doug Millen & Peter Doucette – Mountain Sense Guides

 

 

Back to Business, Round Two!

Adam-Bidwell on Cocaine, Frankenstein Cliff NH - Photo by Ryan-Driscall

Well things are shaping up, again. It has been two weeks since the major melt down and the ice climbs are forming and there is plenty of great climbing.  We now have more ice to climb than before the meltdown. There is plenty of ground water flowing and things are growing fast. With no warm weather in sight, I expect good to excellent conditions from Maine to the Adirondacks and South for the foreseeable future.

This weather is greatly appreciated as we enter the Ice Festival season. Every year it’s a crap shoot with the weather and we are lucky this year, so far. By next weekend there should be plenty of ice for the the 19th annual Adirondack International Mountainfest. January 16, 17 and 18, 2015.

So dress warm, get out, and get some!

 

Doug Millen

Adam Bidwell on Cocaine, Frankenstein Cliff, Crawford Notch NH
Photo by Ryan Driscoll

Frankenstein Cliff NH

You know things are good when the south face of Frankenstein Cliff has ice to climb. Below are a few photos from Adam Bidwell with Ryan Driscoll

Ryan-Driscall---Adam-Bidwell-climbing-Cocaine-Cover-Web2

Adam Bidwell climbing Cocaine

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Ryan Driscoll halfway up Cocaine

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Second pitch of Bragg-Pheasant. The strongest sun of the day bore down just as I was reaching the thinnest ice.

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Ryan Driscoll on the Final boney pitch of Bragg Pheasant


Beware of  the cold temps

When it’s this cold after a warm up, watch out for ice dams. Both on the climbs and in rivers and streams. Below are two posts that will make you think.

NEice.com – Hydrophobia at “The Lake”

An Ice Dam busting loose at Lake Willoughby Vt in 2010 – Photo by Dave Powers

Careful of that stream crossing!


Assessing Ice Conditions

glace-etude-resistance-13And don’t forget that drastic cooling followed by a period of intense cold leads to strong thermal contractions in the ice. See this great information for assessing ice conditions from Petzl – Waterfall Ice Study


Ice Guide Training

The American Mountain Guides Association Ice guide training course in NH is in full swing. The EMS guides are sending the steep ice routes at Frankenstein which are in good condition and building fast with this cold weather. – Art Mooney

 

Chia Direct 1-7-15 Art Mooney

Chia Direct

Chia 1-7-15 Art Mooney

Chia

Hobit 1-7-15 Art Monney

The Hobbit


Mount Washington

Conditions Update 1-8-15

by Rich Palatino, Harvard Cabin Caretaker

The Tuckerman Ravine Trail is nearly completely covered. While it is very hard-packed and slick there is very little water ice to speak of. Light Traction is nice, but not necessary in the least. That being said, full crampons on the trail wouldn’t be unreasonable, just not advised…or enjoyable.

The fire road is still in rather early season condition. However, it is mostly snow until you are above the Dow Rescue Cache where you will find a series of stream crossings. Again, nothing major. Access to the ravine is quick and easy and the rangers have been using snow machines to travel most of the road.

It’s goes without saying, the ice is IN! The Ravine is still filling in for the season. Run-outs are far from being fully-developed and in many cases descending will mean a walk down the Lion Head Summer Trail. The Fan is sporting a variety of snow conditions as you travel from gully to gully. Overall you can expect excellent condition for cramponing. However, along with long sliding falls, spatial variability can present a problem. Don’t travel with a persistent green light in mind even though things seem locked up solid. We’ve been getting nickled and dimed for weeks so you should be on the look-out for protected lee areas, wind slabs of varying strengths, buried weak layers, and I personally have been starting to worry about persistent weak layers. I’m really not sure how valid my concern for persistent layers is, but as a skier I’m suspect of the rapid heating and cooling we’ve seen over the last few weeks. I’m keeping that in mind as I travel in avalanche terrain until we see the next major storm/avalanche cycle. But, you really don’t have to take my word for it. Luckily you can hear what the experts have to say via the Mount Washington Avalanche Center’s website and it’s many social media outlets.


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