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Archive for the ‘Conditions’ Category

North Gully, Huntington Ravine 2.22.13



The calm before the storm and another beautiful day in the alpine zone. One week earlier Doug and I enjoyed the “calm” with entirely different conditions in Madison Gulf.  This time we experienced mid March weather on February 22.

Enjoy and get ready for the long days of March.

Alan Cattabriga

Click images to enlarge.

Photos from our day

Photos by Doug Millen & Alan Cattabriga



From the NEIce Gallery, a Members Sample.

The view from Mt. Colden, ADK

The ice is here and with this snow, it will only get better!  Enjoy some shots provided by NEice members from  New York, Vermont & New Hampshire spanning the last two weeks. Thank you to everyone for posting info and/or images! Doug and all of us that attempt to help out here are very appreciative.
Get psyched! ~ AC

Photographs by;  Broken Spectre, Amy, WooKong, Coup, The Rockytop, tfarr3,  AOC, Wewidlund, adkmorgan,  Jacon & afendres.

Clink on images to enlarge.


Standard Rt. Frankenstein Cliff, Crawford Notch, NH 12/8/12

Things are starting to happen down on the lower elevations. The ice just wants to grow. We saw ice on most climbs today in Crawford Notch. Nothing safe or climbable but it  is just waiting to form. As soon as cold weather moves in we are all set.

Below is some footage that our newest NEice team member, WooKong, shot today of Standard Rt.

P.F. Flyer and More!

The Head Wall – King Ravine

It was a great weekend for ice climbing up on the “Rock Pile”. NEice team members found plenty of early season ice.

Team member Courtney Ley and partner Joel Dashnaw reported thick ice on Pinnacle Gully. Courtney said “it was taking 16cm screws” and the water flow was not bad at all. Look for her photos here.

Lori Crowningshield finda "FAT" ice in Damnation Gully

Lori Crowningshield finds “FAT” ice in Damnation Gully

Team Member Emilie Drinkwater and partner Lori Crowningshield climbed “Damnation” and found good ice also. “It was a little scrappy at the top in the sun”, but very enjoyable and a beautiful day to be in the ravine. On Sunday, Emilie and Jesse did “Shoestring Gully” in Crawford Notch and found it thin but climbable and a little slushy at the top.

Ted Hammond nearing the top of the Mullet slab

Alfonzo and Ted Hammond climbed the Mullet slabs on Mt. Lincoln in Franconia Notch and had a great day out. Look for some of his photos in the photo post section soon.

P.F. Flyer

Google Map

Fred Bieber and I headed in to King Ravine to see what we could find. We found plenty of ice and set our eyes on ” P.F. Flyer”. I have always wanted to climb it but the conditions have never been right. Today they were. That side of the ravine never gets sun this time of year so conditions and timing were ripe. It was good to do it before the snow gets too deep. As it was, we were thigh deep in snow at times.

Let’s hope this warm up does not do much damage.

Below are some photos of the climb. Enjoy! (click to enlarge)

Doug Millen

Fred coming up on the lower section


The crux of P.F. Flyer


Great ice higher up on the climb

Fred topping out on the last bit of ice climbing


Defiance in Huntington Ravine

Odells, Pinnacle Ridge/Gully, Central & Harvard Slabs



The reports were calling for a super storm, another “perfect storm”. A cold front and hurricane combining forces over the mid-Atlantic states. I feel for the folks in NYC, Jersey, anyone that’s had their lives turned inside out by this storm. Here in New Hampshire it was not so bad, for Sandy  collided into the coastline far to south. After the storm abated, the cold air started to flow into New England.  I was sure that by Sunday, there would be ice to climb in the ravine. That’s what I told myself and my friends anyway.  If the weather played out as scripted, visions of perfect new ice danced in my head. However, what is forecasted is not always what one gets. For the more extreme weather scenario prediction is given. Most of my time in the mountains during the early season, no matter how many small animals are sacrificed, I am denied the desired weather. This past Sunday was a no different. Sunny early, though the fog tried its best to defend the delicate ice from the sun’s rays. And temperatures were cold, but not cold enough. But we were determined, by hook and crook we were climbing up a gully, happily dealing with our roll of the dice.

Pinnacle Ridge & Gully







After a pseudo view of Odells, all scrappy looking with water launching out of the fog into our limited view, Yale was the logical choice . It’s water flow is one of the lesser of all the gullies. Moving over the talus along the lower headwall we got a limited look into Pinnacle Gully. Spray was frozen to the walls of rock on ether side and a gushing cascade ran down the middle split by islands of ice.  We joked as to the whereabouts of Rockytop. He was not up there, we figured he was wading up the Black Dike instead.




 Of Yale Gully


Approaching the starting corner (center) Photo-Leaf

With no surprised to any of us, the slab start to Yale was delaminated badly. But there is a corner closer to the Harvard Slabs, up and left and to us, this was climbable.  This section was an exercise in balance and trust. Seventy feet of sketchy tool and foot placements on thin ice and rock running with water. Then an escape guarded by tough rock moves through a bulge with a bottomed-out seam to dry tool. Leaf led up this first and gave us the illusion of  something considerably easier than what was there.

Mike topping out of the first section. Photo-Leaf







Above this we moved back and forth, ether on ice or over semi-frozen ground  until halfway up the headwall. From here to the top,  the soluble ice was followed directly. Being there was four of us, whomever was last had considerably less ice to work with. Somehow, it worked out that Mikeg was that person. Three more portions that required all of one’s attention lurked above.




A slip in any of these areas would have nasty results. But the moves through these sections were brilliant. Yale on this day was no easy gully. The final crease to the lip was beautiful. Frosted rocks with prehistoric looking icicles, hanging down lined the snow dusted gully.


A gusty NW wind pushed us across  the Alpine Gardens to the Lion Head trail. With some sunshine and clouds slowly lifting, the views were wonderful. The day was as good as it could be. And though in a place I’ve  been too uncountable times, it was all new again. A typically easy route had bore it’s teeth and we rolled with it.

The Lion’s Head






Text and photos , Alan Cattabriga
Thanks to Courtney for her photos and Doug for everything.

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