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Archive for the ‘New Climbs’ Category


Go back Mountain, NH

Fluffy – NEI 6 X 60m – FA: Josh Hurst, Ian Austin


Start: Immediately left of Valhalla in the Valhalla Amphitheater

Protection: Stubbies, Screws, .5-3 Camalots

Descent: Rap route

Extenuating Circumstances: Ice was 1/2″-2″ thick at start for the first ascent, first good protection was a Camelot behind an excavated flake at 80′.

Notes: Incredible, sustained, scary, incomparable; longer than Valhalla by 25′, finish to the trees on top.
Photos by Ian Austin

Hydropower M9 WI5-

Possibly the hardest mixed route in the Catskills

FA Matt McCormick 2/22/10

“On my first attempt of the day on the new route I made it all the way to the ice before elbowing my ice tool out of a hook while clipping! AAAHHHH! I couldn’t believe it. I had the route in the bag only to knock my own tool off the route!

After climbing 90+ feet of drytooling to get there it was hard to motivate to get back on but I rallied and sent on the next try. After pulling onto the icicle I moved above the attachment point and fired in a screw about 3/4 of the way when a high powered stream of water cam shooting out the back of the screw! I had never had this happen to me and was startling to say the least. I moved quickly to avoid being totally drenched and climbed to the trees to top out the line” – Matt McCormick.
Read all about the FA and more Catskills action on Matt McCormick’s Blog

Video by Ryan Stefiuk of Bigfoot Mountain Guides

Read more about “Hydropower” and the Catskills Ice Fest 2010

“The Bossman”

Bayard Russell & Matt McCormick

were crushing it in the “Dacks” during Mountainfest

True to Mountainfest tradition of establishing new climbs, Matt McCormick and Bayard Russell opened up “The Bossman” (M9) on the High Falls Crag in Wilmington Notch. This section of cliff had repelled some of the best ice climbers in North America recently, including Maxime Turgeon, LP Menard and Steve House.

“The Bossman (M9, 3 pitches) follows a single, continuous crack for 230 feet. The first pitch climbs technical, steep terrain on turf shots and thin pick torques. Pitch 2 contains the crux, an extremely reachy move with chickenscratch for feet. The last, short pitch corkscrews behind a minor icicle then “worms out” onto the ice” – Matt McCormick

“I whined a little bit starting the first pitch, on unbonded thin ice, but pounded a specter hook in some turf and muckled up onto a ledge anyway” – Bayard Russell

See for more on this climb and Bayards blog Cathedral Style

More on Matt and Bayard – Astro Turff / The Painted Wall Icicle / Strippers


Josh Hurst about to fire the FA of “Strippers” Frankenstein Cliff, Crawford Notch NH. – Bayard Russell

“it was impressive, the final roof suiting his style of climbing – extra burly pull-ups”

-Bayard Russell

The route is between Cocaine and the Wrath of the Valkyrie.

Read more at Cathedral Mountain Guides


Source: Bayard Russell

Silent Spring

The Bethel Crag

by Josh Hurst / Photos by Eric Eisele and Ian Austin
Josh on Slient Spring

Josh on Silent Spring

Finally got the job done!  Super psyched! We called it Silent Spring, M12

The real praise goes to Ian who was a patient driver and belayer for the 4 days of redpoint attempts and 3 days needed to equip the route.  He never bitched once about the 3 mile approach, would never let me break trail and was always full of encouragement.

Training all fall and winter paid off- just in time!  Silent Spring feels harder than the current routes in the Cathedral Cave and is way more powerful.  It’s a combination of precise, technical feet and super burly power.  I was tearing muscle every time I tried it and could only take 2 tries per day before being totally wiped-out.  I would then hurt for the next 2 days.  A week after sending it my obliques and lats still hurt.  I’ve learned that you don’t just train for strength, but mentally for the pain associated with a pitch like this.  The route is 110′ long and overhangs 45′.  It’s 14 bolts, 1 cam and a screw.  The ice was getting beaten by the sun so I dropped a rope with a draw on it to protect the ice.Josh on Slient Spring

Silent Spring starts on a thin slab to a stance where you look out horizontally past 8 draws hanging above the valley.  You torque out a flake system to the lip, the crux, where your feet lead above you.  Once around the lip it’s M8 to the hanger, characterized by big moves on an overhanging wall.  My first go the day I sent I got the crux move for the first time and then dropped my tool- it took a 250′ fall into the trees.  Ian rapped down to get it while I took a rest.  Ice was crashing down around us and I knew that this was the last burn of the season ssJosh03no matter what.  When Ian returned, tool in hand, I turned it on and got the job done!  The funny thing was one of my front points was really loose so I couldn’t get the needed heel toe rest after the crux so was left to improvise the M8 moves, then ‘rested’ my way up the final 30′ of M7 to the top.  Usually the ice is the easy part but even it overhung 2’!  The whole time I was thinking about Jim Ewing’s advise on how to get up hard routes- ‘JUST DON’T LET GO!’  YeeHaa!!!


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