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Archive for the ‘Ice Climbing News’ Category

New rules to access La Pomme d’Or

La Pomme d"Or

La Pomme d”Or – Fred Maltais

 

La Pomme d’Or

Every winter, skilled climbers take on the  Pomme d’Or, a spectacular and perilous rock face along Rivière Malbaie. For permission to climb this ice wall in the park, you’ll need an access permit. Refer to Reservation Terms and Conditions for all the details.

Climbers must be in excellent physical condition and totally independent, since the ice wall is about 30 km from the closest telephone and off the park’s network of roads and trails. Under good weather conditions, it takes a full day of snowshoeing or off-trail skiing to reach the site.

If you are independent, climbing the Pomme d’Or requires a minimum stay of 3 days in the park.

  • Day 1: 30 km of snowshoeing or off-trail skiing to get to the foot of the cliff;
  • Day 2: climb the ice wall and return to base camp;
  • Day 3: 30 km of snowshoeing or off-trail skiing to return to your car.

We strongly recommend bringing a satellite telephone or a SPOT-type emergency message device. There is no emergency telephone on the site in the winter and the cell phone network does not serve the park’s territory.

http://www.sepaq.com/pq/hgo/index.dot?language_id=1

 

Location

La Pommed D’or is located approximately 2.5 hours east of Quebect City. The nearest decent sized town is Malbaie, Quebec. You enter the Parc de Haute Gorges I believe and drive as far as they will allow, before you begin your ski approach.

Administrative Guidelines and Obtaining a Backcountry Access Permit

It is mandatory to hold an Access Permit to climb the Pomme d’Or. To get one, you must apply in writing by filling out the appropriate form.

Applying for a Pomme d’Or Access Permit for Stays of More Than One Day

Once your itinerary is ready, you understand the associated risks and you consider yourself ready to assume them, you must fill out the Backcountry Access Permit Application form. Each member of the group must individually fill out the form. However, all applications for the same expedition must be sent in one mailing to the administrative office of the Parc national des Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie.

Each application is analysed to make sure that the expedition respects instructions related to the mission of the national parks and that it will take place in the targeted sector. If your application is in order and the reception capacity has not been reached, a confirmation will be sent.

Allow for a 7-days waiting period from the time we receive your Pomme d’Or Access Permit Application. The cost is $10 /pers./night (maximum 8 nights), in addition to the park entry fee. These fees must be paid in full by credit card or cheque prior to your stay.

Modifications

If you wish to modify the stay dates or replace members of your team, you must do so at least 72 hours prior to arrival by directly contacting the administrative office of the park concerned.

Cancellation

If you want to cancel your stay, you must do so at least 72 hours prior to arrival by directly contacting the administrative office of the park concerned. No refunds will be granted for a cancellation made less than 72 hours prior to arrival.

Contact Information for the Administrative Office

Your Safety, Your Responsibility

Before submitting an application for authorization to climb the Pomme d’Or, you must be aware that help is far away and that your safety is your responsibility. Adequate preparation is required. First ask yourself if you have the skills, abilities and fitness level to undertake this kind of expedition. Climbing the Pomme d’Or involves certain risks, and it’s important to know what they are so you can prepare for them and be ready to react appropriately.

We invite you to consult our tip sheets about activities and stays offered by Société des établissements de plein air du Québec (Sépaq). The Fédération québécoise de la montagne et de l’escalade can help you plan your stay and your activities safely. Don’t hesitate to contact them.

No patrols are made at this time of year in this part of the territory. Emergency services are far away and access to the Pomme d’Or is particularly difficult. For incidents requiring immediate care or evacuation, wait time can be very long (sometimes several days). The isolation of this sector means that there is no cell phone service. A first aid kit and knowledge of how to apply first aid in remote areas are essential in emergency situations.

Costs related to search and rescue operations are solely the responsibility of the recipient. We strongly recommend checking whether or not your insurance company covers these costs. Otherwise, some private companies, such as Airmédic, offer the possibility of benefiting from such services by becoming a member of their organization.

No verifications will be made as to your return. It is your responsibility to give someone you trust a copy of your itinerary, making sure to indicate the date and times of your return and instructing the person to contact emergency services (911) in the event of your absence.

In Harmony with Nature

Minimizing our impact on the natural environment is a duty. The behavior you adopt during your stay at the park must constantly be guided by the desire to preserve the integrity of nature and our surroundings so that other climbers can fully enjoy the same privilege.

Parcs Québec considers the application of Leave no trace principles as the reference for behaviours in the national parks.

Number of People in the Group

For safety reasons, it is recommended to go in groups of a minimum of 3 people. To minimize disturbance and impacts on the natural environment.

Campfires

It is prohibited to make fires in the back country. Bring a camp stove for cooking.

- Source: PARCS QUÉBEC / PARC NATIONAL DES HAUTES-GORGES-DE-LA-RIVIÈRE-MALBAIE


Map


How NEice.com ranks

NEice continues to be one of the top players for climbing web sites.

* Click to enlarge

Below are the rankings of some popular climbing web sites. Now remember smaller is better. I left out the big guns, climbing, Rock and Ice, exct. as they are in a different league. But this will give you a feel of where we stand among our peers.

Web Site World Wide Rank
Mountain Project.com 107135
Super Topo.com 181398
Alpinist.com 377495
American Alpine Club.com 958094
NEice.com 1466486
Alpine Club of Canada.ca 1614223
Will Gadd.com 1737577
Gripped.com 1841200
Climberism.com 1922600
Metro Rock.com 1924640
Ouray Ice Park.com 2150202
Gunks.com 2958114
Gravsports Ice.com 3184387
Gravsports.com 4978549
New England Bouldering.com 5029044
NEclimbs.com 6136644
Escalade Quebec.com 6506015

* Figures are from Alexa.com 1/4/2013


Some other stats that stand out

One month (Dec. 4, 2012 – Jan. 4,  2013)


Unique Visitors: 27,765

Page Views: 484,117

Online Photos of Ice Climbing: over 10,000

Value of items sold  in the Classified: $55,206

Visits to the site this year increased by 100.12% 

The Forum has over 65,000 Posts made by 4,757 Members

Type ice climbing in Google and we always come up on the first page, today we were  #4

 

~ Doug Millen

 

 

 

UP!

20121224-211416.jpg

An eye in the sky for NEice

Meet our newest team members..King Kong (right) and WooKong.

I designed and built the WooKong to be light and simple so we can bring it where we like to go, UP! The King Kong is the heavy lifter and ready for anything.

I was inspired by the Mammut video celebrating 150 years. http://vimeo.com/50029357   The use of RC helicopters for photography quickly became my newest addiction.

I want to show the ice climbing in the Northeast the same way, from a perspective we are not use to.  I look forward to flying all winter to bring you the most spectacular images and movies I can capture.

We will be at the MountainFest Jan. 18-21, 2013 in the Adirondack’s for the grand unavailing of our efforts. Hope to see you there.

Doug Millen

PS…I want to send special thanks to team member Courtney Ley for all her help and enthusiasm. This project would not be the same without her.

 

Photos by Joel Dashnaw and Doug Millen

Harvard Cabin Update – Celebrating 50 Years!

To The Many Friends of Harvard Cabin,

Seasons Greetings!

The cabin is open for another season.

The cabin has been a busy place this Fall. Beginning in August with a small gathering brought together by Ted Carman, HMC President 1962-1963 and prime mover in the construction of Harvard Cabin, the club began to address a few routine maintenance related issues with the cabin in hopes of keeping it operational for another 50 years! In addition to regular maintenance, the club is also going through several stages of planning, permitting, and fund-raising for some larger maintenance needs along with some major improvements and safety upgrades. Of course, all changes will be subtle as to not disturb the look, feel, and operation of the Harvard Cabin we all know and love.


Renovations…

Having taken much longer then expected this Fall, the renovation of the Caretaker’s Den has kept caretakers from the past and present along with many club members and other volunteers busy for much of the Fall. Situated above the cabin entrance, many of you know the den was a cold, damp and dormant area that had been deteriorating over the last several years. Work began in Mid-August with the demolition of the existing framing, flooring, and insulation (think 30 years of mouse infestation!). Of course, all unusable debris had to find its way downhill and new materials uphill. I lost count of how many trips up the Tux Trail I personally made this Fall, never mind the countless trip made by other volunteers. Whatever the number, Future caretaker’s are in for a real treat thanks to the effort of so many!

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-qGvYLrl3TPg/UG8LTclUXTI/AAAAAAAAblY/apB9uXr5E7k/s288/Renovation18.jpg    https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-SCoDKgpmZCg/ULgdHfmfLHI/AAAAAAAAbw8/ITLqcTvzvKU/s288/PB120194.jpg https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-w6ZX3z7H7zY/ULgdFr7fr-I/AAAAAAAAbw8/_3dVn9KLRxE/s288/PB110178.jpg

After the demo-work was done, the supporting infrastructure was cleaned, disinfected, sanded, and sealed.. The existing fiberglass insulation was replaced with rigid foam insulation which helped with the elimination of rodent friendly gaps and cracks. We even added a new double-pane window to the loft! There is still a little work to be done before the project is complete, but it would suffice to say that we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to keep the warm air in and the rodents out! Click Herefor some more photos of work being done at the cabin over the last few months!

Once again, It is a great privilege to to be serving as Harvard Cabin Caretaker again this season! Thanks to HMC for having me back for yet another season! I’m looking forward to seeing many of you back at the cabin again this year. We’re setting-up better then we did last year, weather-wise. I am happy to see the persistent signs of the coming winter on the rock pile. Folks have really been getting after the early season ice over the last few weeks. Personally, I’ve been so busy with renovations, I haven’t made it past the cabin yet this season! Surely, that will change in the coming days.

Staying at the cabin…

Finally, I’d like to remind everyone that the Harvard Cabin is a public-use cabin operated by the Harvard Mountaineering Club on a first-come, first-serve basis. Everyone wishing to stay at the cabin must register at Pinkham Notch before heading uphill. The Harvard Cabin Register can be found at the Trail Information Desk at the Visitor Center during business hours and downstairs in the pack-up room after hours. The cabin sleeps 16 people per night. There is also room for 16 additional campers outside at the Harvard Tent Sites. Rates are $15.00 per person, per night inside, $10 per person, per night outside. US Currency Only. Be sure to read ALL instructions when signing-in so that you arrive prepared and able to fully enjoy your time at the cabin!

If you have any questions you can e-mail dbradley@college.harvard.edu or speak to a Trail Information Specialist at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.

Let’s hope for a safe and snowy season! I look forward to seeing you soon!

 

Rich Palatino
Harvard Cabin Caretaker
Rich@powder-hound.com

NOTE – Harvard Cabin is not affiliated with the Appalachian Mountain Club. Harvard Cabin is maintained by Harvard Mountaineering Club for use by the general public. The cabin is operated under a special-use permit granted by the USDA Forest Service. Cabin space and tent-sites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis between December 1st and April 1st each year. Specific instructions for staying at the cabin can be found online at http://www.HarvardMountaineering.org.

Early Season Luck On Katahdin

Game ON! – October 13, 2012

Alfonzo enjoying great early season ice on “Piggy-Wiggy”, Katahdin, ME

 

You never know when it will happen….so be ready!

And we were! Alfonzo made reservations over a month ago knowing it is hard to get camp sites over consecutive days this time of year. We were planning to rock climb, but with the forecast calling for cold weather, the ice tools were packed along with the rock gear. You never know when you might need your ice tools.

We arrived Friday night to light snow showers. Rock climbing still seemed possible to some with the forecast . Our friends Mike & Cassy packed for the Armadillo. Alfonzo and I packed for ice. We had a good feeling about the conditions leading up to Saturday.  And with the forecast calling for low teens at 4000′ overnight we committed to ice climbing and packed light to move fast.

We were greeted with clear sky’s and temps in the 20’s Saturday morning. As we walked up the trail, the ground became more frozen and signs of solid ice were everywhere…our pace quickened for we knew climbable ice would be found.

As we walked into the Chimney pond area, the grandness of the South Basin with a winter look welcomed us. There was ice everywhere. Better than we expected and better than last years trip in early December. And the Cilley-Barber was in! All the planets had aligned. With pure luck we had impeccable timing, creating the perfect early season situation.

After checking in with Mark the ranger at chimney pond we headed UP! We chose the biggest moderate line we could see. This was the start of the “Chauvin-Cole” route up to “Piggy-Wiggy” and then to the ridge. The gift of early season ice was given again, for in the winter most of this climb would be a snow slog. We had water ice, tail to tip.

We climbed about 1500 ft of good and sometimes challenging water ice on a spectacular day. This was the best early season ice I have ever climbed. We were so lucky!

 

Many thanks to Baxter State Park,  a great park with excellent hospitality. And special thanks to Ranger Rob and Mark for being so excited about ice climbing.

~ Doug Millen

Photos by Doug Millen & Alan Cattabriga

 

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