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spionin

[TR] north conway, nh and lake willoughby, vt - dracula, standard, 20 below 2/20/2013

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Trip: north conway, nh and lake willoughby, vt - dracula, standard, 20 below

 

Date: 2/20/2013

 

Trip Report:

we had two days for climbing while visiting the east coast, so we hit a few classics.

 

day 1 we headed to north conway,nh. kind of hard to find the superlatives to describe the area, so you can look it up yourself if you haven't been...

fat, blue ice everywhere (except the black dike, damn), easy approaches, and nice weather greeted us. tough.

 

frankenstein cliff:

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our good friend courtney and her buddy doug joined me and cbcbd on the daytrip. we "warmed up" on dracula, a classic.

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doug millen ran up the right side, and i got to lead the left. plenty of ice to go around.

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courtney, crushing.

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we then moved over and did the standard , which offers a number of possibilities for climbing. so huge, and justifiably popular.

 

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we did it in two pitches.

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it was a tad chilly.

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court took this nice photo of me following the end of the second pitch of this wi3.

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we finished the day enjoying the scene in north conway, and hitting the moat mountain brewery. highly recommended!

 

the next morning we drove to the northeast kingdom of vermont. according to the guidebook, JoJo once said that the lake "might be the greatest ice climbing cliff in the world". mountain proj sez about lake willoughby: "the largest concentration of hard ice routes in the Northeast. Several committing multipitch IV 5s and harder. Home to the east coast's first bonafide grade 6 ice climb". the easiest route at the lake is a 2p WI3. it goes up quickly from there.

 

having seen pictures of it in the past still hasn't related the scale, i was in awe of the height and sustained steepness of the routes. the pictures just don't do it justice... a few photos of the cliff:

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the tablets:

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as a side note, it was 9F when we left the car, a little fresh.

 

for our day we decided to get on twenty below zero, a mondo 2-pitch 4+. yep, a classic. it's the thing on the left:

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a few photos, and not much more to say... it hurt so good!

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Gear Notes:

some people only bring 19-cm screws.

 

Approach Notes:

plowed, salted roads

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Awesome!

Are the bolts still in the cave on Standard route?

 

Nope, the cave has a bunch of fixed pins and tat for an anchor. There used to be a smaller cave at the same height, but to left of the huge cave. That smaller cave collapsed some years ago - I seem to recall hearing something about there being bolts there.

Edited by Jon H

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Awesome!

Are the bolts still in the cave on Standard route?

 

Nope, the cave has a bunch of fixed pins and tat for an anchor. There used to be a smaller cave at the same height, but to left of the huge cave. That smaller cave collapsed some years ago - I seem to recall hearing something about there being bolts there.

 

Actually... I was there last weekend as well. There are the fixed pins on the left. and the bolts are still there on the right next to the big blob of ice. The bolts are placed accordingly for the window route, which is also in amazing condition right now, and the fixed pins are for the "standard standard route"

 

Amazing route. My old stompin grounds. Great to visit, and great to see other cc'ers getting on the awesome ice out east!

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my first time on NE ice; cbcbd showed me his old playground :)

 

mm- i saw a pair of shiny bolts with rings in the cave on the right side of the standard, right before the route steepens up to the belay shelf.

 

 

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Looks like a great trip.

 

I have to ask V, how come your crampon heels stick out so far? Is that because you have small feet?

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I have to ask V, how come your crampon heels stick out so far? Is that because you have small feet?

 

hey kevin,

i was wearing my old grivel rambos (fully rigid) and couldn't adjust them down any further without moving the toe piece back. doesn't look as nice, but i don't like the front point sticking out too far forward.

 

good eye :)

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Well at least New Hampshire has that going for it. Did you take the child up a few pitches in his Kelty Kid carrier? Nice photos and well done!

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Well at least New Hampshire has that going for it. Did you take the child up a few pitches in his Kelty Kid carrier? Nice photos and well done!

 

haha, cause you know - there's nothing else good about nh! no granite to climb in summer, or anything like that...

 

the baby stayed with his grandparents in connecticut this time. he'll stick to skiing for now :)

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Well at least New Hampshire has that going for it. Did you take the child up a few pitches in his Kelty Kid carrier? Nice photos and well done!

 

haha, cause you know - there's nothing else good about nh! no granite to climb in summer, or anything like that...

 

the baby stayed with his grandparents in connecticut this time. he'll stick to skiing for now :)

 

Hmmm...maybe I'm thinking of Vermont.

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Sweet! I see you regained your senses when you found yourself in the land of fat blue ice and passed on Chouinard's black, filthy, horrendous icicle in favor of the good stuff. Funny how standards change outside of Washington...

 

 

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thanks, all!

 

Chouinard's black, filthy, horrendous icicle

 

nice reference, z. funny how the route forms: it's most common that the upper pitch remains huge throughout the season, but the lower pitches tend to become thin and "mixed". the upper portion of the route gets some sun, so continues the freeze/thaw, but with the cold temps the bottom actually sublimates as the season progresses. wow, cold much?

we really did try to look at it with our "WA ice" eyes! we really did pretend like it was "in", but we were worried about looking downright idiotic in front of courtney and doug. maybe we'll put it off until we don't have to do the first two pitches on bare unprotectable rock :)

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