Ice climbing

Rescue in Michigan

The Michigan Ice fest had another awesome year and the turnout was amazing! Ice climbing in the U.P. has really grown just like it has around the rest or the U.S. This of course means folk trying things that maybe push their abilities a little over the edge and they can wind up in some trouble. Here is the incident report I put together for ANAC:   Rescue Report February 17, 2017 Rescuers: Jeff Whit Sam Magro Carlos Beuler Karsten Delap   The call from the 911 center to Bill Thompson happened about 6:45 PM. The call came through that there was a climber that...

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2016 Ice Fest Tour

I just ended my ice fest tour for the year. I was able to attend and teach clinics at the Ouray Ice Festival, Mount Washington Valley Ice Festival, and the Michigan Ice Festival. All have there unique qualities and different styles, vibes, and even the ice feels different in all three areas. Here are some of the cool parts of each and recommendations for those thinking of going. Ouray Ice Fest was held January 14th - 17th and most activities take place within walking distance of the center of Ouray. This fest hosts many clinics, gear demos, and slide shows from some of the top alpinists...

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Ice Climbing Looking Glass Falls

The climb that I did [Saturday, Feb. 21], was Looking Glass Falls, one of the classic falls of the Pisgah National Forest with many visitors every year. I pass the falls frequently, as most of the climbing guiding and instruction I do is on Looking Glass Rock, so I am always yearning to climb it. Rarely do we have temperatures like we have had in the last week that enable waterfalls with as much flow volume as Looking Glass to freeze. We have had some of these temps in the past few years but, due to the nature of my job and traveling to far off places, I wasn’t able to catch the falls “in...

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Ice Climbing: “A Leader’s Game”

Ice climbing is one of the essential tools for alpine climbing. Moving efficiently across mixed and ice terrain is a must to be efficient in the mountains. Ice climbing as a sport itself has exploded over the past ten years. There are now “ice fests” all across the country, and many folks attend these, take clinics, and try out all the new exciting gear.   This year in New Hampshire, I helped run the first ever Advanced Ice course that Fox Mountain Guides has offered, with the main focus on leading ice. In this course we talk about the seriousness of the leads and how ice climbing...

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AMGA Doug Parker and Roger Baxter-Jones Memorial Scholarship

I received the Doug Parker and Roger Baxter-Jones Memorial Scholarship for my Alpine Guides exam and here is the video that I put together for it!    

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La Sportiva Batura 2.0 GTX

My time in New Hampshire is fading fast as Fox Mountain Guides NH Ice trip comes to an end. This year we have seen quite the swing in temperatures from 51°F to -10°F. I have been in my La Sportiva Batura 2.0 GTX every day for work or play! This year I have had two different clients on this trip alone buy the Batura 2.0 and be way psyched on them. I have had all three generations of the boot, and the Batura 2.0 GTX is the ringer! It weighs in significantly lighter than its predecessor at 1.8 pounds total. As we all know pounds off our feet in the mountains make the summits that much sweeter! Even...

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Ibex Breakaway Hoodie

As fall approaches, temperatures get cooler, the leaves start to change, and we start to put on more clothing. I have been testing the Ibex Breakaway Hoody all year and it has finally come to the market! I love this piece for climbing as well as hanging out after a long day in the mountains. I started wearing this jacket during the ice season last year. It is great for ice climbing with its Schoeller® Wool stretch woven fabric and articulated elbows. The jacket also performed well in the Tetons during cool summer nights at high camp and frigid mornings heading up the Grand. The fabric held...

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Inspirational Video

I needed something to do last week in the hospital. This kept me learning as well as it is good inspiration to get out there and go hard! Hope you enjoy!

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The Sweet Lemonade

Mt Whitney towers above the Sierra (14,500 ft.) as the Lower 48 States' tallest peak. I usually guide the "Mountaineer's Route" in the early spring where there is much snow and, with the altitude, it becomes a full-on alpine climb. When someone signs up for a trip, they will have put a lot of time and money and focus into it. When I tell them we have to turn back, they are defeated and rightfully so. I always have feelings of  abhorrence when making the decision to turn folks around. It is never an easy decision, I think a fellow guide and friend of mine explains it well here: Will Gadd Blog It...

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Preparing for Ice

If you live in the Southeast, you know must be in shape when the ice is, because it isn't around for long.  I prepared this video for a "Guides Tip" for FMG but figured I would share it here as well.

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Icy Road to Canada

On the way to Canada for some training with the Canadian Avalanche Association,  I was able to get in a bit of skiing and ice climbing.  It started off in RMNP, CO, where we got up to Hidden Valley for a day of “rock” skiing. I then checked out Loch Vale Gorge and climbed the not-so-classic Ice Chim.  After Colorado, I headed to Wyoming and climbed for a few days in Cody. This place has adventure written all over it--long approches, steep ice, and hunters shooting all over the place made for long days and a great time!       I then headed to Bozeman, MT,  which...

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Choss Mountain, NC

Choss Mountain is a great little crag off of NC 221 near Linville Caverns. The ice here is really nice, but the rock faces Southwest so it does get late-day sun. If it is cold,  this could be one of the best ice climbing crags in the Carolinas. Some unformed pillars above some great mixed terrain.                  

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Canadian Ice

The trip is now over as I sit in a hotel room and relish at the last week of amazing ice and mixed climbing. Many classic routes went down, while many more are drawing me to come back. This is some of the best ice in the world with some of the best access in the world. Canada, you will see me again!

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The Playground

The Playground is a little crag outside of Canmore, Alberta. It is a dry tooling crag that the locals use to stay in shape. I got on a few different routes there and all were great. The one shown in the pictures though....amazing!  It is called Swiss Cheese and is appropriately named because the limestone looks like swiss cheese. This is the hardest mixed route I have ever tried, and it felt within my abilities. While I didn’t send, I am psyched to get back here at some point and give it a good effort. Very inspiring, Canada!

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Mammut Ultimate Hoody

I put the Ultimate Jacket to the test this past week. While ice climbing in Canada we got some very “Canadian” conditions.On the uphill approaches the long pit zips comes in handy while the jacket still knocks down the wind. Some of the climbs were still dripping and even though the jacket is marketed as windstopper, it sheds water very well and kept me dry. I will be using this jacket later this month on Aconcagua and will report back then! Here is the link to the tech specs: Mammut Ultimate Hoody

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