Mixed climbing

Climbing the Midi-Plan Traverse

My partner was sick yesterday so I went out on a solo mission and wanted to see some new terrain. Not knowing exactly what I was going to get into I packed my Deuter Speed Lite 20 and took off for the Aiguille du Midi. After leaving the Midi I could see the Aiguille du Plan and it seemed the obvious choice for an outing but I knew nothing about the route. In my Speed Lite 20 pack I brought a 7.5mm tag line if I needed to rappel, a half liter of water, one GU, my Petzl Altitude harness, my Reverso, Sarken crampons, a sling and locking carabiner, and my La Sportiva Hail Jacket. So I was definitely...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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!

Read more...

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.

Read more...

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...

Read more...

Training for Ice

After coming back from Aconcagua and losing 20 lbs, I have found myself terribly out of ice climbing shape. I didn’t have the weight to lose, so most if it had to be muscle. I have been hitting the gym daily as well as going to Crossfit Brevard. John (Crossfit Brevard Owner) has been a huge help in keeping my fitness at a good level and is inspiring to work with. Hopefully this training will pay off in the Mixed Climbing Comp in North Conway, NH in a few weeks!

Read more...

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!

Read more...

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!

Read more...

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

Read more...