View Full Version : Ice Climbing

02-17-2005, 11:44 PM
If any of you guys are up in Keene on Sunday driving down the road past Roaring Brook Falls - take a look up the falls for some little chic hangin on for dear life - having the time of her life! I know it's probably not a big deal for any of you who ice climb but it is for me. A personal goal since taking the beginner class with Ian last winter. I'm really excited about it and would encourage anyone who wants to try something different during the winter to do it. it really is fun and not that hard. i mean if i can do it.......
Ian runs adirondack mountain guides in keene and is just great to take a class with. i'd highly recommend him. i've got some things coming up that may put me out of commition for awhile and may even keep me from hiking much so this really means a lot for me to have ian take me out and do this for me. thnx ian
wish me luck!

02-18-2005, 02:17 PM
Good luck and have fun, it's a fun climb. You will do just fine. Hope that it stays cold. It was in pretty rough shape last weekend. Very thin and hollow at the top out, undermined by roaring water. It should come back with the colder temps.
I've bumped into Ian a few times, the first being a dinner party a few years ago at Rock and River during the Mountain fest. Although I've haven't had the chance to climb with him, he seems like a good chap. I talked to a few of his clients, and they all have had nothing but great things to say.

Doesn't he also own the Custard and Brew in LP?

I was on my motorcycle with some friends and we stopped for an ice cream. We were talking about the bikes and Ian said he was about to buy one, and that his friend lets him ride his yellow Honda 929rr. My buddies and I pulled out of LP heading toward Whiteface on RT86, and in the distance I could see a bike coming up fast behind our pack. My group was all in full leather suits and we decided to wick it up a notch and see if he could hang. After turning up Mamorial highway, here comes this Yellow Honda going about 140mph on 1 wheel up the mountain, with a guy dressed in the same shorts and Tshirt that Ian had on at the Ice cream shop? We all looked around at each other a agreed, "Crazy Bastard" :D I always wondered if it was him.

02-18-2005, 07:31 PM
if i remember i'll ask him but that really doesn't sound like him. and i have never heard him talk about that "custard & brew" place. i know he does some wk for the military - physical training stuff or something. he did the falls a couple days ago and said it was really easy & in good shape esp since it has some snow cover. but if it's crappy he knows so many other places. but then again i just ckd the weather and it's only going to be up to 15 sunday! geez. still better then the -20 when i took my class last winter.
brad do you climb much esp in the daks? if so, what are some of the best top rope / beginner climbs.

02-18-2005, 11:07 PM

Have fun on Roaring Brook! We'll be driving by on Sunday, so we'll probably see you.

The climb is fun, and much less intimidating than it looks from the road. The first pitch is a little steep for a couple steps, then the middle is a long easy slope with flats, and then the top pitch is steep for a short bit. As has been pointed out, the top pitch is thin right now, but this is only really a hazard for the leader.

I'm glad my wife and I got on it when we did, one night about three weeks ago. It was nice and fat!

(And please keep an eye out for the ice screw, with a yates screamer attached, that she dropped off the top pitch. I haven't heard yet that it's been found...thanks!)

I've been climbing ice in the daks for about twenty years, so I'll throw in my 2 cents on top roping:

I assume you're looking for ice you can climb without needing a leader to get the rope up. There are not as many ice routes where this is practical as there are rock routes. This is because there are not as many ice routes overall, and also because of the generally poor travel around ice routes (mossy wet north facing gullies).

The best top rope ice in the daks by far is at Pitchoff Right and the Quarry, in Cascade Pass. Pitchoff, especially, is an almost perfect ice park, with sunny exposure, a short approach, an easy walk to the top, numerous tree anchors, and a range of climbing from easy NEI 2 to sick overhanging mixed.

The disadvantage of Pitchoff is that everyone knows this, and it's a zoo on a nice weekend day. If you can get away mid week (or better yet, at night, which is how I get on the popular climbs), it's great.

There are also some easy practice gullies across the upper lake, approached from the Cascade hiking trail, but they're very easy, and often snow covered.

There's some good top roping in some more remote areas. We've been climbing new routes on the N face of second brother for the last two seasons. It's about an hour's walk from the garden, but you can be assured of having it to yourself.

Have fun!


02-21-2005, 09:37 AM
We went by RB twice, and saw people on it both times (once about 11 AM, once about 4 PM). :)

02-22-2005, 08:52 PM
WOW! Well let me tell you. First, HUGS & KISSES & TONS of thanks to Ian for getting my butt up Roaring Brook Falls. You have to understand I only took a 1/2 day class last year and it was -20 so it was hard to really stay at it for very long. and i have not been climbing since. first we went to a little wall xcross from Capel Pond to warm up and for him to make sure he was confident in my ability & not just my determination to do this. let's face it, RBF may seem like a cake walk for folks who have climbed for a bit but for basically a first timer - well i knew i was biting off a big chunk. there were a lot of things that drove me to accomplish my goal that day - the fact that i probably won't get back out to do this again for awhile, my mom was recently diagnosed with cancer, i was the only girl on the climb and i'd be damned i was going to chicken out & just my own finn-swede-italian-scorpio-50yr old female hormones! we didn't use screws or top ropes; well ian was like my top rope he climbed up and belayed me from the top -there was a few times i was shakin in my boots. once on the first pitch i got over to the right where the ice is open and you can see the falls running - i couldn't find a good place to sink my crampons in and had a hard time for a bit; then near the top. but a little praying and a lot of cursing helped get me thru and it was by far the most exilarating thing i have ever done. i would highly recommend it. even if it isn't something you'd get into doing on a regular basis it is still so much fun to go out and try something new and challenge yourself. :D
i was down near the base around 1:00 i dont know for sure and we finished up around 4. we got hung up in on the middle level for almost an hr waiting for another guide to get his 2 clients up so that would have probably been me around 4 - in orange! :cool:

02-23-2005, 07:47 AM
Way to go Shadow! You may be hooked now. Sorry to hear about your Mom though. :(
My Grandmother was just diagnosed with it as well this week. She has never smoked, always kept in very good shape, and has been a vegetarian for more than 50 years. Go figure? :confused:

02-23-2005, 08:52 AM
Great job, Shadowcat!

Great climb, isn't it? And Ian is a good guy, and a very strong climber.

It was probably you we saw around 4.

Roaring Brook holds a special place for us too, for similar reasons. My wife's father died of a stroke about ten years ago (in Miami). He had had the stroke, and was in the hospital apparently recovering. She had a flight to Miami the next day, but he took a sudden turn for the worse, and passed away while we were on Roaring Brook the day before she flew to Miami.

Best of luck with everything.


02-23-2005, 09:00 AM
Shadow, our Scout troop was driving back from a weekend at Placid. We stopped at Roaring Brook real quick and didn't see anyone. However, on our way by Chapel Pond, we did see 3 people climbing a chute on the other side of the pond. Maybe that was you, around 9:00ish? The boys all took pictures, it was the topic of conversation well down the Northway! Congrats on your achievment, and I can see why someone could get hooked on that.

02-25-2005, 03:56 AM
Hey Shadow - just missed ya! We climbed the falls on Monday.

Here are some pics: Roaring Brook Falls (http://www.avatar12.com/roaringbrook05.html)

02-25-2005, 01:56 PM
nice pics thanx. i'm waiting for mine, my guide has them. looks like there was snowfall from when i climbed. just looking at where you guys chose to climb - on that first pitch (i'm getting the lingo! :) i went over to the right and was right next to the open part of the falls. i was a little nervous over there but something about a good curse word or two - really drives that movitivational force! i found it easiest when there was some hard snow cover - on those spots i just scrambled right up. the hardest stuff for me was when i hit a spot where it was all ice and no good bumps to put my feet or they were just a little out of reach. it sure was a day to remember - it's great the 2 of you can get out and enjoy together. have a great wkend.