Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pemi mist

South into the Pemigewasset Wilderness from Gale Mountain; September 26, 2010.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Southern Migration

I had been wondering about the cliff that looms over a sweeping turn on the western side of the Kancamagus Highway. It seemed high, remote and impossible looking. Searching online I found a route that was something I could handle and convinced Tony it was something we should do. Southern Migration heads up the center of the right lobe of the cliff (below). The first pitch is 5.9 but there is a 5.6 alternative. I chose that and soon realized it is more likely a 5.7+ and the hardest thing I have led in years. I even stopped at a double bolt station 30 feet below the one I was aiming for. Whoops

The third pitch is billed as a 5.7 and it is a 5.7 with some fun climbing and hand holds right where you want them. Tony led. He wanted it and I wasn't sure I could do it justice after that first pitch.

The leaves that were just starting to turn last week are peaking this weekend. Mt. Osceola and Greeley Ponds (above) and Kancamagus pass.

Be warned the "smooth slabs" are really smooth and the slab climbing is steep. Somebody said 5.7 on pitch 4, but what they really meant was 5.9.

I think there are lots of first ascents on the left side of the cliff if you want them.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

One more of Whitney Gilman

The fog was dramatic as I drove by this afternoon, so I thought I would stop for a better picture than the one on an earlier post. This is the view from I-93.


Thursday, September 23, 2010


I finally developed a roll of film that has been sitting on my desk for a year. It has shots from Bay City, 2008 on it and a hike to the top of Mt. Kinsman in September 2009. There were a couple of glider planes up there from Franconia airport.

I think this is looking north to North Kinsman.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Kancamagus morning

From the Sugar Hill overlook. For once, the overlooks had a view surpassing those from the road.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Primary night

Tuesday night was probably the longest election I have ever witnessed. The results dragged in and the major races were uncounted at deadline. Most of my shots did not make the paper, but the TV lights and bar setting made the victory party for Republican Senate hopeful Ovide Lamontagne a lot of fun.

Guinta for Congress staffers tallying votes by laptop.

Booing the Democratic opposition, Congressman Paul Hodes.

The next day the count showed Lamontagne losing to Kelly Ayotte by less than 2,000 votes.

Meg and Brian

Monday, September 13, 2010

Across the Universe

Tony at the crux of "Across the Universe" (5.10a) on Mount Willard.

Looking down into Crawford Notch on a 5.5 section of pitch 3, comfortable enough to pull out a camera while on lead.

Looking back along the pitch 3 traverse from the anchor.

Route-finding on the upper slab. Tony led what he is calling (until shown otherwise) a 5.8+ route named "Black Mamba Flake Dance." Nice vertical cracks that thin out before the bolt line, at which point a layer of black, carpet-like moss takes over.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Whitney-Gilman to Cannon summit

Most hikers talk about "climbing Cannon " Mountain and most climbers climb Cannon, but take small, unofficial trails back down from the tops of the climbs, never venturing towards the summit. What about climbing Cannon to the summit via the Whitney-Gilman ridge?

I had been talking about it for two years and my buddy from Bay City days, Travis, was coming into town and wouldn't be swayed from tackling it, the harder variations on every pitch or even combining pitches. Thankfully, he was also game for spending almost as much time bushwhacking through thick scrub as on the route.

Looking down from the top of pitch 5 to some climbers at the top of pitch 3 and on down to the talus field. Twelve climbers showed up to climb the route between 7:45 and 8:15am.

Looking up the 5.7 start (the 5.4 starts around the corner to the right and meets up 50 feet above).

Travis tackles the 5.8 variation on pitch 2. The crack wasn't bad, but the sharp, loose flakes around the right corner took some concentration.

Coming up pitch 5 after hugging both sides of the arete to reach the spot.

Across Cannon cliff from the top of pitch 5

Climbing parties on VMC Direct (5.10d) and Moby Grape (5.8)

Bushwhacking through the upper talus field, looking for the Kinsman Trail. Sorry, no photos of the balsam and moss jungle at the top of the mountain.

On the trail, with the summit in sight.

Cannon Ale and hot dogs at the top of the gondola.

The route from a March 2010 shot from Mt. Lafayette (no snow on Labor Day weekend).

As written for the Concord Monitor: