Friday, February 12, 2010

Mt Washington Valley

Over the past weekend I went up to the Mt. Washington Valley Ice Festival which is a gathering of ice climbers and the people who love them. I haven't climbed seriously for several years now, but with my good friend Chris visiting from Colorado it seemed like the perfect chance to "swing tools" again. We headed up on Friday the 5th and immediately got onto Standard Route on Frankenstein Cliff in Crawford Notch. It was fun, but really cold and after a few hours my (previously frostbitten) feet were beginning to hurt, the perfect motivation to go for dinner followed by a slideshow presented by Steve House, who is not only the best high altitude climber in the world today, but is a really fun speaker as well. Saturday was more of the same: climbing, dinner, schmoozing, etc. but with a little photography before dinner.

Here are a couple of late afternoon images taken on the banks of the Saco River, just outside of North Conway, NH

Mount Washington from the Saco River

Ice Blocks at Sunset

I didn't take any photos of climbers/climbing since I didn't want to leave my cameras unattended at the base of the climbs. It was really crowded and if I'm 100' up an ice climb, I'd rather not have to worry about cameras.

Anyway, by the time we were finished on Saturday, my feet were really hurting. We headed back to the Moat Mountain Brewhouse for a dinner that couldn't be beat. Since it was Saturday it was very crowded with the ski crowd outnumbering dirtbag iceclimbers by a healthy margin. After contemplating the idea of spending money we didn't have for a room in the area, we returned home to the Boston area. As soon as I removed my boots I could see that my big toes were black under the toenails so that meant no more climbing for me for awhile.

Anyway, I'm in preparation for an upcoming 3 week trip to the desert. They have received much needed rain and so I'm anticipating a nice wildflower bloom. Stayed tuned for updates!