Nov / 29

Early Season Ice Climbing on Mt Washington

Pinnacle Gully

I got a call this week from good friend and local guide Matt Shove of Ragged Mountain Guides inviting me up to New Hampshire for some early season ice climbing on Mt Washington. The forecast on the observatory website warned of bone-chilling temperatures well below zero, wind gusts to 130mph and wind chills exceeding 60 below at the summit.

Pinnacle Gully

“I’m in!” I was psyched to get first “sticks” of the season before the forecasted rain and holiday busyness set in.

Pinnacle Gully is located on a dark, north-west facing wall of Huntington Ravine. The mountain is famous for some of the worlds worst weather and highest recorded wind speeds. High winds, low visibility, cold temps, fostbite and avalanche are just some of the hazards on a winter ascent. But as I drove north from Connecticut, it looked like we could catch a break in the weather. Skies were clearing and the low snow accumulation totals meant avalanche risk would be virtually non-existent.

When the route came into view we commented that the ice looked a little scrappy and might not be thick enough to accept even short ice screws. Climbing conditions on the route turned out to be pretty good. The climbing was fun and moderate but protection and belay anchors were scarce. Rushing water could be seen and heard just a few inches under the surface. We opted to move quickly and simul-climb the easier sections in search of belays and protected stances. Thin ice meant that loose rocks would fall in the narrow gully.

Stats: Pinnacle Gully, Huntington Ravine, Mt Washington

Grade: III WI3
First Ascent: 1930, Scoville & Whittlesey
Temps: 0 to 10 F, wind chill ~30 below
Winds: Gusts to 62mph
Round Trip: 8 miles (approx)
Duration: ~7hrs Pinkham to Pinkham

Thanks to Matt Shove for an awesome day!

The cold temps this week mean there is lots of ice climbing already available in upper elevations and nearby in the Catskills!

We’re booking our ice climbing programs now!

Get in touch or call (203) 675-5510 to book your ice climbing trip!

Pinnacle Gully, Huntington Ravine, Mt Washington – November 25, 2013



Oct / 7

REEL Rock 8 Film Tour in Connecticut

Reel Rock 8 Film Tour in Connecticut
This will be the 5th year we’ve hosted the REEL Rock Film Tour in Connecticut. It started with a few small shows in borrowed classrooms at Yale and a few good friends. Its still a small community event, we just have a few more friends and I am psyched to show this years films!

Two Connecticut Shows

Buy REEL ROCK 8 TicketsTrinity College (Hartford) – Saturday, October 26, 2013

Yale University (New Haven) – Friday, November 15, 2013


Help support a worthy cause

These past years we’ve raised several thousand dollars for some great causes. This year we’re sharing proceeds with two non-profits that create opportunities and access for climbers right here in CT and across the north east.

Ragged Mountain FoundationRagged Mountain Foundation
A local group of climbers working hard behind the scenes to preserve access to Connecticut’s climbing areas. Become a member, join an Adopt-a-Crag or attend a meeting to keep your favorite crag clean and open for climbing.

Paradox SportsParadox Sports
Based in Boulder, Colorado Paradox Sports works to improve people’s lives by creating adaptive sports communities, built to inspire. Funds donated to Paradox will help support adaptive rock and ice climbing events at the Gunks in NY and the White Mountains in NH.

Gallery – Scenes from REEL Rock 8