Adventure Spirit Blog

3 More Classic Frankenstein Ice Climbing Routes

Frankenstein is one of the Northeast's premiere ice climbing destinations. Here are route descriptions and information regarding how to best tackle Hard Rane, Chia, and Bob's Delight.

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3 Classic Frankenstein Ice Climbing Routes

Frankenstein is one of the Northeast's premiere ice climbing destinations. Here are route descriptions and information regarding how to best tackle The Smear, Pegasus Left, and Pegasus Right.

 

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Effectively Choosing a Climbing Guide

Many people question the value of hiring a climbing guide; however, a skilled guide-instructor can aid climbers in enhancing their safety, efficiency, and enjoyment of the activity much more quickly than bumbling through it on their own. This post discusses some ideas related to why and how to choose a climbing guide.

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Thoughtful Thursday#11: Finding Frogs & Success at the Summit

An article with particular relevance now, far from the summits...

Below, you'll find the start of an article I wrote awhile back about the proper mindset for mountain climbing. In this period, when people are taking responsibility and self-isolating, it seems like it could have new and special significance.

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Thoughtful Thursday#10: Decision-Making During Climbing

Snow sliders devote much more time to analyzing their route decision-making than do ice climbers, it's been my experience. That process helps reveal the human factors involved in deciding our goals and objectives in hazardous environments. Revealing those human factors help us to make better decisions moving forward. Here's a small attempt to encourage these sorts of conversations in the ice climbing community.

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Thoughtful Thursday#9: What Does the Outdoors Mean to You?

“What does the outdoors mean to you?”

This question was recently posed to me by @humans_of_the_mountains for its portrait-exploration piece on the subject. I thought it'd make an interesting TTH exploration, so here goes!...

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Thoughtful Thursday#8: Traditions & Climbing

What is the value of “tradition”?

Climbers are fond of celebrating “Friendsgiving”--an iconoclastic take on the Thanksgiving tradition, shared at crags with friends devoted to a similar passion and the love and energy it provokes. So rebellious and counter-cultural...

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Thoughtful Thursday#7: Climbing, Meditation, & Contemplation

Just back from some time in retreat. I hesitated to post this, as A) announcing you meditate has a kind of air of pompousness to it and B) it could be seen as having nothing to do with climbing. But, I decided that both of those hesitations were all the more reason to post...

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Thoughtful Thursday#6: Climbing Cars & Climate

“I gotta have a 4WD, I'm a skier/climber”...

I hear this comment frequently from people who take pride in being “outdoorsy,” who likely see themselves as “eco-minded,” and it baffles me—particularly in the NE. This is also frequently followed by, “I thought a guide would drive a Tahoma or something..."

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Thoughtful Thursday#5: Top-Roping is Insane

Top-roping is absolutely insane! I say this to my SPI students, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, as I mean “TR-ing done incorrectly”...but so much of it is. Here are the reasons why...

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Thoughtful Thursday#4: Fields of Play in Climbing

“Do you ever get tired of [insert objective]?” I get asked this question while guiding popular routes not infrequently. While I understand this question on its face, the underlying preconceptions seem to belie a misunderstanding of what climbing environments are. They are never static. Or benign. There is always a game at play—a game with consequences.

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Thoughtful Thursday#3: Rock Rescue

What do climbing and backcountry skiing have in common? Both take place in potentially hazardous environments that present rescue risks. How are these two activities different?--Only in one of them has a universally recognized minimum standard of training that you'd expect your partner to have before stepping into those environments.

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Thoughtful Thursday#2: Mock Leading

In light of some recent incidents involving new leaders, I was talking with a friend about best practices for learning to lead. He suggested mock leading was an essential part of the process. I quickly agreed. During our climbing day, I reflected on that “trad trope” and I now feel...

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Thoughtful Thursday#1: Types of Fun

Thoughtful Thursday Launch: How many types of fun are there?...Beyond Types 1 and 2...

As people plod down from a climb, there's often discussion about “Types of Fun” and where the day's particular climbing experience fits into that scheme. The popular notion is as follows...

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Thoughtful Thursday Climbing--Launch&Intro

Thoughtful Thursday is meant as a counterweight (but not a criticism of) the oh-so-popular Tech Tuesday posts out in the climbing world. An attempt to bring some mind into the muscle. If all we can bring back from the mountains and share are ideas about anchors and load distribution, then we're missing something. Something important. I know climbing can offer more. I've felt it in my life and I bet you’ve felt it in yours. I’m not putting out a post every week and I’m not suggesting you should either.  But I'll use those days to share personally evocative thoughts I’ve experienced climbing. I hope you will as well! Let's climb higher, together.

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Crevasses in Collegiate Outdoor Programming: Penn State and Managing Versus Overlooking Risk

Penn State recently made the headlines by banning the student-led outdoor program from running programs outdoors. This article reflects looks at the various models for running collegiate outdoor programs and the risks each involves, risks that are often overlooked.

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Essays, Technical Skills

Effective Clothing Layering Systems for Ice Climbing

Ice climbing is an activity unique in the winter sports sphere. It is, by turns, both aerobic and anaerobic, wet and dry, stop and go. Being prepared for an ice climb means wearing the proper clothes to help regulate your body temperature in a variety of conditions. You will need to stay cool during the active portions of ice climbing, warm during the inactive portions (typically belaying), and dry throughout your entire excursion.

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Ice Climbing, Equipment Advice

Learn This: Alpine Cooking

From an article that appeared in the August 2014 issue of Climbing Magazine. Experience-driven tips and tricks for cooking in the alpine. Check out Climbing Magazine to view the complete on-line article with photos.

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Alpine Climbing, Equipment Advice, Gear Reviews, Technical Skills

Alpinist Magazine Gear Review: Jetboil MiniMo Stove

The Jetboil MiniMo is another version of Jetboil's original innovative—but now outdated—stove design. The MiniMo, slimmed down to 14.6 ounces and 5" x 6" dimensions, is likely an effort to appeal to alpine climbers. Although the MiniMo offers some nice features—such as enhanced simmer control—it is as if Powerbar put its Oatmeal Raisin brick in a new bag and tried to pass it off as an innovation.

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Gear Reviews

Alpinist Magazine Gear Review: DMM Switch Ice Tools

This season, DMM enters the fray with the Switch. With dual offset grips and a radically curved shaft, in essence it references the Nomic. But, put the two tools side by side and you'll quickly notice the first difference: Though both are marketed as 50cm tools, the DMM is clearly almost 2cm longer. Obviously, a longer tool offers a longer reach, which sounds nice on paper, but I wondered both, "Why these dimensions?" and, "Does the added reach compromise the swing?" Taking the tools out for a first spin on Grand Illusion in Smugglers' Notch, I quickly reached the twin conclusions, respectively, of "I don't know" and "Maybe."

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Gear Reviews