Adventure Spirit Blog

Interview: Climbing as a Lens on Life

Recently, Ryan Shauers, who I climbed a fair bit with this past year (NH Ice, Torment-Forbidden Traverse, etc) invited me to do an interview for his blog "Desk to Dirtbag." The link is below if you'd like to check it out.

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Alpine Climbing, Ice Climbing, Rock Climbing, Ski Mountaineering, Backcountry Skiing

Smugglers Notch Ice Climbing Conditions 12-19-12

The big news is that you can now SKI up to your climbing! The Notch Road now has enough snow for skis--though you might not want to bring out your best just yet. I took the tools out for a ski this morning. Visibility was limited by all the wonderful snow coming down and blowing around, so I only saw and took pictures of a few roadside favorites. But, extrapolating from those, things seem pretty solid--and more solidity is on the way...

 

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Vermont, Ice Climbing, Route Reports

Alpine Training on Mt. Washington

Met up with a unique crew this past weekend for alpine training at Pinkham Notch.  Seems the Central Maine Medical Center has a pretty solid idea of what constitutes health, because on a fairly regular basis a group of doctors, residents, interns, and med students on rotation get together to enjoy the great outdoors.  This past weekend they took on the challenge of alpine training.

We met up at 8am on Saturday in the Pinkham Notch basement.  Many people have varying opinions of the AMC, but anyone who climbs on Washington will tell you that the basement prep area is an indispensable asset–thank...

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New Hampshire, Alpine Climbing

Presidential Traverse Preparation on Franconia Ridge

Lot’s of people do the Presidential Traverse as training for Denali, but I’ve always said that Denali might just be good training for the Presidential Traverse:  The Presidential Range can pack a whallop!  But if you can’t get to Denali to train for your Presidential Traverse a great alternative is the Franconia Ridge Traverse.

Last week, Peter & I kicked off the alpine season with a 2-day circuit on the Ridge.  We began at the Flume Trailhead, went along White House Trail, and connected with Liberty Springs Trail.  After 2000′ of climbing over 3 miles, we arrived at the Liberty Springs...

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New Hampshire, Alpine Climbing

AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course--Feb 8-10, 2012

WHY IS THIS AVALANCHE RESCUER USING HIS BEACON LIKE A CELL PHONE?: You'll have to read the caption to find out, but the quick gist is that he is demonstrating one of the many useful new techniques that are a part of the AIARE Level 1 curriculum. During last year's 3-day AIARE Level 1 Course we met at Crawford Notch to learn the latest in avalanche rescue techniques--but more importantly, learning how to AVOID the need to be rescued! If you are a skier/boarder/ice climber/mountaineer/alpinist and haven't already taken a Level 1 course, you should definitely put it on your list of things to do...

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New Hampshire, Training, Technical Skills, Alpine Climbing, Backcountry Skiing, Ice Climbing, Ski Mountaineering

Safely Back Down From Denali

SAFELY BACK DOWN FROM DENALI/MOUNT MCKINLEY WITH THE RAINIER MOUNTAINEERING TEAM:  It is futile to try to think of one adjective--or even a string of adjectives--to try to describe the Denali (Mount McKinley) experience.  Twenty some-odd days, immensity of spaces, ice and... snow chaos underfoot, blue sky above--until it is not, eight people coming together, challenging their limits, their training, their ability to endure stress, to endure the hardships and the simplicity, to endure at times the monotony, to meet what the opportunity offers in its all.  It was an amazing experience to share...

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Alaska, Alpine Climbing

La Sportiva Batura Boot Review

This winter season, La Sportiva launched it’s newest Batura “platform”–the sleekly-sophisticated-or-software-sounding “2.0.” There are several new design modifications that have made these things hot tickets–they are currently back-ordered until estimated January 2013–but I was able to get my foot into a pair, or errr, actually only one  (see photo) by way of the good folks at Outdoor Gear Exchange.  The Batura has long been a standard for ice climbers looking to bridge the gap between cold weather comfort and vertical ice performance, its nearest rival being the Scarpa Phantom Guide or the...

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Ice Climbing, Equipment Advice, Gear Reviews

Thunderbolt Softshell Jeans Review

As a guide, I’m out in the field so much that the accompanying “sport-outdoor” clothing can begin to feel like a uniform.  It’s a uniform I’m proud and thankful to wear, but I enjoy dressing down when I can.  So, when I heard about Thunderbolt Sportswear’s Original soft-shell jean option this past spring, it caught my attention:  Finally, field-ready clothing that comes on as casual!  My pair arrived in early September—perfect timing, as these are an ideal autumn climbing pant.  The Schoeller Dryskin fabric is thicker and warmer than your average jeans, but far stretchier and more...

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Equipment Advice, Gear Reviews, Alpine Climbing, Rock Climbing

Why Climbing Everest Isn't a Priority for Me

As an avid climber and guide, inevitably people ask whether I'd like to climb Everest.  It's understandable--for those getting interested in climbing, Everest is the name everyone knows.  Like any area of interest, as you get more experience with it, your understanding gets more nuanced.  For those that seem truly interested in my "why", I usually share several different ideas on the topic.  Perhaps in a future post, I'll go into detail on that, but if you'd like an abbreviated version of that story, check out these pictures, taken during the recent 2012 summit season on Everest.

 

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International, Alpine Climbing

North Conway Climbs Book Review

Perfect timing--It's drizzling here in Vermont this afternoon and my new copy of Jerry Handren's recently-released "North Conway Rock Climbs" just arrived.  Folks familiar with Handren's Red Rocks Guide will feel quickly at home with this guide, which is very similar in layout, right down to font.  As with his previous guide, this one is loaded with photos and he balances the photos well between inspirational ones that make you want to go out and find a particular cliff and practical ones that clearly show the cliff and the various lines up it.  One thing that appears to be expanded is the use...

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Gear Reviews, Rock Climbing, New Hampshire

Rainier Muir Route-Disappointment Cleaver Conditions Report

Rainier Muir Route/Disappointment Cleaver Route Conditions-05-08-2012

After several days of high snow, winds, and dismal summit conditions, things opened up on May 27th.  A team of several guides opened up the DC Route, uncovering the fixed lines  onto the Cleaver and essentially re-gaining the route that had been in prior to the big snows.  Keep in mind that when you utilize any fixed lines, you should ask "Fixed by whom? And when?  And what has happened since then?").  Above the Cleaver the route switchbacks up until about 13,300' then jogs right to circumvent a big crevasse, then jogs left...

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Alpine Climbing, North Cascades, Route Reports

Mount Rainier Muir Route / Disappointment Cleaver Climbing Conditions / Route Report

SUMMER IS HERE! (?) -- THE DC ROUTE IS FINALLY IN!!

Thanks to the hard work of several guides from the various companies operating on Rainier, as of 6/4/11 there is an excellent route going up Disappointment Cleaver and over onto the Emmons Shoulder. The Ingraham Headwall is no longer passable. Some notes and details about the route are included below. Basically, head up to Ingraham Flats per the normal route to 11,400', then drop in and traverse the Ingraham then onto the DC. Go up the DC, then up to ~13,000', traverse until crossing a small crevasse opening, then ascend/traverse generally...

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North Cascades, Alpine Climbing, Route Reports

Mount Rainier Muir Route / Disappointment Cleaver Climbing Conditions / Route Report

Mount Rainier saw the first summit in seven days (that I'm aware of) yesterday, by a NPS Climbing Ranger team and a former RMI employee apparently just back from Denali. Traveling in teams of two, they were able to travel fast and get higher than our 13,600' point (which I believe is the highest guided party point in the last week). Here's what we found:

  • I recorded track/route and waypoint info, but am unable to attach such files in Wordpress. Contact me if you'd like that sent to you. Don't follow that route too closely though, as it ended in a crevasse punch through at 13,300'! The...
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North Cascades, Alpine Climbing, Route Reports

Mount Rainier Muir Route / Disappointment Cleaver Climbing Conditions Route Report

Mount Rainier Muir Route / Disappointment Cleaver Climbing Conditions Route Report

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North Cascades, Alpine Climbing, Route Reports

Mount Rainier Muir Route / Disappointment Cleaver Climbing Conditions Report

MOUNT RAINIER CURRENT CLIMBING CONDITIONS–INGRAHAM DIRECT/MUIR ROUTE REPORT AS OF THURSDAY MAY 17TH. 

Down from the first summit of the RMI summit season on Rainier–and what a summit it was! Things began a bit rough and damp (as you’ll see if you check out the complete photos of our ascent at the Adventure Spirit Rock + Ice + Alpine Experiences Facebook site), but the tenacious team pulled through. Tuesday began a clearing and warming trend that has continued through today and is predicted to end this weekend. We had to break trail in snow up to knee deep on the way up to Camp Muir but by now...

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North Cascades, Alpine Climbing, Route Reports

Climbing Higher with Bradley Alpinist

Adventure Spirit Rock+Ice+Alpine is now a Featured Guide Service with Bradley Alpinist. It’s a natural partnership. Bradley specializes in climbing gear for high-altitude and arctic mountaineering, carrying high-quality, durable, and functional items for summit pushes in colder and higher climates…Mt. Rainier, Pico de Orizaba, Denali, Cotopaxi, and onward and upward...

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Equipment Advice

Sun, Skiing, and...Catamounts?...

The lifts are closed and the sun was out yesterday, making it the perfect time to hit the slopes at Smugglers–and apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought so. No, there weren’t a lot of people up there–I only saw two other skiiers–but I did see the tracks of something resembling the Catamount–Vermont’s famed, elusive wildcat...

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Vermont, Backcountry Skiing

AMGA Exam-Unleashing the Beast!

That was the battle cry for RMI guide Geoff Schellens and I (Kel Rossiter) as we explored Red Rocks Canyon (Nevada) in preparation for the AMGA Rock Guide Exam in April. It seems that a few years back a friend of Geoff’s was climbing way above his last piece of rock protection and his belayer called up to him “Place a piece!”

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Rock Climbing, Training

Spring Rock n' Rolling Skills Weekend

Prepare for a safe and successful season on the cliff. Rescue, lead climbing, & multi-pitch climbing will all be covered in these skills intensive weekend.

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Rock Climbing, Technical Skills

Ice Climbing Holidays at Bolton

Up at the Bolton Ice Cathedral for a Sunday Service yesterday, with a couple of wise men and wise women. As you can see, the Great Being is smiling on Northeastern ice climbers.

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Vermont, Ice Climbing