Scheduling Your Adventure

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Northeastern Travel Planning

Go Stowe: Provides a range of resources useful for your travels to and within the Stowe (VT) area.

Vermont Outdoor Guide Association: Provides helpful links to lodging, activities, and other services useful for your Vermont vacation.

Greenmont Farms: This is a great plan if you're climbing with a group in the Smugglers Notch area.  Rent out rooms in a nicely renovated authentic Vermont barn.

Groups at Lake Willoughby:  If you're looking to gather a gang at "The Lake", this could be an excellent choice.

Fairbanks Inn: For people headed to Lake Willoughby for ice climbing or Wheeler Mountain for rock climbing, this is a great local lodging option.

Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce:  Provides a range of resources useful for your travels to and within the Mt. Washington (NH) area.

Franconia Notch Chamber of Commerce: Provides a range of resources useful for your travels to and within the Franconia Notch (NH) area.

White Mountains Hostel: A great place to stay in the Mt. Washington Valley (NH) if you're with a group or on a budget. 

Keene Chamber of Commerce: Provides a range of resources useful to your travels to and within the Keene Valley area.

Lake Placid Homepage: Provides a range of resources useful to your travels to and within the Lake Placid/ADK High Peaks area.

Keene Valley Hostel: A great place to stay in Keene Valley (NY) if you're with a group or on a budget.  Camping is available, with use of the hostel's kitchen and shower/bath facilities. 

High Peaks Hostel: Within walking distance to Lake Placid, this hostel provides clean budget accomodations for individuals and groups.

Appalachian Mountain Club: Offers an array of lodging options in the White Mountains, as well as information on a host of topics related to the conservation and enjoyment of the Appalachian outdoors.

Adirondack Mountain Club: Offers an array of lodging options in the Adirondacks, as well as information on a host of topics related to the conservation and enjoyment of the Adirondack outdoors.

Green Mountain Club: Offers an array of lodging options in the Green Mountains, as well as information on a host of topics related to the conservation and enjoyment of the Green Mountain outdoors.

Adventure Through the Ages: The adventures we all enjoy take place in the outdoor world; at the same time, the travel we take does impact that world.  Consider integrating carbon-offsets into your travel strategies and make wise choices about that strategy.  This link provides a review of carbon-offset options and links to carbon-offset provider reviews.  

Weather+Conditions Reports

Mt. Washington Observatory: Offers the most complete and up-to-the-minute information about Mt. Washington's ever-changing weather.

Mt. Washington Avalanche Center: Offers vital information about the avalanche conditions in Huntington and Tuckerman Ravines (NH).

New England Climbing (NEClimbs): A useful resource for information on rock and ice routes and current conditions. 

Northeastern Ice (NEIce): A useful resource for information on ice routes and current conditions.  

Gearing Up

There is a lot of great gear out there and a lot of great gear suppliers.  But when getting into gear, moderation is the key.  Sometimes it seems that people spend too much time grocking over gear and not enough actually using it!  The most important thing in preparing for any adventure is not gear preparation—it is physical, mental, and technical preparation.  Also in preparing gear for your adventure, it is wise to remember the words of Antoine St. Exupery, who said, "Perfection is not reached when there's nothing more to add, but when there's nothing more to take away."  Focus on simplifying your system and staying physically prepared, and then with whatever time remains, you can check out some of our favorite gear resources below: 

Mammut:  This Swiss-based company with its American roots in Vermont is a designer and producer of high-quality performance climbing gear.  Whether you're looking for a sleeping bag to get you through a chilly alpine bivvy or a harness for working through your latest steep rock project, Mammut is the go-to place for the climbing connoisseur.

Outdoor Gear Exchange: This on-line site offers tremendous bargains on new, used, clearance, and closeout merchandise, all supported by very friendly and knowledgeable staff.  Additionally, their bricks-and-mortar site site in Burlington, VT has an entire basement filled with quality clothing, climbing, and backcountry skiing consignment items. 

Sierra Trading Post: This on-line site specializes in clearance and closeout merchandise and typically offers substantial discounts and a flexible return policy.

Bradley Alpinist: Bradley specializes in select equipment for high-altitude and cold-weather climbing.  Plus, they offer a 20% discount for any climber who is purchasing gear for a trip being led by an AMGA Certified Guide.

Climbing Resources

Adirondack Rock: This website serves as a supplement to the excellent guidebook of the same name.  On the website you can find info on new routes not in the book and lots of great photos of cliffs and routes in the 'Daks.

Vermont Rock:  Vermont finally has it's own rock guidebook!  And there are still lots of new routes being put up—this website has info on new routes that are not in the guidebook.  

Climberism:  Climberism is the online site to go to for Northeastern-specific climbing news and information.

New England Climbing (NEClimbs): A useful resource for information on rock and ice routes and current conditions. 

Northeastern Ice (NEIce): A useful resource for information on ice routes and current conditions.   

Stephabegg Trip Reports: Stepha Begg is a Washington-based woman who has climbed many/most of the Cascades' classic climbs.  In between all of that, she somehow finds time to create very informative trip reports with excellent photo documentation.

Cool Climbing Clubs

CRAG-VT: The Climbing Resource and Access Group of Vermont (CRAG-VT) is the voice for Vermont climbers. 

Highpointers Club: This organization brings together climbers who are on the quest to summit the highpoints in each of the fifty states.

DCMountain Madness: If you live anywhere near DC and are active in climbing, this is a club to check out, with frequent climbing adventures on the calendar.

Blogs We Enjoy

New England Outdoors: This blog site offers information on a variety of topics—trip reports, gear reviews, useful tips, and other useful outdoor "news you can use."

Desk-to-Dirtbag: Follow the exploits of Ryan as he balances a life of weekday work and weekend play, with informative write-ups of many of his adventures on both coasts of our country.

Region-Specific Guide Services We Recommend

Adventure Spirit specializes in Northeastern rock, ice, and alpine terrain and select US and international locations.  If you're looking for quality guiding in terrain that we don't operate on, we suggest you check out these companies:

Rainier Mountaineering Incorporated (RMI): Since 1969 RMI has been guiding on Washington's Mount Rainier.  If you're looking to climb Rainier, Denali, or any of the Seven Summits, they are the company you should go with. 

Pacific Alpine Guides: If you're looking to explore the many excellent climbing options in Washington's Olympic Mountain Range, or if you're looking for some wintertime backcountry ski fun in that area, check out what Pacific Alpine Guides can offer you.

Kingdom Adventures: Based out of East Burke, Vermont, Kingdom Adventures offers an array of wilderness medicine and avalanche safety courses throughout the year, led by SOLO Wilderness Medicine and American Avalanche Research & Education (AIARE) certified instructors.  

Frost Valley YMCA: Adventure Spirit works with Frost Valley on their climbing programs every summer.  Based out of the Catskills region, this camp offers a huge range of adventure/outdoor options for kids and adults throughout the year.  

Climbing-Related Associations of Note

American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA): For over 30 years, the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) has been dedicated to supporting the guiding community through excellence in education, standards and certification to enhance the quality of services provided to the public, while serving as a resource for accessing and protecting the natural environment.

American Association for Avalanche Research & Education (AIARE):  AIARE is the industry leader in providing avalanche education courses.  Whether you are a skier, boarder, ice climber, or alpinist, you need to take positive steps to become "avy-savvy" and this organization leads the way in that process.

Professional Climbing Guides Institute (PCGI): PCGI evelops and governs nationally recognized training, assessment and certification programs for rock climbing instruction and guiding. Its programs are designed to serve current professional and aspiring rock climbing guides and/or instructors, university/college rock climbing program leaders, youth program rock climbing leaders, climbing club/association leaders and recreational climbers seeking to improve safety and efficiency. 

Climbing Topos

Drawing topos is a nice way to record details of a particular time for future reference.  Below are a few topos Kel has made over the years.  NOTE—In downloading any of the following topos you are agreeing to the following: Climbing routes and conditions are constantly changing.  The topos here represent only one person's interpretation of a route at a particular point in time, and the author of these topos accepts no responsibility for any inconvenience, injury, or death that might occur during your own climbing of any routes featured in the topos.   In using this topos you agree that you and your climbing party are solely responsible for the decisions made and consequences incurred during your climb. 

  • Elephants Head, Smugglers Notch, VT
  • Quartz Crack, Smugglers Notch, VT
  • Standard-Toe Crack-Thin Air, Cathedral/Whitehorse, NH
  • La Malinche, Mexico
  • Pico de Orizaba, Mexico
  • Winter Mount Washington Summit, NH