Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Last Friday I headed to the sport climbing gem of the Highgrade Wall in Marshfield, VT. There was a pretty good crew of five headed there and we were surprised by some pretty wintery conditions upon arriving!

Courtney warming up on the highgrade

One of the coolest things about climbing at this wall is that it is located about 300 feet up a giant slab reminiscent of Whitehorse Ledge in North Conway. Amazingly there is a massive ledge to hang out on which makes for one of the coolest sport climbing hangs I've ever experienced. I had been up here a few random times in the past but it took a couple of burns to re-figure the moves on the route. The routes on the wall, save Peter K's futuristic project, all start the same which can be tricky with a crowd. The climbing is amazing on crisp granite edges with big moves between! I had my eye on sending the Highgrade Direct 13b and made some pretty good progress during the day. I was also excited to figure out new beta for the highgrade 13a which I had always avoided due to what I thought was a pretty un-enjoyable crux. With the new beta my friend Brian Bittner, new to route climbing but a stone cold crusher on the boulders, sent High Grade and I gave it one last go, punting on the low crux. Bummer!

Brian off the crux of Highgrade

I'm planning on going back on Saturday although Brian told me that on Sunday our friend Steve Potter may have broken the hold I was using in the crux. Hopefully that info is wrong and it will go down next go!

Check out some photos!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

One more day at the Web!

I just got back from yet another day at the Spider's Web. This time it was nice to not have the burden on Wheelin N' Dealin looming over my head and to get the chance to belay my friend Peter Kamitses on it. Peter had toproped on the route a bit while I was working it and quickly got on the sharp end today. After taking the big fall from the crux, he thought his day was over due to the sun starting to bake the wall. As the weather tends to do though in the northeast, the clouds suddenly moved in and Peter went for it again grabbing the second ascent!

Lycanthropia on the left and Wheelin N' Dealin on the right

I was psyched on my day as well after sending Lycanthropia 12c which is the first route left of Wheelin. This is an old Martin Berzins route from the early 90's. I took a quick toprope burn to figure out a key piece which is placed blindy before the crux, and then another to sort out some new beta after breaking a foot at the crux. Feeling pretty good, I went for it on lead and sent! Psyched! The route shares a short 4' of the crag classic Drop Fly or Die before breaking out right through an insecure boulder problem to an incredible finger crack above. Although you never know in these parts, it was more than likely the second ascent of the route! Folks should go and get on this thing! It's mega-classic!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Training Programs and Consultations!

I've just added a Paypal button below for those of you who are interested in purchasing a personalized training plan and or consulting with me about your climbing goals!

As we enter the winter season, it's time to start hitting the gym and the plastic. Do you have goals for the spring or for a mid-winter trip? Send me an email at matty.mccormick@gmail.com and I'll send you a questionnaire to fill out. From there I'll construct a personalized training plan based on your goals, abilities, and motivation! I will also include ideas for mental training for those who are interested. The price is $95.00 for a plan and consultation as well as the ability to continue to check in with me in the future with questions and where to go next.

Feel free to email me with any questions and enjoy the rest of the fall!!! The conditions are prime!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Wheelin N' Dealin

On Saturday I sent the new line at the Spider's Web that I've been trying just about every weekend, save a few, since July. I'm really psyched! I put a lot of time into this thing and a lot of people, especially my girlfriend, we're super patient putting up with my obsession during that time. It's amazing to have found such an incredible line at a the web which is one of the most popular crags in the Adirondack State Park.

The route follows an incipient seam that had been checked out by climbers over the years but never attempted. Back in July I put an anchor on the line and began working out the moves. The route follows a 12cish seam to a rest at a horizontal and then through some entry moves to a V8 boulder problem a ways above your last gear. The gear includes three hybrid aliens including a tipped out green/yellow at the crux and several questionable micro rps which fortunately were never tested. This route forced me to use the worst feet I've ever had to use on a route and completely changed my perception of what is possible to stand on.

I named the route Wheelin N' Dealin (5.13c R 100') after a foot blew and sent me for a nasty "cartwheel whipper" from the crux back in September. The next day on it, after taking that fall, three key holds broke off and the route got a bit harder. I had to work out new beta for some parts of the route and then some other weekend commitments kept me away for a couple of weeks. I always had that nasty fall in the back of my head. Last weekend I went up on lead but got spooked and jumped off. I sent yesterday on my first go after getting the re-warms in my fingers warming up! It was a perfect day with perfect temps and just Naomi and I at the best crag in the Daks.

Check out a short video I made about the process here: