Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter Game On!

There was a time not long ago that I couldn't wait for winter to begin. I would nab an ascent of the Black Dike as early as possible and even traveled to the Canadian Rockies several times to catch some Thanksgiving ice! In that last 4 years though I've stretched the rock climbing season as our east coast weather allows. This I traveled down to the Red River Gorge and the New River Gorge for most of November and left wanting more of that warm pocketed rock.

Then something clicks... I'm not sure what it is but every year all of a sudden I am psyched for winter. This year it was a photo posted online by my friend Eric Eisele of Cannon Cliff that sparked it. Out came the dusty ice tools and crampons, digging for warm layers that inevitably still have holes from last season. The whole process of packing for the first winter day out always takes twice as long.

Eric's shot of Cannon. Mean Streak starts with the pillar at the lower left corner
of the cliff line.

I left my house in Vermont at 5am and arrived in the Cannon parking lot a couple of hours later to meet Freddie Wilkinson and Bayard Russell. We had our eye on a route put up about 4 years ago by Will Mayo and Andy Tuthill called Mean Streak. Sure enough the 60 foot pillar at the start was in and the rest of the steep dry tooling, well it looked awesome. It was a great way to kick off the season!

Bayard styling the first pitch off the couch!

A short time-lapse that Freddie put together. More to come soon!

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