1.13.2008

Oh Where, Oh Where Was Mutha Today??

So, I went on a little trip today. I'll give you a series of hints. Where Was This Photo Taken From?
The first hints will be rather useless, but if you can guess you'll win lots of prizes. As the hints progress, the value of the prizes will drop.

  1. (100 points) I had a pack, crampons, no poles and no alpine axe.
  2. (80 points) I headed into New Hampshire
  3. (60 points) The entire round trip took 6.5 hours
  4. (40 points) I ascended a summit south of Mt. Adams
  5. (20 points) See THIS LINK for a big hint (I'm on the left)
For those of you wishing to earn a special extra big prize-a-rama type prize of the kind that you only see on TV, identify where I'm standing in the picture posted on the right (it will be posted at 7:30pm tonight).

Click on the photo to zoom. Pretty mysterious, huh? No, it's not taken from the Boott Spur trail. Really? Really. Okay, a few more hints: Dodge's Drop - AGAIN! (Taken from Lion's Head)

  1. I said I didn't have an alpine axe ... but I didn't say that I DID have two ice axes.... and I REALLY needed them.
Click on the photo to zoom. The entire snowpack was crust - all the way down. It was saturated snow, refrozen. It was so hard you couldn't jam your fingers into it. Kicking my feet in only shoved my toe-points in. It took over an hour to climb the 1,400ft to the top and my calves were on FIRE. It got really steep for the last 1/2 hr. So much so that my posture went from axes in front (kind of face-level) to arms extended over my head, swinging the axes in like we learned in ice climbing. The axe blades went in pretty deep - that wasn't a problem. What was freaky was having no rope, no ice screws, no belay and nothing but a really supersonic descent waiting for me if I lost my contact. I have to say, the only difference between being scared and what I actually felt was that at no time did I lose control, lose my attention to detail, lose balance or technique, and never stopped (except to relax my calves) and never rushed.

I've done Dodge's with an alpine axe, and the PM and Doug Strott did too.... only this time it was hard snow and a relentless pitch with no breaks... and ice falls on the sides blending in with the frozen snow.

What triggered the feeling that things were different was having my arms extended above my head and feeling that in order to see my feet I had to pull far enough away from the surface that my weight was uncomfortably out in space. Luckily I was accustomed to the idea. Very lucky. It was also fucked up that at no time did daylight enter the gully. It was in shadows the whole day. That place is more fun than I can shake a stick at.

[Update 1/15] I forgot to mention - tMail wins the Where's Waldo prize! It's a pot-holder I made in 5th grade that Mrs. Nielsen said looked like I was mad at someone when I made it. It was burned in half in the famous "Mom, the pot roast is on fire" incident when I was 12.

11 comments:

  1. I am going to guess Jewell Trail...

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  2. Good guess, but no way! Nothing so dull. Here comes the picture...

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  3. Nope! But you're really warm!!! Think Hillman's, but steeper. Wait, last pic coming at 7:55....

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  4. Awesome pictures great day...how is the weather up there? Falling heavy down here in Boston...a true commuters nightmare. This weekend I hope we have a little adversity for weather...but at the same time I hope we have some excellent views.

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  5. Holy puckering ice chutes of Siberia... Hopefully your corn knot has released itself by now and you're experiencing some of thsi lovely snow that we're getting down here.

    Great pics. I'm psyched for next weekend. The back is getting better daily. The v-hole is another story...

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  6. I can't even BEGIN to describe how puckeringly sphinteriffic it was at the top. Bear in mind I've done this same gully 3 times already! It's like a whole new ball game when you look down and there's no way to reasonably stop. I actually could hear the sound of gortex on ice in my head ffwwwwwwwzzzzzzZZZZZZZZHHHHHHHH!

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  7. YIKES....steep, exposure, fast conditions, ice tools, no rope/screws/pickets....double YIKES....your pics alone made me remember why ice climbing makes my v-hole as sandy as the MPMs. Cool pics...sure it had to be quit the rush....and 6.5 hours round trip with the summit....very nice!

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  8. how much snow you getting up there muthaz? we may be doing some serious trail breaking come spungie-day if the 14' we got here is any indication. good thing I got you mountain yaks to pack out the trail.

    cold/snow forecasted for all week.
    current forecast for Franconia, NH:
    Jan 19 Snow Shower/Wind High 21°
    current forecast for Mt Washington:
    Jan 19 Snow Shower/Wind High 3°
    (winds from the W. 53 mph)

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  9. g-$$$, it was blood-curdling. My knuckles are all swollen and sore from banging them into the surface with each swing. I wanted to sink the picks deep and didn't notice that I was hitting my knuckles until they started to hurt. Oh, and one other thing: a long time ago I had said that I didn't have the arm strength to climb with axes and twice you corrected me and said "it's really about the legs". Well no shit. You were so right. My calves are still aching. They were BURNING in the gully - and it was hard to find a way to rest because I didn't want to lose contact with the surface.

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  10. Oh yeh, one other thing. Danville got HAMMERED with this storm. Really Hammered! Why, there must've been almost 3 inches of snow in the driveway.

    Douche-bag snowflakes. You coastal assholes got all the snow.

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