Sometimes when you follow a rainbow it leads to dark, shady places. I’ve been telling my northern ice climbing friends that they must visit the Catskills. After much talking (practically pleading) with many friends from up north some of them are starting to listen.
We had the 12th annual Catskill Ice Climbing Festival this weekend. The clinics were pretty full and we had a record number of participants this time around. The slide shows and socializing were great. I think the highlight for me though was having my friends come visit after talking so much about the climbing here. Matt McCormick, Naomi Risch, and Alden Pellett all made the trip down from Vermont for their first visit to the Catskills. I think it’s safe to say they weren’t disappointed.
Alden sidelined himself right away on one of the steepest ice lines in the Chasm. A small piece of ice busted open a gash on his forehead. A visit to the clinic and three stitches later he was back in business. Matt and Naomi set to work on a big line in the Chasm. After a day cleaning and equipping, and two days of working the route he sent a new line in the Chasm at 5 p.m. last night.
I’ll write more about the climb later but for now I’d like to post a few photos and a video from the climb which was inspiring. I’m looking forward to getting on the line this week. It will be a benchmark by which I’ll be able to judge the difficulty of both past and future new routes in the Catskills. This new, yet to be named, line is 115′ tall and checks in at about M9, WI5-.
Here’s a short video sampling some of the overhung climbing on the new line: