Rock Climbing --- 8/17/2015 - 8/24/2015 --- Katahdin, Rumney, Cathedral

Rob brought my van to Odyssey and I drove straight to Ashland to pick up Erin. We made it to Millinocket before bed time. The next day we entered Baxter State Park. We checked out the Roaring Brook trailhead, talked to the ranger, went for a short hike, and rested in our hammocks.

Wednesday was our big day. We were up at 4am. We drove to the trailhead and ate breakfast. We were hiking by 5:25am. The first 3.3 miles to Chimney Pond is on trail and went quickly. The convenient glacial steps made the uphill sections much easier. We were checking in with the Chimney Pond ranger before 7am. The next bit was a long section off trail to the base of The Armadillo. With stops to collect water and eat food, We reached the base of the climb around 11:30am. We had to rope up for the final few feet of the headwall. We did about 300' of fourth class unroped, but ended in a spot with difficult and exposed fifth class moves to finish the headwall. We also roped up on the grassy ledge to pass the bulge just right of the start of the climb.

Once at the climb, I linked the first two pitches. Not recommended since the rope drag was pretty fierce and we weren't really in a rush. The next pitch was the money pitch. 3" crack to 6" crack to 4" crack. I started to link with the following pitch, but stopped at a nice ledge were we could relax before heading to the top. We did one more fifth class pitch, then shortened the rope with Kiwi Coils and simulclimbed the final 300' to the Knife Edge hiking trail.

From there we went west about 10 minutes to the summit of Katahdin. Then back east down the Knife Edge and Helon Taylor trail to Roaring Brook. We reached the trailhead at 7:55pm. A 14.5 hour day where we hiked a 12 mile loop with almost 4000' of elevation gain and something like six roped pitches of climbing. We were lucky to have bluebird weather the entire time. The Helon Taylor trail surprised me with a few fourth class moves and some very exposed third class scrambling. Not a problem for climbers, but this is a tourist trail. I'm impressed by the hikers who tackle this.

The next day we slept late and drove to Rumney. We were low on water, so Erin filled a bunch of bottles with iced tea. Or iced something. It looked like tea.

Friday it looked like rain all day. We went for a swim in the morning. Why do people think it is strange to swim in the rain? You are getting wet anyhow. Then we met Mike in Plymouth for a rest day. We enjoyed the Six Burner Bistro and the used book store + ice cream shop (biggest scoops of ice cream ever). We saw the White Mountain museum and did not see Polar Caves. Were not tempted to see Polar Caves. Never want to go to Polar Caves.

Back at Rumney we played Ticket To Ride in the parking lot, then decided to try a few climbs since the rain seemed to have stopped. We got on three routes at Parking Lot Wall before dark.

Saturday morning, the rude park volunteer with the Dothraki beard offended Erin. And I don't believe for a minute that he has never lost at combat. Someone needs to cut that damn beard. We rallied our spirits and went to Main Wall where we climbed Armed and Dangerous, Metamorphosis and Clusterphobia (which I climbed again on TR... if I manage to remember my sequence I can definitely redpoint this climb). We finished the day on Espresso, a new climb for me. Mandatory heel hook! On lead!

That night we drove to North Conway so we could climb Cathedral the next morning. We climbed two classics: Thin Air and Pine Tree Eliminate. Our plans to climb Nutcracker were foiled by rain... which continued as we checked out the gear shops in town, and met Beth in Portsmouth for dinner at the Friendly Toast.

Erin and I got to see Mike and Beth's new abode. Mike made us pancakes the next morning before we departed for home.

An awesome trip! Not even slightly annoying.

<strike>Erin licking a cedar tree</strike> Map of our travels. (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Erin licking a cedar tree Map of our travels. Yup, that's what is here. Just a map. No other pictures.    Northeast USA -- 8/17/2015 - 8/24/2015

Short hike (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Short hike    Baxter State Park -- 8/18/2015

Short hike. (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Short hike. The iron accretions in the logs formed in the same geologic time span as the glacial stepping in other parts of the trail.    Baxter State Park -- 8/18/2015

Short hike (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Short hike    Baxter State Park -- 8/18/2015

Hammocks! (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Hammocks!    Baxter State Park -- 8/18/2015

We spent a lot of time resting in anticipation of a big day tomorrow. (Category:  Rock Climbing)

We spent a lot of time resting in anticipation of a big day tomorrow. I needed the rest since I was still suffering from an upper respiratory infection. This was slightly annoying.    Baxter State Park -- 8/18/2015

Erin slept for two hours. I finished my book. Glad to be done (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Erin slept for two hours. I finished my book. Glad to be done with it. The book was slightly annoying.    Baxter State Park -- 8/18/2015

Starting hiking at 5:25am (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Starting hiking at 5:25am    Baxter State Park -- 8/19/2015

First rays of sun around 6:05am (Category:  Rock Climbing)

First rays of sun around 6:05am    Baxter State Park -- 8/19/2015

First view of The Armadillo. It starts at the base of the right (Category:  Rock Climbing)

First view of The Armadillo. It starts at the base of the right side of the flake which is dead center in the middle of the photo.    Baxter State Park -- 8/19/2015

Erin at Chimney Pond (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Erin at Chimney Pond    Baxter State Park -- 8/19/2015

Another view of where we will be climbing. (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Another view of where we will be climbing. The approach looks really intimidating from this perspective.    Baxter State Park -- 8/19/2015

Erin coming up a fourth class section of the approach. (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Erin coming up a fourth class section of the approach. This part was slightly annoying.    Baxter State Park -- 8/19/2015

Nearly done with the approach (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Nearly done with the approach    Baxter State Park -- 8/19/2015

Erin nearing the end of our first pitch. (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Erin nearing the end of our first pitch. This pitch had lots of awkward moves and was slightly annoying.    Baxter State Park -- 8/19/2015

Erin nearing the end of our first pitch. (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Erin nearing the end of our first pitch. "That was so hard! Why am I here? After Frigid Air Buttress, I swore I'd never do another big route!"    Baxter State Park -- 8/19/2015

View down the awesome crack pitch (Category:  Rock Climbing)

View down the awesome crack pitch    Baxter State Park -- 8/19/2015

Nearing the top! (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Nearing the top!    Baxter State Park -- 8/19/2015

Nearing the top! (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Nearing the top!    Baxter State Park -- 8/19/2015

Erin finishing the climb. (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Erin finishing the climb. "I LOVE big days in the mountains! This was so much fun!!! Let's do lots more!" Though the loose rock was slightly annoying.    Baxter State Park -- 8/19/2015

Erin finishing the climb (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Erin finishing the climb    Baxter State Park -- 8/19/2015

At the summit of Katahdin (Category:  Rock Climbing)

At the summit of Katahdin    Baxter State Park -- 8/19/2015

Katahdin summit cairn (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Katahdin summit cairn    Baxter State Park -- 8/19/2015

We must be sponsored by Patagonia or something (Category:  Rock Climbing)

We must be sponsored by Patagonia or something    Baxter State Park -- 8/19/2015

Hiking down the Knife Edge trail (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Hiking down the Knife Edge trail    Baxter State Park -- 8/19/2015

Hiking down the Knife Edge trail (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Hiking down the Knife Edge trail    Baxter State Park -- 8/19/2015

Back at the trailhead by 8pm (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Back at the trailhead by 8pm    Baxter State Park -- 8/19/2015

Erin was eaten alive by bugs. Slightly annoying. (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Erin was eaten alive by bugs. Slightly annoying.    Baxter State Park -- 8/19/2015

White Mountain Museum. Not really the summit of Mt. Washington. (Category:  Rock Climbing)

White Mountain Museum. Not really the summit of Mt. Washington.    Plymouth, NH -- 8/21/2015

Playing Ticket To Ride in the parking lot. (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Playing Ticket To Ride in the parking lot. Why did I get that last ticket? Why?!?! Slightly annoyed!    Rumney -- 8/21/2015

Erin climbing at Parking Lot Wall (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Erin climbing at Parking Lot Wall    Rumney -- 8/21/2015

Erin climbing at Parking Lot Wall (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Erin climbing at Parking Lot Wall    Rumney -- 8/21/2015

Erin on Armed and Dangerous (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Erin on Armed and Dangerous    Rumney -- 8/22/2015

Shoe twins reunited! (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Shoe twins reunited! And 5.10 Guide Tennies? No, no. This is Xplorers only!    Rumney -- 8/22/2015

Mike on Armed and Dangerous (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Mike on Armed and Dangerous    Rumney -- 8/22/2015

Mike on Armed and Dangerous (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Mike on Armed and Dangerous    Rumney -- 8/22/2015

Erin leading Metamorphosis (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Erin leading Metamorphosis    Rumney -- 8/22/2015

Erin leading Metamorphosis (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Erin leading Metamorphosis    Rumney -- 8/22/2015

Erin leading Metamorphosis (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Erin leading Metamorphosis    Rumney -- 8/22/2015

Mike on Clusterphobia. (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Mike on Clusterphobia.

Ok, I'm going to write down my sequence on this climb so I can read it before my next redpoint attempt.

  • left hand on the good hold
  • right hand on mediocre hold immediately right
  • reset feet
  • grab the rail
  • clip
  • left hand good sidepull
  • backstep high right foot
  • next rail
  • clip
  • finish on good holds
   Rumney -- 8/22/2015
Espresso (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Espresso    Rumney -- 8/22/2015

Thin Air (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Thin Air    Cathedral, North Conway, NH -- 8/23/2015

Erin finishing Thin Air (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Erin finishing Thin Air    Cathedral, North Conway, NH -- 8/23/2015

Me leading Pine Tree Eliminate (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Me leading Pine Tree Eliminate    Cathedral, North Conway, NH -- 8/23/2015

Me leading Pine Tree Eliminate (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Me leading Pine Tree Eliminate    Cathedral, North Conway, NH -- 8/23/2015

Erin and I atop Cathedral (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Erin and I atop Cathedral    Cathedral, North Conway, NH -- 8/23/2015

Erin and I atop Cathedral. (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Erin and I atop Cathedral. Did we really bring wine up the climb?    Cathedral, North Conway, NH -- 8/23/2015

Erin and I atop Cathedral (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Erin and I atop Cathedral    Cathedral, North Conway, NH -- 8/23/2015

Erin and I atop Cathedral (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Erin and I atop Cathedral    Cathedral, North Conway, NH -- 8/23/2015

We did bring wine! (Category:  Rock Climbing)

We did bring wine!    Cathedral, North Conway, NH -- 8/23/2015

About to do the Mt. Washington style descent. So exhausting! (Category:  Rock Climbing)

About to do the Mt. Washington style descent. So exhausting!    Cathedral, North Conway, NH -- 8/23/2015

Awesomeness!!! (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Awesomeness!!!    Cathedral, North Conway, NH -- 8/23/2015

Boobs!!!! (Category:  Rock Climbing)

Boobs!!!!    Portsmouth, NH -- 8/23/2015