Ice

A few weeks ago, my friend told me that she and her friends had just attempted a winter Presidential Traverse. I thought it sounded like a miserable undertaking – low visibility, high wind, general exposure, and just plain cold. Then this week rolled around. I found myself with no plans for my one full day…

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Last March, I wrote an entry about the Harvard Cabin, which has pretty quickly become one of my favorite places on the mountain. The cabin was built in the early 1960s by the Harvard Mountaineering Club near Huntington Ravine, on the east side of Mount Washington. It operates under a special use permit with the…

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“Sharp crampons are like sharp knives: They are safer and work best when sharp,” says Steve House, a climber and the author of Training for the New Alpinism. Trekking on ice, snow, and especially rock will eventually dull crampons and make them less effective— particularly early in the season, when ice and snow are light….

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The ice ax is an essential mountaineering tool— arguably the essential tool—when climbing large, glaciated peaks or when ascending steep routes on any mountain in the winter. When exploring peaks like Maine’s Katahdin or New Hampshire’s Mount Washington in winter, using an ice ax—along with crampons—is not only recommended, it’s a necessity. STRUCTURE OF THE…

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Editor’s note: This article, adapted from No Limits But the Sky: The Best Mountaineering Stories from Appalachia Journal (AMC Books, 2014), originally appeared in the November 1896 issue of Appalachia. The four climbers involved—author Fay, Charles S. Thompson, George Little, and the group’s leader, Philip Stanley Abbot—were attempting the first ascent of 11,230-foot Mount Lefroy in…

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