White Mountains Adventure April 2001
of the wildest climbs I was ever on was up gully in
Ravine in New Hampshire's White Mountains.
theory the route was "just" a warm up or practice for Alaska...
the weather can be pretty fierce any day of the year in the Whites.
14th, 2001 we started up a fairly steep
gully called Dodger's Drop. While winds
very high, at least gale force,
discussed it with our guide,
Comeau and decided to give
it a try anyway.
route can be seen here in the photo to the left
the most prominent gully
left of center).
climb was mixed snow and ice
at maximum 60 degrees..
gives an idea of the steepness of the route.
ski area is in the background.
other side of the gully.
cloud cap is blowing snow
the summit of Mount Washington.
are anchored into a steep section
the route attached to several ice screws.
is the view up!
is leading the one of the steeper sections up to the rocks
he will hammer in some pitons. Matt is belaying.
topped out the gulley, ending up on Boote Spur, around 5000 feet elevation.
here the wind was considerably stronger. Notice the rope and how
hard we are leaning.
sky over Wildcat Mountain was unearthly. The cloud formations we
saw appear only
hurricane force winds over mountains. They are called "lenticular
was wild up there! A few minutes after these photos were taken, a
gust lifted Matt Powell
of the team, in red) into the air for a dozen feet, landing in bush.
ice ax became airborne, aparently lost for good. Alain found it in
a mile and a half away, two years later! The wind reduced us to crawling,
we could get down in the shelter of the trees.
this was not the first somewhat extreme climb with Alain in the White Mountains.
22, 2000 Matt Powell and I joined Alain to climb Shoe String Gulley on
what Alain said were "the worst conditions he had seen, high wind, loose
snow, brittle ice.
chill at the summit of Mount Washington was -100F. Snow was like
flour. Swim up through
deep snow, working fast because of the cold. Ice climbing and some
us up 2000 vertical feet in about five and half hours.
may be why Alain and I had the following dialogue on the steep part of
"I'm getting a new phone number"
"Yeah? can I have it?"
"Maybe... in about five years!"
we felt like the climb of Dodger's Drop was a major climb accomplishment.
week following our climb, Alain did it again... with his dog.
he skiied down it.