Ice Climbing

2009-10-08 22:12:11.000 – Mike Finnegan,  IT Observer

Off the Ground and on Ice!

Well, it has been quite an eventful day on the summit. As Ryan mentioned in his last comment, we experienced our first winds over 100 mph last night, topping out at 107 mph a little before 10PM EST. It was nice to go to bed listening to the roar of the wind outside the window, changing pitch with the gusts and lulls. It’s like a natural white noise machine or your own personal freight train. Really, who wouldn’t want a freight train out their bedroom window all night? Waking up this morning I was immediately reminded of the winter chill the bedroom gets, although it’s nothing compared to the subzero days to come. Walking upstairs to work, I discovered freezing rain fell and formed a solid coat of glaze ice on everything. Glaze ice is the familiar water ice one is accustomed to in the valley, whereas rime ice is frozen fog and is of a white, feathery nature due to the air trapped within. Rime, although it can build up several inches an hour, detaches readily from surfaces with the gentle whack of a crowbar. Glaze on the other hand is not so friendly and takes significantly more force. This is not always so bad though. I ran to the top of the tower this morning, hoping to find enough ice accumulated to place an ice tool into. Since the first signs of winter have brushed the summit a few times now, my eagerness for ice climbing has grown as well. Although I do love rock climbing, if I have to belay in a down jacket, I would rather have crampons on my feet than climbing shoes! Still, it is fall in the valley and a while yet until good ice forms, but it was nice to tool around nonetheless.


Mike Finnegan,  IT Observer

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