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Last Weekend In New Hampshire. January 20, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
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On a day trip with my friend Lizz.

She drove, I slept.  It was pretty cush.

We struck a glancing blow to a sunrise in Portsmouth, then headed on up to The Kank(amagus Highway) and the trailhead for Champney Falls, a cool spot where, on a good year,  there are some radical ice climbs.

The weather was great for hiking, and my lame ankle held up well for the hour-or-so approach.  The trail was well packed and the walking was easy, though at times icy.  I focused on my footwork to avoid tweaking my damaged joints.

We got to The Falls in time to find a small group of guys top-roping thick ice at the left end of things:

It looked like great ice, thick and steep, but it wasn’t the thin stuff the place was known for.

We dropped our packs and broke out the cameras and started playing with the light.

Now, Lizz and I met each other as ice climbers, and we both have decades of mindful experience under our belts.  So it’s hard for us to stand around and watch  people climb, especially when they’re sketchin’ and looking insecure.

And these guys were.   It’s probably not evident in this photo to a non-climber:

…but Lizz and I were fairly crawling out of our skins watching them, and we made a tacit agreement to put our points back on and polish up our Mad Skillz so we might be of some use as role models in these situations in the future.

Anyway, here are a few more shots from the day.

Ice on a blue sky wall:

Dendritic icicles in the stream bed:

Frau B. setting up a shot:

…and what she saw:

…a distant Mount Tripyramid (we think. There are a ton of tightly-packed peaks in The Whites.)

We ended the day down at the Swift River:

…well-frozen, that.

Then we stopped at Rocky Gorge Scenic Area.   The footbridge over the river:

Not the best light, but it was what it was.

All in all, a great day, topped off with a quick dinner at a brew pub/smoke house, and a nice nap on the ride home.

Thanks, Lizz.  😉

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Comments»

1. Sylvia Kirkwood - January 20, 2010

OMG! What awesome shots, CR! Not that I’m surprised, but these are mind boggling! What a sight! And what fun to be able to get the pics that you did! Love it! Would love to have seen it myself! Hope the rest of your week goes well! Stay warm!

Sylvia

2. Laurie B - January 21, 2010

Age catches up with all, sorry that you and Frau B can’t quite get those climbs but I know that if you could, you’d each show the youngen’s what for.

I never did climb like that and my body couldn’t allow it now. I looked and said, “Oh, pretty ice, why climb that?” I’m a sensible person after all.

YOU did climb like that and your body says “no more”. But at least, you did it when you could. Cross that off the bucket list.

Thanks for the photos. The parents of those young climbers are thankful that you were there ready to yell directions or call 911 if need be. We use to call that mentoring, but these days, every punk knows everything. What, we are the old farts? Good Lord, never thought i’d make it this far!

3. Laurie B - January 21, 2010

Beautiful photos, by the way. Thanks for venturing out and sharing our wonderful part of the world.

4. littlebangtheory - January 22, 2010

Yeah, we’re the “Old Farts” to some, but I believe we see ourselves as the median of our experiences, and consequently, I feel younger than my chronological age. I’m not at all done climbing, but rather am getting antsy about the length of my self-imposed “recovery period.” And seeing others on the ice reminded me of the feeling of flying when doing it right.

In fact, I might hit some ice tomorrow. I’ll take pics if I do.


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