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The Coldest day of the Year.

The coldest day of the year has been January 1, 2009. It is not hard to hold a record three days into the new year but I thought it was a great way to start a new year with temps below zero. I was scheduled to be guiding Michael and Brian Sands on an alpine climb on Mt. Washington. The forecast scared us off to Mt. Willard. We arrived at the parking area (aka the Wind Tunnel) and we never even left the cars. It was the kind of day that frostbite was more likely than alpine climbing. We would have been in for an adventure if we tried but with the start of the New Year we opted for starting off with good judgment. Coffee was much more interesting.

We made plans to try again some day and parted ways, never leaving the car. I opted for a little exercise and a conditions scout. I jogged into Frankenstien with a frozen camera and found that there was plenty of ice. In fact the Amphitheater was coming into shape. To the north everything looked in. Standard, Penguin, Drop-line, Last Exit, Welcome to the Machine, Coffin, Dracula, the Hanging Gardens had several lines touching down. The temps were still below zero and the wind was blowing 30mph with gusts much higher, still not a good day to climb.

My scouting brought me down to Cathedral and Whitehorse ledge. The quick cold snap after the melt down had brought lots of activity to the cliff. The usual suspects had formed up such as Goofer’s, Super Goofer’s, Repentance and Remission looked good and Thresher and Thresher Pillar were in fat.

Beyond this many interesting lines were trying to form and with the prolonged clod there could be interesting climbing. Over on White Horse the Myth of Sisyphus appeared to be in. Upon closer inspection it was falling prey to the sun despite the 8 degree temps and a cold north wind. It appears that even on the coldest day of the year if the sun is out the Myth is not safe.

Yesterday I was over on Cannon and conditions there are good. The Dike is fat and Fafnir is building. Don Price and I linked the two climbs up and enjoyed a pleasant day despite the 2 degree temp at the parking area. On the drive home I was excited to see Mt Huntington streaked with ice. Without a good history of the east face I don’t know what has been climbed but I am sure there are unclimbed lines to be found.

Overall my general impression for 2009 is that there is plenty to climb and everyday it is getting better. Sorry no photos since the cold weather drained the battery before I shot anything worth looking at. See you in the mountains.

One Response to “The Coldest day of the Year.”

  1. slesknolisaky
    April 7, 2009 at 6:26 am #


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