Friday, February 19, 2010

Blog press test

Just testing a new Iphone ap for this blog. The picture of Steph below is from a recent walk along the ocean.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's the Standard!

I started ice climbing back in 1991, the popularity of the sport and increased traffic at the cliffs has grown tremendously since then. So, if you meet up with a buddy to climb some ice and you find no cars in the parking lot when you arrive, what do you do?  If you said blah, blah, blah, then you're right, Climb the funnest route at the Crag!  

This past Sunday was the exact case I mention and just what Todd and I did. We met at the usual spot half way from our respective homes, finished the drive north on route 16, then stopped for some coffee in North Conway.  Fueled up on caffeine and egg & cheese on a bagel, we headed to our planned climbing area for the day, we weren't sure which climb we would do, but it became obvious as we pulled up the access road to Frankenstein Cliff in Crawford Notch.  

It was 8 am and there were zero, count 'em, zero cars in the parking lot!  So we planned to head straight to Standard Route, a New Hampshire Classic, with a NEI 3 rating (New England Ice Grade 3). Todd had not been out climbing for about a month, though I had been a couple of times and also the previous day. This meant that Todd would have the glory of leading the funnest pitch on the route, the second pitch out the left side of the cave.  It is always so fun and exposed.  To think I have another friend who solos this route on a regular basis....Oh well, I wouldn't do it, but lacing the climb full of screws and having a great time climbing some frozen water was just awesome!  I never get tired of this one...

I was filming our climb while using a Vholdr Countour HD action sports camera, mounted onto my climbing helmet with a elastic velcro strap.  I edited the footage to create the following video of our climb of the first two pitches.  My only claim to fame is amateur at best, and I must warn you, in the excitement of climbing with a brother and friend, I may have dropped a few F-Bombs!  So pop some corn or have a coffee and take a seat and climb the ice.  The video is about 37 minutes long.

I know every time I watch, I slide to the edge of my seat as I relive the experience. 

Standard Route Frankenstein Cliff - The whole story! from Steve Jacques on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Living the Dream

Life to the fullest? Absolutely!
For as long as I can remember, I've been adventuring outside into the wilderness. Fresh out of high school, I had to make some critical changes, or I could have headed out on the wrong path. It took a few years, and it was a lot of work, but I accomplished some goals and the mold started to build with a little more integrity.

I remember my first journey
up the hill, somewhat still a punk, dawning a cotton Metallica t-shirt, and work style boots (I might have had a windbreaker in the pack). My friend Roland and I headed up, with him even smoking a few Camels on the way. Well, fortunately the mountains accepted my application for study in life education, and what great things I have learned!

The photo above is from a recent ascent of the ice climb called East Face Slabs Right, on Mount Willard, in Crawford Notch, NH. I am at the most difficult section in this photo. How does one deal with such a challenge? Calmly and with fluidity! This was one of those special days, a cold day in January with the sun shining, the sky clear and bright blue. While many stood in lines for other climbs on this day, my friend Erik and I moved through on another climbing route below this one, quickly, while displaying good ethic and style. Arriving at the base of this pretty, blue, chunk of frozen water clinging to the side of a cliff, t
he hook was set and I was lured to the top. Some might loose their breath at the just the thought of putting themselves in such a situation, yet I accepted the challenge with open arms and took a breath of life as I anchored myself safely at the top. In trying to relate my point, adventure for me is life. The risk, the reward, the challenge, the failure, the success. I believe their is a certain strong similarity between the two.

I can currently be found dreaming through the eyes of my life and to the next adventure. There is one in there that could be quite special and I hope you'll stick aro
und to see all that may encompass what will be next.