Poke-O-Moonshine. Come again? Seriously, the cliff is called “Poke-O-Moonshine?”

Poke-O-Moonshine. Positive Thinking is front and center.

Marc and I were up way before the pre-game show on Superbowl Sunday to have a crack at “Positive Thinking,” supposedly the best ice climb in the Adirondacks. 5:30 came pretty early, but we wanted to be the first on the route so a quasi-alpine start beckoned. Unfortunately, we missed that objective by about 10 minutes to some Canadians who had drive 3.5 hours that morning. They get the alpine start award this time.

Can you find the leader?

The route is super fat this season. A normal, scratchy mixed start has been replaced by 140′ of steep WI5 that is fully protectable by screws of any length, any time you want. Hooks and great feet made the climbing fast and enjoyable.

The second pitch ramps up off the belay and tackles a steep, aerated, runout, but solid pillar onto easier, plastic ice above. The last pitch rolls off nicely into the trees and expansive views of Lake Champlain to the north. Not bad for a cliff named “Poke-O.”

Cruising up the crux.