It’s 11F outside my window right now, dead calm, and there’s a bluebird sky. That sounds like perfect ice climbing weather if you ask me. Sunny, plastic ice (but not wet enough to be dripping) is covering all the crags in New England. Good thing my friend Dustin is flying in from Washington in a couple hours for a ten day ice climbing bender! We’re going to hit up some classics and some new crags (to us, at least)–Smugglers Notch, Lake Willoughby, the Adirondacks, the Catskills, Cannon Cliff, Cathedral Ledge, Frankenstein, and Crawford Notch.

Last week it warmed up to nearly 60F for about 36 hours, helping to release all of the groundwater that had been frozen into place for the last month. The result? To everyone’s surprise almost all of the climbs remained standing and in good shape AND lots and lots of fresh ice helped to heal all of the routes that had been hacked to death over the last three months. To make it even better, the snowpack consolidated (I don’t think it quite went isothermic, but it’s a start) so it’s likely that traveling conditions are also perfect. Ideal.

Off we go!