April 9, 2014
For many folks in the US, this past winter was long and super cold. That’s typical of many of our guides as well, but they seem to make the best of even the hardest winters. We recently caught up with IMG guide Craig John to hear how he faired the winter in the Northeast. He shared some of his winter ice climbing adventures with us, as well as told of his plans for the summer. Here’s the latest news from Craig John. Enjoy!
It’s been a long winter here in the Northeast but little green things are starting to rise up out of the ground and the last snow in town is almost gone. We had a busy ice climbing season in the Mt. Washington Valley with a lot of routes formed that only come in when there is A LOT of cold weather and enough snow to replenish the ice when the temperature sneaks above freezing. Routes like Repentance and Remission saw a lot of ascents due to the fact that they were so well formed. In fact, they became a bit easier as the winter went on because with so many ascents, buckets were kicked into the ice that allowed climbers a ready-made spot to place their crampons. I did many ascents of Shoestring Gulley on Mt. Webster this winter, a favorite of mine and the climbers I guide. Mt. Washington itself still has some ice but the rock climbing season is just starting up with the adventurous climbers from the valley already getting out to work on new routes left unfinished from the previous fall.
As for me, I’ll have just about seven weeks to rock climb before I head back to Tanzania for my 22nd and 23rd climbs of Kilimanjaro in June and July. It’s a great time of year to be there. It’s winter there and that usually means there will be a little snow on the mountain making the views all the more stunning. The Machame Route has incomparable views that constantly change as we traverse around the mountain to our high camp at Barafu. And the safari is spectacular this time of year, made all the better with our private camps allowing us to avoid the crowded lodges.I invite you to join me on the spectacular journey to the top of the African Continent. There are just a few spots left on the June 23rd thru July 5th trip. See you in Africa!!