Mean Streak and Omega: Two Routes, Six People

I am still getting my head around this new era we live in where someone can get out climbing, come home and.. bam! we all have pictures and a report on conditions. It is so well suited for winter climbing. An intrepid friend and reporter for the Conway Daily Sun, Eric Eisele, got out to Cannon last weekend, he posted some pictures on Facebook, made a phone call or two and next thing you know half my friends are independently arriving at the Cannon parking parking lot, before sunrise, on a Tuesday morning. What a treat!

The kind of winter climbing I get excited about tends to be slow and cold, so the more good friends around the better. I often choose to climb in a team of three despite the difficulties. You always end up following a pitch right behind  your partner, dodging missiles, or, if your seconding first, you’re nervous because you don’t want to brain your wife’s-best-friend’s-husband. Somehow that is all manageable, and forgettable, though. The things I often remember clearly about a good day of climbing tend to involve brief flashes of climbing and a lot of hanging around at belays laughing with a friend. The truth of it is our cliffs are pretty small and winter climbing is really about 70% standing around shivering – so why not plan for what you are really doing and spend that time strapped into a belay catching up with someone, who, after many other similar afternoons, should be one of your best friends?

Here are a couple of shots from some Cannon three-way action yesterday.

The Catskill's ringer, Ryan Stefiuk, leading a second pitch to a lean and mean early season Omega, with Elliot Gaddy and Micheal Wejchert. These guys aren't afraid of a little hecklin'! (Prozac is trying to come in; just to the right of Omega.)


"Hey, there are some loose flakes, watch out.." Freddy Wilkinson and Matt McCormick folowing a little variaiton to the top of the first pitch of Mean Streak.


Freddy going straight through the puckerbush.

And check out this timelapse of the start of Mean Streak by Freddy Wilkinson:

The Mean Streak from Freddie Wilkinson on Vimeo.

The New Situation

This is my first time using my new website; it’s been a busy fall of getting this together, working a bunch and building a woodshed, but I’m almost ready for the snow to fly. Brian Post at 6288 Designs (anyone recognize that #?) put this together for me, and I can’t be happier. Now, I’m psyched to get out of my house, do some climbing, have some adventures and share some stories knowing that I have three cords of dry firewood stacked right outside my front door and a website for my business that has plenty of room to grow.

The new, not-quite-full and not-quite-finished (but good enough for this fall) woodshed at my house.

This is going to be a busy winter of climbing and guiding between two once-in-a-lifetime-trips; one for the AAC in late January to the climbers meet in Scotland hosted by the British Mountaineering Council, and a second trip in late February to Oman – my wife Anne’s cousin is an archeologist who needs a hand scraping millennium old rodent dung off some cliffs in the southern part of the country. We are going to help her out, and then get some Persian Gulf-side climbing in.

The new rodent in my life; the rock hyrax. A little critter just like this laid down some poop, hundreds of years ago, that is going to provide archeologists with valuable climatological data in southern Oman.

Right now, though, I’m just focused on trying to just getting in some ice climbing with friends here in the Northeast. It’s such a short season you kinda have to drop everything and give it hell.

My new crampons, the Stingers.. nice work BD!