Day 1 (Saturday)
What a weekend! Hope everyone got out to enjoy the current fatness. Ice climbing conditions were perfect in the Laurel Highlands. Longtime climbing friend Matt Johns finally made the drive up from Kentucky for some ice climbing. It'd been about 9 or 10 years since Matt has climbed ice. For many years the conditions seemed to have thwarted all attempts Matt has made to come climb ice. Well this was the year. Laura and I were in need of another rest day and Matt needed a slight refresher on the art of ice climbing. Schoolhouse was our destination for Saturday. After a delicious breakfast at Valley Dairy, we drove to Ohiopyle. The road into Mitchell parking hadn't been plowed so we had to park at the main parking area in town and snwoshoe 4 miles into the climb. Matt's an adventurous guy and Laura likes to hike so we decided it was a nice way to spend the day.
Laura and Matt starting the day. Photo TA
We set off from the parking area and the going wasn't bad the first 1.75 miles. Snowmobiles had been down the rail trail packing the snow and making for easy travels. Stopped by a downed tree, the easy going ended there. Breaking trail in the deep snow was the norm the rest of the way. I was pulling Laura's and my gear on a sled and Matt was packing his own. It took about 2 hrs for us to reach the crag. I had been worried about the ice conditions with all the sun beating down. Matt and Laura had slowed down a good bit in the final 1/2 mile push to the climb. He was very excited upon his arrival at the cliff. We found the ice in snowcone condition. I quickly geared up and climbed the route. I belayed Matt up as Laura took some photos.
Laura climbing Flying Dutchman. Photo TA
One of many bent trees on the way out. Photo LH
Laura's view on the Schoolhouse shuttle. Photo LH
The happy crew
The southerner says - mmm mmm good eatin'. Sneak photo LH
Day 2 (Sunday)
Matt & I checking out the routes. Photo LH