Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ice season '10/11 begins

The warm months have come and gone. I've spent most of the year running countless miles, mostly on the scenic 75+ mile Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail. I ran all over and all distances.  Some of the miles were in races but most were run for the freedom it provides and the incredible wilderness experiences.  It was the first year I spent doing nothing but running.  It seemed strange not spending every spare moment seeking out my vertical fix,  to make a long boring story short, it turned out to be a necessary break and made my hunger for winter climbing season greater.  Here we are on the verge of winter and I couldn't be more excited.

Today Laura and I decided to kick off the winter climbing season and headed to Ohiopyle State Park to clear the cobwebs and get a quick refresher on how to use ice tools. We spent a few hours taking a thrashing on the standard routes in very lean conditons.  Seems there isn't much water flowing which in turn isn't prouducing much ice.  There is no ice to be had at the start of Season Finale, while the Main flow, Hemlock and the others are slowly building and coming into shape.  This weekend will only provide slim mixed pickings for those itching to get out.  By next weekend, there should be climbable ice for all along Meadow Run.  We were going to check Upper Meadow, but got distracted and completely forgot.  Random photos of our day.

Laura crossing the bridge for the first time of the season

Myself below the iceless start to Season Finale

Laura on Anger Management

After Ohiopyle, we drove to Irishtown to see what we could find.  Here's the photo report.

Main flow still very thin

Dynamite M6 looks about ready

The Prow coming in nicely

One of this years projects???

O'Yeah I forgot to metion we checked out some ice yesterday as well.  I know we're not as lucky as most of the state and don't have much good ice climbing, but this is what we've got so far.  I guess it'll have to do.  The temperature at the parking area was 16°, less the ten degree difference to the bottom which made it about 6° above there yesterday and it sure felt like it.  The wind was ripping which should help to improve things a bit.

Left End 12/7/10 SW Pennsylvania

Overview of the Cliffs

Laura my ice princess was pleasantly surprised

A happy ice climbing couple.  Hope to see you this season!


  1. Thank you, Tim! I am planning to come out to Meadow Run tomorrow. Early season -- I'm so excited!

  2. Looks like a good start to the season. Hopefully the weather will continue to cooperate. Thanks for the updates Tim, hope to see you and Laura soon. Matt