Climbing with Kings

I met Aaron and Brendan King maybe five years ago through a mutual friend and learned quickly that we had similar interests.  I was lucky enough to have a chance to get out and climb with Aaron once, but never with Brendan.  This all changed last week when I had the opportunity to take them out ice climbing. 

Deciding where to go can sometimes be the hardest part of the day. We have so many excellent choices in Crawford Notch!  However, I am all about the classics for newer climbers.  So with that thought in mind, I knew we had to hit up the Frankenstein Amphitheater.  The Amphitheater is home to several New Hampshire classic ice routes including Smear, Chia, Pegasus and Hobbits Couloir. 

We started out the day climbing the left side of Chia!  It was steep, fun and at times a little too soft for my liking.  My lead took a bit longer than expected due to the soft conditions.  For Brendan's first time EVER swinging an ice tool he made the 3+/4- ice look fairly tame. 

Aaron styling the steeper ice of Chia - Left variation.

Next I decided that the King's needed a little mixed climbing under their belt so we headed on over to Pegasus and decided on the Rock Finish variation.  I love this route, it is well protected and has excellent tool placements.  With a little footwork and coaching twin A and twin B climbed it well!

Brendan making moves up Pegasus - Rock Finish Variation.

 

To end the day I wanted to provide the King's a challenge and that's exactly what Hobbits Couloir does with its vertical crux and tricky stems on rock.  With pumped forearms and tired bodies we headed to The Moat Mountain Smokehouse & Brewing Co. to celebrate a fun day.

Brendan feeling the pump as he pulls over the lip on to easier ice!