After my trip to Newfoundland this year I wanted nothing more to do with the cold. I'd been wearing double boots all winter, and on that particular trip I wore a puffy jacket nearly all the time, except during hard leads. I pretty much wrote off ice climbing after visiting the Black Chasm last week. We found unexceptional conditions and a lot of delaminated ice. However, after seeing a few of Adam and Dirk Endres' photos of Salmon River from this past weekend on NEice, I decided I wasn't done yet.
|Looking toward the left end of the amphitheater - a cool spot|
By 2 pm we were climbing, and despite warmer conditions we found quite a bit of good ice. My initial disappointment about the warm ice was soon forgotten as we stemmed, picked and slugged our way up beautiful steep pillars in this very unique amphitheater.
|Chris, leading a route at the right end of the main amphitheater|
|Chris, starting the left hand variation to Mate, Spawn or Die|
I am glad I was finally able to visit this spot. It opened just as I was finishing my studies at St. Lawrence University in 2001 and I never went there. How I wish it had been open when I was a student there. I would have been a frequent visitor. I am looking forward to going back next season when the harder routes are in better shape.