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Courses in the NE for a total novice and a less inexperienced beginner.
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By God'sOwnRock
Sep 29, 2012

Hi, I thought I'd put the feelers out there and look for some recommendations on here.

My fiance from NJ has been rock climbing with me a few times but has never done anything in the winter but she has expressed an interest in trying mountaineering style routes (but probably wouldn't like pure ice climbing.

I am an experienced rock climber and have done some winter climbing but am still a relative beginner at that. I have done a dozen British gully and mixed routes that you in the USA would probably call "Alpine Ice" and a handful of water ice routes and a bit of winter walking but don't feel experienced enough to teach winter skills.

We're getting married in January and are going to go to skiing in Vermont after. I was thinking I might surprise her and treat her to a mountaineering course too as we love climbing together and I would like her to share this too. I was wondering if anyone could recommend a course or guide who could provide a few days course that we could both get something out of. It doesn't have to be restricted to Vermont, I hear there is decent winter fun to be had all over New England and even in New York. Money is a bit tight at the moment so being able to hire her some kit instead of buy would be good too.


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By God'sOwnRock
Sep 29, 2012

Actually you probably wouldn't call it alpine Ice but steep snow or snow ice. Not really big enough to be alpine and no glaciers in the UK so a glacier course could be a good one for both of us if you have any in the NE


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By Dave77
From Watertown, NY
Sep 29, 2012
me in NH

check out NEclimbs.com, they will have plenty of good information on mountain guides in the northeast. I would suggest spending time in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. There are plenty of guide services in North Conway (home of the presidential range). Off the top of my head Synott mountain guides, international mountain climbing school, and chauvin mountain guides are just a few of the services there. Have fun and congratulations on your pending nuptials!


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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Sep 29, 2012
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.

NH is the base for quite a few good guides who should be able to help you out. Art and Terry of Mooney Mountain guides come to mind. They are really great people, very experienced and good teachers. Mooney Mountain Guides

Like Dave said, NEClimbs is a good place to further your search.


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By doligo
Sep 29, 2012
Jose Cuervo Fruitcups dirtbag style

Dan, talk to Marty Molitoris at Alpine Endeavors - either Marty himself, or Ryan or Silas could probably work out something custom for you and your fiance either in the Daks, Smuggler's Notch in Vermont or NH...


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By God'sOwnRock
Sep 30, 2012

Thanks guys I will check them out.


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By Derek Doucet
Sep 30, 2012

Mooney mountain guides mentioned up thread, while NH based, has a Vt operation as well, and guides frequently in Smugglers Notch, which would be ideal for the sort of experience you're seeking:

www.mooneymountainguides.com/

Cheers,

Derek


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By kenr
Sep 30, 2012

Cautions:
(A) Many years ago I took two days of winter mountaineering from highly respected guides in the Northeast, and for me it was "turn-off". The result was I had no further interest in winter mountaineering.

But in recent years I started climbing easy alpine ice + snow + rock routes in Europe, and found that I enjoy them a lot -- because very different from winter mountaineering as normally practiced in the Northeast U.S.

(B) A guy I know who's been a very serious ice climber in NH + Dacks for years, trained with highly respected guides -- finally last summer got to make a trip to Mont Blanc, where he took lessons from a local Chamonix guide. When he came back home he told me that the approach for alpine climbing he learned there in France was rather different from Northeast U.S. -- and now he wants to get back there for more.

(C) A long-time backcountry skiing / climbing partner from Washington Cascades told me he thinks water ice is really a different game from alpine ice.

If you're based in New Jersey, it's like a 7 hour drive to NH + northern VT (tho less to Adirondacks). And it's about a 7 hour airline flight from Newark Liberty to Geneva, just an hours drive from Mont Blanc with lifts to take you quick up into the big-mountain alpine world. So you can get on a flight from NJ at 5:30pm Friday afternoon after leaving work early and be up on real alpine ice by lunch-time on Saturday.

Ken


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By AbeS
From Parkersburg, WV
Dec 4, 2012

I had only hiking experience and wanted to learn the basics before going out to Rainier, so Feb 2012 I went up Mt Washington, NH with Synnott Mountain Guides www.newhampshireclimbing.com/ Did Mt Washington and a day of Ice climbing. Had a great time plus they have loaner gear at no cost (boots, crampons and Ice axes). I felt it helped prepare me for Rainier which I did in July.


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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Dec 5, 2012
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.

IME is worth a shout if you haven't already firmed up plans.

I haven't used Synott's service, but the guy is a hoot for sure. I'd be psyched to be dragged up a road cut by him!


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