Early-Season Ice Climbing With MudRat

Kevin “MudRat” MacKenzie posted this video on YouTube after climbing the Skinny Slide on Upper Wolfjaw Mountain in search of early-season ice. He was accompanied by Don Mellor, author of Blue Lines: An Adirondack Ice Climber’s Guide, as well as Anthony Seidita and Rodrigo Solar. MudRat writes us in an email:

“The transition from the warm to cold weather climbing season often finds me taking a break from lofty ambitions in the High Peaks. It is a time to prepare for winter. Firewood needs to be stacked and various projects need a finishing touch.

“As the first snows of the season lay claim to the higher elevations, I feel drawn to search for backcountry ice. Upper Wolfjaw Mountain’s Skinny slide seemed like an appealing objective for a mid-November outing due to its northern aspect, generally wet initial ledges and unique mid-slide crevice.

“We climbed it on Saturday the 15th with mixed conditions–little bit of flow ice on the lower slide, verglas, and powder-covered rock. Round-trip was about 10.3 miles over seven hours.”



About Phil Brown

Phil Brown edited the Adirondack Explorer from 1999 until his retirement in 2018. He continues to explore the park and to write for the publication and website.

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