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Adirondack Ice: Endangered Species

Author: Bayard Russell

November 19, 2012

In January, an awesome line came in next to Jeff Lowe and Ed Palen's famous Gorillas in the Mist on Poke-O-Moonshine in New York's Adirondack State Park. Matt McCormick and Matt Horner took a couple of tries at the line earlier in the month and then I joined them for another try during the annual Mountain Fest. McCormick pulled off the scary first pitch, and we all had to give it everything from there. Not shown is our third and final pitch, the so called "Horner Corner".

Of note, Kevin Mahoney returned with Freddy Wilkinson over a week later for the second ascent. He linked our first two pitches into one extraordinary lead, and the pair added a final pitch to the trees. 

Bayard Russell

Bayard Russell, Jr., works close to his New Hampshire home as a mountain guide and a builder, and come the famous New England fall, his free time is stretched thin between the glory days of rock climbing and the endless preparation for a New England winter.

Once winter arrives, the fleeting conditions of ice climbing take over, and life becomes a string of temperature swings, precipitation, front points, sparks and blunted tools. He and his wife, Anne, live in a little cabin in the woods in a little town called Madison, just south of the incredible variety of climbing held in New Hampshire’s White Mountains and surrounded by good friends.

They love a full house and long morning coffee-drinking sessions by the wood stove. Bayard has managed to sneak in an ever-growing number of new rock and ice/mixed routes all over the Northeast, from his favorite rock climbing crags in quiet Western Maine and the bustling, suburban Cathedral Ledge, to the alpine terrain of Cannon Cliff and New York’s New-Hampshire-sized Adirondack State Park.