It is often called "the Matterhorn of the Southern Alps." A two-page spread of the winning photo in the 2018 Climbing magazine photo contest went to a picture taken from the South West Ridge. That ridge is a snow and ice climb that would be out of season, but the long North West Ridge is a great late season option. It is a moderate rock climb up a sharp ridge with many gendarmes, culminating in a summit ice cap.Read More
The Crux is a longstanding newsletter published by the AMC Boston Chapter Mountaineering Committee. All news, stories, and photos come from the Boston climbing community and we welcome any submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We play outdoors in the mountains but the outdoors is in crisis. This is not an isolated access issue but a global issue of existential consequences. The latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report in October 2018 starkly and unequivocally shows that we must drastically and immediately cut emissions in the next 12 years to avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis.Read More
At the end of February 2019, a group of women came together, not just to share a trail and a rope, but to reflect on the discussions within the community about how to encourage and support women in climbing. In celebration of International Women's Day (Friday, March 8) and Women's History Month, come read an article about the adventures and antics of these ladies slaying pillars on a spectacular day of ice.Read More
After a long flight, we spent a couple of days in Kathmandu, getting to know the group members (15 from England, 3 from the US) and our trekking guides. It’s a short flight from Kathmandu to Lukla (2845m/9334ft), a small, bustling mountain town where all groups in the Everest region begin their trip. Look up “Most dangerous airports” and you will see why Lukla always makes the top of the list. The 1730ft runway slopes at a crazy angle, and ends at the top of a huge cliff. Our ultimate objective was Island Peak (6189m/20,305ft), and we would also climb a few smaller peaks and passes.Read More
Before the Eiger climb, I had planned to spend 3 nights in the Torino hut at the 3400m (~11,200ft) for acclimatization. However on the second day, October 31st to be exact, Jon called me to come down to Chamonix since good weather moved into the Grindelwald area. Although my acclimatization was insufficient, we headed to Grindelwald. In my misjudgment, I thought I should be fine on the Eiger since I could take a rest at each pitch during belay. I was totally wrong. We climbed continuously, and took belays only for a few sections. We climbed all day without resting, from dawn to dusk.Read More
Big Sandy (~9,000 feet) is the trailhead for access to the Cirque of the Towers, an immense glacial basin in the Wind River Range surrounded by spectacular granite peaks as high as 12,000 feet. The Northeast Ridge of Pingora (~11,900') and the East Ridge of Wolf’s Head (~12,200') are listed in Steck and Roper’s Fifty Classic Climbs in North America. We hoped to reach their summits.Read More
Nancy Savickas shares some of her memories and some of the history of climbing at the Quincy Quarries which has served as the Rock Program's training grounds on and off for the past 30 years.
A long time ago when I started climbing in the early 90s, there was a longstanding ritual on Wednesday nights. Sometimes when I look back to those early days I feel very old and mummified. Things in general have changed a lot in 24 years. So let me bring you back to the good old days.Read More
I can guarantee you that any roped free climber, regardless of experience or ability, on a serious and committing friction lead has known the fear to which my title refers. This subject comes to mind in the wake of Daniel Duane’s brilliant piece in the New York Times  on Alex Honnold’s free solo ascent of the Free Rider on El Cap. In it are evocations of the primal fear of having to trust the shoes while the hands are essentially useless, and the fatal urge to lean-in toward the cliff face is sometimes irresistible.Read More
Snow is disappearing from the High Sierras, what's left is white quartz.
I have been a climber, skier and mountaineer for over 40 years and am now thinking about future outdoor enthusiasts. Climate change is our most important problem. I am writing a series of articles that I hope will educate you about energy and climate change initiatives in Massachusetts and thus move you from agreeing that climate change is a problem to taking action to deal with it, both personally and politically. This article encourages you to speak up in support of the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Please read the article.Read More
Photo by Tony Ng
Welcome to the latest version of The Crux. It has a new home on the AMC's BCMC website. For more information about how you can submit and what kinds of material should be submitted, please continue reading.Read More
Each December the mountaineering committee hosts its annual holiday party. Aside from good food, drinks and raffle prizes, it's also the time when awards are handed out to celebrate different accomplishments throughout the year. While a few of the awards are more serious in nature, many of the others highlight some of the more humorous, painful, awkward and entertaining moments inherent to the sport of climbing. For those who could not attend the 2016 holiday event, continue reading to see some of the detailed descriptions.Read More
Lisa Fernandez who took the Rock Program in the spring of 2016 tells her tale of how she went from learning knots at Quincy Quarries to summiting 14,000 footers in the High Sierra.
"So there I was on a wet Saturday at Quincy Quarries just outside Boston, in a mix of sleet, rain, and snow, trying to embrace a piece of vertical rock. It was brightly bedecked in enamel paint graffiti which, in the icky conditions, made the climbing that much harder. Not that it mattered in my case, because I had come clad to follow a leader in my new mountaineering boots, which I was trying to break in for the Palisades trip. My guide for the Palisades had insisted they were the right footgear for the technical climbing we would be doing: up to 5.7 or so, over multiple pitches on rock and potentially ice and snow, at 14,000 feet with lots of exposure. I felt like Sisyphus at QQ..."Read More
Our first foray to Patagonia was so rife with anticipation, my five compadres and I gave the trip its own hashtag: #teamfrey. Despite our skillful use of the hype-machine, make no mistake—we aren’t qualified in any way to climb in El Chalten (most of us anyway). Lacking the skill and vacation time for that, we concocted a Patagonia-lite adventure to Frey, Argentina.Read More
I have been a climber, skier and mountaineer for over 40 years and active with the AMC for decades. In thinking about what is the most important way in which I can give back to other outdoor enthusiasts and to future generations, including my kids, addressing the problem of climate change is by far the most important. I have dedicated myself to writing a series of articles that I hope will educate you about energy and climate change initiatives in Massachusetts and thus move you from agreeing that climate change is a problem to taking action to deal with it, both personal and political. I want to provide easy to follow guidance on how to be effective in the fight for a better future. The first article lists personal things you can do (other than the standard call to install low wattage light bulbs).Read More
Tony is an aspiring climber and photographer. He participated in the 2016 Rock Program as a student but simultaneously pursued his passion for photography by taking pictures whenever an opportunity arose. In addition to climbing, he is also an AMC Four-Season Hiking and Backpacking Trip Leader. He hopes to continue pursuing his outdoor adventures while capturing as much as he can on camera. The pictures from this post were all taken at the Quincy Quarries during this past year's Program. Tony hopes that it will not only be a great way for the 2016 class to look back on fond memories, but that it will also serve as a good example of what future students can expect.Read More
Most parents that climb have thoughts – usually more fantasies than real hopes – of how great it would be to share climbing adventures with their kids. The daydreams start out with thoughts of teaching the kids and sharing some nice times. You start imagining – “what if my kid got so good they could rope gun for me? - wouldn’t that be great?” Well sometimes daydreams do come true and I’m here to warn you to be ready when they do.Read More