Author Topic: The Flume, Crawford Notch  (Read 1060 times)


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The Flume, Crawford Notch
« on: January 11, 2014, 03:40:06 pm »
So climbed The Flume in Crawford today. Yup, today. Was actually in the BEST shape I have ever seen it and I've climbed it a lot... one of my favorite solos. Anyways, huge cauliflower thick ice almost all the way up. The tricky part was avoiding the flat areas at the base of the steeper bits (those are pools of water deep enough to matter). At the base of almost every steep bit you could see where someone had broken through recently.

Today I was with a client, so we were short-pitching and long-pitching our way up... it was raining a bit but not much water was running, and it was easy to stay on the thick ice. When we reached that cool cave at the top we stopped for some food & water. I looked at the time, 11:55.

National Weather Service had issued a Flash Flood Warning from 1pm on...

I like to do one final pitch out of that cave to the walk-off... it's a nice finish to the route. While snacking a very noticeably warmer rush of air comes down the drainage. Time to go, so I finish the pitch. Above I'm watching the next little bulge of ice rushing water, and as I get Chris on belay I realize things are changing quickly...

"Chris, on belay. Climb... fast".

While Chris is cleaning the anchor in the cave the water that was previously running through an "under ice" sort of tunnel overcame that tunnel's capacity and started flowing on top of the ice. What was dry ice moments before was now under 3 inches of rushing water. Chris cruised the pitch quickly, but had to climb through a 2 inch vertical wall of water before emerging at the top. It was like stepping through a fountain and he was stoked that his clothes kept him dry inside...

We coiled the rope and enjoyed the bush-wack down every once in awhile making our way out to see the torrent that had previously been our ice climb an hour earlier... Timing really is everything!

And before any stones get cast at no point on this climb can you not quickly exit the drainage... not sure if this FB video will work here but this was the top out after Chris arrived:

Offline kenreville

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Re: The Flume, Crawford Notch
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2014, 04:51:21 pm »
The only stone I would cast is why?

To each his own I guess.