Fifteen feet above my last screw, the ice turns to complete shit. Unconsolidated, candled, air-filled, de-laminated mush. No way this crap is gonna take a good stick. I can see the water trickling behind the flow on this late season WI5. The rope hangs from my harness, clear of the ice. Checking in on my placements, I have one mega placement at shoulder level. Hips close to the ice, standing tall, I can feel the back of my ax pressing on my chest. Good feet. Swinging my one tool at the mush, an unsettling crack slams through the icicle just below my feet rattling my nerves and shaking my confidence. A drip of sweat on the tip of my nose. Breathing regains control. Forearms beginning to burn, working my feet up on the front points of my crampons – a little higher, a little higher still – I need to reach what looks like decent ice just out of reach above the mush and get another screw. Reaching. Reaching higher.
Hailing from the Silk-City streets of Paterson, NJ this climber has been grabbing plastic & stone for over 4 years now. Whether it be his local go-to spot in the Gunks of NY state, taking a drive up to Rumney, NH or flying out to Red Rock and Bishop. See what motivates this “Joe-Schmo” climber to be crushing V7s and 5.12s outside.
Ceuse in the Haute-Alps section of the country is the home of some of France’s most famous crags. Sitting over 5,000 ft above sea level and at the foot of the Alps, Ceuse houses some of Europe’s hardest sport climbing routes.