Mt Lowell, Unnamed route on SW face (WI 3)
Eric and Dave
February 3, 2017
We left Boston at 5:30am Friday morning, seeking an ice climbing place where there would be no crowds. That weekend was the annual New England Ice Fest, and all the usual places would likely have lines. Not Mount Lowell. The ice there was not in any guidebook, and it’s unclear if it’s ever been climbed. It also required a 6-mile hike in plus some bushwhacking. There was a good chance we’d have it all to ourselves.
I’d seen a broad 250ft tall cliff on the side while hiking up Mt Carrigain years ago, and had wanted to check it out for a while. By 9:30am we were on the trail hiking. We pulled sleds on the mostly flat trail, and encountered a few other hikers descending the mountain. A few hours later we reached the height of land in Carrigain notch, and saw a few promising ice lines on the cliff on the southwest face of Mt Lowell.
We kept hiking until we’d seen the whole cliff, and chose to climb the line on the far left (north) side of the cliff. We would have to save the other lines for another time.
A short bushwhack, then a snowfield climb led us to the base of the cliff and a wide WI3 flow of yellow ice all the way up the cliff. Dave led up with me belaying in the snow. When Dave reached the end of the rope, we started simul-climbing until Dave reached the trees above and built an anchor. The climb was fun, but it was hard to keep my hands warm in the cold.
It’s unclear if the route has been climbed before, but we left a rappel anchor so now anyone else going in will know it has been climbed. We rapped down, and started the long hike back to the car, reaching it by 7pm.