Blue Ice Bulge

Blue Ice Bulge

It was a cold and blustery day, back on January 6, 1983, as Paul Stankiewicz and I headed up to Smuggler’s Notch. While the Adirondacks was our training ground, we trundled across Lake Champlain to indulge in the Bulge. Still, while the ice grade was at NEI 2-3, since I led the Bulge, perhaps due to total terror, my memory is of the Blue Ice Pillar. Paul, naturally, just dismissed me and my whirling eyes and smiled.

Here is the comments from my Climbing notes:

Ski in good snow to the notch, about 1.5 miles. Skiing is certainly the way to go, even if you need to slug your ice boots. We looked around in the 25 degree temperature weather and selected the Bulge. The start is a slog in a snow gully up, about 600 feet with two feet of snow mounds to thrash through.

Once we got up to the rock buttress on the left, we belayed off a fine young birch tree. The First pitch began as a snow climb and set the next belay.

The second pitch was nice 2+ grade ice up to the base of the pillar, err bulge. So the third pitch is the crux. It is not that long, only about 40 feet of gripping fun and then it levels off, and traverse left.

It was a thrash and slog to the left through deep snow drifts to a descent gully. The fun part was the short glissades as we headed down to our skiis!  Woo Hoo!