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The Adirondacks of upstate New York are experiencing a phenomenal ice season. At the Exit 30 Crag, Chris Thomas, a 20-year-old from the great ice climbing state of Maryland, led The Fecalator, a 40-foot, 120-degree-overhanging handcrack to a thin ice dagger. Leading Northeast ice activist Will Mayo called The Fecalator the most impressive lead he had ever seen and probably the hardest mixed climb in the northeastern U.S. At Poke-O-Moonshine, Ian Osteyee and Mark Meschinelli climbed Midlife Crisis Direct, a much-eyed line of steep, thin ramps leading to a WI 5+ curtain; this curtain had previously been climbed by rappel or a rock traverse. The next day, Mayo, Tom Yandon and Matt Horner took the same start to climb After Birth Direct, a 70-meter WI 6 pitch that finishes up a long, freestanding, chandeliered candlestick. This upper formation had been approached by rappel and climbed last year by Yandon and Ian Boyer. Mayo and Todd Mazolla also made the second ascent of Artificial Gravity (WI 6) at Chapel Pond, climbing the route in one 90-meter mega-pitch.
After Birth Direct climbs the thin pencil toward the right of the picture—70 meters from the ground to the top. Midlife Crisis Direct takes the curtain just to its left. Photo courtesy of www.neclimbs.com