Mountain Project Map - Harpers Ferry

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


What lights my fire?
Ask yourself this questions and think on it deeply.

If you've been following along you know we are digging into the past and unearthing the roots. Have a look at the following photograph:

The photograph was taken outside Baltimore, Maryland. Ed Bollack at Ilchester.
You can read the story of this photo down below.

Does the word "Ridiculous" come to mind? I like ridiculous, do you? When is the last time you did something ridiculous?

My buddy Ryan Smith recently posted a link on his blog ( ) entitled Jim Mangan's Winter Children that goes nicely with the above photograph. Watch the video he has referenced (Just so you know, it contains some nudity):

Winter's Children Trailer from jim mangan on Vimeo.

I'd wager to say that these images are like a litmus tests. What you see in these images are your test results. For those who are neutral, what happens when these images get into your subconscious is no responsibility of mine. Have fun out there and go find some Ridiculous for your life. What is your story going to be?
The Ilchester Mountaineering Story:
I believe this was during the Feb 1983 blizzard, that was one of Baltimore's worst in recorded history. I was living on the end of Rolling Rd right off of Fredrick at the time, and Ed hitch-hiked to my house in the storm. Then we snow-shoed (on wooden Vermont Tubbs) all the way to Ilchester in the blizzard. I have another photo I didn't scan of Ed standing with the snow up to his waist in the parking lot. 
We then somehow managed to make it down the trail in what was becoming incredibly deep powder, which is hard to walk in, even with snowshoes.  So we get there finally, and everything was plastered in deep snow as you can see from the picture. We figured it was good mountaineering practice to climb in the snow, and dry-tooled (this was before the term was invented though) up a few routes on top rope. Then we snowshoed back to my place, and Ed hitch-hiked home. A long day, but a good one.  If you look hard, you can see the same SMC axe Ed is using in that other picture of SMC gear we all bought. Believe it or not, I'm pretty sure the route in the photo was the Peace Sign route, which I guess would make it early M7 ? :-) Whatever, it turned me onto the possibilities, so these days I'm a mixing climbing addict.  I wonder if anyone else has ever bothered to climb there in a blizzard... We eventually did many of the [Maryland] Heights routes in the winter too. Some of the lower angle stuff was almost harder than Hard-Up. The lower angle stuff could ice up, whereas Hard-Up didn't. Good thing I like real thin ice...

No comments: