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New Route Sets Stage for 5th Annual Smuggs’ Ice Bash

John Hurst climbing ice in between mixed sections on Tiny Dancer (M8). [Photo] Ryan Brooks

Momentum is building in Vermont as local New Englanders gear up for this weekend’s Alpinist/ Smuggs Ice Bash 2011. John Hurst and Ryan Brooks set the standards high, establishing Tiny Dancer (M8) on January 21st at Lake Willoughby, right here in Alpinist’s backyard. The short line begins on ice, but quickly moves through overhanging rock before reaching an ice ledge at the first belay. The second pitch follows a crack and flake system, and then finishes through a final ice curtain to the top. Hurst and Brooks are no strangers to the lake despite the long approaches from Thetford (Vermont) and Bar Harbor, (Maine).

Festivities for the Ice Bash begin Friday, with the first ever Vermont indoor drytooling comp at Petra Cliffs climbing gym in Burlington. (Hurst is a competitor.) The climbing continues Saturday and Sunday at Smuggler’s Notch, with free gear demo’s, clinics, and above-average conditions in the Notch. With temperatures set to hover in the mid twenties, and the Alpinist staff eager to flee the office, the pieces are falling in place to make this year’s Ice Bash one to remember.

Sources: Ryan Brooks,