Thursday, February 13, 2014

New Ice - The Hatchery

I need to write about The Hatchery. Believe the hype.

Last Sunday I agreed to help the Rock & Ice club with their annual ice school. For several weeks, I'd been hearing rumors and hearsay about a new ice place that boasts huge volume, and the shortest ice approach in N.B. How can this be true? It's generally accepted that southern N.B. is completely tapped for opportunity right? Wrong. Marty T. and Luc G. have thoroughly laid waste to that idea.

Their plan was to make a grand unveiling... and rather than invite the experienced members of N.B.'s ice community, they decided to make it first available to never-climbed-before beginners at ice school. A great opportunity for their $50.

So after a 15 minute and easy hike through the woods east of the Parlee Brook Abby, we turned up a steep ravine and smack... there's the ice. This spot seems to have a perfect mixture of terrain, seepage, shelter from the sun, and cold weather. We walked past deep blue ice from WI2 - WI4+. The variety is excellent: pillars coming over caves, dead-vertical pitches, and long moderates. Marty estimates about 30 independent lines formed this year with a few other very large and very steep smears promising future opportunity. If you subtract the snowfields that are common during most winters at Parlee Brook, I think you'd say that this area about as much ice! It is certainly going to be one of NB's premiere destinations.

Topo can be found here until the new ice guide is compiled. Excellent work on the discovery Marty & Luc!

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