Tag Archives: vermont

Shingle the Roof

I was walking around Amherst today and decided to stroll through the Amherst farmer’s market.

I, unexpectedly, saw this folk-countra trio playing some good traditional style string music.

They are called Shingle the Roof.

Playing for a gathering crowd.

New England based, Shingle the Roof has a whole list of shows to come, according to their MySpace page, and consists of Kate Spencer, Tim Woodbridge, and Jerry Devonkaitis.

Taking tips in a good ol' gas jug.

The band’s story is feature on their MySpace page, but what is the most ironic thing for me, is that the stringed instruments store, Maple Leaf Music, that Spencer opened in 1979 was the shop my first real guitar came from.

Pretty neat!

I went to the shop with my mom when I was 13, picked out a guitar I hardly new how to play, and from the moment on, the next five years of my life were set. I wrote music, took lessons, formed a band, played in a duo, and played shows at every chance I got.

While my music career dwindled when I took on my degree in journalism and this career in film, my playing turned into a source for music soundtracks for my videos and documentaries.

I don’t talk about playing music or anything much these days, but it’s something that definitely changed my life, and learning about Shingle the Roof was quite the surprise today.

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Rockclimbing Upper West Bolton

I’m a kind enough older sister to belay my rockclimber brother wherever and whenever he wants to climb.

This Saturday we headed over to the Upper West Bolton crag in Bolton, Vermont located off of Bolton Notch road off Route 2, the Upper West Bolton climbing area was purchased by Crag VT climbing group.

I’m a novice climber that manages to pull myself up a lot of things but takes few risks, while my brother climbs at a high/moderate skill level and is constantly developing, and trying brand new unclimbed routes.

According to my brother, the Upper West Bolton crag boasts limitless places to rockclimb for climbers of all skill levels.

Nestled in a somewhat thick woods, though is very accessible from the road, the rock face allows for bolted, top rope and the opportunity to use traditional style gear, like nuts and cams.

The rock structure isn’t completely consistent or too smooth, leaving plenty of holds and crevices for hands and feet for people tall and short. Routes are easy to find and seem infinite.

Even at high noon on a sunny Saturday there were few people in the area. Only four other climbers were at the crag, and there was no need to have to share or take turns with the space.

Some routes and chimneys we wanted to climb weren’t suitable for taking up rope slack because of friction, so it’s good to be familiar with belaying from the top.

It was difficult to find places to rig our rope, not because there weren’t enough sturdy trees, but because it was hard to see where routes matched up at the cliff’s top. But there is plenty of easy places to rig the rope. So plan to spend the day climbing.

Cellphone services is good, and the area is beautiful.

The trek to the Upper West Bolton is definitely worth while because there are so many lines, the rock is unique, and there is enough to keep any climber occupied for a few days.

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