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It's funny how you have friends that you've known a long time and you have some of the same interests. And yet you never do any of those things together. My friend Matt and I have known each other for almost 15 years. We both ride bikes, we climb and we play music. The only one of those things we have done together is the latter, music. Matt is a good drummer and we have played in bands on and off for a while. Surprisingly tho, as much as we both love to ride and climb, and as many times as we've talked about it, we've never done either together. Go figure. Today we finally checked one off the list and got out climbing together.
We met at Attitash and drove up to the Notch together, making all of my normal conditions-picture stops. After 2 warm sunny days at the start of the week, followed by 36 hours of rain & drizzle, I didn't have much in the way of optimism. Unfortunately our first stops didn't help quell that. The texaco Amphitheater and Slab were basically devoid of climbable ice and Fang was bone dry, with just a pasting of snow in places. I hardly expected any ice in the Frankenstein Amphitheater, and I wasn't disappointed. The only thing that looks the least possible is the Pegasus Rock Finish, and I'm not so sure about that. Fortunately Standard Route looked a lot better than I expected. In fact it looked close to the same as it did last week. Dropline is reforming and surprisingly machine links to be coming in as well, and I was happy about that. Machine is one of my favorite climbs and it hasn't come in for a couple of seasons. Dracula is reforming well, but I'm not sure that it's climbable yet, certainly not on the left or center. There was a light snow falling in the upper Notch so some things were very hard to see. Cinema looked llikee light snow on rock, and most things to the left were more or less unformed. That said, the best looking climb up there was, wait for it, Snot Rocket. It actually looked as if it was climbable, while Elephant Head did not.
We drove back down to Frankenstein, figuring that Standard would be our best bet since we hadn't seen anyone on it as we drove by. There was one car in the bottom lots and another in the top, so how many folks could there be up there? Our fears about the Amphitheater were confirmed as we walked bu. It was really desolate, looking a long ways from climbable. As we walked by the Trestle Slab there was a party of 2 on the left side. We said hi and continued down to Standard. Tho we saw boot prints on tracks, surprisingly they didn't go up to Standard. All the better for us!
We geared up and I led up the middle to the Cave. I looked at the canter section, but it looked all drippy and was open sand pouring at the top. Matt lowered me off and he took a run. It was his first time using his shiny new leash less Quarks and he was very happy with how they performed. I remember my first time leash less and it's a nice feeling. About this time the party we had seen on the Trestle Slab, Steve & Mike, came up and decided to so the center. I lowered Mike off, pulled the rope and led the right side, up the little gully. It was quite thin at the bottom, but nice the higher I went. I set up the anchor and Matt lowered me off again. He took his run, took down the anchor and I lowered him back down. By now another party had come along so we decided to ceed them the climb and we packed up and headed out. Back at the Trestle Slab there were 2 parties setup on the left and right. The right looked very thin, but the left corner looked OK.
On the way out I was checking the state of the path on train track, wondering if I could ride a fat tire bike down to Standard from the parking area. That would be pretty darn cool, band a great way to combine 2 of my have activities. If you see a bike parked in the snow at the base of Standard some time this winter, you'll know whose it was! Anyway, all in all it was a nice day to be out. Checked out the conditions, did some climbing with a friend, and all in all had a fun time. What's not to like about that?
NEClimbs Weather Station:
The Neclimbs.com web site weather station has been having problems displaying the correct outside temperature and humidity. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I finally got in touch with their tech support yesterday and they confirmed that the unit was failing. [sigh] I know it's 10 years old, but I would have hoped for more. That said it's out in the weather 365/24/7 and I guess it really gets hammered. The real drag is that they no longer have parts for it and it is no longer supported so my only choice is to replace it completely. This is a $500 expense that I certainly wasn't expecting or planning for.
Needless to say, that segues right into the next topic, the Fundraiser!
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective December 20, 2014
Mt Washington has been good for a while and there are some interesting things happening on Cannon, but finally things are looking up in Crawford Notch. With some cold temps in store for the next several days, I'll bet things come in quickly. now if the weather guys are just wrong about their rain predictions for Xmas!
2014/2015 NECLIMBS FUNDRAISER:
As of December 18th, out of the 1,233 subscribers of the White Mountain Report, a grand total of 57 have contributed to this year's fundraiser! Considering that I will need to drop $500 on a new weather station right after Xmas, it would be highly appreciated if 100 people would contribute.
I know I know, you're getting sick of me asking you for $$. But it's that time of year, and it's what I do. Consider it a Christmas present if you will. [wry grin] But just think about it, what it would be like without this weekly Report? Your email in-box would be sad. And what's worse, you would have to make your plans for the weekend with minimal knowledge of what's going on at Frankenstein, Mt Willard or Mt Washington. And who wants that, right?
So, please take a minute out of your busy day to make a token $20 annual donation to support NEClimbs and the White Mountain Report. Shux - $20 is probably less than what you spend at Starbucks every week! As of December 18th, out of the 1,233 who got the White Mountain report last week, 59 of you have contributed to this year's fundraiser. It would be great if 100 people would contribute.
You can make your donation of any amount ON LINE. It's painless and you can use pretty much any credit card. Simply click the link below to make your contribution.
As always you can also contribute via check or money order for $20. Just make it out to NEClimbs and send it here:
92 Bow Lane
North Conway, NH 03860
The White Mountain Report newsletter has been put out consistently since 1998. I have archived almost all of the Reports from as far back as September of 1999 and you can read them online at any time! The current traffic on NEClimbs.com is about 1,450 unique visits a day, has over 1.4 million monthly "hits" and this funky little newsletter goes weekly out to over 1,200 subscribers every Thursday. The expense of the running NEClimbs and putting out The White Mountain Report go on year 'round. PLEASE REMEMBER, it's your contribution that makes this newsletter and the NEClimbs web site possible.
THANK YOU for your continued support...
Instant Ice Report - 2:
I'm keeping things at a 2, but it really won't take all that much to get the rating to a 3. We just need the cold temps for a couple of consistent days to make it happen. We have the snow and we have water in the system. Let's just keep our fingers and toes crossed folks.
Mobile Version Of NEClimbs:
Up on one of the Mount Washington Valley's finest crags and want to know what that climb you're looking at is? Or maybe you're on your way up from Boston and want to check out the Ice Report for your upcoming weekend plans. Or more likely, you're at work just want to daydream about your next adventure. Well if you have a smart phone handy, you can get to NEClimbs from anywhere you have cell service. While it doesn't offer every single feature of the site and it's not an "app", in mobile form, it does do a whole lot and is very useful. Here is the live link to the mobile version of NEClimbs:
Check it out and if you have issues on your specific phone, please feel free to let me know.
NEClimbs & White Mountain Report On Facebook:
Join us and LIKE us on Facebook. I'll try and post some interesting pix every Thursday and the latest Ice Report in the season, tho certainly not the whole Report. Here's where you can check it out: