NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 9:06a on 08/20/16 - Temperature: 72.6 F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 72.6 F - Barometric pressure: 29.890 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Steady - Humidity: 100 %
IceCON 0. Minimal ice available for the hard core and mixed aficionados!
0 out of a possible 5
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November 6, 2003

Hi Folks,

"Days go by and still I dream of youth..." Nah, of course that's not really what the song says - I just have been hearing it that way. But, fifty-six frelling years OLD/YOUNG, what in the world? Where did it go? Where is it going? The youth, the life, the loves, the climbs... Questions, questions, questions, flooding into the mind of the concerned (soon to be) elderly climber. So, obviously the big the deal is that I had my birthday this week. I was going to use that to write a whole treatise on growing older, that unavoidable condition that strikes all of us. But, the more I thought about it, the more I felt it's a state of mind that I simply don't want to explore yet. I feel good, can do most everything I want, and heck - that's all that matters. I look at folks like George Hurley, who I think is about 66 this year, and figure that as long as I KEEP doing things, I'll be able to DO things. And maybe that's all the state of mind I need to have. <grin>

Friday was as nice a day as you get this time of year. My bud Mason called at 8 AM and we agreed to head over to Humphrey's in the middle of the day. Of course there was no one else on the cliff when we got there, in spite of the clear day and 65 degree temps. I'd been wanting to do Mr. Moto (5.9) again before the season ended and this seemed like the time to jump on it. Just before we started, Fred Keith walked up and joined in the fun. I led the first pitch and Mason the second pitch of Run Don't Walk. All in all a couple of hours with good friends doing what entertains us the most.

While Sunday turned into pretty much of a washout, Saturday was really special. Tho somewhat more cloudy that the day before, temps were in the low 70's. I had a lot of work to do in the morning, but by early afternoon I was chomping at the bit to get outside. Rob Frost has been here working on his new video, and he was just as anxious to get out as I was. With his partner Jack Tracy we headed down to Humphrey's again, this time to Castaways. I love the first 2/3 of the climb - the crack is really great. I've never been able to get the upper part tho. It took Rob a couple of tries to get the crux, but he finally unlocked it and it looked easy. Well of course that certainly isn't the case. But it was a good workout and we also played a bit on Robinson Crusoe. There was this warm breeze blowing that felt more like late summer than late fall and it was hard to head back to the house, knowing that the weather was going to change soon.

I was too busy enjoying myself to take any shots on Friday, but here are a couple of pix from the weekend. The first is of Rob at the crux of Castaways on Saturday. The other was sent by Jay Briscoe of some of his posse at Pawtuckaway on Sunday. Looks like Jay didn't get nearly as much rain down there as we did. <sigh>

An Ice Climber's Guide to Northern New England

If you've been thinking ice, and making your season hit-list as we all are now, you'll need your copy of the new ice guidebook. It's been ten years since the last edition of An Ice Climber's Guide to Northern New England was published and things have definitely changed. Peter Lewis and Rick Wilcox have assembled a great new book, and while it doesn't have EVERY drip and runnel in northern New England, it does have a lot. All the major areas are covered,including Lake Willoughby, Smuggler's Notch, Cathedral Ledge, Frankenstein Cliff, Tuckerman & Huntington Ravines, and Katahdin. It's the only comprehensive guide to ice climbing in New England!

The Ice Climber's Guide costs $29.95 per unit. Shipping via Media Mail (3-4 weeks) is free, First Class US Mail is $2.50, Express Mail is an additional charge of $4.50. You can purchase using a credit card over the Internet (we use PayPay which accepts all major cards) or by sending us a check for the appropriate amount.

Either click the link off the home page of NEClimbs, or go here.

NOTE - All prices are for shipping in the continental US only. Please contact us directly for shipping costs to all other destinations.

And remember, every purchase helps support NEClimbs.

Scott Backes Slideshow:
Alpinist Scott Backes will be giving a slideshow at Plymouth State college in Plymouth, NH. The show will be held upstairs in the H.U.B. student union building and will start at 7:00 on Wednsday, November 12th. The show is about his climbs with Mark Twight and friends in North America. Sounds like it will be a good one. I sure wish he was doing one over here in North Conway. Scott's also got a new web site. He's got an interesting concept for a guide service, the gallery has some very cool pictures and the stories in the Tales section are really neat. Check it out...

After the MRS meeting on Tuesday I spoke to Chris Joozen about the state of the ice on Mt. Washington. According to him, the snow and ice that was in the ravines as of a week ago has been pretty much decimated by the recent rains and warm temps. The same observation was made by the Observatory meteorologist. There may be some ice deep in the ravines, but with all the warm temps and rain the thought is that it wouldn't be enough to justify the effort. Temps are due to drop significantly starting Friday nite, so that should trigger some good formation with all the water in the system.

Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective October 27, 2016
Both the Black Dike and Pinnacle Gully have been done this week. This is probably as early as they have ever been climbed! Is that a good thing, I suppose so. [wry grin] Pinnacle was a solo. Unfortunately there is nothing climbable in the lower elevations, and based on the lack of ground-water in the system right now, Im not sure when there will be. Lets hope for some more rain and early snow in the Notches. Couple that with some consistent cold weather and that would at least give us something reasonable to play on. Special thanks to Peter Doucette from Mountain Sense guides for the great picture of the Black Dike. NOTE - as of the middle of the week, the Tuckerman Ravine Trail above the Huntington intersection is closed for construction. Stay tuned for more info.
Huntington Ravine Pinnacle has been done this week, but barely!  
Repentance OUT  
Standard Route OUT Click to see route picture.
Dracula OUT Click to see route picture.
For the full current conditions report, CLICK HERE

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:

Have fun and climb safe,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

As I hammered in the last bolt and staggered over the rim, it was not at all clear to me who was the conqueror and who was the conquered. I do recall that El Cap seemed to be in much better condition than I was.
Warren Harding
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