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December 25, 2003
I really can't believe I'm here, glass of wine
in hand, putting this Report out on Christmas Eve. And frankly
I sincerely doubt that I will get up to the Notch tomorrow, Christmas
Day. Somehow I don't think that the wife would appreciate me taking
off to go climbing, and besides I'd probably loose all my presents. <grin> Of
course the weather hasn't been very cooperative either, so it's
not like there is going to be all that much to show and tell.
Yes Virginia, it did rain pretty much all day today here in our
little Valley. Not very hard, and somewhat inconsistently, but
rain it did. It was a constant drizzle, that has provided us with
about 3/4 of an inch of liquid precipitation. All in all nothing
to be proud of.
I was fortunate to be able to get out on Tuesday with a couple
of friends from out of town. None of us had all that much time,
so we had to knock things off as fast as we could. We met in the
lot at Frankenstein at 8:30 and there was only a single car in
front of us. We chugged off down the tracks in very warm temps,
heading for that meat locker, Dracula. Needless to say there was
no one else there. Drawing straws, Dave got the short one, and
headed up. It was pouring water and the center pillar looked the
best, so that was the way he went. Steve and I followed quickly,
and we walked off. The hanging Garden was even fatter than last
week, with several huge freestanding pillars and amazing curtains.
We walked back across Dracula and headed past Machine. It looked
fatter than Saturday, but just as wet - so that wasn't a good option.
Dropline looked just as wet, as did Last Exit. Eric McAllister
and friend did a new line just left of Dropline last weekend, and
it also looked fatter. You can see it in one of the pictures of
Dropline that I took. Several people have commented that so far
this season, most of the normally huge climbs like Pegasus and
Smear, aren't happening. However, there is all this amazing new
stuff to do. And that's definitely the case.
We headed on down towards Standard and came across the start to
Penguin. THo I've done the climb many, many times, I have never
done the normal start. Well this time it was totally filled with
ice, so I headed up. It was so fat and plastic that it took an
effort to make myself put in a screw and sling 2 trees. I brought
the two of them up about the time that Mark Synnot cruised up with
a client in tow. After short discussion, we decided to do the big
column right of Penguin, while Mark did the Penguin itself. 45
minutes later we were all done and hiking round again.
When we got to Standard there were people everywhere, in spite
of huge open holes in the ice. I was kind of surprised at all the
activity in the 45 degree temps, but hey...who am I to say? Back
at the truck at 2 PM. it was a great day. Close to spring conditions,
and great fun with good friends. Now let's just hope that things
get cold again soon. I still have my eye on Last Exit and Machine.
Oh yes... I want to wish you all a very Merry
Christmas. All the best to each and every one of you. Let's hope
for a profitable and peaceful New Year.
Here are a couple of pictures from Tuesday:
Dave Parker on Dracula center
Mark Synnott and Dave Parker on the Penguin
Crowded Tuesday on Standard Route
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.
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Have fun and climb safe,
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire
|if your going to solo, fall early|