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As eventful as it was last week, it was very
uneventful this, and we all are really happy about that. Except
for 2 smallish rounds of snow and some nice warmer temps, things
have almost too quiet. Not that I have a real problem with that,
you understand. -grin- Sometimes it's nice just be able to lay
back and not fight things so hard for a change.
When I rode up to take my Report pictures last
Thursday I noticed that Snot Rocket, the big drip in the trestle
cut at the top of
Crawford Notch, looked pretty good. I called around trying to get
someone to go up there with me, and Brad White from IMCS bit. While
I've noticed the climb for years, this time it looked in darn good
condition. I was very surprised that the guidebook indicated it
hadn't been done before '98. When I mentioned that to my neighbor
Jim Ansara, he said that he and Mark Richie had done it about 10
years earlier. Why am I not surprised? (It also states that the
grade is 3-4, but more on that later.) We decided to go bag it
on Saturday morning so we got a late start and were up there at
about 10 AM. It had snowed that nite and we broke through a crusty
cover on about 6-8 inches of new white stuff. We were both somewhat
surprised that no one had been up there earlier in the day.
I hadn't done it before, I got the sharp end of this rope. I'd
originally decided to go up high on the inside corner and left
of the pillar, and then swing around and onto what looked like
a ramp/curtain on the right. Of course the ice wasn't in as perfect
a shape as I had hoped, and it was a bit more delicate than I'd
planned, so I decided to swing around a bit lower. This was one
of those times when having the leashless tools was really nice.
I was able to get a good stick with my right hand on the left side
of the pillar, swap hands on that tool, and then get another good
stick out right in the curtain. Moving up delicately I got onto
the totally detached curtain, and got to a stance and ran in a
screw. This was classic stuff for leashless climbing. 20' later
I belayed at the base of the upper pillars off some small trees
and brought Brad up. Others have done this whole climb in a single
pitch, but I didn't want to be so far away from my belayer.
Brad planted safely behind the pillars and to the left, I headed
up. The start was really nice, vertical but with nice stemming
between the two. However, the ice above was fractured and brittle.
I spent a lot of time cleaning off the crap so I could get good
sticks. In about 40' I was only able to find placements for 2 screws!
I was sure smiling when I was able to sling a small tree about
20' from the top. I spoke with a friend who had apparently done
it the day before, and he also said that the gear at the top was
not as good as he liked, but that the climbing was great.
If you haven't done this climb yet, you might want to jump on it.
Both Brad and I feel it's in 4+ or 5- shape. Here are a few pictures,
but believe me when I say that it's quite a bit steeper than it
Memorable Quote for the Week:
This one from a second who was following the right side of Dracula
for the first
"Wow, this is steeper and
harder than I thought!"
Mount Washington Valley Ice Festival 2004
International Mountain Equipment (IME)
and International Mountain Climbing School (IMCS) are delighted
to organize and host the Eleventh Annual Mount Washington
Valley Ice Festival - February 19-22, 2004. Since its inception
this event is eagerly anticipated by ice climbers in the
eastern United States and considered one of the premier climbing
events in the country. A celebration of ice climbing & mountaineering
and the people that make it a part of their lives, the Ice
Festival provides a superb opportunity to network, socialize,
try new gear and participate in technical clinics and private
climbs. The Mt. Washington Valley is one of the finest waterfall
ice climbing destinations in North America.
Each year we offer a variety of skills-based clinics and
guided climbs at all skill levels and ability. After each
day's climbing we offer
a series of exciting slide shows presented by accomplished
climbers and guides from the New England area and around
Clinics and private climbs are filling up, so please call us to check on availability.
Tell us what you want to accomplish by climbing with us
and we'll make sure we find the right clinic and the right
Another New Hard Route Goes Up, or is it Down: "Idiot Sans Savant" (30M, M8) - Chris Thomas,
Tom Yandon and Will Mayo climbed the route on January 29, 2004.
Will took almost
2 hours to onsight it, placing traditional gear.
Will says "This is definitely one
worth repeating. Fortunately, it's
probably about two full grades easier than 'The Fecalator'."
- Park at the pullout for Moss Cliff, the pullout where one parks
to use the cable to cross the Ausable River (i.e., the
approach to Notched In
Stone, etc). Cross the road and wander through the trees to a talus slope that
is followed leftwards up to the rock, around a buttress, and into a steep gully
that angles up rightwards. About midway up the gully hangs the dagger. (At the
top of the gully is a nice WI4 that we climbed.) The approach takes about 30-40
RPI Bouldering Comp:
The Outing Club at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will be holding
its 2nd Annual Bouldering Comp at Electric City Rock Gym in Schenectady,
NY on February 28, 2004. This competition is open to all college
students. There will be beginner, intermediate, and advanced
divisions for both men and women. The entrance fee is $3 and
registration is from 10-11am.
For more information, please visit the web site or
contact Tim. NOTE: You must
be a college student or
college-age in order to compete."
International Mountain Equipment
S A L E
Looking for a SALE? Well this just might
be the ONE. IME is making it easy for you to get into new
threads, new boots and new skis BEFORE the winter is over.
Here's the deal:
25% off all clothing - Cloudveil, Mountain Hardware, Patagonia,
Marmot, Mammut and more
25% off all skis
Now THIS is THE REAL DEAL!
Sale starts Friday (Feb 13) and ends Sunday (Feb 22). So,
get down there and check it out. You simply won't find
a better deal on the stuff that you NEED.
North Conway, NH
I suppose you could consider this a prologue to the State-O-The-Ice... Remember
the episode at the hanging Garden a few weeks ago? Well, when it is as cold as
it has been, the quality of the ice becomes substantially harder and even more
brittle than you might think. Of course that means that it is really fragile,
even the really big stuff. Widows Walk at Frankenstein has finally touched down.
This is one of those things that many people wait anxiously for every year, and
it doesn't always happen. Well this year, there also was a drip to the right
that didn't quite touch, but looked pretty reasonable. Several of the locals
have been eyeing it for the past week or so and drooling a bit. So on Saturday,
when it was really cold and there was almost no one out climbing, a couple of
parties decided to have a look. One went up to Widow's and decided it wasn't
for them, and then checked out the big column just to the right of Cave Route.
While messing with it, it cracked across! They immediately decided it wasn't
for them. A second party rapped down over the right hand drip, looking it over
closely. Then the leader went up behind it and tapped on it prior to launching
up. The entire drip cracked off near the top, and toppled to the ground. You
can see the place where it was in this week's pictures. Fortunately the belayer
was out of the way and very fortunately the huge piece of ice fell outward, and
not in. Hmmm... Word to the wise!
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective November 24, 2015
Things are definitely coming along... I walked out the back door this afternoon, after a whole day below 30 degrees, and there is ice coming down on Diagonal and even Repentance! Give it a couple of weeks and things will be happening.
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:
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire
The solitary ascent of the Dru had the immediate effect of expanding the horizons of my ideas about mountaineering. It made me aware of possibilities well in advance of the times, which were characterized by very restricted mothods. This was how the suberb pyramid of K2 surfaced once more in the list of my projects. But I chose K2 as a way for giving concrete form to my new concept of mountaineering: to climb the second highest montain in the world solo, alpine style, and without oxygen.