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So these guys came over and needed to borrow a rope. Of course
I just couldn't let them go off with it without my going along
to make sure that they knew how to properly operate it. It simply
wouldn't have been the responsible thing for me to do. And honestly,
sweetheart, I didn't have any choice. It's all their fault. I had
Now I don't know about you, but I have a ton of those kind of
ready-made but totally lame excuses that I drag out every time
I go out climbing or biking when I should be home working. Of course
the wife rolls her eyes and sighs deeply, but then knows when to
let me be. Thank god for an understanding companion. <grin>
Tuesday and Wednesday were both those kind of days. Today is too,
but I just can't possibly rationalize it so here I sit writing.
Anyway, on Tuesday Joe Cote and Larry Boehmler dropped by on Tuesday.
The wanted to borrow my new double ropes but ended up talking me
into getting out for a couple of hours to do the Saigon's. It was
an absolutely beautiful day and it quite honestly it totally energized
me when I had to come back and write code for the rest of the day.
We saw only one other party on the cliff. Steve
Duprey from IMCS
was on Thin Air with a client, racing with the sun across the traverse.
While we climbed in the shade, it was warm enough for us not to
have any but the slightest discomfort.
Of course it got me totally wound to go out again so I called
up my buddy Toby about doing Recompense on Wednesday morning. Again
it was in the upper 20's when I awoke, but by 10 AM it was getting
almost balmy. The air had that feel of Indian Summer. and while
the foilage is well past peak if you think that it's done for you
are wrong. The leaves have slipped into that beautiful gold and
deep red that makes me feel so warm good. Several of the trees
below the Prow and Thin Air are still amazingly beautiful. Here's
a shot of Toby near
the start and another almost at the belay.
The sun stayed out until about 1 PM and then clouds started to
move through. Still the temps really didn't change all that much
and the climbing was just as nice. I really liked the look of the
they whipped over the Valley.
I was on the second stance on the Beast Flake chatting with two
guys on The Book when I heard a loud "Hey...Al" from
down below. Turns out it was Joe Cote calling up from where he
was clearing some brush from his lot in the chalet's. In a later
conversation he told me that he had seen no one on the cliff other
than Toby and me plus the one other party on The Book. I was extremely
surprised that there was absolutely no one on the Thin Air face.
It was an absolutely wonderful day and if that's all the rock
climbing for the year, it wouldn't be all that bad. That said,
I figure that there are still going to be days here & there
that will be nice if I can manage to grab them before they slide
away. So, I just have to think up a couple of more excuses. Let's
see. Honey, somebody had to borrow my rack but I had to go along
to help them carry it! Hmmm...
Hide and Seek:
This is getting to be a prime time to look for new places to climb.
As the leaves fall they often reveal small hidden crags that
otherwise wouldn't be noticed. If you look in the guidebooks
you will see that many of the outlying crags were actually discovered
in October and November. It's a wonderful time to be out wandering
the woods, checking on the various nooks & crannies. Daz
and I headed out last Sunday, checking on some little crags that
I'd heard about over the years from people like Todd Swain. Most
we found was all mossy and chossy and looked as if it
would be a reasonable place to look for ice as we get further
into winter. What was really interesting however, was what we
found on the back side of the crag.
Apparently this is one of those "hidden crags" that
you hear about ever so often. The kind of place that not even that
many of the locals know about. Until I know more about the access
I'm not going to say where it is, but believe me it is only one
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:
Hunting season is here and of course you want to be sure to wear
orange if you are out there. There are large numbers of hunters
in "them there woods" and I can hear them shooting
in the fields by the river at various times during the day. I
have a real tendency to make a lot of obvious noise and sing
as well just to make sure that they know we are around. I even
have a orange vest for the dog so no one mistakes him for a prey.
Better safe than...
Cold & Ice Is Coming:
Brad White from IMCS was up in Pinkham Notch on Tuesday and said
that all the gullies had blowing snow in them. While we haven't
yet had flurries in the the Valley you gotta know that they are
on the way. That said, ice season has already started coming
in the Canadian Rockies. Check out these pictures on Will Gad's
It looks as if this will be a good year out there & may be
the time to make the pilgrimage out west again again.
Proposed Forest Plan - Open
A series of Open House meetings have been scheduled to assist the
public in reviewing and commenting on the White Mountain National
Forest's Proposed Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan).
Members of the interdiscipinary planning team will be on hand
to answer questions. Substantive comments may be submitted at
any of the open house meetings (must be in writing). The meetings
(except for the one in Boston) will run from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00
October 28 - Saco District Ranger HQ, 33 Kancamagus Highway, Conway
November 1 - Androscoggin Ranger HQ, 300 Glen Road (Route 16),
November 2 - Littleton Community Center, 120 Main St, Littleton
November 3 - Evans Notch Ranger Station, 18 Mayville Road, Bethel,
November 4 - AMC Headquarters, Cabot Auditorium, 5 Joy Street,
Animals On The Loose:
Maybe they're are sensing the change in season and are hustling
for food, or they know that the hunters out. All I know is that
I'm seeing a lot more animals than I've seen in a while. I've
seen 4 foxes and a moose in the past week, three of the foxes
Monday night on the way home from the jam session at the Red
Parka. About a week ago more than a dozen wild Turkey's wandered
across my back yard in the middle of the afternoon. One friend
was driving behind a woman who ran into a moose at twilight right
outside of Fryeburg about a week ago. No one was injured but
it was a close call and the moose didn't make it! Keep your eyes
peeled for the animals.
Fundraiser Raffle Results:
Thanks again to those who contributed to the web site and Report
this year. If you were chosen to receive one of the prizes and
haven't contacted me (email@example.com) to make arrangements to
get yours, please do. If you don't claim your prize it will go
into the hopper for next year's participents. <grin>
Mike Cummings - AutoRoute DVD
Gregory Leach - Accidents In North American Mountaineering
Don Pelletier - Tim Kemple Bouldering guide
Chris LeMay - 3 snow pickets
David Way - Charlet Moser ice screw
Mary Armstrong - Wilcox & Lewis Ice Guide
Katherine Aldcroft - Anderl Hexkmair biography
If you are on the list please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to make
arrangements to get your prize. While I'll be happy to mail them
out, it will be easier and cheaper if you drop by the next time
you're in town to pick it up. Besides, I'd like to meet you. <grin>
Although the fundraiser is officially over, of course we're happy
to take donations at any time. You can send a check to
Selected Ice Conditions effective February 23, 2017
The warmup has really hit us hard everywhere but in the higher elevations. Anywhere in the direct sun is dam close to toast right now. The Amphitheater at Frankenstein is off the radar, or certainly should be. You can probably do the Pegasus rock finish, but that's all. And I would be VERY careful walking under anything over in that area. As of today, Thursday Feb 23, Standard Route still looks OK. I also spotted someone climbing on Waterfall, tho I'm sure that the normally funky top outs are worse. The bottom of Dropline fell down, but Dracula still looks good. I was pleased to see that Willies still looks good. The snow has compacted and I saw what looked to be blue ice. The left side of Willard is basically gone, but Hitchcock, The Cleft, Left Hand Wrench, the far right slab and Elephant Head are still climbable. Other than the Barking Dog and North End I would write off Cathedral Ledge. I know people are going to ask about Repentance, etc and frankly I would caution away from it. In fact anything that is supposed to be attached to rock is suspect. Not to mention the fact that there is a LOT of stuff hanging around above you on Cathedral at this time.
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
Ice climbing is similarly pure. I hike to the base of a waterfall. It is in or out of condition. I am in or out condition. I choose whether I can deal with the riddle that nature presents or not. There's no way to frig it.