NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 11:00p on 01/18/19 - Temperature: 27.9 °F - Wind speed: 2.0 mph - Wind chill: 26.5 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.973 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Rising Slowly - Humidity: 49 %
IceCON 5. Superb New England ice climbing. Even many of the climbs that form rarely are IN.
5 out of a possible 5
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November 4, 2004

Hi Folks,

In the latest poll on NEClimbs I asked if people had met their goals for this rock season. I've come to realize that this may be a harder question to answer than I'd expected. 10% of respondents said that they met their goals, 13% exceeded them and 45% said that they had not. (For what it's worth, the remaining 32% said "who cares?") I suppose those numbers are not really all that surprising. Shoot, when it comes right down to it I never meet my personal goals this year. Of course that's probably because I set them so high that I'd only meet them if I climbed Everest, and that's not very likely.

It also might have something to do with my personal view of myself. Recently I've come to realize that I still perceive of myself as the young man I was. I'm not saying that's all bad, mind you. It's just a fact that I feel more like I'm in my 40's, when that's not at all the case. It came into focus last night on my 57th birthday. Yeow, that's right - 57! I do try & keep these things pretty low key ever since I had one of those "moments of truth" when I turned 25. Now-a-days I'd prefer to just let those anniversaries roll past pretty much unnoticed, tho my 5 year old won't usually let that happen. This year was perfect, a well cooked dinner, well chilled beer and a few nice presents from the family. It doesn't get a whole lot better. Of course the presents were all outdoor related. A nice vest and pair of riding booties from Pearl Izumi from my son and a bike trainer from my wife. Perhaps the latter contained just a bit of a hint, aye? No climbing gear this year as I already have pretty much everything that I need, much less want. <grin>

I have a couple of folks that I look up to these days when it comes to staying young while you're getting older. I've said this before, but my main idol is George Hurley. I know I've mentioned him before, but he really is an amazing individual. He is turning 70 this January and shows little signs of slowing down, other than limiting his hiking due to a bit of arthritis. I climbed with him this spring and he is still strong, sharp and bold; still putting up challenging routes in the area. I don't exactly for sure what keeps people like George active while others fall apart, but I hope that interest and enthusiasm for life counts for a lot of it. George has that in spades and I'm definitely trying to follow his lead.

I do think that setting higher goals than are attainable, isn't all that bad an idea. Maybe you won't always manage to meet or exceed them, but at least you have set the bar and you always have something to work toward. For me 3 years ago it was leading Ego Trip. I never got it clean, but the effort made me a solid 5.10+ leader on face climbs. 2 years ago it was climbing Dropline. Attaining that goal was a big boost to my ice climbing. This year it was riding 2000 miles and a Century on the road bike plus getting totally solid on 5.10 cracks. I managed all but the latter, tho I did get a lot better on my crack climbing. I haven't decided what it will be for this winter, but I'm sure I can come up with something that will be hard and fun. Besides, it gives me a perfect excuse for how I HAVE to get out and do things, and that's not bad at all.

Winter Update:
Just when I think that the weather is making a run for the cold, we get a nice day. Today is one of those mid-40's and clear. That said it's been cold in the upper elevations. Temps on the summit have been below or close to freezing for the past few days. 2.6 inches of snow has fallen and the average wind speed has been a whopping 66 mph over the last 24 hours. It may be nice here in the Valley, but it's winter up there. If this keeps up I would say that ice is already forming up there.

The AccuWeather folks are predicting a cold winter this year. Here's a quote:

"The average temperatures are expected to be at least two degrees below normal in an area that extends from southern Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire south to the Florida Panhandle, and as far west as southeast Ohio and eastern areas of Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama."

While that's great for those of us interested in winter sports, it will sure have an impact on all of our heating bills. I'm sure glad that I put in 2 more cord of wood this fall before the oil prices went through the roof. You can read more here. With any luck it won't be quite as bitter a winter as we had last year. That was a little much, even for me.

As usual, have fun and climb safe,

Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective January 17, 2019
I raised the IceCON rating to a 5 today. It's unusual to get a 5 rating this early in the season, but this one has certainly been special. All the climbs in the Amphitheater are IN, as is pretty much everything else at Frankenstein. It's really pretty impressive just how much ice there is out there right now, in spite of how sunny it is. Just goes to show what snow and cold will do for things. That said, we have a VERY BIG round of snow coming in on Saturday evening through early Monday. Predictions are for 2 feet, but if we even get half that it's a big deal. If you're planning on climbing on Sunday just be aware of what that much snow means and please drive safe on the way home.
Huntington Ravine options, but beware snow  
Repentance IN - P2 start tricky Click to see route picture.
Standard Route IN - top pitch is much better Click to see route picture.
Dracula IN 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

Tick marks abound, so even the stupid can climb.
Matt Samet
In his preface for the original Rifle guide.
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