NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 2:59a on 02/24/17 - Temperature: 36.8 F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 36.8 F - Barometric pressure: 29.753 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Rising Slowly - Humidity: 69 %
IceCON 2. Some trade routes are climbable, even in lower elevations.
2 out of a possible 5
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January 20, 2005

Hi Folks,

When I was a kid, my mother used to say I'd used up one of my nine-lives when I took a particularly nasty spill on our bikes. My grandmother, the Hospers family "Madame Queen", said I'd used up a couple that time I tried to fly my homemade biplane off the top of the house in Macon, Georgia. My wife said the exactly same thing when she heard about the ice climber who fell off Chia on Saturday and walked out of the hospital under his own power later that day!

I must say that it was a bad weekend for winter sports up here in the North Country. First, climber Gerald Prutsman fell while attempting to place a screw in a very thin Chia at Frankenstein on Saturday. Reportedly he fell somewhere between 35 and 40 feet, onto his back, striking his head with enough force to break his helmet and knock him unconcious for several minutes. Fortunately there were many climbers in the immediate area who all responded, including a local doctor. The carry-out was managed by local guide Marc Chauvin. Prutsman was taken to Memorial Hospital in North Conway, where he was examined and subsequently released. That was certainly worth a life.

Another serious accident occurred at Lake Willoughby on Saturday. A Boston climber, Dennis Maher, took a significant fall while leading the left side of Left Tablet. Reportedly, in the process he pulled two screws that were placed in mediocre ice and fell a long ways. Apparently he broke somewhere around 18 bones, including ribs, pelvis, sacrum, and lumbar vertebrae. There is no cell service and no rescue cache in the vicinity. This prompted the 8 climbers who rushed to his aid to do a manual carry-out, down a very steep and icy slope, with no litter, placing him in a car and driving him to the hospital in St. Johnsbury. I can only imagine how painful that must have been! Word has it that he will recover fully, tho surely not in time for any more climbing this season. With the definite possibility of having compounded the injury during a rough carry-out I would say that this one is worth 2 lives. Dennis is very fortunate not to be in a chair blinking his eyes for the rest of his life!

NOTE - There is a thread on NEClimbs discussing the possibility of placing some rescue caches in strategic areas up along the cliff at Willoughby. If this becomes a real possibility I'll probably be putting up some method of asking you all for donations, so be prepared.

A ski-mountineering accident reportedly occurred in Huntington Ravine on Sunday when 2 unnamed individuals attempted to ski down Central Gully. The first was successful, skiing the gully, navigating the fan and continuing down the trail to Pinkham. The second was not as fortunate, managing the gully but falling in the fan. Apparently he struck one or more rocks, causing himself severe injury. Fortunately there were climbers in the area who called for help and assisted in the rescue. It's just lucky that there were people around, as his partner was long-gone! I don't have any more info on this one. I figure this is worth at least one life, maybe two.

So what does this tell us? Is it that ice climbing & ski mountaineering are too dangerous and that we should quit? NAAAAAH! Should we be more careful? Well sure, when we can. Basically we all know the risks for these things and we take them of our own volition. I guess for me the thought is that s**t happens. Just be careful out there and know when NOT to climb.

Ice Conditions Report:
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.
Huntington Ravine good  
Repentance OUT  
Standard Route still OK Click to see route picture.
Dracula OK 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

Today's climber... carries his courage in his rucksack... Faith in equipment has replaced faith in oneself.
Reinhold Messner
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