NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
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April 7, 2005

Hi Folks,

Tramping around in the woods at this time of year is a real chore. In most places the ground still has a good layer of snow on it, and what isn't snow is usually mud. That's right folks, we are in the throws of mud season, and it's a good one. If you're out there you better wear your mud boots, and in some cases a pair of snowshoes can come in handy as well.

The big topic these days is the weather. We've had some really nice days over the past week and a half, but it's been rainy & overcast at times as well. This week it was really pretty nice on Tuesday and Wednesday, hitting a high of 60 on Wednesday. There were 5 cars at Humphrey's Wednesday afternoon and on the road everywhere you looked were cyclists cranking out those early-season miles. Here's a shot of Travis Piper on Castaways. If you were one of those up there on Wednesday, it was me who yelled at you from the road on my bike! <grin>

One thing that's cool is that you can see lots of stuff in the woods since the leaves aren't back on the trees yet. Riding around at this time of the year can be a great way to spot new crags, especially if you are on your bike and therefore riding slow. I keep spotting little outcroppings in the woods everywhere I look. I think that there are still plenty of little places where you can find first ascents to do if you look hard enough, and they aren't a 3 mile hike uphill! have a look as you head up to Crawford Notch sometime. You'll be amazed at the stuff that's right there!

There are some of us who just can't give up the ice tools and crampons. I came across a couple of die-hards on a very rainy last Saturday in a secluded location mixing it up. You have to be stubborn to even get out on a day like that, but they were really having a go at it. Of course there was no ice to get to, but that didn't seem to be bothering them one whit!

I ran into one of the senior local guides the other night at the Red Parka. We chatted about the ice & snow and the upcoming rock season. He has been spending a lot of time up on Mt. Washington this past winter and said that conditions were excellent right now. What's really neat is that while we have been loosing our snow cover, they have just gotten another dump over the past few days. It is really cool so see the snow come & go up there.

I was quite surprised to hear that he had been guiding on Monday over at Frankenstein. He said that the big slab north of Dracula right near the tracks was still happening. I had never climbed there, but he said it was fine. I asked how Dracula looked and he said that it still looked doable altho the top was getting a bit detached. I must have looked a bit too enthusiastic because he closed his comments by saying, "I don't think you would die if you did it." Enough said...

I got some great pictures from Jay Briscoe that were taken about 10 days ago on what was probably the last really good ice climbing weekends. I've watched Jay's photo skills get better and better over the past couple of years and think that he has a great eye.

picture 1
picture 2
picture 3
picture 4

Maury McKinney of IMCS sent along some nice shots from Pinnacle Gully taken on Wednesday. He always takes pix when he is out and has a ton of nice ones. He said that conditions were excellent in the ravine and the ice should last at least a couple of more weeks. Here's a great shot of Pinnacle from the bottom and of Sue Wemyss coming up the first pitch.

While I have officially put away my ice tools, the big Mountain sometimes still calls to me. Who knows, I may find a day to hike up & have a look at it before the snow is gone. This is one of the best times to be up here in the North Country. You can do a gully, climb rock, do some spring skiing and ride your bike all in the same weekend - hey maybe even in the same day if you're ambitious. Get it while you can...

Thanks to everyone who sent in the pix this week. I really appreciate it. They are all GREAT! Have fun and climb safe,



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:

http://www.neclimbs.com/mobile

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:

http://www.facebook.com/NEClimbs/

Have fun and climb safe,


Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire


The climbing as a whole is not very esthetic or enjoyable; it is merely difficult.
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