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November 3, 2005

Hi Folks,

It has been an absolutely amazing 2 weeks here up in the North country. Frankly I don't remember when we have had such a variable collection of conditions in such a short amount of time and in such a small area. What am I talking about? Well how about major winter storms in the Notches, and beautiful Indian Summer in the Valley - incredible spring skiing on Wildcat and near-perfect fall rock climbing in the Valley. Hmmm....can it get much better?

I suppose one way would be if the ice were actually IN in the Ravines and the Dike were fat and... Well you know what I mean. Unfortunately that isn't exactly the case right now boys & girls. While some climbs ARE getting done, by no means are they IN in the normal sense of the word. Yes, the Black Dike has been done BEFORE Halloween this year. Jim Shimberg, one of the strongest climbers in the area, already tossed it off. That said report has it that it was quite difficult and there was lots of loose rock. Well within their capabilities, out of most others'.

(Over)Anxious folks have been heading up in the Ravines hoping to bag some of that early season ice & snow climbing there. Between the avalanche conditions and the fact that it's still very early in the season, most have not been successful. Parties have managed Central and Odell's, but as far as I know Pinnacle has rebuffed all comers. A friend tried it on the 31st but backed off when he punched through a section on pitch 2 into the running water, leaving an old rope behind on the bail. Another party was right behind and, discretion being the better part of valor, made the decision not to do it. They had a video camera and took some footage of the conditions that day. Here's a link to the video I think you will agree that the day was, shall we say, alpine... Thanks to Bertrand Côté for his great video link.

Yesterday's front moving through dropped another 5 inches of snow on the summit. As one of the MW observers noted, " Unrelenting snowfall, could this be the trend for the winter..." October set 11 new records set on Mt. Washington. Amazingly enough, 6 were record highs and 5 were precipitation related. Speaking of the Observers, they've posted some amazing photos over the past week. Here are links to a few:

Stair Sunrise
Rime And Mountains

You can see more great shots by scrolling through the past comments & looking at the links yourself here.

Annual White Mountain Report and NEClimbs Fundraiser - Week 3:
We are now in the THIRD week of "Fundraiser Month" at NEClimbs and The White Mountain Report. As usual response has been slow to start. We only have 32 individual donations so far. Hopefully that will change over the next 2 weeks. To make this thing work we really need a minimum of 150 individual donors. That's less than 1/4 of the Report's 78+ subscribers, so one would think it's is a very doable figure.

I put out this weekly Report and maintain the NEClimbs web site all year long, keeping you up to date on what's going on in climbing in the White Mountains, and in the White Mountain climbing community. Yup, this is a very time-intensive effort, consuming 10+ hours a week of my time. With the price of gas skyrocketing, the cost of just driving up to Frankenstein to check on conditions really adds up.

NEClimbs now gets over 600 UNIQUE visits per day. It's not, but it's not bad at all.I'm really proud of the growth over the years and I hope that it can continue this growth. I keep adding new features to the site to provide you with the best possible experience. Hopefully that is the case. If there is something that you would like to see on NEClimbs, please drop me a line or post a note in the Forum. I'm always interested in your suggestions.

I know that it's easy to postpone making your contribution, but please don't do it. it's a mistake to assume that someone else will pick up the slack. YOU signed up to be included on the Report mailing list, so please send make your contribution NOW. To contribute ON-LINE via PayPal. Use this link. It's easy & painless and you can use any credit card. Remember, you DON"T need to have a PayPal account to use this service.

After all, a minimal $20 donation isn't a lot for all the great information provided every single week. Hey, it's 38 cents per week. That's right, 38 CENTS a WEEK folks! That contribution makes this newsletter and the NEClimbs web site possible. Without your support I simply couldn't justifying the effort required to make it happen.

As usual, to make it more enticing, if you make a contribution you are automatically entered in a raffle for some GREAT prizes like:

Craig Luebben's new book "Rock Climbing: Mastering Basic Skills"
"An Ice Climbers Guide to Northern New England" by Lewis & Wilcox
Tim Kemple's "New England Bouldering" guidebook
Accidents In North American Mountaineering 2005
Boston Rocks 2nd Edition (donated by Richard Doucette)
American Alpine Journal 2005
Petzl Duo LED 5 Headlamp (donated by
Nalgene water bottles (donated by
2006 Colorado Fourteeners Calendar from The Mountaineers
Yates Shortie Screamer
8 mm 60-meter tag line (donated by Sterling Rope)

It's our most incredible list of raffle items ever!

Drawing will be held on November 21st, 2005 and winners will be notified via email and in that week's White Mountain Report. Your donation must be postmarked or received by PayPal before November 17, 2005 to be entered. It's a perfect opportunity to support NEClimbs, and a great chance to win a useful prize. You MUST make a donation to enter the raffle!

PLEASE help us keep the White Mountain Report and NEClimbs growing and evolving. Make out a check for $20 to NEClimbs or donate via PayPal. We'll appreciate whatever you can do.

Make out your check or money order to NEClimbs and send it to:

92 Bow Lane
North Conway, NH 03860

The Contributors' Donations List is now online. It contains the names of all of those individuals and organizations who have contributed as a part of the 2005/2006 fundraiser.


Access Fund Grants Awarded:
The Access Fund has awarded $30,900 in its third round of grant funding for 2005 bringing the total for the year to just over $100,000 across 23 grants. Awarded three times annually, Climbing Preservation Grants provide financial assistance for local climber activism and protection of the climbing environment. The grants will be distributed for trail improvements, stewardship projects, outreach, and land acquisitions.

Locally the Friends of East Mountain received a multi-use grant for trail work and maintenance at Mormon Hollow, a survey to determine alternative parking options and possible acquisition of a small lot, and the installation of water bars and ladders at the Main cliff in Great Barrington.

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 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:

Remember - climb hard, ride the steep stuff, stay safe and above all BE NICE,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

Dry-tooling is something i used to do in high school when I couldn't find a date for the weekend.
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