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While some things aren't as fat as they are sometimes, Thresher for example, there is certainly a lot of ice out there in interesting places. I walked along the base of Cathedral on Wednesday afternoon and was impressed at just how much ice was dripping all over the place. Goofer's Direct looks as if it would go, Diagonal has been steadily building and looks possible, the upper part of the Mordor looks very interesting, Repentance and Remission are getting closer every day, Didre really looks as if it will go (there is even ice on the corner 3rd pitch), Unicorn looks pretty good (been done) and of course the North End stuff is fine (tho getting pretty well used). This is turning into a good season so I'm a pretty happy guy...
Speaking of rain, I had an opportunity to guide last Thursday, a few days after I came back from Philadelphia. The weather prognosticators weren't very encouraging, calling for rain all day, so I was a bit surprised that the clients showed up on time and still enthusiastic. Of course that's generally fine with me tho 'cause getting out is always better than sitting inside. Fortunately the rain held off until about noon but once it started it came down pretty steadily until about 4 PM. It's really funny how this seems to be happening to me a lot. Last Spring I had several days of guiding where it rained pretty much the whole day. It puts a different picture on what you think that you are willing to do. While if I was going out on my own, I'd just probably bag it. But if I have people who are willing to pay the climbing school & me to be out there on a funky day, I do what I have to do.
I remember talking with George Hurley about it a few years ago. I had spotted him easily moving up the top of Thin Air as I was rapping off the Saigons in a steady warm rain about 3 PM. I asked him about it later and he said that he'd had a pretty good day but that the clients had bailed a little early. They had gotten up to the Thin Air ledge around 3:30 and it had started to rain a bit harder. He was still enjoying himself so he offered them Pine Tree Eliminate, but they declined almost in horror. He said that he was disappointed as he finds something fun in almost every situation. I try to take that to heart. My clients didn't beg me to bail last week, so I guess it's all in the attitude. Rain or not I was determined to have fun. Ain't that what this whole things supposed to be about?
2006 American Alpine Club Mountain Fest and Annual Meeting:
The 2006 Mountain Fest and Annual Meeting will occur the weekend of February 10th-12th at the Attitash Grand Summit Hotel in Bartlett, N.H. The festival will provide a great opportunity to meet and climb with the AAC board and other members of the Club.
This year's meeting coincides with the annual Mount Washington Valley Ice Festival. It's an event you will remember for years to come! This year George Lowe headlines a group of talented and diverse speakers with his presentation: My Life and Climbs.
For more information about the festival, lodging or to find a registration form, please visit http://www.americanalpineclub.org/community/events-annual.asp
It's a rare occasion for this event to be in our neck of the woods and it's something that I certainly plan to attend. Hope to see you there.
Maybe The Youngest Mountaineer:
A few folks were a bit aghast at the child leading a climb over on Lost Ledge a year or so ago. If you think that's a bit OUT, and I personally don't, check out the
following story of the 8 year old boy whose parents took him up Island Peak. That's just short of 7k folks! Now I personally DO think that this is a bit OUT. Just gotta wonder what time at 20k does to those young kiddo brain cells.
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective December 1, 2016
Almost 3 inches of rain in 3 daze and waterfalls are everywhere. WOW!!! Needless to say there isn't any climbable ice anywhere in the lower elevations, and IMO probably nothing that's safe to climb on Mt Washington. That said there is a ton of water in the system that will surely provide some great climbing as soon as it cools down. Stay tuned folks...
I noticed yesterday that the ground has finally frozen, so you can often get those good New England Turf sticks when you need them. Here are a few shots I took in here the Valley over the past couple of days:
While both Repentance and Remission look pretty good in these pictures, they are in marginal shape where it counts. P2 of Repentance has far less ice than usual and the ice in the chimney on Remission is less than stellar. One exceptional local guide backed off Remission the other day. Your mileage may vary!
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
In 1961 I led this chimney in a state of metabolic uproar. At the base of the pitch I smoked several cigarettes (the first and last ones of my life). This was to calm me. Then I spooned half a jar of honey. This was to ensure superhuman strength. Mort Hempel, my partner, watched this silly ritual with mouth agape and eyes exploding with fear.