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I rode up in the Notch on Wednesday morning to get a head start on pictures, but it was pretty much full-on conditions so I couldn't even see the climbs from the road. Traffic was slowed to a crawl from about Texaco all the way to the Highland Center. Even the down-staters in their SUV's with the skis on top were going slow. It was quite something. What was even more impressive was the contrast between the almost total lack of snow here in the Valley, and just how much snow there was up in Bretton Woods and over into Vermont. Well somebody had to be getting it, 'cause we sure weren't.
Even from the tracks there was no way to take a meaningful picture so I had to get up there again this morning. Although it was windy and there was some blowing snow this AM, I was able to see almost everything & get the pics that I needed. Amazingly enough a lot of the ice hung in through 24 hours of rain, equaling about 1 inch, and 2 very warm days - one almost reaching 60! Many of the climbs are doing OK and I would be surprised if we didn't hang in there until close to the end of the month.
Old Man Winter has certainly thrown us some real change-ups this season. In spite of that I think that it's been generally OK. I've managed to get in most, if not all of the climbs that I wanted to do this year. We have even had one thaw that saw the fully formed pillars on Pegasus fall completely down! I never thought that it would have come back as well as it has. I don't know if this is due to global warming or what, but things have certainly been changing over the past several years. If nothing else the jet stream has shifted to the south, giving areas that could care less about the snowfall accumulation, massive dumps. I'm sure that the area ski resorts are happy that snowmaking technology has risen to the occasion. Hmmm... Is there something like that that we could to to help the ice climbing conditions? Any environmental engineers out there?
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective January 19, 2017
It's yet another mild day here in the Valley at 39 degrees, and even up in Crawford Notch where it was 34! The ice is OK in some places, but not overall good yet. For instance the Frankenstein Amphitheater is marginal, while Standard and Dracula are great. We need several days of seriously cold temps for things to settle in, Top outs on many climbs are poor, so protect where you can!
Self Serving Band Announcement:
My dance/funk band SoundsClever is playing at the Wildcat Tavern on this Friday night from 8:30 to 12. This is a great alternative to the normal St. Patrick's Day Irish music that you will find pretty much everywhere else in the Valley. Hey, you can dance to it! There is no cover charge, the food is great, the drinks ample and I think that you will definitely like the music.
Hope to see you there...
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
I was once bouldering in solitude in the Needles, when a young female walked up and introduced herself and asked who I was. I told her and continued bouldering. She turned and walked away after a few minutes, saying over her shoulder: 'you can't be John Gill. He climbs much better than that'.