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Funny how different crags exude a different character at different times. It really came to mind the other afternoon as I was coming home from town down River Road at about 3PM. Cathedral stood there heavy and dark, with almost a foreboding look. Whitehorse, on the other hand, was much lighter and brighter. Of course this all has to do with the quality of the light at that particular time. The next morning at 8AM Cathedral was bathed in a warm rosy glow that made it seem almost inviting.
It's been below freezing every day this past week. Now the weather pundits are predicting brutally cold temps for the next several days. While I like it to be cold, I till it cold and snowy. This isn't really much fun, at least for me. That said some of my friends are really finding this kind of weather perfect for mountain biking. with a minimum snow on the ground and rock-hard ice it's close to perfect IF you have studded tires. Now that's just what I need, another winter sport! Well at least I already have the mountain bike. Unfortunately the cost of studded tires rivals a pair of good ice climbing gloves.
I was really getting antsy this afternoon so I grabbed my stuff & headed over to Cathedral for a little reconnaissance. I haven't gotten up close to Goofer's this season & I was wondering what it looked like up close. Turns out it looks pretty good. There is ice top to bottom. Kind of thin up to the little roof/bulge about 1/2 way up, but really nice & fat from there on. The cool thing is that you can clip a couple of the bolts on Dawn Patrol as you go. SWEET! The rest of the cliff has ice here. It was a nice walk along the base. Checked out the start to Standard Route and it looked as if it would go. So I wonder what folks would say about dry-tooling Toe Crack? Hmmm... Diagonal is coming, but the pillar actually doesn't look climbable yet. Maybe soon. There was some interesting pillars just right of the Mordor that I could climb one, step across a ledge, and down climb the other. That was good for a few laps. There was someone on Thresher so grabbed a couple of other things at the North End just for giggles. Now why couldn't we have this earlier in the season? Oh well, we just have to take it when we can.
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective March 26, 2015
There is still ice to climb in many places right now, but with the warm temps and rain coming that’s going to change quickly over the next week. I would expect that the Frankenstein Amphitheater will become problematic pretty soon. Even as big and fat as Standard Route is, it is in the full sun all day so it’s getting beat up. Climbs like Dracula, the North End of Cathedral, Lost In The Forest, Upper Hitchcock and various things in the shade will last longer of course. We’re moving into the best time for climbing on Mt Washington for the next 3-4 weeks. That said, it’s time to think about rock season folks.
Slideshow In Boston:
The American Alpine Club and the Appalachian Mountain Club present Mountaineering Historian Andy Selters - "Ways to the Sky"
Author, climber and photographer Andy Selters will present a multi-
media digital show on the history of climbing in North America. His 2004
book- "Ways to the Sky"- won top honors from the Banff Mountain Book
Festival and the National Outdoor Book Award. Selters' presentation
portrays the progression of mountaineering and its basis in our culture
using images of historical climbs from every decade and from peaks from
all over the continent.
Andy has been a climbing guide, author, and photographer for over
20 years. He has pioneered new routes in the Karakoram, the Himalaya,
and the Andes.
PS - I've read the book & this guy is an excellent writer. It's well worth checking him out.
Thursday, February 15th, 7:00pm
AMC Cabot Hall
3 Joy St., Boston, MA
Admission: $7.00 at the door
Book sale and signings
Local contact: WAtkinson@Compuserve.com
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.
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