NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 1:29p on 02/23/18 - Temperature: 33.9 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 33.9 °F - Barometric pressure: 30.432 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Falling Rapidly - Humidity: 39 %
IceCON 2. Some trade routes are climbable, even in lower elevations.
2 out of a possible 5
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March 1, 2007

Hi Folks,

Inspiration and Perspiration... Two essential ingredients needed to become great at anything. As a young musician I always came home totally pumped up after I saw a concert featuring one of my favorite bassists like Phil Lesh or Stanley Clark. I couldn't wait to get my bandmates together to play and try out all of the things that I'd heard my idols play. Of course it wasn't all that easy, and for the most part my technique just didn't support the ideas were rolling around in my head. Not at all that surprising actually.

The recent Ice Festival provided many folks with some well needed inspiration to get their climbing happening. There is nothing like taking a course from a major climber like a Steve House, Mark Wilford or a Barry Blanchard to get you all pumped up and on the right track. Any of these great climbers can help you hone your skills, and for those of you who attended any of the superb clinics or slideshows, it is up to you to spend the time to take what you learned or saw and apply it to your own climbing.

Last night a friend and I drove down to Boston to Sculler's Jazz Club for the first time in quite a while to see 3 of my favorite bass players in concert. The "group", if you can call it that, is called BX3 and consists of Stu Hamm, Billy Shehan and Jeff Berlin plus a guitarist and d rummer. Each bassist gets a 20-30 minute feature in a trio format and then they all play together. While they are about as different as one could possibly imagine stylistically, they manage to work together incredibly well. These are truly world class players, on the same level in their thing as the afore-mentioned climbers.

Needless to say I cam home totally wound up about playing and about what I had seen. However, I also realized that to even come close to what I had seen was going to take a huge amount of effort and, dare I say it, perspiration. At 59 years old and with a family, full time job, playing music a couple of times a week and some guiding there is a limit to what I can reasonably manage. So I have to figure out what I can do. For me right now it means taking some of the ideas that I saw and work them into the fabric of my playing. I'm not going to be able to play Bebop like Jeff, tap bass like Stu or heavy metal bass like Billy, but I can use some of those things to spice up my playing. AND in a 2 minute conversation with Jeff after the concerts I got a hint about soloing over chord changes that may pay big dividends.
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective February 22, 2018
The ice took a YUGE hit over the past couple of daze. Not just in the lower elevations, but everywhere. It's pretty clear that winter isn't over, and March is often our snowiest month. So let's just muddle through this next couple of days and see what next week brings us. Many of the trade routes in Crawford Notch are in poor shape right now and need at least a couple of days and nights of cold temps to firm things up again. Still, there are some climbs to be done like Standard Route and Dracula, and even the North End of Cathedral has hung on. HOWEVER you really need to beware of what's above you now. There are hangers everywhere that will be coming down as soon as the sun comes out! I would stay away from everything left of Thresher on Cathedral, all the way to Goofers. And right now the Amphitheater at Frankenstein looks poor, most especially Chia with all those daggers. Keep your fingers crossed for come chill-down next week folks.
Huntington Ravine UNKNOWN but likely OK  
Repentance OUT  
Standard Route OK Click to see route picture.
Dracula OK middle & right Click to see route picture.
For the full current conditions report, CLICK HERE

You may have watched Barry pull up and over a mixed roof at Texaco and somehow realized that for many of us (you & me), at 50 years old and 30 pounds over weight, that just wasn't going to happen. BUT, if you paid close attention to how he racked his gear and dealt with running in screws and placing rock gear, you came away with something that you can directly apply to your own climbing. Even watching how these guys do something as simple as swinging their tools or finding rests on a climb can be directly applicable to your climbing. I remember watching Steve House on Dracula 2 years ago (I think it was) and was totally impressed with how he found these no-hands rests in places I would have never imagined. Or many years ago watching Mark WIlford be so incredibly focused as he tap-tap-tapped his way up a very thin smear of ice at the Flume.

Of course all of these things will be lost if you don't think about and practice them on your own. One of the high points for me last night was Jeff Berlin's absolutely mesmerizing interpretation of Eric Clapton's ballad Tears Of Heaven. I may never be able to play that tune that way, I probably wouldn't even try, but I can certainly find a tune to arrange that would work for me. You may not be able to pull over that 6' roof, but you certainly can be a better climber if you work on the things you saw that great climber do. It's really up to you.

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


From Everest Base Camp, you can walk four hours and you're lounging on grass, drinking beer with trekkers. K2 stands absolutely on its own. The approach is hard. The base camp feels like the moon. The mountain itself looks utterly impregnable, and there's no easy way up the thing. And all this hits you between the eyes when you see it for the first time. It's like that famous Munch painting. You know the one—The Scream? Except, of course, you're the one doing the screaming.
Jim Curran
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