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So the buzz is all about ice these days. Hard to believe that's the case as we are just in the first week of October, but it's true. People are talking about sharpening ice tools and screws, what are the latest and greatest crampons and boots, and even who will get the first ascent of the Dike this season! And for those so obsessed, Halloween is the magic time. I don't think that anyone managed a full ascent that early last year, but this year may be different, so stay tuned.
A number of people have asked about ice screw sharpening. Last season I sent off 22 of my screws to, a guy in Connecticut who came highly recommended. I couldn't afford to buy a whole new rack of screws so I sent off almost all of them and hoped for the best. Mine are a very eclectic mix of BD, Grivel and Charlet screws. Some were in so-so shape, but some were truly horrible. I was a bit skeptical that some of them could even be salvaged, but I figured it was worth a try so I sent them off. They showed up on my doorstep a little over a week later and I was very pleasantly surprised to see that they looked quite good. Of course the proof was in the use. I did a fair amount of guiding right off the bat last season and they were great. With new screws coming in at around $55 per screw, this is truly a good option. Even my very old BD screws that I use primarily for belays when I go to Canada or up to Willoughby are very reasonable. I still use my slick newish Charlet and Grivel screws for the hard stuff, but all of them a just fine now.
I asked Brian if it was OK to post his name and email address on the site and he said yes, so I'm passing it along.
I don't get anything for this, but please let him know that you heard about him in the White Mountain Report.
I'm looking at a new set of tools for this season. It's been 4 years since I went leashless and there are a lot more options now than there were then. I'm not a big mixed route climber so that does narrow things down a bit, but the options are still pretty good. It's going to be fun picking something out and I'll keep you updated on the process.
In the meantime, enjoy the wonderful fall rock climbing. While I do like the spring, this season is the real reason I live up North. Enjoy...
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective December 8, 2016
Tho it's been chilly at night, it hasn't really been cold enough to get things to set up. I think that the pictures tell the story. Predictions are for much colder weather starting Thursday night, so if that happens it will really help us out. Although there was more ice in Crawford Notch on Wednesday than last week, IMO there was nothing climbable. A few folks have made the hike up into the Ravines, but things are fairly thin up there as well. A few days ago I saw pictures of a friend climbing the Open Book in Tucks. I asked about gear and they said that while climbable, it was basically unprotectable! Doesn't sound like much fun to me, but of course YMMV...
Northwest Mountaineering Journal Released
The annual Northwest Mountaineering Journal has been released at http://www.mountaineers.org/nwmj/07/issue4.html. It documents mountaineering activity in the Pacific Northwest and features alpine rock climbing, high traverses, glaciers and climate, influential mountaineers, new routes, and first ski descents from April 2006 through March 2007. It's published by an all-volunteer squad in collaboration with the Mountaineers and CascadeClimbers.com. Highly recommended...
AAC New England Section Fall Gathering:
Saturday, October 20, 2007, 5:00p
Nancy Savickas' Refuge Alpiniste
17 Bridge Street, Albany, NH
(617) 285_0517 (cell)
More About New Routes:
There have been a couple of updates to the new routes on Mt. Webster. Be sure to check out the info on NEClimbs. Apparently there was some confusion between these new routes and some undocumented routes that were climbed some time ago. It would appear that the parties involved have resolved any differences they may have had and everyone hopes that the climbs are enjoyed by all.
No bugs to speak of... That said, the State has initiated mosquito traps and testing in the Conway area for EEE. Hopefully the results will come back negative, but obviously using some DEET if you are out in the woods or in the evening when the bugs are around would be a smart move. I'll post results as I get more information.
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 had the unique experience the next day: placing sixteen bolts in a row. It was just blank and there was no way around. But it was a route worth bolting for, and after a time I began to take an almost perverse joy in it, or at least in doing a good job.