NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 7:59p on 01/17/19 - Temperature: 8.9 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 8.9 °F - Barometric pressure: 30.265 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Rising Slowly - Humidity: 41 %
IceCON 5. Superb New England ice climbing. Even many of the climbs that form rarely are IN.
5 out of a possible 5
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March 21, 2008

Hi Folks,

Wednesday night was the Vernal Equinox and we switched over to Spring. I don't know about where you folks are, but up here in the hinterlands it's hard to believe. It pretty much snowed all day Wednesday, tho we didn't get much accumulation. In the Notches it's like we still are in winter. When I had to go out to a meeting in the evening it had switched over to freezing rain and later to pure rain. Then from midnight through 8AM we got a half inch of something mostly liquid. It's left a sloppy crust on top of everything and hasn't caused things to melt that much. I don't know if this is good or bad, but it's not too fun.

So here we are in Spring. Are there any indications that we've shifted into a new season? Not that many, but here's some I have noticed, in no particular order:

1) Although the ice in most sunny places is trash, what's left in the shade is plastic and has become the much-sought-after "hero ice", letting the Grade 3 climber feel like they can climb Grade 5 with ease. (Thus, grab Black Pudding Gully while you can!)

2) The windows of warm weather have many animals our foraging and some are getting into my compost pile earlier than I've ever seen them. When the bears start waking up this is really going to be a problem as the berry crop will likely be very late this year.

3) In one small place in my yard where there is no snow, at least before yesterday, some day lily bulbs were pushing up. I don't think that anyone is going to be able to start a garden before June and that's going to push back all of the farm crops and thus the farm stands. Gotta wonder if we will get any fresh stuff this year.

4) The Saco River at First Bridge is already clear of ice.

5) Load Limit signs are going up on a lot of the side roads.

6) On sunny days when I can open my windows to air out the house the sound that's like thunder is actually the sound of the massive ice and snow falling off Cathedral and Whitehorse.

7) In between more rounds of snow/rain/sleet I can get out and find some dry rock to boulder or maybe even do a climb.

8) In between more snow/rain/sleet I can occasionally get out and ride my bike around town, or maybe even further, on some semi-dry pavement.

9) When the weather pundits talk about temps relative to previous years, they have shifted from "above" to "below" average.

10) We keep going back and forth between mud season and not mud season. Pulling off the road onto a shoulder is very problematic now. I saw a lady in an SUV with up to her axles the other day. It's been several years since we've had a mud season, but f the parking lot at Cranmore is any indication, I think this year is to be a corker.

11) We usually get frost heaves in the Spring, but this year they have come sooner than ever and they are worse than I've ever seen. West Side Road near the strawberry fields is horrible and the top of the hill on the Bartlett side of West Side Road just beyond Cemetery Crag is unreal.

12) Better have the "bot plates" on your crampons now. The snow wasn't sticky before, but it certainly is now.

13) The snowbanks on the sides of the road are finally coming down a bit. Pretty soon they will be low enough that I can actually pull out of my driveway and see what's coming!

14) I'm seeing bugs outside these days. Moths, flies, spiders and snow fleas are all starting to appear.
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective January 17, 2019
I raised the IceCON rating to a 5 today. It's unusual to get a 5 rating this early in the season, but this one has certainly been special. All the climbs in the Amphitheater are IN, as is pretty much everything else at Frankenstein. It's really pretty impressive just how much ice there is out there right now, in spite of how sunny it is. Just goes to show what snow and cold will do for things. That said, we have a VERY BIG round of snow coming in on Saturday evening through early Monday. Predictions are for 2 feet, but if we even get half that it's a big deal. If you're planning on climbing on Sunday just be aware of what that much snow means and please drive safe on the way home.
Huntington Ravine options, but beware snow  
Repentance IN - P2 start tricky Click to see route picture.
Standard Route IN - top pitch is much better Click to see route picture.
Dracula IN Click to see route picture.
For the full current conditions report, CLICK HERE

I was up in Crawford Notch on Thursday. It's been sunny other days, but this day was cloudy and lots of climbs looked good. Even some of the climbs on Willard are looking better. Here are a few pics from this morning:

Black Pudding Gully
Dracula
Numbered Gullies in Crawford
climb below Waiting For Janet in Crawford

If you're going to be out climbing here's a couple of cool climbs to consider this weekend:
Black Pudding is IN and very fat
lots of very cool drips in the woods right of Black Pudding
the climb below Waiting For Janet looks fantastic
Gully 2 1/2 looks like it's IN for a change
Snot Rocket looks like there's some good stuff on and around it

Upcoming Slideshow:
Vertical Ethiopia - Climbing Toward Possibility in the Horn of Africa
by climber, writer Majka Burhardt (www.majkaburhardt.com)

Vertical Ethiopia documents a climbing expedition to unexplored sandstone spires in northern Ethiopia. In March 2007, four women traveled to Ethiopia to discover if climbing might be the next frontier for this continuously evolving country. Told through a series of vignettes that reveal what it means to climb, to travel, and to explore, Vertical Ethiopia looks closely at the intersections between adventure and culture, history and opportunity.

May 7th, 7pm
Cabot Auditorium, AMC Headquarters, 5 Joy Street, Boston MA
$5

Sponsored by the AMC Boston Chapter, Mountaineering Committee in conjunction with WorldBoston (www.worldboston.org) and The Access Fund.

www.outdoors.org/about/facilities/facilities-boston-directions.cfm

For more information: www.bostonclimbers.org

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


The solitary ascent of the Dru had the immediate effect of expanding the horizons of my ideas about mountaineering. It made me aware of possibilities well in advance of the times, which were characterized by very restricted mothods. This was how the suberb pyramid of K2 surfaced once more in the list of my projects. But I chose K2 as a way for giving concrete form to my new concept of mountaineering: to climb the second highest montain in the world solo, alpine style, and without oxygen.
Walter Bonatti
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