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So how was your ice season? Did you get out as many days as you hoped? Did you get in as many pitches as you wanted? (Did you count them?) Did you climb that one special route that you've been coveting for years? Did you ratchet your leading or following grade up this year? Are you ready to give it up & move into rock, or are you still hanging on to the last vestiges of winter? Whatever you have done, I hope you took advantage of this year's banner crop of ice and that your season was a successful one.
This is a tricky time of year. The weather is wonderful for upper elevation ice climbing, rock climbing, skiing, kayaking and many other great outdoor activities. That said, you have to keep your brain engaged and really pay attention to what is going on around you. An avalanche accident took place in Huntington a week ago Monday that ended up OK but could have been tragic. In a separate incident this Wednesday a skier suffered a serious head injury when he was struck by ice at Lunch Rocks in Tuckerman Ravine. I was at Frankenstein a few days ago and saw large chunks of ice falling between Dropline and Dracula, right where people walk back to the base of Standard Route from the walk-off! I have been leaving my back door open on nice days and can often hear ice falling off Cathedral and Whitehorse when it's warm and sunny. Here are some, shall we say, educational pictures I took today (Thursday) of Whitehorse and Humphrey's.
The Frankenstein shot is of just left of Welcome To The Machine. The whatsAbove_mistakenIdentity is just right of Echo Roof. The slab stuff is obvious. Until we get some warmer temps and a couple of good rains, all this will linger around. I didn't bother to take pictures of Cathedral since you can easily see it using the webcam on NEClimbs.com.
There is a lot of ice still up there in the shaded areas, but the Thin Air face is starting to look good, especially in the mid-morning. You just have to take care walking below the Mordor and Standard Route. DO NOT hike up the Recompense trail. There is still a lot of ice in the Goofer's and Big Flush area. And of course definitely stay away from the North End cracks until all of the Unicorn Ledge is clear. Obviously the South Buttress and Humphrey's would be MY choice of places to rock climb right now!
I parked my truck at Champney Falls and rode my bike up to the top of the Kanc and back on Wednesday. I had my high-top Sorrels in the truck and was planning on walking into Champney to check it out after my ride. However after a few times of punching through the snow up to my crotch, and one time loosing my boot when I pulled my leg out, I gave it up. Snow shoes might be a good thing to have with you if you are going to wander around anywhere in the woods right now. Maybe like on the hike up to the South Buttress!
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective November 24, 2015
Things are definitely coming along... I walked out the back door this afternoon, after a whole day below 30 degrees, and there is ice coming down on Diagonal and even Repentance! Give it a couple of weeks and things will be happening.
Kismet Rock Foundation Jubilee - May 17th:
Jubilee is THE annual event for Kismet Rock Foundation! All are invited
to join in this festive springtime occasion which includes dinner, live
music, dancing, a very popular silent auction, and student presentations.
It's held this year at the Cranmore Mountain Resort in North Conway, NH.
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
This is a group of people I used to go walking with. (long pause) That's me on the left. (even longer pause) On the right is the woman I married, Audrey. (very long pause, speaker looks at shoes) Which just goes to show that danger lurks where you least expect it.
Don Whillans commenting on a B&W slide showing a group of smiling hikers