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So needless to say there's been a lot of snow in my yard. Well, everywhere if truth be told. It's gotten so annoying that I've taken to spreading the snow out so it melts faster. Once it gets less than a couple of inches thick it melts like crazy. I estimate that by the weekend or maybe sooner it will all be gone. Unfortunately that is totally not the case for the base of Whitehorse! While there is always lots of snow below the cliff in a normal. or even moderate year, this year is certainly different.
I was supposed to meet a friend over at the Ethereal Buttress on Wednesday afternoon so I parked at the Hotel lot & walked into the woods. I knew there would be snow but I was unprepared for just how much there was. When I say unprepared, I mean both that I should have worn high-top shoes and I was surprised at just how much snow was still piled up. You can easily walk all the way up to the Launching Pad on the snow!
Not only that but there is a lot of crap on the slabs right now. Apparently the twigs and leaves that were embedded in the snow are just sitting there and until we get some rain they are likely to stay there too.
Speaking of rain, it's been weeks since we have had any precipitation more than a mere dribble and the woods are very dry, in spite of the snow-melt. While I guess we are not in as bad a state as the Southern part of the state, if we don't get some rain soon we will be. If you are camping or smoking in the woods please be careful of your flame. It wouldn't take much to set off a brush fire that could be a big problem.
I walked along the base of the cliff past Echo Roof and all the way down to the Ethereal Buttress looking for my friends. They were nowhere to be found (grrrr), but the rock was generally dry, except for the right side of the Echo Roof area. There was a party on Ethereal & it looked totally dry. Walking further down the cliff much was clean and dry and there was chalk on many of the climbs . I heard some voices toward the Gargoyle Buttress. Ray Rice and Pete O were working on Brad White's old climb Economy Of Force (5.12). It looked like quite a pump...
On the walk out past the hotel I looked back at the right side of the cliff and noticed that pretty much everything was clear of ice & snow above the slabs. Now if the snow at the base would just melt & we'd get some rain to clean off the cliff!
All in all things are looking very good for early season climbing. There are mosquitoes out and some ticks, but it's not too bad. Heck, we had a great ice season, maybe we'll have a great rock season as well.
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective November 29, 2015
Ben Maxwell was in Tucks on Sunday and said there were a couple of reasonable lines.. I got an email from fellow guide Matt Shove who was up in Huntington Saturday. He climbed rock and said that in his opinion the ice on the mountain "has been set back to Zero!" and not 5 minutes later I saw a post her on FB by Ben Maxwell and Joe Cormier saying that they climbed 3 pitches of ice in Tucks Saturday. Needless to say that was ribbons of ice, in-between dirt and grass, but apparently it WAS ice! And then Paul McCoy posted 2 pix of what looked surprisingly like ice somewhere on the mountain. So, I have to assume that while there IS ice to be climbed, it's still fairly minimal. So there you have it...
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
AMC Boston Chapter, Mountaineering Committee In conjunction with WorldBoston (www.worldboston.org) and The Access Fund
For directions: www.outdoors.org/about/facilities/facilities-boston-directions.cfm
For more information: www.bostonclimbers.org
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
As I hammered in the last bolt and staggered over the rim, it was not at all clear to me who was the conqueror and who was the conquered. I do recall that El Cap seemed to be in much better condition than I was.