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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 February 23, 2017
The warmup has really hit us hard everywhere but in the higher elevations. Anywhere in the direct sun is dam close to toast right now. The Amphitheater at Frankenstein is off the radar, or certainly should be. You can probably do the Pegasus rock finish, but that's all. And I would be VERY careful walking under anything over in that area. As of today, Thursday Feb 23, Standard Route still looks OK. I also spotted someone climbing on Waterfall, tho I'm sure that the normally funky top outs are worse. The bottom of Dropline fell down, but Dracula still looks good. I was pleased to see that Willies still looks good. The snow has compacted and I saw what looked to be blue ice. The left side of Willard is basically gone, but Hitchcock, The Cleft, Left Hand Wrench, the far right slab and Elephant Head are still climbable. Other than the Barking Dog and North End I would write off Cathedral Ledge. I know people are going to ask about Repentance, etc and frankly I would caution away from it. In fact anything that is supposed to be attached to rock is suspect. Not to mention the fact that there is a LOT of stuff hanging around above you on Cathedral at this time.
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: