NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 12:00a on 01/19/19 - Temperature: 25.5 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 25.5 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.992 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Rising Rapidly - Humidity: 48 %
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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May 28, 2009

Hi Folks,

To paraphrase the terrible Capital One credit card ads that are all over TV these days - "What's on YOUR rack?" I've been out climbing with a variety of people lately and observing what they carry, and have also been looking over my own rack thinking about streamlining it a bit. It was kind of surprising to me to realize just how much stuff I've been carrying around, and how old some of it is. What about you?

So here's a picture of my normal trad rack. what a real mess-o-stuff it is.

Als trad rack

It may be a bit hard to discern from the picture, but here's the mix:

23 assorted nuts & stoppers grouped by size on 3 biners
1 purple Metolius
2 green Aliens
1 orange Wild Country TCU
6 BD Camelots from silver through blue
4 Tricams from pink through blue

I use one of the old Metolius gear slings with the padded shoulder and 4 fixed plastic loops. Yes it does hand down and can be annoying on overhanging climbs, but I don't climb that hard any more, so it is rarely a problem. [wry grin]

Of course this doesn't include the 12 slings with 2 biners on each, 4-6 spare locking biners, 4 wire gate biners, 1 or 2 belay devices, 2 cordalettes with locking biners and nut tool. All these are spread over another sling and the gear loops of my harness. With clients I usually bring a GriGri as well, just to make belaying (and sometimes lowering) easier. Even with ultralight wiregate biners on Dyneema slings, all this stuff adds up to a hefty 16 pound. That's a lot of stuff to haul up a cliff, on top of my already overweight body!

So we've had 3 rainy days in a row, and I'm looking over all this stuff thinking what can I dump? Hmmm..... Well of course I can always try and suss out the route before I climb it and only take what I need. For something like the Saigons I only take slings, cordalette and a handful of gear, 'cause I pretty much can remember the gear I need. For Standard Route on Whitehorse I know I need to bring it all 'cause I'll probably use most of it at one point or another. You would think that there has to be something that I can more or less permanently dump, right? Occasionally I leave the blue Camelot off the rack when I know I don't need it, I can drop one of the double green Aliens the same way and I don't always use a GriGri since I have a Guide ATC that works OK when I 'm not on a long route with more than one client. I have a number of doubles of my stoppers, but they are so light it really doesn't matter. And besides there are just a lot of times when I need that extra #6 Rock. So all that saves a little weight, but I still want all the nuts, all the small and medium cams up to the gold Camelot, all 12 slings & biners, the spare lockers, the nut tool and cordaletts. [sigh]

So basically I'm still left with 13-14 pounds of gear whenever I'm out cragging trad. I see a few folks like Henry Barber out climbing with just the bare minimum of stuff, and here I feel as if I'm carrying a whole gear store around my neck. I have to wonder, am I just an old fuddy-duddy here? I guess it just goes with the territory, until the invent ultra-strong and ultra-light gear. Or maybe I should switch over to sport climbing, where all I have to carry are draws. Naaaah!
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

Bug Report:
Still holding at a BUGCON 3 right now. They are definitely out there & this 2 day rain even will likely kick them into a frenzy, so stay tuned.



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.

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Have fun and climb safe,


Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire


I wanted one-arm pull ups, big swings, speed, and see through lingerie.
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