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I don't know about you folks, but this has been a very hectic holiday season. It'd Christmas Eve, there is ice to be climbed and I've got music to play. It doesn't get a whole lot busier than this. I actually got my Holiday shopping completed on Tuesday, but there still is a whole mess-o-stuff left to take care of and this is the last day to do it. I had hoped to get this Report out last night, but that just didn't happen... Why am I not surprised? Well regardless we have white stuff on the ground for the skiers, there's ice on the cliffs for the climbers and there is a festive atmosphere in town for everyone else. It's about as nice a time as I could ask for. From my family to I hope that wherever you are you and yours have a great holiday.
I got out climbing on Monday with a good friend at Frankenstein and I must say that the ice was fantastic. We did Bob's Delight and it was huge at the bottom but thin at the very top. Still I was able to get in a stubbie to protect the top-out and I felt OK about it. Then we went over and climbed Pegasus with the rock finish. I thought the main pillars was a bit candled, but the rest of it was wonderful. Exactly what big blue ice is supposed to be. While I was bringing up my partner on lower Pegasus Kevin Mahoney (Mahoney Alpine Adventures) climbed Hobbit. You can see a picture on the home page of NEClimbs. As always Kevin just looks so comfortable no matter what the conditions. It's always a lesson to watch him climb.
So it may seem as if the ice is late coming in, but I don't think that's exactly the case. We usually don't get much big ice until the end of December, and often there is a Christmas thaw. Sure there is always some early season stuff, but the main season usually starts right after the holiday. It looks to me as if we are right on schedule and I would make your plans for a great ice season right now. Give yourself some ice for Christmas...
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.
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: