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I must admit that I was kind of enjoying not having to snowplow this year and it was pretty darn fun to be able to get on the mountain bike and ride down top the North End to go ice climbing! That said it was pretty weird to be walking around in the leaves in my crampons underneath ice climbs. After Wednesday's storm I think that's pretty much done now. Tho the southern part of the state got more, the Mount Washington Valley got pretty close to a foot and Crawford Notch got somewhat over that. I'm confident that the local ski areas and Chamber Of Commerce are very happy right now…
Last Friday I got out for a couple of hours with Brad White and we decided to check out the state of the Barking Dog Crag. I've mentioned this place before as an alternative to the North End of Cathedral Ledge. It's small, but it has a few fun climbs. Occasionally I'll just go down there by myself and run laps on some of the flows. There was a group of three guys that we knew from earlier this season already up there, but there was plenty of room for all of us. I led the short steep little pillar right of the main flow and then we topped a couple of other thin problems to the right. It was a perfect morning break for both of us.
We both noticed how generally dry and desiccated the ice was. Like last week on Repentance and Deidre there was no water running anywhere. I'm convinced that this is due to the lack of snow. That's changed now and I'm hoping that we'll start to see a refreshing of the ice on all of the climbs. Who knows, maybe Repentance will come fully in. Of course IN is most certainly a relative term. I didn't think that Remission would be climbable and then I saw pix of Jim Ewing and Eric McCallister doing it last weekend.
One note however… The snow on many of the climbs that I saw today has formed pillows that IMHO is definitely going to move in the coming couple of days. This is not just in the Ravines where you would expect, but on climbs like Cinema Gully, any of the slabs like Willies or those on Webster, Shoestring Gully and the slabs right of Hitchcock at the top of Crawford Notch. Even the upper tier of Standard Route or the lower section of Hobbit Couloir are loaded right now. What I'm saying here is to be vigilant when climbing for the next several days until things have a chance to settle out. Better safe than…
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective April 17, 2015
I know, I know there are some folks who will say that this or that climb is still IN, but believe me there really is no safe ice in the lower elevation now, so the rating has been dropped to a 1. This indicates that the only ice is in the higher terrain now. And in fact, other than climbs that have some significant part of them in the shade, like Pinnacle, everything else should be considered suspect. That said the skiing is supposedly amazing right now so grab it while you can. Starting next week we will move fully into rock season and will switch to BugCON ratings.
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.
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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