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March 3, 2011
Here we are at March 3rd already. It's difficult to believe that we are only a 17 days away from Spring! As much as I like winter, I have to say that I'm starting to look forward to warmer weather and winter being over. I could use some warm rock and some time on the bike for a change, not that I don't like ice climbing, winter hiking and xc-skiing. I guess it's the steady diet of storms we've had recently. It took a while to get going, but we certainly have gotten our share of snow lately. I went from no snowplowing, to having to do it seemingly every other day.
Hard to know what to say about the past week. On one hand it's been great for the local economy that we got a couple of snow storms. On the other hand it was a real roller-coaster with some 40+ days and some in the single digits. Last week was NH & Massachusetts school-vacation week and things were pretty hectic for all the locals. We were supposed to get rain on Monday but instead we got another 4 inches of snow, making for a snow-day on Monday, which was when the day the kids were supposed to go back. [sigh] Good for the kiddos, but rough on us parents! And no one will be quite happy when kiddos have to make up some of these days at the end of the school year!
Tho we did get a lot of snow here in the Valley, I was pretty surprised to see just how much is up in Crawford Notch when I rode up there this morning at 9:30. Even more surprising was that many of the climbs hadn't been visited at all since the last snowfall. Standard Route looked as if it had been a couple of days since anyone had climbed on it, the snow on the bulges on Smear and Pegasus looked untouched, the trail up to Willie's wasn't packed at all, and Cinema didn't appear to have a single footprint! Even the snowfield you cross to get from Hitchcock to Monkey Wrench was pristine. Makes me wonder where people have been climbing this week…
On the way back down from Crawford Notch I spotted a party of 2 seeming to be gearing up near the start of Cinema. From the looks of the snow pillows and loading going on up there, it was not a place I would want to be, but perhaps it was more settled than it looked through my binoculars. Everywhere I looked on Willard & Webster there was lots of snow. All of the gullies on Webster looked choked. I didn't see a whole heck of a lot of ice in Shoestring and it looked as if getting up there would be quite a wallow. In fact snowshoes might be a necessity getting to and from some climbs right now.
The sun is very strong now and the days have gotten quite a bit longer. In spite of the low temps, we've got all kinds of melting going on. Mid-mornings, even on very cold days, the icicles are forming like crazy on everyone's roofs. Needless to say the same thing is happening on the big ice flows. I'm not sure why one flow renews and other turns to punk, but in some places things are looking pretty darn good. Maybe even better than they were earlier in the season.
The other morning I wandered over by Whitehorse. There is a lot of snow over there, all the way up the slabs and over the top. As it's south/east facing it gets mega sun for much of the day. I'm waiting that to let loose on one of the warm days we have coming up. It's always quite something when it lets go. To me, when the Whitehorse slabs let go it's a sign of the end of winter. And who knows, if we get the rain that's predicted for the later part of the weekend, it may happen…
Regular pics will be posted on NEClimbs and our Facebook page soon. In the meantime here's a couple of others that you might find interesting:
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I'm playing at an open mic/jam session with my friends Jeremy Dean and Jared Steer at HEAT in Laconia every Sunday evening from m4-8 pm. The last couple have been a great time with a lot of good music being played. If you play or just enjoy watching you should definitely check it out. The place is almost right across the street from the Broken Spoke. They have good pizza and beer and I recommend the Caesar chicken salad! Come on out...
Join us and hopefully 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:
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.
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:
Have fun and climb safe,
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire
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