NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 11:58p on 07/23/14 - Temperature: 86.7 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 86.7 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.227 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Steady - Humidity: 100 %
BugCON 2: some mosquitoes, possible blackflys swarming with minimal biting
2 out of a possible 5
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November 3, 2011

Hi Folks,

So here we are , the first week in November, with snow on the ground and leaves still on the tree. Go figure…. Last week's snowfall totals were all over the place here in New Hampshire. Some areas in the southern part of the state got as much as 24", while here in the Valley 5-8 was more the norm. The combination of a wet, heavy snow and all the leaves still on the trees brought a lot trees to down across the state, causing widespread power outages. In a number of places there are still folks who don't have power. However, here in the Valley we have once again dodged the bullet. In the big ice storm of 1996, while much of New England was clobbered and lost power for as much as a month, our little Valley escaped almost totally unscathed.

Almost on cue, immediately following the snowstorm the weather shifted into a pattern of warmish days and cold nights. By cold nights I mean pretty much always below freezing. If we were just a bit cooler in the daytime it would be perfect ice-making weather. One thing that always makes me feel as if the winter season is here is the first posting by on the Mount Washington Avalanche Center web site (formerly tuckerman.org) by USDA Forest Service Snow Ranger, Chris Joosen. You can read his and the other Rangers' commentary, advisories and check out current pics of Huntington and Tucks throughout the winter and early spring here:

http://www.mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/

I thought this was a particularly interesting comment - "The summit received 20.7 inches of snow in October, 16” coming over the past week and 10 of that falling in the last couple of days." That's a lot of snow for October. In fact my understanding is that the 22.9" recorded this month is a record snowfall. Pretty amazing aye?

So what does this mean for the ice climbing? Of course it's helping things get in shape, that's for sure. Before we get any significant and consistent ice formation we need the ground and rock to get cold. It's by no means there yet, but it's getting there day by day. And the bit of snow we got that has been melting has added to the amount of water in the system, and that's a good thing too. All we need now is the consistent cold temps, and that's the wild card in the puzzle - to mix a few metaphors.

Late last week and earlier this week there were ascents of a number of climbs in Huntington and the Black Dike has been climbed. Needless to say there wasn't much, if any gear placed and on the Dike no ice screws were used! At this point temps are quite different. At 8AM this morning it was an almost-balmy 37 on the summit of Mt. Washington! It was actually colder here in the Valley than it was up there. That's a pretty good indication that that early-week ice is not going to be happening right now. In addition I spoke to Brad White this morning, who had spoken to someone who had been in the ravines yesterday afternoon. The word at that time was that it was warm and sunny and things were falling down and that would make sense to me.

So I guess my advice is, unless you're a hard core whatever you call it, just hang on a bit longer. The ice is in the works and will be here darn soon. Get out your gear, sharpen the tools and crampons, ge in some practice with your avy beacon (you do have one, don't you?) and you'll be ready when it's happening. If the weather is cooperating next week I will start making trips up into the Notch and maybe the ravines to keep you folks updated.

Stay Tuned...

Mobile Version Of NEClimbs Coming:
As I mentioned last week I've been working on a mobile version of NEClimbs.com. While the site has always been accessible in a smartphone browser, it's not optimized for that use and is somewhat difficult to navigate. Being able to access the Routes Database from a phone, check the current weather and see the webcam can certainly be a useful thing. I have made what I think is a big stab at implementing a mobile-friendly version of the site. Here are the main menu items and related functions that are currently available:

HOME:
 webcam
 Route Database block & access:
 5 latest routes in database
 Instant bug or Ice Report
 Current weather at Cathedral
 Quotes From The Ledge

WEATHER:
 Current weather
 AccuWeather graphic & link
 various local & regional forecast links

ROCK ROUTES:
 area list and links to rock climbing areas
 link from area list to all ice routes listing in various sort orders
 you can click each route name and see all the info and a picture if available

ICE ROUTES:
 area list and links to ice climbing areas
 link from area list to all ice routes listing in various sort orders
 you can click each route name and see all the info and a picture if available

Needless to say, not everything on the site will be accessible this way. In addition, this is NOT an "app". It is a specially formatted mobile version of NEClimbs.com, only accessible via the web! While I have the code to do so, I am not sure that I will want to force someone coming in on a mobile device to go to the mobile site, as many sites do. I will be adding a link on the main site click on or bookmark in your phone browser. There is a thread about this on the NEClimbs.com forum in the Climbing Not section. I do think it's pretty usable right now, but feel free to let me know what you think. Here is the link to the mobile site:

http://www.neclimbs.com/mobile

If you have issues on your specific phone, please feel free to let me know.

Warren Miller's "Like There's No Tomorrow"
Friday, December 16 · 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Granite Films & Davenport Mountainsport present Warren Miller's 62nd film, "Like There's No Tomorrow". Featuring Chris Davenport and Hugo Harrisson in Warren Miller’s first ever segment from Mt. Washington, NH. With live presentation by Chris Davenport.

Tickets are available online at: http://www.granitefilms.com/tickets/

Doors open at 6:00 p.m, show starts at 7:00 p.m.
$10 tickets, kids 12 and under free.
Proceeds benefit the Eastern Slope Ski Club.

Chris will also be signing posters and his new book "50 Classic Ski Descents of North America" in Ptarmigan's (Attitash Base Lodge), 3:30-4:00 pm that afternoon.
2012 AMC Ice Program:
Ever dream of mountains? Real mountains have ice and snow, and unless you know how to climb on that frozen delight you aren’t going there. Fear not that those toes of yours will never tread there, you are in luck! The Boston Chapter Mountaineering Committee will offer the 2012 Ice Climbing Program this winter. This program teaches waterfall ice climbing and technical mountaineering skills. The focus is on the equipment, techniques and practices that are useful on the mountains and crags of New England as well as ice climbing areas worldwide. The truth is if you can climb on the bullet hard ice of New England you should be able to climb ice anywhere. I’m sure right about now you are saying to yourself, sign me up! Not so fast, little ice chip. You should have rock climbing experience and winter sport experiences such as hiking, skiing, or snowshoeing. Figure skating and ice fishing won't help your cause much.

The program will have two lectures at Cabot Hall (4 Joy Street, Boston) the first is on Wed, December 7th, 2011 at 7:00 pm. The second lecture is on Wed, January 4th, 2012 at 7:00 pm for accepted students and those on the wait list. There will be two upcountry weekends where you will get to touch honest-to-goodness real ice on January 21/22 and February 4/5. For additional information and to apply for the program please see our website at http://amcbostonclimbers.org. The cost of the program is $275 for AMC members and $325 for non-members.

Instant Ice Report:
Just like it is every year, there's been a lot of talk on various sites about this and that having been climbed already. There is a frenzy about getting on Pinnacle, the Dike, stuff in Smuggs and the like. At the risk of being an old fuddy-duddy, I just have to say that by any normal assessment there's nothing IN. It's coming folks, but it's not happening yet.

NEClimbs & White Mountain Report On Facebook:
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:

http://www.facebook.com/NEClimbs/

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.

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:

http://www.facebook.com/NEClimbs/

Have fun and climb safe,


Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire


My best performances often developed out of depression when I used climbing as a tool to forestall suicide rather than a method of achieving it. Dispair inspired three years of 'crazy' soloing.
Mark Twight
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