NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 10:29a on 02/24/18 - Temperature: 41.1 °F - Wind speed: 2.0 mph - Wind chill: 41.0 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.959 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Rising Rapidly - Humidity: 48 %
IceCON 2. Some trade routes are climbable, even in lower elevations.
2 out of a possible 5
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November 15, 2012

Hi Folks,

Once again it's the middle of November and we're all chomping at the bit for climbable ice. As always there are those who are in the forefront of the charge toward winter, and those who are somewhat more conservative. You may have noticed that I tend to fall into the latter camp. While I've soloed Pinnacle on good ice on my birthday (early November) and others have climbed the Black Dike on Halloween or before; for the most part those are pretty rare occurrences. I tend to use this time of year to get my personal gear together for the upcoming season and enjoy the warmer days on the rock and grabbing those last road and mountain rides like I did this past Monday and Wednesday. The ice screws, crampons and picks all need to be cleaned and sharpened, boots and shells need to be checked and everything generally gone through to make sure it's all in good shape. Still, with pictures of people climbing ice all over the web, there are some who feel that the ice season has started.

As some of you know, I've been putting out the White Mountain Report for close to 15 years now. I write it thinking about the 'average" climber (if there is such an animal) and I try and base it on what are the consensus grades for the various climbs. Since I've climbed close to everything in the area, many more than once, by now I "should" have a pretty good idea of what is IN/OUT at any particular time. Am I always right, nope; am I sometimes wrong, yup. I'm not a great climber, I'm a bit on the upper side of good, and I'm only somewhat bold. So, I feel like I still have the perspective of what most ice climbers can manage. Needless to say I don't, and honestly can't, walk up to every climb to examine it. Some of what I do is look at things from the road with my good binoculars, just like you might do if you were sussing out a climb before you commit to a walk in. By having looked at and climbs these routes for many years, I think I have a pretty good idea of each climb's state. The Ice Report is, of course, simply one man's assessment. I get out climbing a couple of times a week in the winter, sometimes on Tuesday and almost always on Thursday to check on the current state of things. I can't get everywhere, but where I can't get I ask around and make judgement calls.

Just like you, I look at pictures that get posted of very early season alpine climbing. Often I wouldn't say that it is remotely IN. Of course that's the nature of Alpine climbing in the early season. And to be honest, the posters usually don't say the climbs are IN, only that it is fun. For example, Yale was climbed 2 weeks ago on blobs of ice and frozen turf. That's impressive and certainly very neat, but it's not IN and definitely not for everyone! Last year some folks told me that Hitchcock Gully was IN and good. They didn't send pictures. I went up there the very next day and there was no ice at all in the lower section. There was nothing but running water and rubble and I took pictures to prove it. Occasionally folks tell me that I am all messed up in the early last season when I say things aren't IN. That happened last season so I went out and scratched around and honestly there really wasn't anything that I would feel good guiding on, much less climbing on my own. Go figure... On the other side, a few years ago I posted that Gully 2 1/2 was IN after I soloed it on a Friday afternoon. There was good contiguous ice all the way to the top and it seemed to me that there was enough ice for stubbies everywhere you would want them to be. Someone went up there and tried it on Saturday morning and emailed me the riot act because they thought it was desperate. Again, what can I say? One man's desperate, is another's _____. You fill in the blank.

I can always count on the fact that if I go up into Huntington in late March, find that things are getting pretty baked, there are open holes in Pinnacle and I come back and call it OUT, there going to be folks climbing ice up there in April or later and taking me to task. Absolutely - that's just the way it is... You can (and SHOULD) just take the Report as another tool to use in making "your" personal decision about whether to climb or not. Let's face it, climbing is a highly personal endeavor. When you get to the bottom of that ice pillar/curtain/slab, you are the one who's going to climb it. The Report is just one thing you can use to make a personal decision to walk in, or to start up.

Hopefully it's a useful one…but always remember:

"Climbing is a very dangerous sport. You can get hurt or even kill yourself. When you go climbing, you do so of your own free will. Everything on this site is to be taken with a grain of salt. Don't blame us if you get up some totally heinous route, in over your head and fall and hurt yourself."

As I have said for the past 15 years, I hope you find that the value of the weekly White Mountain Report and web site enough to warrant making a small donation to support the site. Any amount would be appreciated so please take a minute to help support NEClimbs and The White Mountain Report. It's easy, just go ON LINE and make your donation via PayPal. You don't need a PayPal account, you can use almost any credit card. Just click the link below:

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92 Bow Lane
North Conway, NH 03860

The expenses of the running and maintaining and putting out The White Mountain Report continue all year. Hopefully you will find it useful and/or entertaining enough to warrant a contribution. PLEASE REMEMBER, it's your contribution that makes this newsletter and the NEClimbs web site viable.
I've put out The White Mountain Report consistently since 1998! You can see almost all of the Reports on archived from as far back as September of 1999! To get a sense of the popularity of the site, current traffic as of November 1 2012 on is about 2,679 UNIQUE visits a day, generating over 1.4 million monthly "HITS". The White Mountain Report newsletter goes out to over 1,250 subscribers weekly!

Thank you once again for your continued support...
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective February 22, 2018
The ice took a YUGE hit over the past couple of daze. Not just in the lower elevations, but everywhere. It's pretty clear that winter isn't over, and March is often our snowiest month. So let's just muddle through this next couple of days and see what next week brings us. Many of the trade routes in Crawford Notch are in poor shape right now and need at least a couple of days and nights of cold temps to firm things up again. Still, there are some climbs to be done like Standard Route and Dracula, and even the North End of Cathedral has hung on. HOWEVER you really need to beware of what's above you now. There are hangers everywhere that will be coming down as soon as the sun comes out! I would stay away from everything left of Thresher on Cathedral, all the way to Goofers. And right now the Amphitheater at Frankenstein looks poor, most especially Chia with all those daggers. Keep your fingers crossed for come chill-down next week folks.
Huntington Ravine UNKNOWN but likely OK  
Repentance OUT  
Standard Route OK Click to see route picture.
Dracula OK middle & right Click to see route picture.
For the full current conditions report, CLICK HERE

Here are some more pics for you:


Just for fun, here's what Cathedral looked like early Thursday morning:

We'll get there folks, we're just not quite there yet...

20th Anniversary Mt. Washington Valley Ice Festival:
Believe it or not, you should be putting Ice Fest 2012 on your calendar. This year it's this February 1-3. Plans are already afoot and you can read about them here - If I were you I'd get your hotel accommodations in place 'cause this is going to be a big one!

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:

Have fun and climb safe,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

Then came a bigger fear. Not the threat of imminent injury, but the fear that if I didn't go back up, I would be a chickenshit forever.
John Sherman
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