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I had a pretty tough week with my van breaking an axle on Sunday, and with my wife away I've been without a car all week. While it felt like a bad week for me, it was nothing like what the people of Boston were going through. The terrorist act that took place in Boston has certainly had an impact on all of us. My wife and I lived in Boston for many years and it is impressive to see the whole community rise up and emphatically state that this is NOT going to change how they live their lives; and I believe them. The fact of the matter is that, just like we were all New Yorkers on 911, we are ALL Boston when it comes down to it. If the terrorists think that this kind of thing is going to bring us down, they have another think coming!
As far my little car problem, the good thing is that I have AAA so it got towed to the dealer and I have an extended warranty that covered all but $100 of the costs. So Im' n OK shape, just a little annoyed. Still, the weather has been darn good all week and it pushed me into doing my errands on the bike, so there actually was an upside. And the dealer even delivered it back to me this afternoon, so all is well again.
Wednesday was a really spectacular day so I was very happy when Joe & Judy Perez called up and asked if I wasted to go do a little climbing at Humphrey's around noon. I had work to do and only had a couple of hours, but it was absolutely great to get out on rock for the first time this season.Judy had a total hip replacement only 3 weeks ago and yet she is out hiking around, riding a bike and even doing a little climbing. The latter against doctors orders! Between her, George and another friend who has had both hips replaced most of my friends are bionic in one way or another. It's pretty darn impressive what medical technology can do these days.
We spent a little time scouting around at some possible new projects (shhhh), watched a couple on Wanderlust and then wandered down to the Geriatric Walls. There were a bunch of things that were dry, so Joe and I decided we'd take turns leading Tree Keys. With the exception of a little seepage near the start, it was in great shape and was a perfect start for the season. As we were finishing up our friend David G came up. He was just out for a little look-see. He mentioned that he'd seen folks over at Cathedral climbing at the North End, but more about that later…
I've also bee out several times this week on the road and mountain bike, taking advantage of the spring weather. I tried to go up over Bear Notch, but there was a lot of snow still covering the road starting quite low. It's nothing like last year where we had several 80+ days by now and I road the whole Bear Notch Loop at the end of March! The woods have been drying out nicely and south facing trails in the upper areas are in great conditions. I've ridden a number of trails over around the Redstone Quarry over the past several weeks and they are only going to get better.
While I haven't been up in the Ravines this month, my understanding is that things are in very good shape. I had hoped to get up there this week, but the car fiasco put a damper on that. Perhaps next week… I also hear that the back-country skiing has been fabulous. Of course I would still be sure to check out the avalanche reports.
I also heard that Brad White had guided Parasol Gully in Dixville Notch on Monday and said it was in perfect shape! Who would have thought? heck, I did a nice 30 mile road bike ride that day! Of curse that's one of the things about living up here. We get these times when you can do almost anything in a day. That's one of the main reasons I live up here.
Oh yeah - I haven't really started the Bug Report, but the fact is right now there are no bugs! Enjoy it now folks, that's gonna change for sure.
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective December 4, 2016
In the past few daze things have started firming up quite a bit. it was cold last night and chill all day, so that helped. Shoestring was soloed today, tho it's still quite thin. The Open Book in Tucks was done a day or 2 ago, but it was basically a solo as well. I'll have info about the lower elevations on Thursday, but my prediction is that if it stays this chill we could have some ice to climb by Saturday.
Notes About Spring Rock Climbing:
While most of the ice and snow has melted away in the Valley, there are still patches in a variety of places. as of Wednesday there was a substantial amount of ice lingering around the North End, even above the crack area and there is also ice inside the Standard Route Chimney. I also saw ice and snow this morning up above the slab area on Whitehorse and in various cracks and crevices above Echo Roof. These areas will certainly be safe quite soon, but right now they are still problematic and I would avoid them.
That said, Humphrey's Ledge is mostly dry and there are plenty of climbs at all grades, as is the South Buttress of Whitehorse. Further afield Lost Horizon, Sundown and Rainbow Slabs provide many options.
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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:
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North Conway, New Hampshire
All ice is dangerous. Grade 4 pillars are pumpy. Grade 5 pillars are pumpy and dangerous. Except for certain rare days of triple-high biorythms and favorable planetary alignments, grade 6 is beyond reach.