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I'd like to be all excited here, raving about all kinds of ice and snow that will get you folks all drooling - sharpening up those ice screws and crampons and pulling out the winter boots. However, The most exciting winter thing that's happened up here this week was Bretton Woods Ski Area opening for a day and offering free skiing for all comers! From what I understand it wasn't great, but it was better than the nothing that we've had for the past 6 months and it did get the downhill community all hot and bothered. That said, from my standpoint the most exciting part of this week was my beloved Red Sox winning the World Series and clinching it at home. Not exactly an outdoor winter sport I know, but if you're a baseball fan ya gotta admit that watching that team come back after last year's debacle was a real treat.
I have to say that it's sure been cold the past 4-5 days. It's a shame, tho not entirely unexpected, that we've got a cold front and rain moving through over the next several days. This time of year we often have a cold spell, followed by a warmup, rinse and repeat until after Christmas vacation. I have no idea what this year's going to bring us, regardless of what the ever-illustrious Farmers Almanac may be predicting. I just take things as they come and hope for the best. Right now I'm anxiously waiting for the real winter to show up so I can get out on the ice, break out the xc-skis and put my studded tires on the mountain bike. While I wait I'm gonna grab the occasional sunny rock day and ride my mountain bike as often as I can. The shoulder-season days do offer some fun activities if you're patient and willing to take them as they come.
Stay tuned -
Eastern Snow and Avalanche Workshop:
I got a notice from our friendly local Snow Rangers about this great workshop taking place on November 9th. It really looks like it's going to be an excellent event so I signed up right away. If you spend a lot of time out there playing or working in the snow, I think it would be an excellent thing to take advantage of. You can read more about it here -
Selected Ice Conditions effective November 29, 2015
Ben Maxwell was in Tucks on Sunday and said there were a couple of reasonable lines.. I got an email from fellow guide Matt Shove who was up in Huntington Saturday. He climbed rock and said that in his opinion the ice on the mountain "has been set back to Zero!" and not 5 minutes later I saw a post her on FB by Ben Maxwell and Joe Cormier saying that they climbed 3 pitches of ice in Tucks Saturday. Needless to say that was ribbons of ice, in-between dirt and grass, but apparently it WAS ice! And then Paul McCoy posted 2 pix of what looked surprisingly like ice somewhere on the mountain. So, I have to assume that while there IS ice to be climbed, it's still fairly minimal. So there you have it...
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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:
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The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire
In 1961 I led this chimney in a state of metabolic uproar. At the base of the pitch I smoked several cigarettes (the first and last ones of my life). This was to calm me. Then I spooned half a jar of honey. This was to ensure superhuman strength. Mort Hempel, my partner, watched this silly ritual with mouth agape and eyes exploding with fear.