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So we woke up to the first real snowfall in the Valley on Sunday morning. For the most part it was gone in the lower elevations by mid afternoon. I know that wasn't the nicest thing for the aficionados, but it's not quite that time yet. The ground isn't frozen and honestly there was no way it was going to stay around in the lower elevations. That said, the Mountain did get a lot and it really looks beautiful up there right now. Nothing seems to get folks all drooling for winter like seeing the Presi's covered in white.
Of course the same things that get the skiers all worked up, cold temps and white on the mountain, serves the same purpose for the ice and alpine climbers. There have been a number of pictures circulating the web of folks climbing in the gullies on Mt Washington and Canon. Here's one of Matt Ritter (Mooney Mountain Guides) on Cannonade a few days ago -
I took the first ride of the season up to Crawford Notch this morning, just for a quick look-see. While there was more ice formed than I actually expected, it was almost vanishing before my eyes. When I got up this morning the temp here in the Valley was a cool 26, but by 9am in the Notch it was 36! As I write this at 12:15 it's 44, so I wouldn't expect there to be much left by tonight. Here's a few pictures of what I found this morning -
I'm hoping for some colder temps early next week so I can justify heading up top Tucks around Wednesday, so let's all keep our fingers and toes crossed.
2014 NECLIMBS FUNDRAISER:
Yes, that's right folks, once again it's fundraiser time. It's hard for me ask for money from White Mountain Report subscribers and NEClimbs.com participants, and yet here I am doing it again. Amazingly enough, the Report has been published continually since 1998. That's 15 years folks! Almost all of these Reports are archived on NEClimbs.com as far back as September of 1999! The site started up in 2003 and has come a long way in that time. The Forum is very popular and the Route Guide section is used all the time. FWIW currently we're averaging over 2,200 unique visits a day and over 1.1 million monthly "hits".
I recently redid the webcam, clearing some branches and trees to allow for a better view of the cliff. Now we have a good view of Upper Refuse and Retaliation on the left and Standard Route on the right. If you want to know what's really going on on Cathedral Ledge, you can't do any better than checking out the webcam and our Davis weather station for the up to the minute conditions.
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Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective October 27, 2016
Both the Black Dike and Pinnacle Gully have been done this week. This is probably as early as they have ever been climbed! Is that a good thing, I suppose so. [wry grin] Pinnacle was a solo. Unfortunately there is nothing climbable in the lower elevations, and based on the lack of ground-water in the system right now, I’m not sure when there will be. Let’s hope for some more rain and early snow in the Notches. Couple that with some consistent cold weather and that would at least give us something reasonable to play on. Special thanks to Peter Doucette from Mountain Sense guides for the great picture of the Black Dike.
NOTE - as of the middle of the week, the Tuckerman Ravine Trail above the Huntington intersection is closed for construction. Stay tuned for more info.
About the ESAW Conference:
I went to the ESAW workshop last Saturday at John Fuller School her win North Conway. I thought it was an excellent conference, with some very good presenters. My favorite were Winter Use In Baxter State Park by Ben Woodward - Chief Ranger and Bob Baribeau - Mahoosuc SAR. Bob made some great points about climbing at Kathadin, and I particularly liked the following -
Another one that raised a number of eyebrows was Update on Eastern Man-Made Snow Avalanches by Roger Damon. I had no idea that there have been many documented cases of avalanches at northeastern ski areas! Who knew?
This was the 3rd year and there are already plans afoot for next year's event, this time to be held at the Theater In The Woods in Intervale. Here's a link to a nice synopsis of this year's event and some pictures -
Area Road Closings:
Bear Notch and Cathedral Ledge roads are closed. At this time Hurricane Mountain Road is open, tho I expect it being closed very soon.
Autumn Tears (5.6/5.9) Humphrey's Ledge:
I went out Thursday afternoon with Brad White and climbed it. I thought that the first pitch was a very nice 5.6. I did feel that there should be a last bolt between what is now currently the last bolt and the anchor. If you slip clipping the anchor, which requires you to step up on a small ledge, you are looking at a close-to 40' fall! I found pitch 2 to be significantly harder and all of 5.9. I had to hang a bit to figure it out. Brad found a variant where you stemmed out to the right into this wide crack which allowed you to make the move up and get situated on the face where you can clip the second bolt. It is reasonably clean and a nice addition to the area.
Description & directions: This climb is located between "Easy as Pudding Pie" and "Yellowjacket". To the right of Yellowjacket there is a small diameter 2' high tree stump. Autumn Tears starts 2-3' to the right of that. The entire climb can be done in one pitch or broken up into 2 pitches with the 1st pitch going at 5.6 and the 2nd at 5.9.
Pitch 1: Climb up to a left down-facing seam for a gear placement. Head straight up to the first bolt, then past two more bolts straight up. The crux is at the third bolt. Pad up the remaining 20' to a two bolt ring anchor. 5.6
P2: It begins just right of the anchors at the top of the first pitch using the anchor bolt on the right as the 1st clip. Climb past 2 more bolts then some gear placement is needed. The crux is the move up to the second bolt. It ends at the rope anchor around the Juniper Tree. 5.9
Descent: rap from the P1 anchor or the anchor on the juniper at the top of P 2 with a single 60 meter rope.
Gear: slings and small cams.
FA: P 1 - David Giampietro and Ed Matt 10-24-13, P2 - George Hurley, David Giampietro, & Ed Matt Nov 6, 2013.
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.
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