NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 4:00p on 11/19/17 - Temperature: 44.3 °F - Wind speed: 4.0 mph - Wind chill: 41.5 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.141 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Rising Rapidly - Humidity: 63 %
IceCON 1. Climbs just coming in or only in upper elevations like Ravines.
1 out of a possible 5
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July 9, 2015

Hi Folks,

As some of you may know, I wrote up the local reports for the American Alpine Club book Accidents In North American Mountaineering. I’m sure that most of you know about it, but if you don’t, I highly recommend you check it out. While not exactly what I would call “light reading”, it’s well worth perusing. It details many of the accidents that took place in the previous year, with an eye to what happened, why and what could have been done to prevent them. Back in the pre-Internet days, other than word-of-mouth, it was the only way we would hear about many of these incidents.

These days almost within minutes of something happens, it’s on the web. Accidents are posted on web sites, forums (like the one on or on Facebook. Information about a recent one at the North End of Cathedral Ledge was posted on NEClimbs almost within an hour of it taking place. Often the comments and criticisms are unpleasant, and that’s somewhat typical of the Internet. The thing about the Internet is that, in many cases, it allows people to hide behind a “screen name” or “handle”, allowing them some level of anonymity. This say things that they likely wouldn’t say to someone’s face. In addition, they can portray themselves as experts on subjects that they may be less than knowledgable about. This is why I like to read AINAM. Most of the time the descriptions of the incidents are well researched and the analysis well reasoned by an experienced reporter.

I was just thinking about all this because of a story a fellow guide posted on their Facebook page about a tragic accident that took place in Mesa, Arizona this January.

This was the second rappelling accident in the Phoenix area in the past 6 months. A quick perusal of the old AINAM that I have at hand once again confirms that rappelling accidents are probably one of the most common causes of accidents every year. Rapelling is one of the times when climbers need to be the most vigilant. Usually it is when we are tired, after doing our climb, and we are in a hurry to get down off our climb - often at the end of the day. It is a time, like when we are tieing-in to the rope, when we need a second pair of experienced eyes to confirm that everything is as it should be.

I will be very interested to see the AINAM analysis of this and the other mentioned rappelling incident in this years book.
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective November 16, 2017
I got up at 5:30, grabbed some cereal, grabbed a coffee at the Frontside and headed up to the Notch to check things out. As I left town it started snowing lightly, getting heavier as I went along. By the time I got past Bartlett it was obvious that getting any really good pictures was going to be doubtful. Pulling into the Dry River Campground where I take pics of the Amphitheater, I could make out the climbs, but they were hard to really see. It was the same at the Standard Route pullout and Dracula. Further up I couldn't even see Willies Slide or anything on Mt Willard! I took pictures anyway, boping I could tweak them, but it wasn't promising. I was able to get pics of Snot Rocket and the trestle cut by pulling into the viewing area. Coming back down past Standard I stopped again and was able to get a little better shot than previously.
Huntington Ravine possible  
Repentance OUT  
Standard Route possible Click to see route picture.
Dracula OUT Click to see route picture.
For the full current conditions report, CLICK HERE

Valley Cycling Notes:
While there are lots of well marked logging roads and single track in the Valley, sometimes it’s fun just to get out and explore. I’ve described my Town Hall Road adventures, but those are mostly tame. Occasionally it’s the trail that are much less travelled, so to speak. If you like that feeling of being where very few bikes go, you should check out places like the upper reaches of Sawyer River Road, the Nanamacomuc Ski Trail off the Kanc, or even the Red Ridge Trail on our west side. They will provide you with a real sense of adventure. And if that’s not quite enough, the next time you are out riding single track, keep your eyes out for the old overgrown logging or skidded roads that crisscross the woods out here. Sometimes you can find connections to other trails that you wouldn’t have thought would be there.

But, like when hiking, back country skiing or climbing, make sure there is someone knows where you are. It can be easy to get turned around when you’re bushwhacking. I usually text my wife where I’m headed as I leave the house, just in case. Last December I was out on the bike by myself near the Moats and it got dark earlier than I expected and it was pretty cold. I didn’t have a problem, but there was some comfort in knowing that someone had knowledge of generally where I was. Word to the wise…

AAC Craggin’ Classic Get-together:
Put this on your schedules - September 11-13. More details will come later.

Instant Bug Report - BugCON 3:
It’s still a 3, but mainly because of the mosquitoes. The black flies are mostly gone and as much as I’ve been out thrashing around in the hinterlands, I haven’t even pulled that many ticks off of me. Not to say that I am not still very watchful tho, they are absolutely out there.

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

A climber's day always starts at the crux: getting out of bed.
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