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December 8, 2016

Hi Folks,

Got a text message from my friend Paul a couple of days ago, asking if I was interested in trying to climb something on Wednesday, yesterday. Strangely I had the day available, so I replied "I'm in!" We met in Bartlett and rode up in my van so I could take my weekly pictures, a day early. When we met the temps were a hair above freezing and it was pretty foggy, with a few flurries coming down. It was pretty, but I wasn't feeling very positive about it.

Just as we were pulling out I got a text from Matt Bowman. He was up ate the top of the Notch and send me pix of the Monkey Wrench and lower Hitchcock. Neither looked worth investing the time in, and he said that he and his partner had taken a pass! As we drove up, the fog made it hard to see some of the normal places I check out, like Texaco. I could barely make out the amphitheater and slab, but from what I could see it didn't look good. Tho not as dry as last week, Fang was bereft of ice as well. We stopped at all my normal viewing spots on the way to the top of the Notch and the only place that looked as if it had any ice to speak of was Standard Route. We turned around at the to pos the Notch and drove back to the Arethusa parking lot, figuring we would take the tools for walk down the tracks, just to check things out.

There were 2 vehicles in the parking lot when we pulled up. Bill King, the gentleman who owns the house there, was out snowplowing his driveway and I waved as we walked by. There was a set of footprints on the tracks, but they ended at the trestle. Go figure... Everything that we saw looked about as expected: thin, unbounded, snow plastered on rock, and running water. Not really very positive, ice-wise. Standard however, had more ice on it than any of the other climbs. We stood around for a few minutes and hemmed and hawed, finally just kicking some steps up to the base of the climb where we could see better. Unfortunately what we saw was more unbounded ice with water running behind it. We both figured that while it COULD be done, it wasn't worth it to us. On top of that the I looked at the cave with my binoculars from the road, there didn't seem to be any ice on the floor of the cave. So, we just called it a morning...

On the good side, there is water flowing and ice is forming. If we get the deep-frees temps that ae predicted, it won't take very long for things to form. In the meantime, make sure your gear is together and you'll be ready to hit it when it happens.

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We've had just enough snow to make it hard to see what's up on the trails, and not enough to pack out. Couple that with the semi-moderate temps and it makes the riding problematic on anything other than a real fat tire bike. Some more snow and colder temps will make the riding a lot better. Stay tuned

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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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Remember - climb hard, ride the steep stuff, stay safe and above all BE NICE,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

When you get to the summit of the mountain, keep climbing.
Tibetan saying
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