NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 7:59p on 01/17/19 - Temperature: 8.9 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 8.9 °F - Barometric pressure: 30.265 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Rising Slowly - Humidity: 41 %
IceCON 5. Superb New England ice climbing. Even many of the climbs that form rarely are IN.
5 out of a possible 5
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February 8, 2018

Hi Folks,

As everyone who reads this missive surely knows, last weekend was the Mount Washington Valley Ice Festival put on by International Mountain Climbing School and the IME store. And what an ice fest it was. I don't know the final tally of participants was, but I would guess somewhere north of 200 clients went out and climbed something over the weekend. That's positively RAD in my book!

This was the 25th annual event, and I've been to at least 22 of them. I remember coming up here and taking clinics even before my wife and I moved up here in '97. It's gotten better and better, and this was a wonderful event. It takes a MASSIVE amount of effort on everyone's part, that literally starts months ahead of time. I want to give a HUGE SHOUT OUT, to all the guides and staff who made this happen. Special kudos to the Ice Fest Crew including, but not limited to a very preggers Anne Skidmore (CONGRATS to her and husband Bayard), Grant, Ashley, Michael, Todd, Brad, Rick and numerous others that I missed. Also to the volunteers to worked their keister's off every morning.

I guided on Sunday and we had a blast up on the Flume Cascade in Crawford Notch. The Flume doesn't always come in a an ice climb, but when it does it's a real treat. If you pitch it out all the way to the ice cave, that's probably six 60 meter pitches. It's mostly Grade 2 climbing, interspersed with a few Grade 3-ish bulges. The view of Snot Rocket and the Trestle Cut across the road on Mt Willard is sweet, but the payoff is the ice cave at the top. It's absolutely worth the price of admission. From above the ice cave pitch, really less than half a rope-length, you can exit to the walk-off trail on the right. In fact you can walk off on climbers' right from anywhere on the climb.

Here's a few pix from the day. Ignore the date as they were taken on the 4th. Thanks to Jesse Flack for the great picture of me exiting the ice cave and to he and Jose for a great time.

Unfortunately, from a climbing standpoint, the 10+ inches of snow we got yesterday filled both Cascades, making them unclimbable for the time being. Here's a picture from today. I think you'll spot the difference. [wry grin]
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective January 17, 2019
I raised the IceCON rating to a 5 today. It's unusual to get a 5 rating this early in the season, but this one has certainly been special. All the climbs in the Amphitheater are IN, as is pretty much everything else at Frankenstein. It's really pretty impressive just how much ice there is out there right now, in spite of how sunny it is. Just goes to show what snow and cold will do for things. That said, we have a VERY BIG round of snow coming in on Saturday evening through early Monday. Predictions are for 2 feet, but if we even get half that it's a big deal. If you're planning on climbing on Sunday just be aware of what that much snow means and please drive safe on the way home.
Huntington Ravine options, but beware snow  
Repentance IN - P2 start tricky Click to see route picture.
Standard Route IN - top pitch is much better Click to see route picture.
Dracula IN Click to see route picture.
For the full current conditions report, CLICK HERE

Of course the regular Thursday ice pix are on and Facebook, but here are some of the other pix.

Amazingly I haven't ridden in several daze. The last time was Friday when I went up Sawyer River Road in Crawford Notch. It was a very cold 12 degree and windy day, but fortunately it wasn't windy down in the trees. Tho the road was closed to snow machines due to a place where it collapsed in the early winter rain, it was well packed from hikers and skiers. I felt toasty warm on the way up the hill to past the Sawyer Pond trailhead. The way down was a totally different matter however. Since I was hardly pedaling and making very good time, the wind was killing me. Frankly I thought I was going to have frostbite on my face, my nose and cheeks were so red! Unfortunately, after the snow yesterday, the riding isn't going to be very good until things get packed out, probably over the weekend so stay tuned.

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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:

Check it out and if you have issues on your specific phone, please feel free to let me know.

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Have fun and climb safe,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

Today's climber... carries his courage in his rucksack... Faith in equipment has replaced faith in oneself.
Reinhold Messner
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