NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 2:29a on 01/18/19 - Temperature: 7.0 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 7.0 °F - Barometric pressure: 30.182 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Falling Rapidly - Humidity: 56 %
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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May 17, 2018

Hi Folks,

What's in your First Aid Kit folks? You do carry one in your pack at all times, don't you? It's not just a guide thing, it's something all of us should have with us at all times. Mine is in a smallish pouch in the bottom of whatever pack I'm carrying, even my smaller day-hike pack. It's like buckling my seatbelt or wearing a helmet, I'd feel lost without it! With the change of season, it's time to have a look and make sure everything is up to date.

It's a bit like replacing the battery in your smoke detectors on New Years. I go through my kit at the start of Rock season and again at the start of Ice season. Check on the date I put in the Ibuprofen and Bennedrill pills, have a look at my purple Nitrile gloves to make sure they aren't rotted (they do), confirm the ACE bandage is still stretchy, make sure I have bandaids and generally check out everything else. You just never know when you're going to need something.

It's been a busy week, but I managed to get out on Thursday with Joe & Judy to one of our favorite off-the-beaten-path climbing areas, Mt Forist in Berlin. I've climbed up there quite a few times over the past 4-5 years and it's a fun place with quite a number of moderate climbs. A great place to go in the beginning of the rock season. There is a small guide put together by Matt Bowman and available at the White Mountain Cafe in Gorham. From the road the vertical dark stripes on the rock make it look wet, but it was not and it was generally dry. The rock does have a tendency to stay damp a bit later than some other areas, mainly due to grassy ledges and it's low angle.

We all had things to do in the later afternoon and evening that day, so we started early and quit early. All 3 of us took turns climbing Madigan, the first route you come to when you get to the cliff. It's a great 5.6 clip-up that's generally well protected with nice moves. Then Joe and I led Forist Gump, the 5.8 that starts up a dirty corner just to the left of Madigan. The start is interesting because it looks funkier than it actually is, and because the little crux move through the overlap is easier for tall people. You need a couple of small cams for the start, but after that it's a full clip-up. It has some interesting moves up high that make for fun climbing.

http://www.neclimbs.com/wmr_pix/20180517/Madigan.jpg
http://www.neclimbs.com/wmr_pix/20180517/ForistGump.jpg

It used to seem to me that it was a long way to Berlin, but actually it's only about a 40 minute very scenic drive from North Conway through Pinkham Notch. The hike into the cliff from the small parking area at the top of Madigan Street is uphill, but short, and the trail nice. If you haven't been there I can definitely recommend it.
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

VALLEY CYCLING:
It's definitely time to ride folks... On the East Side I can recommend Cardiac/EKG, Sidehill, Outer Limits, Swenson, Rattlesnake, Sticks & Stones and The Knot. Pillar To Pond and Muffler are both still problematic. On the West Side almost all of the Marshall trails, Ultimate Singletrack, Electric Loop and Tent Boulder. The High School trail is still a mess.

INSTANT BUG REPORT - BUGCon 1:
The bugs, all of them, are out there now. Whether or not they are biting seems to be dependent on the temperature and where you are. It's not crazy bad yet, but it is getting there. Right now more mosquitoes than black flies. So I'm going to put it at a 1, and will almost certainly increase the level as it gets warmer over the weekend. Put that bug dope in your packs now folks!

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:

http://www.neclimbs.com/mobile

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:

http://www.facebook.com/NEClimbs/

Have fun and climb safe,


Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire


I wouldn't last 30 minutes climbing solo.
Bradford Washburn
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