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January 2, 2020

Hi Folks,

Here's to a very Happy New Year for you all. Yes, it's the start of a new decade so I'm personally hopeful for some changes that will help everyone and protect the environment. Regardless, for me this year is about staying healthy above all, playing more music and climbing more rock & ice routes. I wish all of you a successful year in whatever way you desire.

On Sunday I got out for my annual ice climb with my long-time NY friend Martin. We always look for something different & interesting and I'd been thinking about Gully #1 on the far left side of Willard. I thought it looked pretty good last Thursday when I took pictures, however it looked like crap Sunday morning. In fact most things look anemic at best. So we decided to wander down the tracks & head up towards the Monkey Wrench and see what we could find that was climbable. There were some tracks that headed uphill after Snot Rocket that I thought were to the Wrench, but as it turned out were a party that went up to what I call the Yellow Slab. I've soloed it several times over the years, just as something to do, but not in a while. It has a nice steep section at the start, a low angle slab, a second steeper & taller section and then some rolling slabs to a top-out in the trees.

The start was pretty fun. Usually the slab is covered with about 1" of ice & snow. This time it was 1/4" ice and now snow! The second time in a week I've found myself on long runout moderate ice with no gear, last week it was P1 of Penguin! [SIGH] Oh well... I tapped my way up the slab and belayed at the base of the curtain. Then I climbed the curtain and moved over to the right about 40' to some trees where there was obviously an anchor - such as it was! From there it was all rolling bulges to the top. The previous party had left some slings & rings on a tree at the top so we rapped back to the lower tree, down to another tree on climbers-right and then back to the bottom. We were climbing with a 70 meter rope, but if you have a 60 be sure to bring a tag line.

I can't recommend this climb, but when you're bored it's something to do. Bring at least a couple of stubbies!

Several folks have asked me where various climbs were on the right side of Mt Willard so I thought this might be useful:

After taking the pictures today I met up with guide Matt Bowman & we did Dracula Left. It's in good shape right now. He led, I hooked my way up 90% of it and it was lots of fun.

Thanks to Matt for this cool video:

I'll be at the Red Parka Pub in Glen with Bruce Marshall & the Shuffle this Friday & Saturday (Jan 3 & 4) from 9-12:30. This is a great band that plays lots of blues & southern rock as well as some very cool originals. Great food and good brews. Come on out & be sure to say hi.

Lots of snow on the trails right now and not much is packed out. Best to wait a bit.

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 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:

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

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

Climbing is about climbing, not talking about climbing, thinking about what you are going to climb, nor thinking about what you are going to think when you've finished climbing!
Ward Smith
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