NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
BugCON 4: almost too intense for climbing, DEET required
4 out of a possible 5
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February 27, 2020

Hi Folks,

So we've gotten over an inch of slush in the last 12 hours and right now (4:30pm) it's 40 degrees and sunny! All this in spite of predictions from every weather pundit for generally 4-8 inches minimum of snow. There was some discussion regarding where the snow/rain line might be, but this was completely wacky. That said, whatever we got, it's made a mess! And I mean a REAL MESS.

It's supposed to get colder tonight, be warmish tomorrow day, and then colder Friday night. What does all this mean for the ice? Frankly a whole week of very warm weather has taken a toll. The ice isn't gone, but for sure it's hurting.

I did get out with Matt Bowman on Monday morning. The original plan was for Dropline, but it was REALLY warm and I mean like 50+ degrees and sunny warm! In spite of that there was a party on that climb and we had no interest in Standard, tho there were multiple parties in t-shirts on it. So, we opted for something in the shade - and that was Hobbit and the Pegasus Rock Finish. Matty took Hobbit and polished it off in perfect style. That said, just after he got to the low-angle snowy bit after the steeper ice in the lower gully, Gandalf let loose on the right wall! Quite a lot of very fragmented ice & snow came down and just missed him. I was able to duck behind the little rock buttress & it all went over my head. [whew] I followed the pitch and we rapped down to the ring anchor to the start of the Rock Finish pitch. I took that pitch and it was really nice. I used to do it a lot and I remembered all of the hooks and slots. I do think the pitons should be replaced however. I wouldn't be surprised if they are the originals. Here's some pictures and a link to some video that Matt and I took and that he processed. He's really good at that. Enjoy...

Just forget it, at least for a couple of days. It was soft enough earlier in the week, but now if you try to ride it will make the trail a disaster.

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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

Writing about climbing is boring. I would rather go climbing.
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