NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
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4 out of a possible 5
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March 3, 2022

Hi Folks,

Who woulda thunk it? It seems as if this is the season that just won't die. And I mean that in the nicest of ways folks. Consider that even after multiple rounds of rain and warm ups, and I mean inches of rain and multiple gloriously sunny 65+ degree days, we still have good ice in most places. In fact it really seems to be getting better, as it often does in March!

That said, altho it wasn't actually that cold today, it was most certainly windy. At 14 degrees and 20-25 mph gusts windy in the Notch at 11:30, it was hard to get any good pictures. It was literally impossible to do my video from my normal place at the Dry River Campground, so I did it below Whitehorse by the Hotel. [sheesh] There were no cars parked in the Mt Willard lot at the top of the Notch, but amazingly there were a couple at Willies! Having guided up there off and on for many years, I gotta think it was brutal. Here's a picture:

There were a fair number of folks at Frankenstein tho. I spotted several parties on Standard and one on Dracula.

I got on Black Pudding with Matt Bowman on Wednesday. Tho it had snowed lightly overnight, it was a bluebird day and there was nothing coming down. The road had been plowed, the pullout was clear and we were able to fully pull off the road. The climd was in great shape and actually as fat and wide as I've ever seen it. Matty let the pillar and I did the upper right pitch, which I highly recommend. There is an upper left pitch that I have done in the past, but it looked thin so I did the right side. Interestingly if you have double 60m ropes you can get all the way down to the base of the mushroom from there.

As you all know, Russia has invaded Ukraine. Many Russian citizens have protested, at great personal risk. The Russian climbing website Mountain.RU posted an open letter, which hundreds of people had signed by March 2.

The carabiner’s gate automatic closing system can malfunction, posing a risk of serious injury or death to the user.

I never knew that climber Pat Ament was also a musician, so when he offered his new CD for sale I thought I'd get it to check it out. The tunes are interesting and he plays all the instruments and sings all the songs other than one. The music has a decidedly Bob Dylan flavor with a dash of jazz and the lyrics are interesting. I like listening to new music and this definitely has something on offer.

For those of you who spend any time in the International Mountain Equipment store, you surely know Alec Behr. Alec has been working at IME for over 30 years and has been the store manager as long as I can remember. Last week he announced his official retirement and the store had a small party for him. IME is like a family to all of us in the local climbing community and Alec will be missed. His replacement, Brady Callaghan, has been trained by Alec personally and I'm confident will do a great job.

State health officials announced 8 new deaths while reporting another notable drop in new infections and current hospitalizations. There were 148 new cases and 73 patients hospitalized, as of Wednesday morning. There are 1,431 active infections statewide. The state is also monitoring outbreaks at 33 institutional facilities. They include the federal prison in Berlin with 326 resident and 50 staff cases and Strafford County jail, with 91 resident and 33 staff cases. - NHPR Staff

New Hampshire:
8 New deaths reported
148 New cases reported
2,395 Active cases
73 Current hospitalizations for COVID
2,395 Total deaths due to COVID-19

United States:
Confirmed: 79,143,885
Deaths: 954,519

Confirmed: 441,139,258
Deaths: 5,977,162

The Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracking map:

I find JHU's Daily COVID-19 Data in Motion report to be very informative. It shares critical data on COVID-19 from the last 24 hours in a short 1 minute animated video format.



The trails in the Valley have been generally in great conditions, except for just a few like Sticks and Stones which has been severely post-holed. After each snowfall the local NEMBA group has been grooming the Marshall trails. I wish there was a similar effort on the east side. Ah well... I did go out earlier this week and ride the snowmobile trail from behind Walmart all the way to the Kennett gravel/sand pit on East Conway Road. The trail was in good shape and I only saw a couple of snow machines, all of whom were respectful.

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

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

My best performances often developed out of depression when I used climbing as a tool to forestall suicide rather than a method of achieving it. Dispair inspired three years of 'crazy' soloing.
Mark Twight
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