NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 1:29p on 11/15/19 - Temperature: 39.9 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 39.9 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.883 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Falling Slowly - Humidity: 51 %
IceCON 1. Climbs just coming in or only in upper elevations like Ravines.
1 out of a possible 5
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November 14, 2019

Hi Folks,

Just like all of you, I too have been looking forward to the 2019-2020 ice season. I've been watching the weather come across country with anticipation for the past week or two. I have friends and ex-in-laws in Michigan and Wisconsin and they have already gotten lots of cold and snow, and we've been a little behind. But on Sunday the cold & white appeared and's winter!

I've been pretty busy this week, so as is often the case I use the Thursday Report day to get out on my own. After taking the Valley pix and then driving up through the Notch to take the regular pix, I decided to wander down the tracks Frankenstein to see what I could do. I'd already spotted a party on Standard Route, so I figured that would likely be the best option. I had my fat time bike in the car, along with my gear, so I figured I'd give riding down the tracks a try. There were a surprising number of tracks and for some reason the snow was a bit soft, so the ride out was not that great. Still it was faster riding than walking.

When I got to Standard the party I'd seen were up on the big ledge, well above the cave. I couldn't see where they went after that, but there was no ice coming down so I figured I'd head up to the cave. I trailed my 7 mm double rope to get off with and brought a couple of medium length screws in case there was a problem. I followed up middle right, where the previous folks had gone. I had watched him place a couple of screws and figured it would be moderately thick, but I was wrong! The ice was thin, very wet and generally crappy. If I had actually been leading, I don't think I could have gotten hardly any screws in, and what I might have gotten almost surely wouldn't have held a fall. I don't get scared, but I do get concerned...and the climbing was most certainly concerning. I had to move back and forth (left to right) to get any reasonable sticks, and there were a couple of places where the sticks I got were poor at best. I was very happy that I'd brought my original Ergo's with 2 year old picks 'cause they really got beaten up! I was happy to get to the cave, and happy that that was as far as I was going. Still I was pleased at how I felt for the first climb of the season. I rapped from the pins on the left and got very wet from the waterfall coming off the roof of the cave.

As I was packing up down at the tracks it started to snow and the temps dropped a bit. That made the snow firm up a bit, making the riding back down the tracks quite a bit easier and faster. I may try it again next week...

YUP - It's the first of November, so it's time to start putting out the weekly ICE Report. I've been writing the Report for 21 years, since 1998. Red Sox radio broadcaster Joe Castiglione says, "Can you believe it?" I guess I do...

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92 Bow Lane
North Conway, NH 03860

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Thank you once again for all of your support...
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective November 14, 2019
Certainly the ice is forming, and by some folks standards there is some stuff that's climbable. But honestly I don't think I could call anything IN at this stage of the game. Yes I climbed Standard Route to the cave today, but by most standards (sic) it was desperate. I've talked to people who have climbed in the Ravines this week, and their opinions are similar. In another 5 days or so, if it stays cold, there will be some reasonable stuff to climb. Unless you feel VERY comfortable basically soloing very thin ice and slush, give it a bit more time.
Huntington Ravine some stuff to climb, lots of water Click to see route picture.
Repentance OUT Click to see route picture.
Standard Route close, read the REPORT Click to see route picture.
Dracula OUT Click to see route picture.
For the full current conditions report, CLICK HERE

ICE FEST 2020:
Oh Yeah...That's Right. It's time to think about ICE FEST 2020 folks! I know the the web site & Blog haven't been updated yet, but you should put the date on your calendars and start making your plans. # 28 is going to be a fun one that's for sure.

I do have one teaser for you... The main presenter for this year will be the most amazing Mark Richey! Mark is a great human being and a phenomenal climber. His most recent achievement was on August 5th, 2019 pulling off the First Ascent of Link Sar, a 7040 meters peak in the Karakoram. A spectacular summit with an amazing team that included Steve Swenson, Graham Zimmerman and Chris Wright. The route took six days of difficult climbing of over 30 technical pitches, over approximately 8,000 vertical feet from ABC and about 11,300 feet from basecamp.

Last Sunday I did a great 7 mile ride on the East side with friends - the first one ism a while. The leaves obscured the trail a bit, but it was still nice riding single track again. As we were finishing up a little after noon, the weather started too change and not too much later it started to snow. That may be the last single track on the regular MTB for this season. It's snowed off and on all week and I gotta figure it's fat-tire time from here on out. I know folks won't do it, but it would be a good thing if folks waited a little bit for more snow and for things to pack out before they ride the trails. Otherwise they are going to put ruts in the trails and make a mess. I know it's not going to happen, but it's a thought.

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 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:

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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