NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 10:29p on 07/04/22 - Temperature: 62.0 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 62.0 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.969 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Rising Slowly - Humidity: 40 %
BugCON 4: almost too intense for climbing, DEET required
4 out of a possible 5
NorthEast MountaineeringFriends Of The LedgesEquinox Guiding Service LLCMount Washington Valley Climbers CooperativeMooney Mountain Guides
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November 13, 2003

Hi Folks,

I know I've asked this before, but what do YOU do with yourself in this transitionary time of year? The question seems to be in the air. Even my doctor asked me that question the other day at my annual physical. Everybody's looking for suggestions for things to do when there's no ice yet and it's too cold to climb rock.

Personally I've been using the time to hike and do some bouldering when it's dry enough. Exploring some of the little crags in the woods that I've always wondered about combines getting my exercise and gaining information that will be useful in the Spring. Even on days when I know there isn't going to be any ice available, a hike up to Hermit Lake with friends is always fun. I did that one last Friday. And of course, being able to run out and grab a couple of warm mid-afternoon hours on the rock when the sun peeks out is always a good thing. Daz & I went over to the Humphrey's boulders on Monday and there were other folks there as well. Why was I not surprised?

Of course you can be like some people I know and simply not give up on the rock, no matter how cold & wet it gets. There was a group at Shag the other day when it barely got up to freezing. At least it was sunny and they had a campfire going to warm their toes when they were belaying. Of course there wasn't any snow on the ground yet either. But then last winter I was hiking around in the woods off the Kanc and walked into the Crack In The Woods. Low and behold the trail was totally beat-out and it was apparent that someone had been up there working on something in spite of the cold and snow. There was a recently used fire ring and it was clear that someone had been up there climbing rock in February.

While I've never actually seen it myself, I understand that folks climb rock at Rumney all year 'round. Apparently on nice days you might see someone climbing a sport route and another person on an ice climb 6 feet away. Now that's making the best use of the medium! Bring your rock & ice gear. I gotta give the winter rock climbers a lot of credit for their perseverance. Bringing out the blowtorches to dry off the rock and rolls of plastic to keep your shoes dry, now that's real love. Now is there any way I can build a big freezer around Dracula so I can climb ice in the summer? Hmmm...I wonder.

Thin Air Poll:
Several weeks ago I started a poll on NEClimbs on the topic of what people think about the bolt chopping. I didn't really think that people would take advantage of being able to vote repeatedly, but that was certainly naive. So, I figured out how to make the system such that I could limit repeat voting. I made it so that folks would have to wait a few days in between votes. Well that didn't work, so I made it wait 30 days and that seems to have helped. While I don't think that the current tally on the site is completely accurate, I don't think it's as bad as you might think. It seems that some significant number of folks are in favor of replacing the bolts on the belay. I don't know if it's going to happen, but it sure will be interesting to see if they reappear by this Spring. We'll start up a new poll next week.

Do You Want To Learn To Climb Ice?
The AMC Boston Chapter Mountaineering Committee will run it's annual ice climbing instructional program over two weekends this January. They teach you all you need to know about the equipment and techniques of the sport, plus you get great food, lodging, and the chance to meet some climbing partners. Come down to the first lecture night to take a belay test and apply for the class. For more information see the class website.

Dates for this year's class are:
Lecture #1 Tuesday - Dec 16
Lecture #2 Tuesday - Jan 6
Weekend #1 Jan 17/18
Weekend #2 Jan 31/Feb 1

My wife and I took this course years ago and it was great. It's a super introduction to waterfall ice climbing and we both highly recommend it. In fact I think so highly of it that I've helped out for the past 6 years.

Laura Waterman Book Signing:
In a rare appearance, Laura Waterman will at White Birch Books in North Conway on Friday evening at 6:30 PM. She will be signing the newly reissued "Forest and Crag: A History of Hiking, Trail Blazing, and Adventure in the Northeast Mountains", written by her and late husband Guy Waterman.

Cold, wet, rainy, warm, cold again. Not generally the best conditions for early season ice, but still there IS stuff here & there. Someone has already gone up the North End slabs and there was ice in Tucks, as recently as a few days ago - tho not really enough to climb. Prior to the rain last nite and today, there was definitely some stuff out there to be climbed. I heard about spots in the 'Daks, Smugs, a few road-cuts here and there and some hidden little crags in the woods. We had our first snow here in the Valley Tuesday night. Winter is taking its time, but I'm sure it will be here soon enough. If we just get some consistent cold temps and a real snowfall, and that's definitely going to happen soon enough, I'm confident we will have a really good ice season. The predictions for the weekend look pretty reasonable for ice forming in the higher elevations. Hey, it might even be worth a hike into Tucks on Saturday to check things out. <grin>

Totally Rad Stocking Stuffer:
Recently I came across what may be the absolute perfect knife for climbers. If you're looking for something to put on your Xmas list, or a present for your favorite climber, this may be THE item this year. Imagine a blend of a Kershaw knife and a carabiner, then throw in a bottle opener (how appropriate for climbers, aye) and a philips screwdriver, and you're in business. I don't think it will take a fall, but who cares? So, honey.. Are you listening? <grin>

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

The grades for crack climbing in Indian Creek are hard, harder, and anatomically incorrect.
Jack Tackle
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