NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 6:00p on 01/26/20 - Temperature: 37.1 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 37.1 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.478 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Rising Slowly - Humidity: 100 %
IceCON 2. Some trade routes are climbable, even in lower elevations.
2 out of a possible 5
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October 21, 2004

Hi Folks,

Last Sunday the family & I went over to the annual open-house at the Eastern Slope Airport outside of Fryeburg where they were offering free small-plane rides in return for a minimal donation to the cancer society. Hoping for a little exercise, I brought my bike along so I could grab the 26 miles home through Brownfield and across Mill Street. On the way back I really cranked it, getting home before the half in the Patriots game. Still in bike garb, I grabbed a glass of wine and plunked down in front of the tube, hoping that the Pats would do better than the Sox had done the night before. So why was I not surprised when, at my moment of maximum relaxation, the phone rang?

The voice on the other end of the phone was that of Charlie Townsend from EMS Climbing School. He had gotten a call from Fish & Game dispatch about a hiker with a fractured ankle up above Champny Falls. They were asking for volunteers to help with a carry-out. He'd been going down the MRS list looking for help and there weren't many people around. Why INDEED was I not surprised? Well I wasn't exactly rested at that point, but I figured that it would be another deposit in the ol' Karma box, so why not?

I got there at pretty much the same time as two other MRS members, Mike Kahn and Dan Dougherty. We checked in with the coordinator from Fish & Game and asked if we were needed. He said yes and so we started hiking up. If you haven't been up that trail in the summer, and I actually hadn't, it's moderately rocky with a couple of steep places. Not too bad, but certainly not all that smooth. We passed quite a number of families and able-bodied individuals who were walking down and were somewhat surprised that they weren't involved in the litter-cary.

If you haven't done one of these, understand that a 200 pound-plus individual in a litter requires a LOT of folks to carry down a rocky trail for 500 yards, much less for miles. Generally about 6 people do the carry for 10-15 minutes, then another 6 swap in and then, another crew takes over, etc. It's very tiring and can be pretty treacherous.

When we joined the litter-carry group we were quite happy to see that they had brought The Wheel. Basically this is a 3 1/2' high metal frame that attaches to the bottom of the litter with a single very wide ATV-style tire on the bottom. 6 people balance the litter on the under-inflated tire and roll it down the trail. This contraption basically floats over pretty much everything and is surprisingly easy to control. Occasionally you add someone to the very back to slow it down when going down a steep section. The "carry" from just below the falls to the parking lot took less time than it took us to hike up! This is an amazing addition to the rescue toolbox.

New on NEClimbs:
As usual the new things revolve around the Routes database. First we have added another 25 routes to the database bringing the rock section up to 336. There would have been more, but the Rex Sox / Yankees playoff games have been keeping my evenings pretty busy this week. <grin> On the home page we also added a link to the latest addition to the database. We're also well into developing a new feature called Today In Climbing. It will display what happened in the climbing world on the current day. That should be done in the next couple of weeks. Look for it.

This week's photo is of acclaimed climbing photographer Jim Thornberg. He was in town a few weeks ago taking shots of a variety of classic routes in New England for a new book on the best climbing areas in the US. He took a lot of shots of a the area and hopefully some will make it into the book.

Fundraiser Raffle Results:
As you know, there is a raffle for those who have made contributions in support of NEClimbs and the White Mountain Report. Winners were chosen by putting all the names in a climbing helmet and blindly pulling them out. Then those winners were put back into the hat and chosen for the prizes. I thought that we were going to have a copy of Peter Lewis' topo, but that didn't materialize. However I do have 6 great climbing-related prizes that I hope our winners will enjoy. Here are the results

Mike Cummings - AutoRoute DVD
Gregory Leach - Accidents In North American Mountaineering
Don Pelletier - Tim Kemple Bouldering guide
Chris LeMay - 3 snow pickets
David Way - Charlet Moser ice screw
Mary Armstrong - Wilcox & Lewis Ice Guide
Katherine Aldcroft - Anderl Hexkmair biography

If you are on the list please email me ( to make arrangements to get your prize. While I'll be happy to mail them out, it will be easier and cheaper if you drop by the next time you're in town to pick it up. Besides, I'd like to meet you. <grin>

Although the fundraiser is officially over, of course we're happy to take donations at any time. You can send a check to

92 Bow Lane
North Conway, NH 03860

Or you can use the PayPal web method at any time.

Thank you for your support.

It's White Up There (and nice down here):
I always look up-valley at the Mountain every time I go into town. It's kind of a ritual that many of us around here do. Sometimes you see it, sometimes you don't. Mt. Washington makes its own weather and oftimes it can be bright and sunny down here, but dark and stormy 25 miles north as the crow flies. It's always a bit of a milestone at this time of year when you look up and see white on the summit. Here's a shot from early in the week -

While it is getting white on the top of the Mountain, it's been beautiful down here in the Valley. I have been climbing & biking up a storm the past several weeks, trying to get as much as I can in before the winter is upon us. Tho it's cold in the AM, but 10 it's generall warm enough for anything. Yesterday Ian Cruickshank and I went over to the South Buttress for a day of late fall fun. Although the leaves are far past peak, it's still a beautiful time to climb. The temps were wonderful and the shoe rubber just wouldn't let go. It doesn't get a lot better...

Brimstone (below Hotter Than Hell)
Ian on Cold Day In Hell
Ian on the Inferno crack
Ian leading the upper pitch of Inferno
Al on Here Come The Jugs

Here's a couple of other shots from the airplane ride on Sunday:


California Blizzard Causes 2 Climbers Deaths In Yosemite:
An early-season blizzard early in the week dumped up to 4 feet of snow in the Sierras. 2 Japanese climbers on El Cap were determined to have died and over 10 hikers are missing. Temps are predicted to drop to zero or below over the next few days.

Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective January 23, 2020
My goodness, what a difference a few days and a little cold weather will make. The ice has filled in again and we're almost back to reasonable early/mid-season conditions. Last week the middle of Walk In The Forest and Willies Slide were both dramatically gone. As of today both were pretty much filled in. I spoke with a guide who was on Standard 2 days ago who said the middle like wasn't great, but this morning it looked good. I also spoke with someone who described penguin as "epically fat!" There are some predictions for either a rain, mixed or a snow event on Saturday night into Sunday. As long as we don't get a full-fledged rain event things will be great. Keep your fingers crossed folks. (Maybe the toes as well..)
Huntington Ravine options - beware avalanche danger  
Repentance building well  
Standard Route good, MUCH better Click to see route picture.
Dracula IN Click to see route picture.
For the full current conditions report, CLICK HERE

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

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!
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