NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 1:59p on 06/28/22 - Temperature: 71.7 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 71.7 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.976 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Steady - Humidity: 20 %
BugCON 4: almost too intense for climbing, DEET required
4 out of a possible 5
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December 23, 2004

Hi Folks,

I don't know about you but it's doubly bad when I get a cold this time of year. Of course I just plain feel rotten, unable to partake of the all good cheer and fun events that abound. All I want to do is lie around, hacking up frightening amounts of curdish crap from my lungs, drinking copious glasses of foul smelling herbal remedies, and all the while acting surly to anyone unfortunate enough to come near. On top of that we've been having some of the best ice days yet this season. ARRRRGGGH! Well at least now you can understand why I've been in a grouchy mood.

Of course I know that I'm going to feel better, and it's just a matter of time, but that doesn't make me feel any better about not being able to get out there and climb. I had to cancel 2 days of fun with George Hurley and that really hurt. Finally 3 days into this cold, on Tuesday at lunchtime to be exact, I reached the end of my teather, errrrr - rope. Sure it was cold, and I didn't feel 100% (not even 70% truth be told), but I just had to get out and do something. So I threw on my warm parka and bib, grabbed my tools and headed down to the North End of Cathedral. I didn't want to use up my small reserve of energy, so for a change I didn't walk down the road, I drove. Since we haven't had all that much snowfall here in the Valley, you can drive all the way to the gate if you have a 4WD vehicle. SWEET...

Amazingly there was no one else down there when I arrived, tho it was obvious from the tracks that a number of folks had been there earlier in the AM. I hiked up a little left of the slab and underneath Thresher. There's this little mixed corner that I love to do that gets you up to the Thresher ledge. It's always a nice thing to do to get you in focus. Thresher itself looked pretty good. A little kicked back and thin, but very reasonable. There was ice on the slabby area to the right and the pillar to its left that came in last year looked well on the way. The start was a bit candled, but once past the first 6 feet was fine. It was more tap-tap than thunk-thunk, but that was fine by me in my low-energy state. The little bulge at the top was fun and I felt really good when I topped out. On the walk downhill and around I noticed a ton of animal tracks in the fresh powder. Mostly smallish size paw prints, they looked like fox or the like. It was pretty neat. I looked for sign of the bear I'd seen last season around this time, but he was nowhere to be found.

I took an easy run up the slab just for giggles. In spite of the temperature only being around 15, it was surprisingly wet. You could hear water running everywhere. As I walked back around and past the pillars I got sucked in looking at them. The ice was inviting everywhere I looked so I decided to give the steep right side a try. I wasn't mistaken, it was great. Good sticks, occasional hooks and thick ice. It was great fun and I actually worked up a bit of a sweat.

Now that I'd gotten that out of my system, I walked along the base of the cliff to have a look at some of the other stuff. The climbs on the Unicorn Ledge, above the North End cracks, are coming in very well. Give them another week and they should be doable if things stay cold. There is a runnel in Karen's Variation that was done by Doug Madera and the Triple Corners are icing up well. I am happy to see that the ice in Remission and Repentance is doing a lot better than it was last year. There is ice forming in the second pitch of Repentance and that bodes well for the climb.

Unicorn Ledge

Please leave them alone just a bit longer so that they actually have an opportunity to fully form. Goofer's is still very thin as usual, but I predict that it will come in by the first of the year. Well my cold is getting better, I feel a little stronger and with a little more rest hopefully I'll be able to get out over the weekend. This is a great season and I hope to see you out on the ice.

Happy Holiday / Merry Christmas:
The new trend toward political correctness has even made me a bit uncomfortable about season greetings, but hey... What the heck! For all of you who celebrate Christmas, I wish you a very Merry Christmas. To the rest, please have a superb Holiday Season. And regardless of your persuasion or beliefs, from my family to you and yours, have a prosperous and healthy New Year.

UNCOMMON Ground finally on DVD:
At long last, Robert Frost's acclaimed celebration of New England climbing is finally available on DVD. Uncommon Ground is a great roundup of New England climbs and climbers. It features rock and ice segments from all of your favorite areas including Cathedral Ledge, the Daks, Pawtuckaway, Acadia, and Rumney. Filmed over the course of two years, Uncommon Ground celebrates the diversity of climbing in the northeastern United States. Watch this region's most prolific climbers on incredible first ascents of 5.13X, M8, and V13 terrain as well as 5.14 redpoints and more. Mixed climbing, trad, sport and bouldering, it's all there. Uncommon Ground is a rich and well told story that uniquely captures the passion and motivation of the northeastern climbing community. With Henry Barber, David Graham, Brittany Griffith, Tim Kemple, Joe Kinder, Kevin Mahoney, and Mark Synnott, it's a must-have for everyone that climbs. Running time is approximately 45 minutes.

Cost is only $29.95 with free Media Mail shipping. Don't delay. You'll also help support NEClimbs and the White Mountain Report, and that's a good thing too. All major credit cards are accepted via PayPal. To get your copy now, 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

The summit is just a halfway point.
Ed Visteurs
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