NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 5:29p on 03/02/21 - Temperature: 14.0 °F - Wind speed: 7.0 mph - Wind chill: 0.8 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.715 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Steady - Humidity: 18 %
IceCON 4. Climbs are IN at the usual places and generally at consensus ratings.
4 out of a possible 5
the American Alpine ClubFriends Of The LedgesInternational Mountain Climbing SchoolMount Washington Valley Climbers CooperativeThe ACCESS Fund, Protect America's Climbing
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April 3, 2008

Hi Folks,

Yes, we are rapidly winding down the ice season. At least in the lower elevations. I got perhaps a bit over excited yesterday when I noticed some bare patches in my back yard where grass was showing through the snowpack. Of course this was in places where I'd been snowblowing paths through the yard all winter, but still it was encouraging. Wherever the sun can get alongside the roads the snowbanks have dramatically shrunk, and the same goes for the frost heaves. That said there are still a couple of heaves on the North side of West Side Road that will almost throw your car off the road if you hit them at full velocity!

As far as the ice goes, almost everything except for some of the bigger climbs are gone or unsafe and what's left will rapidly be in the same state if it stays sunny for more than a few days in a row. Sure there will be a few things in the shade to do for a while longer, but you have to be a lot more careful now. Not just about the state of the ice itself, but about what's happening above you in places that you may or may not be able to see. The fangs on top of Standard Route are one good example!

Everyone, including me, is starting to Jones for rock climbing. In places just a little south of here, basically anywhere below Ossippee, there is a fair amount of dry rock to climb. People tell me that Pawtuckaway, Quincy Quarries and a bunch of other more obscure places are all fairly reasonable now. Up here on nice days it's pretty tempting to get out on the south facing rock & give it a go. Places like the Whitehorse slabs seem like a good place to get your rock-legs and hands back in shape after a season of crampons and axes. However, with all the stuff that's currently at the top of the slabs, and which will stay there for some time to come, that may not be the best choice.


Every spring lots of folks go to the North End cracks to get a workout. However there is a TON of ice up there & would would absolutely not recommend even walking around there for quite a while. The South Buttress of Whitehorse and left side of Humphrey's are definitely better choices.

Hotter Than Hell
left side of Humphreys

Although there are places where water is still seeping, it looks fairly good. The Echo Roof and Barber Wall areas will be good to go as soon as the ledges above them stop or slow the seeping. Of course the ever-popular Sundown and Rumney get some amount of traffic all winter and are just going to get better as the temps start to rise and we get more sunny days. Just be sure to bring your carpet square to wipe off your shoes. That's a trick that Brad White showed me years ago. (wry grin)

It's also getting somewhat hard to get around in the woods now. The top layer of snow can be pretty crusty, but it's rotten underneath and I keep punching through to my crotch. I walked up to the Barking Dog the other day & it was a real thrash if I stepped off where the path was beat out. A pair of poles really helps to spread the my winter-weight out. The same goes for hiking into Frankenstein. Step off the exact center of the trail & you are in deep. Watch out for those knees & ankles folks.
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective February 25, 2021
It really does feel a little more like mid-March than late February right now, tho this really has to do with a couple of sunny days with temps in the 40's. Of course that's not really a bad thing, as long as it stays cool at night and we don't get any rain. But stay tuned... In general tho the ice is in good shape right now, with a few exceptions where the climbs have been in full sun over the past couple of warm days. The thing to be aware of is that there are places where the ice is punky and snowcone-like or has become undermined. But as long as you are paying attention, you'll be OK. Frankly early to mid-March is really my favorite time to climb. There's nothing like those longer days, more moderate temps and plastic ice. And the occasional warm day when you can get out on some warm early-season rock! What's not to like?
Huntington Ravine IN  
Repentance questionable Click to see route picture.
Standard Route IN Click to see route picture.
Dracula IN fat Click to see route picture.
For the full current conditions report, CLICK HERE

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Have fun and climb safe,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

Sitting on that first hook of the day, it's like your first time having sex. Your entire focus is on one very small object.
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