NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 2:00p on 03/22/19 - Temperature: 44.1 °F - Wind speed: 8.0 mph - Wind chill: 42.0 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.013 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Falling Rapidly - Humidity: 100 %
IceCON 3. Ice generally available in the usual places, many climbs fat.
3 out of a possible 5
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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 March 21, 2019
It's been a wonderful ice season, but Spring is officially here folks. Thus the sun is strong so it's warm during the day, but it's cold at night. And of course that means that climbs in the full sun are crap, but anything in the shade can still be good and maybe even building a bit. Sure, Standard Route is still massive, but the ice isn't all that good IMO. I was up there today and thought the ice above the cave was punky! Climbs in the reflector oven that is the Amphitheater are a mess now and honestly in my mind it's not a smart place to be. We're entering a time when the best climbing will be up high in the Ravine. And of course the longer days make it a great time to be up there. From here on out I'm only going to be posting pictures of things I think are in climbable shape, and that's a dwindling supply.
Huntington Ravine IN mostly  
Repentance OUT Click to see route picture.
Standard Route climbable, but getting punky Click to see route picture.
Dracula IN - bring your snorkle Click to see route picture.
For the full current conditions report, CLICK HERE

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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:

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Have fun and climb safe,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

Layback /n./ what a climber looks forward to at the end of a day.
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