NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 5:59a on 03/23/19 - Temperature: 35.5 °F - Wind speed: 3.0 mph - Wind chill: 34.8 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.106 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Rising Rapidly - Humidity: 68 %
IceCON 3. Ice generally available in the usual places, many climbs fat.
3 out of a possible 5
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September 15, 2011

Hi Folks,

I think I'm in denial, but no matter how I try to look the other way or ignore the signs it's clear we only have a few more days before summer is over! That's right, only 8 more days, on September 23rd, and Autumn officially starts. Frankly it feels as if it has already started. I's been the very moderate days and cooler-than-normal nights over the past few weeks that have made all of us Valley dwellers think about the imminent arrival of Fall. Even with the nice weather, what really pushed me into acceptance of the inevitable was 2 nights ago when the Channel 9 weather pundit showed a weather map with 2 blobs of white on it. That's right, 2 white patches that were identified as, dare I say it, snow!

I'm happily ready to settle in for the bright colors, the cool dry days and the crisp clear nights that are the best parts of Fall in New England. I'm just not so sure I'm ready to consider the ice & snow that is always right behind - at least not just yet. I was poking around in a corner of my basement the other day and came across all my winter gear - boots, GoreTex, gloves, crampons, ice axes and all the other assorted paraphernalia that goes with winter. I pulled it all out and laid it out on the floor. Man have I got a lot of extra and old gear. I need to get my act in gear and post some things in the classified section or put it into the consignment shop at IME. I'd like to get some cash in hand to buy some new crampons and boots this year. As much as I like my 10 year old Nepal Top's, there are some better choices out there these days. And from what I understand there is a good resale market for an almost-new pair of Koflach Expe's right now. I figure that this is the time to do something about it. Something to consider…

Not that anyone will be surprised, but I went over to Humphrey's a couple of days ago with my friends Judy & Joe Perez. There are a few lines we have been looking at this summer and we figured that we better get on the stick or it's not going to happen this year. As is often the case at Humphrey's the rock is not always the best. On this climb things looked pretty good. We all took turns playing on it on toprope and when it was my turn I noticed what appeared to be some loose stuff right at the top. I thew some hunks off and the more I did, the more loose stuff was exposed. It was disconcerting… Then I moved a medium sized hunk right on the top and it bumped into a very large block that appeared to be embedded in the ledge and that block moved. Joe & Judy were already out of the line of fire, but I got them to move the packs out of the way. I sat down and pushed on the big block with my feet and it moved! A couple of more pushes and it was rocking & rolling! In a matter of about a minute it tumbled off with a huge rumble and shower of rubble. I don't know how much it weighed, but it was very substantial and we're all happy that it's gone. I spent a few minutes brushing off the dirt and junk that was left and it seems like it's going to be a lot safer. I've done some trundling before, but this was a big one.

All that effort took up a lot of time so we didn't finish adding the bolts and leading the route, so I can't say where it is yet. I think it will be a nice addition to the area tho. Humphrey's was a place that folks didn't go to except in the spring and fall because it was too hot. It's pretty neat that it's actually become a popular destination with all the new routes, and they aren't just the ones we have put up.

In fact there has been a lot of new route development going on this summer. One place that's been getting a lot of attention has been Middle Sugarloaf. Jamie Cunningham and friends have spent a lot of time up there documenting older climbs and adding more. While it's a bit of a hike to get up there, it's a very special location and well worth the time spent. Hopefully people will take the time to go up there. If they have done as nice a job as he and others did on Mt Oscar it's going to be fun.
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

Road's Open & Closed:
The Kanc was reopened on last Sunday, Bear Notch has been open pretty much all along, Crawford Notch is still closed, Pinkham is open and Hurricane Mountain Road was never closed. I have not heard anything one way or the other about Evans Notch, but I figure I would have heard if it was closed.

Instant Bug Report:
On the deerfly front hinges have calmed down a bit since last week, but I've been noticing more mosquitoes in the late afternoon and evening. Maybe there was a late hatching from all the standing water. I still wouldn't expect them to last very long with the frost that's expected over the weekend so I'll stick worth my rating that things are minimal.

NEClimbs & White Mountain Report On Facebook:
Join us and hopefully 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:

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

You put up with the grind of work or school as long as you can or is required. But then, one day, the phone rings one too many times, or the line at the gas pumps seems unending. The air smells bad. The food foul. 'Enough of this' you cry. You grab your ice tools and are gone.
Duane Raleigh
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