NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 3:00p on 06/25/22 - Temperature: 87.6 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 87.6 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.917 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Falling Slowly - Humidity: 15 %
BugCON 4: almost too intense for climbing, DEET required
4 out of a possible 5
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April 2, 2015

Hi Folks,

Iíve been spending almost all my available time lately riding my fat tire bike everywhere I can. On Tuesday I combined riding and climbing by riding the bike down to the north end of Cathedral and climbing Thresher. It wasnít a big ride, but it was fun nonetheless, and I could do them both together in about an hour. Not too bad I would say. People ask me a lot why I ride by myself and climb by myself in the winter. The real reason is not anti-social tendencies, itís just all about the time.

I have a lot going on these days. Between my family, some software work that I do, practicing and playing the bass, recording music and general other stuff, life is very busy. One thing I really like about the bike is that I can head out, right out my back door, and get a serious pump in 1-2 hours. I can run out and jump on some ice at the North End, or even some stuff at Frankenstein or Mt Willard, and grab something fun all by myself in a similar amount of time. Most of the people I know who go climbing, with the possible exception of George Hurley, want to be out all day. Iíll do that occasionally, but not too often. Itís one of the reasons that I donít do the big road bike rides like I used to. I still love those 80-100 mile rides, but I can get close to the same level of fun out of riding the 30 mile Bear Notch loop in a bit over 2 hours. really, itís just all about the time. [grin]

After I took my pictures this morning I decided to head to Frankenstein and run up something. Standard had looked pretty good from the road, so I figured Iíd do the first pitch, to the cave, rap off and be home pretty quickly. The temps were in the lot-mid 30ís and no breeze, so I warmed quickly as I walked the tracks. As always, when Iím hiking by myself, I start out kind of slow but pick up the pace fairly quickly. I paused to examine the climbs in the amphitheater as I waled over the trestle, and they looked just about as expected. The sun is giving them a beating and IMO theyíre not going to be around much longer. The only thing in that area that I thought looked ďgoodĒ was Lost In The Forest. It still looked very fat and blue.

As I got to where I could see the base of Standard I also saw 2 folks gearing up by the tracks. It turns out that it was 2 of my friends Bob & Chris, there like me to grab one of the last days of fat ice in the lower elevations. We trudged up the hill together and while they got roped up, I headed up to the cave. The ice was still fat and solid, really not punky at all. I got up to the cave and it was really amazing. Although it was probably in the upper 30ís, because it was cloudy there was no dripping at all. In fact I couldnít even hear any water running. Chris led up, making short work of his pitch, and I rapped just before Bob followed. I waved goodbye as I headed back to my pack and out on the tracks to my car. By now it had warmed up even more and I broke a sweat as I went. Itís been a really great winter and I thought to myself that this truly may be the last weekend for lower elevation ice. Iíve said it before and Iíll say it again, hey, itís time to think about Huntington Ravine and rock season.


While it looks great up on our Mountain, and itís a great time to be up there recreating, itís also a potentially dangerous time. On the 29th there were 6 separate avalanche events on the mountain, one even involving a snow ranger! The descriptions by the Avalanche Center describe the dayís festivities quite well:

Be careful up there folks.
As always, here are a few interesting pix from this morning:


As always, more pix are on the NEClimbs Ice Report and Facebook.

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Have fun and climb safe,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

During the qualifying round I heard the contestant ahead of me introduced: 'Hardest redpoint: 5.14b, hardest on-sight: 5.13c' (Geoff Weigand). The contestant after me: 'Hardest redpoint: K2' (Greg Child).
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