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April 16, 2015

Hi Folks,

Although many of us thought that it was never going to happen, weíve finally moved fully into Spring. There isnít any ice in the lower elevations, and whatís up higher is going fairly fast. Itís surprising that we arenít even experiencing a real mud season this year. Something about the way the air has been dry and warm and we havenít had any rain has made for things to just almost sublimate away. Itís actually been very neat to see the snow in the woods just evaporate.

Iíve been getting out on the road bike a lot this past week, 3 times since Sunday, and hoped to get in one last ice climb in Willeyís yesterday. Unfortunately the ice was in no shape to be climbed. There were large patches of open rock on the right and big waterfalls flowing on the left and middle. It just didnít seem like the prudent thing to do. Nonetheless it was a nice day for a walk. Afterward I rode the bike up the road to the top of Crawford Notch. Itís a short loop, 3.7 miles and a little less than 1,000 feet of elevation gained, but always a good pump. Plus this time there was a very strong wind to add to the entertainment value.

Willeys_Al.jpg
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I managed to get in a first day of rock climbing at Humphreyís today with the Perezís and Brad. We also spotted George and David G, 3 lovely ladies bouldering and 2 guys on a route on the wall below the start of Wanderlust. It was a busy day for a Thursday. And considering that it was bluebird and temps were in the mid-60ís, it wasnít surprising.

Riley_HighSteppin.jpg

Iíve been inundated with emails asking about climbing on Cathedral and Whitehorse. As always at this time of year, my response is the same - stay away from the Whitehorse slabs and everything to the right of Thin Air on Cathedral. I know that sounds extreme, but really itís the only way to be safe right now. I forgot to print my big camera today so I could take a picture of the Unicorn area on Cathedral, right above the North End, but trust me when I say that thereís a lot of ice up there. I did take a couple of pics of Whitehorse yesterday, and you can clearly see the blobs of ice and snow up there. In addition there is a veritable waterfall coming down over the Echo Roof. That said, the South Buttress of Whitehorse is darn close to bone-dry. If you want to do Thin Air, which looks fairly dry, you would want to be careful getting up there because ice is likely in the Standard Route chimney and in the corners around Goofers. Here are some pix:

Whitehorse_slabs_1.jpg
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Whitehorse_SouthButtress.jpg

As I mentioned before, we climbed Humphreyís today and it was amazingly dry, even on the Geriatric Walls. HOWEVER, as we walked in the morning around 10:30 we spotted some fresh ice fragments on the ground around the base of Robinson Crusoe. And interestingly enough, there were some fresh pieces on the ground in the same general area on our way out at 2:45! Check Ďem out:

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Iím certainly not saying that you shouldnít go there. Itís just that itís been cold below freezing at night and the water freezes up and comes down during the day. Until we get a good warm rain, there will be stuff hidden up in the cracks & crevices for a while longer.

A note about bugs - While the Black Flies arenít around yet, the ticks definitely are. One of the ladies previously mentioned said that they were out at Square Dock a day or so ago and they found ticks on themselves afterward. Iím anticipating that weíre going to have a bumper crop of ticks this year, so be sure to check yourself and your pets after youíve been outside.
As always, here are a few interesting pix from this morning:

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

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:

http://www.neclimbs.com/mobile

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:

http://www.facebook.com/NEClimbs/

Have fun and climb safe,


Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire


It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.
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