NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 9:29a on 07/01/22 - Temperature: 67.9 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 67.9 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.881 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Falling Slowly - Humidity: 31 %
BugCON 4: almost too intense for climbing, DEET required
4 out of a possible 5
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January 7, 2016

Hi Folks,

The ice has really started coming in now that we have had some consistently cold temps just like everyone knew we would. Itís always surprising just how fast ice will build with cold nights, moderate days and some snow on the ground. While we had some climbable ice last Thursday, things are much better now. Of course things happen faster up on the Mountain, and there is lots of ice up now as well. In fact both Tucks and Huntington are in very good shape right now.

My friend Bobby Graver took the ride up through the Notch with me this morning to check out how things were coming along and overall we felt it was starting to happen. Things that werenít there yet were mostly things in the direct sun, like Fang, the Frankenstein Amphitheater and the left side of Willard. Everything else is really starting to look good.

There were about a dozen cars in the Willard lot at the top of the Notch, and the same number at Frankenstein. Thatís pretty good for a Thursday IMO. We walked down the tracks at Frankenstein and wisely decided to check out Walk In The Forest, rather than go down to fight the crowds at Standard Route. There was one party on the far left side and a second walking down as we got near the top. I asked the leader of the pair coming down the trail what they had done and they responded that they tried something in the middl, but bailed because it was too thin. We checked things over and Bobby decided that there was a line in the middle that looked pretty reasonable to him, so he gave it a go. There were some thin sections, but overall the ice was protectable and he managed it in good style. I lowered him and took a run on TR and it was good. I set up a line further to the right as a TR and he took a run. Another party with an EMS guide came up and decided to lead the line Bobby had done, By now the folks on the left, Larry and Tom, were done so after Bobby rapped off we moved to the left side and I led that. I thought it was good fun and well protectable. Near the top I spotted a black and white sling with 2 biners on a tree that to my eye looked highly questionable so I went all the way to the top. I brought Bobby up and as he went by the anchor he removed it. He has some other cordalet material so we left that on the rappel tree with the 2 biners and rapped off.

All in all it was a fun day checking everything out and getting in some good climbing. Iím a bit concerned about the predicted rain on Sunday, but even so itís going to get cold next week and Iím pretty confident that this ice is here to stay and only going to get even better.

If youíre into riding in the winter, especially on a Fat Tire bike, then youíre in hog heaven right now. Right now the trails on the east side of town rare in great shape. I rode them twice this week, Sunday and Tuesday, and both times they were a gas. On Sunday I started at the Thompson Falls trailhead and rode Sticks & Stones, Pillar To Pond, Muffler Trail, Grout Trail and the Puddingí Pond loop. The trail was solidly packed. That said it was somewhat warm, 33 degrees, and there was some running water here and there, especially on the logging road that runs alongside the Grout Trail. I did the same ride with Bobby Graver on Tuesday when temps were around 9 and there was no open water at all! I havenít checked out the west side yet, but Iím sure that there is at least some ridable stuff in the Echo Lake area.


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Have fun and climb safe,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

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