NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 4:29p on 06/25/22 - Temperature: 89.1 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 89.1 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.912 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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December 15, 2016

Hi Folks,

Well winter it most certainly is right now. In case you missed the excitement, we got darn close to 8" of the white fluffy stuff here in the Valley. Things went from a little snow that was mostly packed out, to a lot of snow that's blowing and drifting all over the place. I don't know the exact numbers, but it feels like we've gotten more snow in the past 3 weeks than we got through February. In fact the summit of Mt Washington has gotten a whopping 52" so far, more than twice the normal average! And it looks like we're nowhere near done at this point.

A few days ago a good friend of mine ran into another local climber who mentioned that they had just climbed Standard Route. My friend observed he was a friend of mine, and that I had said it wasn't good. the climber responded that it was fine and that "Al Hospers probably says it's OUT" and that may well be true. When I make my assessments of climbs, I'm trying to base it on what "most climbers" can do. There are lots of great climbers out there who feel comfortable climbing with minimal protection and running things out. For example, I took a look at Goofers today and it looks very very thin to me. I've done it in those conditions numerous times, even solo, but climbing 50' on 3/4" ice, just to get to a place you can get in a stubby, certainly isn't for everyone. So frankly I don't consider that to be IN. To me, IN means that a route climbable at the consensus grade with gear placements at least close to how it was originally done. Sure you can still fall, as you can anywhere, but the climb is in the same general conditions as it is in the guidebooks. Just so ya know...

FUNDRAISER 2016/2017:
The fundraiser has started off fairly slowly, with only 26 people participating at this time. [YIKES] Especially considering the number of subscribers there are to the email Report, the traffic that the web site gets and how many people LIKE and pass on the Reports on Facebook. I don't charge for the information, so needless to say it would sure be great to get a better response. I know that you folks like having the latest ice conditions every week, so come on and make a contribution. Any amount is welcome, so please take a minute to help support NEClimbs and The White Mountain Report. It's easy, just go ON LINE and make your donation via PayPal. You don't need a PayPal account, you can use almost any credit card. Just click the link below:

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92 Bow Lane
North Conway, NH 03860

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So what does that mean for the 2017 ice season? I've talked about this with a number of people in the area who have been around for a long time. We all agree that although there is and will be ice to climb, what we are clearly not going to be able to rely on is so called "waterfall ice". For climbs in places like the Amphitheater at Frankenstein to form what we need is moderate temps in the day to melt the snow, and chilly temps at night to form ice. If it stays really cold, climbs like Smear, Pegasus, Chia and Widow's Walk are simply not going to form the way we would like them to. Right now we have the snow pack, we just need the alternating temps. It's going to remain VERY cold through the weekend, but warming up a tad early next week with the slight possibility of a little rain. Believe it or not that's a good thing for the ice, so stay tuned.

My friend Matt Bowman, owner of the White Mountain Cafe in Berlin, sent me some pictures of Parasol Gully, a great moderate climb up in Dixville Notch. While there was no "parasol" this year and the climbing was pretty thin, it still looked like a great day. Here are some pictures:

Prior to this last snowstorm the riding on the east side was fantastic. I got out for a great ride on Sunday on well packed trails, that in some places were even dry! Honestly it doesn't get a whole lot better than that. And I was riding my 27 1/2+, not my fat tire bike! Unfortunately right now until things get repacked, the riding is somewhat problematic. There have been a few folks out on their snowshoes, so that will change over the coming daze. Stay tuned...

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

Bivouac /n./ French for 'mistake'.
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