NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 10:29p on 07/04/22 - Temperature: 62.0 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 62.0 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.969 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Rising Slowly - Humidity: 40 %
BugCON 4: almost too intense for climbing, DEET required
4 out of a possible 5
NorthEast MountaineeringEquinox Guiding Service LLCMount Washington Valley Climbers CooperativeFriends Of The LedgesInternational Mountain Climbing School
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June 22, 2018

Hi Folks,

So here we are on June 22nd - the next-to-first day of summer, the longest day of the year! It's hard to believe that we're already at this point in the year. It makes me feel a little strange, just thinking about how short the New England summer actually is. Not to mention that it's been down in the upper 30's at night! Nice sleeping weather, but... I love all the seasons, but I think I love summer up here the best. Or at least that's how I feel right at this point in the year when I'm not actually looking forward to the long winter.

We did have a couple of really hot daze this past week. Nothing like where I grew up in Georgia and Florida, but 90 degrees and humid can be very annoying. I don't have any air-conditioning in the house, so a box-fan is essential. The weather did break a couple of days ago tho and it's been quite nice since.

I wanted to get out and lead something today, so I gave Brad a call. He wanted to revisit this cool little cliff near the airport in Fryeburg that we explored late last fall. There are 5 short but nice bolted lines, kind of like the little cliff at the top of Cathedral that I've written about lately. I met him at 10 AM and we headed over in his Jeep. The last time we were there, on November 12th - 4 days before last years first snow, the road dirt that goes right up to the cliff was wet and a bit ice covered. This time it was totally dry. While the logging/ATV road that leads right to the cliff is passable, you really want a vehicle with fairly high clearance.

My guess is the at the routes are all in the 5.6-5.7 range. All are bolted, although you could plug in a small piece of gear on the 2 on the left. The rock has a schist-like quality, vey textured with generally nice hand and foot holds. Tho they are not visible from the ground, there are 3 2-bolt anchors with rings at the top. You should be able to walk around to the top to set up top-ropes, but I never have done that. The base of the cliff is cleared out and comfortable to stand around and belay from.

As I understand it, the cliff was cleaned and bolted by ex-guide and climbing school manager Dave Kelly and his wife Dee Dee. There is no name for it, but I'd likely call it the "Buckshot Craig" from the shell casings I found. It's not that far from North Conway and IMO well worth a few hours of your time. It's fun for me and I think it would make a nice place to take some beginners. That said, the bolts are somewhat widely spaced and it might be a bit over-entertaining for a 5.4-5.5 leader. Between this craig, Jockey Cap and the little cliff at the top of Cathedral, this gives you a choice of short, bolted, low-commitment places to climb in the general area. Brad and I both really like this place and think it deserves to see some traffic.

When we got out of the car, the mosquitoes swarmed all around us so I sprayed up and Brad put on his mosquito netting jacket. However when we started climbing there was a little breeze and the bugs mostly went away - go figure... Needless to say we were happy about that. Here's a few pictures:

Directions - From North Conway, drive 302 to Fryeburg. At the traffic light/monument, turn right onto Rt 113 towards Portland. Continue out of town a mile or so and turn right on Porter Road, possibly unmarked! Turn right and cross the RR tracks/bike path. There will be an unused and fenced off red industrial building on your left. Continue down Porter Road past several warehouse buildings on your left. One is named Just Cabinets. The road switches between paved and dirt several times. You will see another small cliff on your left but this is NOT what you are looking for! Look for Clay Pond Road on your left and ~ 200' later take the very next small logging road on your right. NOTE - you will need a vehicle with moderate ground clearance on this road! Follow the road past some trash and old tires about 1/4 mile. If you have a vehicle with high clearance at an intersection take a left, otherwise go right and swing back left by a small pond. Either way, follow the road around until you come to a small clearing NOT by the pond. While the road does continue, it goes steeply uphill and is impassable by car. The cliff is about 50' through the trees and bushes, on your right. In the summer you can hardly see it! There is a bit of orange tape on the right side of the clearing that marks where the trail goes gently uphill to the cliff. You can easily turn your vehicle around in this clearing. Walk uphill and the cliff is right there.
PEREGRINE CLOSINGS AND RESTRICTIONS 2018: Cathedral Ledge (north end only, right of Remission”) in Bartlett, NH (Note: this posting begins on 5/25)
  Eagle Cliff (south end of mountain) in Franconia, NH
  Frankenstein Cliff (front cliff only) in Harts Location, NH
  Holts Ledge in Lyme, NH
  Painted Walls in Albany, NH
  Rumney Rocks (Summit Cliff and nearby) in Rumney, NH
  Woodchuck Ledge (right half of cliff) in Albany, NH (Note: this posting begins on 5/25)

  Peregrines are present at a number of additional cliffs where no closures have been posted because recreational use is minimal. Climbers are advised to alter plans, and report the incident, if you encounter aggressive falcons during a climb at any NH site.   

All areas will be reopened by August 1.

Valley cycling is at it's peak right now. The trails are dry and in great shape. I recommend the Marshall Conservation Trails on the west side and and Sticks & Stones on the east. You can't go wrong with either.

DEET TIME folks! You WILL need it.

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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.

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Have fun and climb safe,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

When you consider the ratio of adrenaline to dollars spent, I think ice climbing is a pretty economical.
Mike T (from the NEClimbs forum)
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