NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 12:00p on 07/04/22 - Temperature: 73.6 °F - Wind speed: 2.0 mph - Wind chill: 73.6 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.949 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Steady - Humidity: 11 %
BugCON 4: almost too intense for climbing, DEET required
4 out of a possible 5
Mooney Mountain GuidesNorthEast MountaineeringFriends Of The LedgesThe ACCESS Fund, Protect America's ClimbingMount Washington Valley Climbers Cooperative
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November 2, 2018

Hi Folks,

I was going through my winter climbing gear the other day, mulling over all the various ice tools and screws I've gone thorough in the past 30 years. I think I started with a pair of well used Simond's, then Charlet Moser (can't remember the name), next bright yellow Pulsars, BD Vipers and original Cobras. I switched to leashless with the Trango Captain Hooks, Carbon Fiber Cobras and then sometime around 2000, my beloved Petzl Ergo's.

I had been struggling with some pretty significant tendonitis and carpal tunnel symptoms from playing a lot of music and guiding ice several times a week through the winter. I became convinced it was due to the "flick" I was using when setting my Cobras, plus the fact that every the carbon fibre ones were fairly heavy. I tried a pair of Ergo's and was amazed how easy they placed, in spite of how light they were. I had to change my swing from the flick to a stab, but once I accomplished that I was a happy camper. I sold my Cobras and never looked back.

Still I have checked out various axes over the years. I tried the 2nd generation Ergo's and even the Comics, but just didn't get on with the. I needed a spare set of tools 2 seasons ago and bought a set of X-Dreams. They were the closest tool I'd tried to the feel of my Ergo's. They were light and the picks were thin and placed well. In spite of that, I never really warmed to them. So after less than half a season, I put them in the basement and went back to my original Ergo's.

BTW the X-Dreams are in great shape and are for sale for $440 for the pair. This includes a brand new set of unused picks, a $70 value. Email me at al(at)neclimbs(dot)com if you're interested.

Fortunately I had stockpiled several sets of picks, because Petzl stopped making the Quarks and the associated picks. This prompted me to continue searching for a new tool in earnest. Toward the end of last season I went out with Petal rep Dave Karl and checked out the 3rd generation Ergo's on the middle line on the Unicorn. I finally felt that this was a tool I could finally use on a regular basis. When they finally became generally available, I picked up a pair. Tho I haven't used them yet, and will probably hold off till the ice is thick since I don't have any old picks, I'm pretty excited. I'll post a full review once I've had an opportunity to use them a bunch.

I'm also looking to retire my elderly Screamers and ice screws. I'm not sure I can justify either the new BD Ultralight or Petal Speed Light ones. Both are definitely on the expensive side for me. As hard as I climb I gotta figure that the regular versions will be just fine.

I got out climbing on rock yesterday with Brad at the little cliff behind the Fryeburg Airport. It was chilly, but doable. However, right in the middle of my first lead of the day, it started sleeting! Go figure. The rock was cold enough that it just bounced off and didn't melt, but it was HIGHLY annoying! I posted a little video of it on our Facebook page.
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92 Bow Lane
North Conway, NH 03860

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ICE FEST 2019:
Mark your calendars folks! Time to start thinking about ice! IT'S THE 26TH YEAR of the 2019 Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest: February 1st-3rd, 2019

I'm still getting out riding, and will be out all winter. I just haven't broken out the fat tire bike yet. And of course there's no need. The trails are basically clear and in good shape. Surprisingly enough they aren't very muddy either. The only issue are the blow-downs. We've had some very windy daze and nights and there are small branches all the way up to big trees down here & there. We rode the Marshall trails one Tuesday and cleared off a bunch of smaller stuff, and did the same today in the Albany Town Forest. Last week on the Ultimate Single Track and Electric Loop there were several large trees down that were bigger than we could manage. I'm sure they will get taken care of before long tho, we have a great NEMBA crew in the Valley.

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

He who seeks fear shall be followed by fear.
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