NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 6:00p on 01/26/20 - Temperature: 37.1 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 37.1 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.478 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Rising Slowly - Humidity: 100 %
IceCON 2. Some trade routes are climbable, even in lower elevations.
2 out of a possible 5
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August 29, 2019

Hi Folks,

After 4 days of nice weather, last night (Wednesday) we got another deluge starting early evening and ending up around 3:30 AM with a grand total of around 1.5"! [sheesh] On the good side, the weather for the upcoming Labor Day weekend looks to be quite nice. A fitting end to the summer season. And honestly I am looking forward to Fall.

So Thursday afternoon George Hurley called and invited me down to climb with him on Friday at Rines Hill in Alton. He's been putting up stuff down there for a couple of years and wanted me to check out a couple of his and his friends new stuff. Since I knew I wasn't going to be able to actually climb this week, due to getting a cortisone shot in my left hand, I decided I should head down there and give them a go.

When we got to the normal parking spot, surprisingly there were several cars already there. The trail is well marked and an easy hike and when we arrived there were actually 2 parties already climbing. Go figure, huh? No one George or I knew tho. George wanted to lead Borderland, a climb he put up a while back, but with a new 5.9ish finish. That's right 83+ and still leading 5.9. He did great and so I pulled the rope to led the climb. The finishing move is a crimper-undercling that made my left hand feel bad, so I bailed out right on the 5.6 finish. I had the same feeling last week trying the top bit of Put My Foot Where at Humphrey's, so I wasn't surprised. I know what I should and shouldn't do as well.

Then he wanted to show me some of the short new climbs on the far right, what they call the Kindergarten Wall. We only did the harder ones on the far right. The first was a somewhat burley 5.8 crack that his sometimes-partner Jim Nup did the FA on. The holds were bigger so I led it and did pretty well. It's not a finger-strength thing, just tendons on crimpers. Then I led the one 20' further right, around the tree. It's also 5.8 with a wide hand crack for a finish. I didn't have any tape gloves or the like so I shimmied up the tree a bit to get to a more-normal hand hold. It's a neat climb tho. Needless to say, George TR'ed and cleaned both fairly easily.

I still wanted to do something else, so we walked down to the left side. I've been eyeing a left-angling dike called Standard Route for several years and figured what the heck...the Garlough book rates it 5.6. George told me that he had done it and found the 3 topouts to all be harder than 5.6 and not at all appealing. Of course I was now feeling my oats, so I did it anyway. [sigh] All I'll say is 1) always listen to George and 2) the route basically sucks and 3) none of the 3 finishes are 5.6.

On Sunday Brad and I headed up to Mt Forist. Quite surprisingly it was his first time up there in over a year. Honestly I don't think we could have picked a better day as temps were in the low 70's, no humidity and there was nary a cloud in sight. I've done everything that I know about up there on the main cliff so I let him choose the route. He chose a route he put up quite a few years ago called The Shining Path. It starts a hundred feet or so down to the right past Madigan. The first pitch is 5.7 and the rest is in the 5.5/5.6 range. I did P-1 and it's nice climbing. He did P-2 which goes up through and overlap and ends just before a tree band/ledge. I led up through the tree band and continued up a nice easy bolted slab. It's probably only 5.5, but there is an interesting move to get to the anchor. Brad led the last pitch to the top of the slab, which is basically the top of the cliff. Since we had a 70 meter rope were were easily able to rap the route. However, it is definitely set up for either 2 ropes or 70 meter ropes, so be advised. Also, when coming down through the tree band, be careful not to knock off any of the rocks that are embedded in the dirt and leaves!
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective January 23, 2020
My goodness, what a difference a few days and a little cold weather will make. The ice has filled in again and we're almost back to reasonable early/mid-season conditions. Last week the middle of Walk In The Forest and Willies Slide were both dramatically gone. As of today both were pretty much filled in. I spoke with a guide who was on Standard 2 days ago who said the middle like wasn't great, but this morning it looked good. I also spoke with someone who described penguin as "epically fat!" There are some predictions for either a rain, mixed or a snow event on Saturday night into Sunday. As long as we don't get a full-fledged rain event things will be great. Keep your fingers crossed folks. (Maybe the toes as well..)
Huntington Ravine options - beware avalanche danger  
Repentance building well  
Standard Route good, MUCH better Click to see route picture.
Dracula IN Click to see route picture.
For the full current conditions report, CLICK HERE

I got up very early on Monday so I could practice for an hour before I had my cortisone shot at 8:45. I had been told that I shouldn't play the bass, ride the bike or climb for 4 days after the shot to give it a chance to settle. [yikes] I'm kind of a border collie and that was going to be tough for me to manage. I muddled through Monday, but Tuesday was dead-on gorgeous so I decided to do a hike up South Moat. It's a round trip of about 6 miles, 2,200' of elevation gain. The first about 2/3 of the hike is quite pleasant, really just a great trail. However, the final mile is typical rocky/crappy New England hiking. But it's worth it since the views from up there are amazing. You can see Chocorua, Painted Walls, Lost and Found Ledges and Mt Washington. If you've never done it, you owe it to yourself to do it at least once.

To wind out the week, today I guided for IMCS. Fortunately for my hands it was a school group of a dozen 10th graders so I didn't even have to climb anything, or even belay. I mostly stood around instructing, coordinating and making sure they were doing things properly. It was a fun time and everyone really enjoyed themselves. Even tho it had rained so much last night and it was damp in the morning, by around 10:30 or 11 the humidity dropped and things dried out.

So the cortisone shot doesn't really seem like it's done anything so far. I have one more rest-day tomorrow, and then a gig Saturday evening. Then I'm pretty full-tilt with music gigs through October. I'm hopeful but not that optimistic about the shot-thing, but we shall see. Stay tuned...

I haven't ridden in a week and I'm going a bit batty. [SIGH] Hope is in sight so maybe next week. That said, from everything I hear the trails are in good shape.

Still hovering around a 2 IMO, especially in the deep woods and around dusk. And on top of that there have been reported cases of !EEE in animals a bit south of here, so caution and bug dope is advised.

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.

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Have fun and climb safe,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

If you don't let go, you can't fall off !
Jerry Moffat
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