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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October 24, 2019

Hi Folks,

So far so good in a sense. At least for those who are enjoying the late fall rock season, as I am. There is just something about a crisp clear day with temps in the low 60's that makes me feel good. I know everyone is chomping at the bit for ice, but that WILL come, you can count on it. Last year we went right to snow, which made a mess of our late-fall rock climbing and mountain biking, but didn't bring ice. [boo] I'd like to see both this year.

I've been spending a lot of time rehearsing my bands for concerts and that's taken up a lot of my time. But I've still managed to get out for a climb here & there and doing some riding. But I've also been spending on average 90 minutes a day, 5 days a week, at the gym. I'm mostly doing upper body, core work and stretching/yoga to be ready for ice season. Shucks, at my age, closing in on 72, I have to work at keeping in shape. It really does make a difference in how I feel physically AND mentally. Of course I have a couple of folks like George Hurley who are my idols, still at it into their 80's. That doesn't happen by chance either. He works at it, and it's paid off. I have a torn rotator cuff and funky back that I can manage very well, as long as I keep up with the exercise program. You can't do it sporadically tho, you have to build it into your life... For me it's paid off to do so. Of course YMMV!

I don't know why I keep runin' up to Berlin to climb, rather than right out my back door to Cathedral or Whitehorse, but I do so there ya go... I guess it's 'cause I like the texture of the rock and the wide variety of moderate routes. And honestly it's only about a 35 minute drive, which is nothing.

Brad and I headed up this morning at around 10:15. It was a chilly morning but by the time we got there it was already a clear and sunny 60! We started out with a nice 5.6/5.7 down on the right side that I think is named Lichen It. We took turns leading it and then we both had the idea to go up on the far left, above Madigan, and climb the 2 5.7's and the 5.9. We've both done them all before, but it's been quite a while. The downside is that there is no good trail up there & with all the leaves on the ground it's a serious thrash and honestly it didn't look as if anyone has been up there in quite a while. All the routes really need a buff. I led the 5.9 that I've done before and the crux bit in the lower 1/3rd had a patina of light grey moss on it. I went up and down a couple of times and decided I wasn't up for it, traversed around to the right and became back to the bolt above is. [sigh] Oh well, I do when it's not right for me. The upper part is well bolted except for the 20 or so feet of 5.6 or so from the last bolt to the anchor. The climbing isn't particularly hard, but it would be a LONG fall if you have a problem. We both top-roped the 5.7 to the right and Brad led the 7 to the left of the 5.8. All pretty decent climbs and good fun. The foliage is well past peak, but it was still a pretty day up there and well worth the drive.

Here's a few pix:
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

ICE FEST 2020:
Oh Yeah...That's Right. It's time to think about ICE FEST 2020 folks! I know the the web site & Blog haven't been updated yet, but you should put the date on your calendars and start making your plans. # 28 is going to be a fun one that's for sure.

I do have one teaser for you... The main presenter for this year will be the most amazing Mark Richey! Mark is a great human being and a phenomenal climber. His most recent achievement was on August 5th, 2019 pulling off the First Ascent of Link Sar, a 7040 meters peak in the Karakoram. A spectacular summit with an amazing team that included Steve Swenson, Graham Zimmerman and Chris Wright. The route took six days of difficult climbing of over 30 technical pitches, over approximately 8,000 vertical feet from ABC and about 11,300 feet from basecamp.

Damn good everywhere right now... Sure there are places like the swampy sections of the Electric Loop and Pillar To Pond where the roots can be slick, but overall things are good - especially in the upper trails.

YES there are still bugs out there, and they can be annoying! There were swarms of some kind of small gnat or immature blackfly swarming at Mt Forest today. They weren't biting, but they sure were annoying. Also, I was sitting on my back deck yesterday evening around dusk and the mosquitoes finally drove me inside! After this week I'll likely shift to an Ice Report status, tho there won't be anything to climb for some time other than possibly in the upper elevations, if that!

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

No photograph can do justice to 13,000 feet of vertical relief.
Jim Wickwire
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