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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S U B S C R I B E
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December 5, 2019

Hi Folks,

WHEW - what a huge difference 50-75 miles or so made with this last storm. Down south got hammered, but the Valley skated by with just a few inches. Sure there was snow in the mountains and Notches, but those of you who live in southern NH know what I'm talking about! My buddy in Nashua says he got 2 FEET of heavy white stuff and the storm lasted 2 days! Shucks, schools didn't even have a delay here in the Valley.

It's not like this hasn't happen before tho. I remember several rap years ago when we had a brutally cold winter and ALL the snow was in Massachusetts. Most of the winter I could see my back yard. The ice was OK but not great, mainly from a lack of snowmelt for the freeze/thaw cycle. Although I'm hoping for a bit less snow than we got last winter, mainly out of self preservation, I know we certainly need some to make the whole process work. That said, to my personal benefit, the big stuff could stay on the ski slopes, the Notches and the mountains. [wry grin]

I did get out to climb at Frankenstein with Brad today. We got a late start since he was busy in the morning, but of course any start is better than no start at all. [wry grin] As we drove around to take my pictures before we climbed, I was somewhat surprised at the amount of ice compared to just last Friday. Especially considering that it hasn't been all that cold. But I'd been hearing that the ice had been steadily building, so I guess I shouldn't have been that surprised. The Black Dike has been climbed a bunch and has even been soloed, people have done Upper Hitchcock and of course the climbs in the Ravines are pretty good. Walking down the tracks the Amphitheater didn't look very good at all, tho that's not all that surprising. We could see and vaguely hear someone on Walk In the Forest, who turned out to be the indomitable Matty Bowman. But we were quite pleasantly surprised when we got to Standard. Frankly it looked like mid-season ice! There was a party with the leader up past the cave so we headed uphill. As we were gearing up Art Mooney and Jerry Gale came up to grab their packs after climbing Standard, Penguin and then taking a run on Dracula. They's had a great 3 days of climbing that also included the Dike, Upper Hitchcock. It's Art's picture of Jerry on the

I led the first pitch, staying on the right side of the middle up to the cave & brought Brad up. The ice was actually quite amazing. It took full length screws and I never touched rock. So very different from 2 weeks ago when it was desperately thin & unbonded. With our late start and people above us we decided to rap. Then he led the gully on the right back up to the cave, I lowered him down and then took a TR run to clean the gear. It was his first time out this year so it was perfect for both of us. As we were packing up Matty walked by and we chatted briefly. It had been him and his partner Brendon on Walk In The Forest.

All in all it was a perfect afternoon. The temps were right around freezing, the ice was fat and plastic and it was nice to be out with a good friend. Here's a few pix...

http://www.neclimbs.com/wmr_pix/20191205/Brad_cave.jpg
http://www.neclimbs.com/wmr_pix/20191205/Brad_Standard.jpg

And a couple of pix that have climbers in them that I didn't see when I took them.

http://www.neclimbs.com/wmr_pix/20191205/hitchcock.jpg
http://www.neclimbs.com/wmr_pix/20191205/dracula.jpg

EARLY DESERT CLIMBS SLIDESHOW:
A benefit slideshow for Friends of the Ledges about the early days of rock climbing on the Colorado Plateau, presented by George Hurley. Suggested donation of $10. Tuckerman Brewing Company, Conway Village, 6PM.

George is an 84-year-old rock and ice climber who lives in New Hampshire, he has established hundreds of rock and ice routes around the country. The slideshow presentation begins with the first ascent of Shiprock in October 1939. Hurley entered the desert climbing game in the 1950ís. In 1962, he, along with Lyton Kor and Huntley Ingalls made the first ascent of the 900-foot Titan and returned in 1966 with TM Herbert and Tom Condon to capture the second ascent. From 1966-1988, Hurley and Bill Forrest made first ascents of most of the spires in the Valley of the Gods in the southeast corner of Utah. In the 1980ís, Hurley, Earl Wiggins and Katy Cassidy climbed towers near Moab. Included in the slideshow will be photographs of the first ascent of the Titan (1962); Standing Rock (1962) and Castleton Tower (1961).

I've seen this show and I personally feel it's very good. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. And on top of that the Tuckerman Brewing Company makes GREAT beer!

2019-2020 WHITE MOUNTAIN REPORT FUNDRAISER:
I want to thank the 28 folks who have already donated in support of NEClimbs.com and the White Mountain Report. I sincerely appreciate your generous donations. Tho I do have a few sponsors, for the most part my efforts are supported by individual donors like you.

THANK YOU...

I truly hope you find this weekly White Mountain Report and NEClimbs.com web site are enough to warrant making a small donation to support what I do. As always, absolutely any amount is welcome, so please take a minute to and go ON LINE and make your donation via PayPal. And you don't actually NEED a PayPal account, you can use almost any credit card. Just click the link below:

http://www.neclimbs.com/index.php?PageName=donation_fundraiser

Of course you can also contribute via check or money order if you like. Make it out to NEClimbs and send it right here:

NEClimbs
92 Bow Lane
North Conway, NH 03860

The time and expenses of the running and maintaining NEClimbs.com and putting out The White Mountain Report continue all year. PLEASE REMEMBER, it's your contribution that makes this newsletter and the NEClimbs web site viable. You can see many of the Reports on NEClimbs.com web site, I've archived them from as far back as September of 1999! To get a sense of the popularity of the site, current traffic as of October 2019 on NEClimbs.com is about 127,447 UNIQUE site visits a day, generating roughly 1,900,000 monthly "HITS". The White Mountain Report newsletter also goes out to over 1,200 subscribers weekly! If you're one of those, please consider making a donation to the site.

Thank you once again for all of your support...
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

http://www.neclimbs.com/wmr_pix/20191205/CathedralLedge.jpg
http://www.neclimbs.com/wmr_pix/20191205/Unicorn.jpg
http://www.neclimbs.com/wmr_pix/20191205/Willard_UpperTier.jpg
http://www.neclimbs.com/wmr_pix/20191205/standardRoute.jpg
http://www.neclimbs.com/wmr_pix/20191205/Frankenstein.jpg
http://www.neclimbs.com/wmr_pix/20191205/MtWillard.jpg
http://www.neclimbs.com/wmr_pix/20191205/LeftHandMonkeyWrench.jpg

SELF INDULGENT MUSIC RELATED POST:
If you live in the Beverly Massachusetts area I will be playing a gig this Saturday at Chianti from 9-12. It's a great club that has great music all the time. This band is called SuperJam and features some of the best musicians in New England including Brandon Tarricone - guitar, Henley Douglas - saxes, Ben Blanchard - keys, Jon Iltis - drums and me on the bass. If you like funky jams, this is the place to be this weekend.

PATAGONIA, THE COMPANY:
IMNSHO Customer Service is everything these days. There are some companies that just GET IT, and others don't. LL Bean and EMS used to be that way, almost to their own detriment. But that's changed for them. Patagonia is a brand that still understands their customers. Besides making a great product, they stand behind it, more or less for the life of the product. Quick example... I have a I have a mid-weight insulated jacket that I bought 8 years ago. I wear it all the time, it's my favorite jacket. I wear it around town, climbing, occasionally riding the fat tire bike. It's just great. It has had a couple of small rips which I've had repaired, but nothing terrible. However recently the zipper has started having that annoying thing where out of nowhere it would come undone. sometimes from the bottom, sometimes from the middle. And getting it back together was a real pain. I was thinking about taking it to my tailor, but I knew that was going to cost a bunch. A friend mentioned that Patagonia had a repair program that basically only cost the price of shipping it back to their HQ in Nevada! So I went on line, found the info, did an online chat with a rep, filled out the form and paid a $5 shipping fee, printed out the USPS shipping label and sent it off. They say 8-10 weeks, but that's OK with me. When I get it back I will have my favorite jacket once again, hopefully for another 3-5 years. They also have an option that if they can't fix it they can either send it back to you at no charge or recycle it.

This is what real customer service is about folks...

VALLEY CYCLING:
Between recording & mixing sessions Sunday through Tuesday I didn't get out on the bike this week. Shucks, I was lucky to even get to the gym! I think that with the 2-3" we got down here in the Valley, you could ride, at least with a fat tire bike. I think you'd be happiest with studded tires tho. Nothing is packed out at all and there was already some ice on the trails and fire roads, so you want to be cautious.

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:

http://www.neclimbs.com/mobile

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:

http://www.facebook.com/NEClimbs/

Have fun and climb safe,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire


Anyone who climbs walls is certifiably insane.
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