NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 4:00a on 02/28/20 - Temperature: 22.4 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 22.4 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.432 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Rising Slowly - Humidity: 41 %
IceCON 2. Some trade routes are climbable, even in lower elevations.
2 out of a possible 5
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February 6, 2020

Hi Folks,


Yup, there ya go folken. We're going to be in it for a couple of days I guess. I did a little shoveling this morning before I went to the gym and it was powdery. Finished the workout, went do some errands and unfortunately it's been going back & forth between tiny flakes, pellets and light rain. [YUCK] Predictions are for it to be doing this through tomorrow afternoon! I'm heading down to Salem MA Friday afternoon for a gig with the Skunk Sessions band at Brodie's Seaport. I'm not looking forward to that drive either. But if you're in the area please drop by...we hit at 9 and it's a KILLER band!

Everyone's been saying that the Lake is the place to be this season and they certainly may be right! It came in early, fell apart. came back and has been somewhat up and down. But, there have been some outstanding lines that have come in fat this year. I've been wanting to go, so I got in touch with my buddy Paul Cormier and we decided that Wednesday would work, especially since I was going to take pictures a day early. We met in Twin Mountain at 8:30 and headed North. When we arrived at the South end of the lake, by the trailer park and summer beach, there were already more than half dozen cars there. Turns out that half the Valley ice climbers were there, planning to hit some big fat ice.

We headed up the hill, which is like being on a stair-master for 30 minutes, right to the base of Crazy Diamond (4+/5). I'd heard it was in good shape, and it certainly looked big and fat. 2 friends who work at IME, Tim and Brady, walked up and jumped on Zephyr (3+). I took the first lead up to the base of a pillar/curtain left of the center and set up a belay. The ice was steep but not really as good as I'd expected. It varied from punky, fluted, aerated, soft, brittle and pretty much everything in between. Where I put in the belay there were large blobs of ice, which fortunately took solid 22 cm screws. The temps really jumped around, as it would be sunny, then cloudy, then breezy and then rinse-repeat. I would start thinking I wish I'd worn my belay jacket, and then I'd start sweating. I brought Paul up and he commented on the ice quality as well.

There was a nice looking large groove up and right that we both thought might be the best line of attack, but when he got nearby he said it looked really bubbly and candles. So he went out further right to a second pillar that at least looked blueish. As he got close to the final upper free-hanging pillar he could see that it looked very white, like styrofoam and he decided to set up the belay on some good ice on the right side by the reddish rock wall. I followed and gave him big kudos for an excellent lead. We both though the top out didn't look at all appetizing, so we set up a v-thread and rapped. We were using 60 meter doubles and I wasn't sure that they would get all ten way down, but they did with 12' to spare! SWEET...

It was about 2:30 and we decided that we'd done enough so we packed up and headed down. The plan was to butt slide down, but the snow was very soft and it didn't seem like we could self-arrest well at all so we hiked. We were wearing MicroSpikes and incredibly they balled up just like crampons without anti-bot plates. Go figure. All in all it was a great day that felt more like the first of March than early February.
Ice Conditions Report:
Selected Ice Conditions effective February 27, 2020
I knew it was going to be bad Thursday, so when there was a lift in the fog on Wednesday morning I scooted up to the Notch to check things out. It was 36 degrees in the Notch at 9:30 and it was pretty clear that the ice had taken a pretty good hit. In spite of that there was a party on Standard Route. It rained heavily Wednesday night and Thursday morning and I haven't seen the ice today, however I gotta think it's a mess right now. If it's cold like predicted tonight and the next several nights, things should firm up. It's hard to believe that the ice season is done, but it's not going to be great for a while. And you need to be aware that the amount of water that's come down has gotten behind stuff so be careful.
Huntington Ravine snow snow  
Repentance OUT  
Standard Route still climbable Click to see route picture.
Dracula still climbable Click to see route picture.
For the full current conditions report, CLICK HERE

I rode the Marshall trails a few daze ago and they were fair. Sadly it seems that nobody is actually out there grooming them this season. I need to try some of the snowmobile trails next week when I get a free morning.

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

There are old climbers, there are bold climbers, but there are no old bold climbers!
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