NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 4:00p on 06/25/22 - Temperature: 88.7 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 88.7 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.907 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Falling Slowly - Humidity: 15 %
BugCON 4: almost too intense for climbing, DEET required
4 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.

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.

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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:

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Have fun and climb safe,

Al Hospers
The White Mountain Report
North Conway, New Hampshire

Mountains have a way of dealing with overconfidence.
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