NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 6:29a on 07/01/22 - Temperature: 57.2 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 57.2 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.917 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Falling Slowly - Humidity: 72 %
BugCON 4: almost too intense for climbing, DEET required
4 out of a possible 5
the American Alpine ClubSavage Mountain GearMount Washington Valley Climbers CooperativeInternational Mountain Climbing SchoolEquinox Guiding Service LLC
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March 5, 2020

Hi Folks,

Oh my what a wonderful day. When I headed out to take the pictures it was mid 30's and bright blue skies and I just knew it was going to be a great day to climb. And I was right on... As I drove up through the Notch I felt more and more like this was the day to be out on the ice.

After taking my pics I pulled into the lot at the top of Crawford Notch beside the only car there and jumped out of the car. I grabbed my gear and headed down the road and up onto the tracks, following some fresh tracks past what was once Snot Rocket. I paused to take off my jacket on the tracks at the obvious trail that leads to the Left Hand Monkey Wrench, the little ice filled corner that gets you to the upper tier. The sun was quite warm, with a light almost balmy breeze and I knew I was going to really warm up on the hike. 15 minutes later I was standing at the base of what was obviously a very fat Wrench. In fact as many times as I've climbed it, I've never seen it as fat.

I geared up, and just before I pulled on my pack there was the sound of a helicopter coming up Valley. I waited to see if I could see it and it was what looked like a National Guard SAR chopper, moving fairly slowly up the Valley at only a couple hundred feet. I started up the climb and was amazed that the top corner that's usually about 12' tall and steep, was actually only about 6' tall and just a sticky bulge. Go figure.

I followed the beaten out trail into the open where I could see a party on the large bulge to the right of Upper Hitchcock. Turns out there were 2 guys from Western Mass and their buddy from Tampa Florida. I walked over to Hitchcock and there was a party at the top of the pitch so I decided to grab a snack and wait for them to finish. They were taking a long time so I thought maybe I would just head on up, but as I started they knocked off some large ice that just missed me. Figuring this was not a useful exercise I decided that since I hadn't seen any fresh tracks heading in that direction, the Cleft might be a better option.

In fact it was a great option. There wasn't anyone there, the ice was sticky and the infamous step/shelf was dribble, but basically non existent. I love the walls in there, it's like a little fairy-land. And interestingly enough the exit at the top was a very narrow doorway that I actually had to squeeze through. It would be very wild if it closed up!

The climbers trail out to the hiking trail was well packed out and the walk off was very nice. I started out without my Micro Spikes, but about halfway down it got a little slippery so I put them on. All in all it was a spectacular morning to be outside. Here's a couple of pix:

I will be playing with acclaimed blues harmonica player James Montgomery. We will be at the Stone Church in New Market on Friday and Pitman's Freight Room in Laconia on Saturday. James puts on a hell of a show, so if you like the blues please come by.

I went out on Wednesday morning around 10 to ride on them East side from Thompson Falls. It was cool, but not cold in the woods. I rode the Puddin' Pond loop to Pillar to Pond. I was going to ride on the pond, but decided that wasn't a great idea since I was by myself. Where it comes close to the Power Lines I hopped on that and came back to the Kiosk on a snow machine track. From there I rode up the Peaked Trail to the intersection. It was all pretty good, tho getting soft in the sun on the Power Lines, but that was to be expected.

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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:

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

Consider what you want to do in relation to what you are capable of doing. Climbing is, above all, a matter of integrity.
Gaston Rebuffat
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