NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 3:30p on 06/25/22 - Temperature: 88.7 °F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 88.7 °F - Barometric pressure: 29.917 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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January 14, 2021

Hi Folks,

So much going on now. So much happening in our country, our society. It makes it hard right now to focus solely on climbing. But focus we must...because that's what climbing, and mountain biking as well, require. The results of a lack of focus can be dangerous at best, catastrophic at worst. So in many ways climbing and riding are good things to help one through these difficult times.

On Wednesday I decided that I would head to the North End to see if anything was climbable. I'd been by there a few days before, but it didn't look positive, but I didn't walk all the way up there. This time I walked right up to the pillars, which looked climbable on TR. However I wasn't going to solo them like I usually do. The slab was pathetic, tho obviously folks had been doing something there on the left side. I figured what the heck and went across the upper ledge to Thresher. The ledge is basically 6" of crappy snow on top of rock, piss poor! It looked as if Thresher had been climbed, perhaps that morning. It was about 1" thick at the bottom, but plastic, so I decided to give it a try. 30' up it just didn't feel great so I backed down. I could see that there was a rope being used, but no gear, so maybe someone had set up a TR. I haven't been climbing enough to feel good about soloing iffy stuff this season.

When I went up to take pictures today I brought my boots and gear, just in case. I had thought about Cinema, but it just seemed thin to my eye. Even tho there was a party of 3 up there at around 10. I spotted some tracks on Flume Cascade and thought that might be a good option since there wasn't too much snow. I've climbed it once or twice a year almost every year since '97 when we moved up here. It's a generally easy climb, in a wonderful location.

I followed a pair of tracks all the way to the top. This time it was a bit trickier than I had expected. There was a lot of snow plastered on rock with no ice, places where when you walked you could hear the ice cracking under your feet and one place that looked like easy low-angle snow, but turned out to be a rock slab with 4" of crappy snow. That bit nerved me out a little since once I was in it, I couldn't back out. [yeow] The last half was generally OK, tho the cave at the top wasn't as filled in and fairy-like as it is at some times. That said, it was neat.

Interestingly enough the tracks I had been following kept going, but I'd never done that so I decided to do the walk-off. Usually the decent trail is just climbers-right. I didn't see it, but I figured it had to be there so I headed through the woods like I always do. However, I didn't see any trail. I wandered over & back, but didn't spot it! HMMM... Well, I know all I had to do was to keep going down and eventually I would be at the road, right? Right! Plus, I had a 60m tag line in my pack and my harness so I could manage anything necessary. It was generally a thrash, and a downclimb in one spot, but overall it was manageable. I'm sure it wasn't the normal walk off, but that's OK since I ended up right back at the start of the climb. All in all a great adventure.

PS I found something at the top of the climb, above the Cave. If it's yours and you can identify it, we can find a way to get it back to you.

PSS at the parking lot across from the Silver Cascade there are a pair of plastic boots and gaiters sitting on the rail at the back of the lot. I left them there. Just sayin...

As always the full set of pictures are on Facebook and NEClimbs.

Thankfully the vaccinations here in NH are moving along. Many medical people and first responders have gotten theirs. With any luck they will start vaccinating those in my age group, over 65, in late January. The goal of course is to stay well until then! Of course simply being vaccinated will not obviate the need to continue to distance and mask up.

NH is seeing 750-800 infections per day, an average of 10 people per day dying. We have a 7.7% average positivity rate this week. This is down a bit, but not great. I have 2 good friends who have gotten it, fortunately they are OK so far! You simply have to go around with the mindset that it's everywhere.

New Hampshire:
12 New deaths
706 New cases
COVID-19 deaths Total 897
Active cases 6,728
270 patients currently hospitalized

Confirmed Cases: 23,276,346
Total Deaths: 388,048

Confirmed Cases: 92,993,666
Total Deaths: 1,991,206

The Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracking map:

I find JHU's Daily COVID-19 Data in Motion report to be very informative. It shares critical data on COVID-19 from the last 24 hours in a short 1 minute animated video format.



I've been riding a lot and finding quite a big difference between various areas. The East side is surprisingly well packed out at this time. Pillar to Pond, Muffler, Sticks & Stones are in good shape. You can also ride up the Peaked Trail to the intersection, across on Sidehill and down EKG. I have also ridden Swenson, Cheater and part of Outer Limits. Marshall in general is quite good. I've done the Lucille's loop, Lagers, 2 Up and Shumway and all are good. The Echo Lake trails are good. A few days ago I planned on riding from Joe's Alibi, up the Red's snowmobile trail behind Whitehorse and Cathedral and down Cathedral Ledge Rd. However the gates are closed and snow machines are not out yet so the road is not packed enough for me to ride. I checked out both main sections of Energizer and tho they had been walked, I didn't find them rideable. I did however ride what what used to be called De-Energizer, the connector between the 2 long sections of the Electric Loop. That wasn't bad. I also rode Bear Notch Road on a very chilly day. There were quite a lot of snow machines up there and they churned up the snow a lot, making it difficult riding. However, it was a good ride to the top. So in general there is stuff to ride at this time. That said, if we get rain or snow on Saturday, all bets are off.

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

Tools are for your hands, not your ass.
Harry Berger
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