The 4 Degree Situation

That's not very many degrees...

It’s all Coming Back Around, Sort of…

Not quite sure how, but all the ice I’ve seen over the past week up in Crawford Notch has come back around. All the usual stuff is good to go at Frankenstein, including most of the sunny and high water volume routes routes in the amphitheater that got really hammered over the New Year (with the exception of the regular, pillar finish on Pegasus). This past Sunday, I went into the amphitheater for the first time since the melt out with a couple of great clients and did the direct finish to Chia, which I was pleased to find in great condition; including a newly reattached top out. Chia had looked pretty bad since those warm, muddy days around the 1st of the month.

Everything at Texaco, from the amphitheater over to Embargo is growing, something I just can’t quite account for because the dry ground doesn’t look like it should be capable of feeding anything other than squirrels and turkeys. I have heard from north country local, Paul Cormier, a reliable source if there ever was one, that things were looking really good up in Grafton Notch as well. Lake Willoughby looks to be pretty fat from some photos posted on NEIce recently, so it seems that things are looking good, you just have to get into, or north of, the mountains to enjoy it. Cathedral Ledge is pretty bleak, with the exception of the North End, which can somehow hold ice in it’s shadey grip through any mid-winter thaw, and often later than I would like into the spring.

We have up tp 8″ of snow forecasted for the valleys in NH on Wednesday, more in the mountains, followed by good, cold temps; so I see a good outlook for continued ice climbing conditions’ improvements. Great news, I would love to get some climbing in at Cathedral.

This just in: Eric McCallister, of McCallister Photo, reported doing Remission on Cathedral Ledge this past weekend with Jim Ewing and found it “surprisingly good and wet”. He also mentioned that Repentance was not in good shape, calling it, “brittle”, “dry” and making it sound scary, a conclusion I have heard repeated a few times in the last few weeks.

Use Your Beater Crampons This Week

I hope somebody out there has been climbing. Between Christmas traveling and some great friends’ wedding, Janet Bergman’s and Freddie Wilkinson’s, I’m feeling like a slob and I’m wishing for snow.

It’s a little grim in the NH mountains right now, I’d post a picture but my camera got wrecked at Freddie’s bachelor party. The ice got pretty hammered over the mini-mud season that just passed, and it must have rained up in the notches cause the ground is brown. What ice is left though is coming back around and the water seems to still be running. Much of the ice that looks bad has rebonded to the wall since it cooled down. It’s 17 degrees in North Conway this morning with mountain snow in the forecast for today and tomorrow. Temps forecasted to be in the upper 20’s during the day and the teens at night will make for a good temperature swing to keep the ice growing, just as long as we can keep pulling moisture out of the dry ground.

There’s ice to climb, just be careful getting around on the frozen gravel with all those leaves stuck to your crampons!