(Featured image by rockytop)
Climbers are getting out there and posting ice condition reports and photos. Here’s a quick recap of the latest from all over the Northeast. Ice routes in the upper elevations are doing well and things down low are thin, but building fast. Thanks to all the NEice members for sharing their experiences!
from 11.21.13 (mlynchdogger):
“Climbed O’Dells on Thursday 11/21. Found soft hero ice. The crux of the main flow looked thin on top and was open with running water but very doable to the right and was done by other parties just before me. Skirted up a thin snow gully right of the main flow and the steeper flow to the right. Atop of the ice went left. Plenty of snow to a few hundred feet to the top. Finished on a 5.5 crack. Parties in Pinnacle. Yale looked sun baked and thin down low. Damnation thin but possibly doable.”
from 11.23.13 (leaf):
“Yale Slab, a bit thin. Middle of Yale Gully, the lower half after the slab is nice. Then you’d need to work your way around the big dry rock ledges. No ice there. Next up, there’s a ton of ice to enjoy after the gully constriction. Very top, knee deep loose snow. The deli counter was open taking numbers for all those wanting to wait around for Pinnacle!”
from 11.17.13 (ajcormier):
“Got up to the headwall and decided to go straight up. “The Book”, to the right, was pouring water. We solo’d the first 1/2 pitch and roped up for the next two. Lots of undermining and more like late spring climbing.”
from 11.22.13 (mlynchdogger):
“Climbed the left ice flow high up left of left gully with DG yesterday. The separate flow to the right looked fun but thinner. Broke the climb up into two pitches but could be done as one. The first being fat with great ice. took up to 19’s. The second being short but steeper – stayed left. Found fat blue hero ice. Walked off and down into left gully.”
from 11.23.13 (JGassel):
“Hiked in to check out conditions and ended up at the Open Book pitch, which looked like the fattest from a distance. Up close, things didn’t look that good imo. There was lots of water running down behind a small amount of ice that was formed on it.”
from 11.24.13 (JGassel):
“There was some ice on Frankenstein on Sunday 11/24, making a few of the routes climbable. I wouldn’t say anything is in by most people’s estimation though.”
The Black Dike
from 11.25.13 (Adventure Spirit)
“With the exception of a few chances to sink a 16 or 19cm, it was mainly 10-13cm territory. The mixed middle pitch was mainly dry and went on gear up to 0.75 and used no pins.”
Photos of Pitch 1 and 3 by Adventure Spirit.
from 11.24.13 (Broken Spectre):
“The tablets are taking screws (stubs) at the 100′ level. before that you get nothing. Found some nice steeper pillars high on the tablets that almost felt fat at times. Otherwise nice plastic 1-3″ thick ice. Building very fast. 20 below may be in shape by tomorrow.”
from 11.23.13 (tfarr3):
“Conditions up by EHG are coming along. O of I is almost there for early season, Watership Down is trying to come in. EHG is probably good but thin. Ragnarock – 1st pitch goes, 2nd would go. 3rd not yet. EHG South Face could be a scratchy adventure.”
from 11.23.13 (rockytop):
“Blind Fate amphitheater. All climbable but no real gear on lower parts, maybe an occasional stubby? Not really “in” yet. The top column on Blind Fate was a wild wind-blown formation. The left-hand line with the free-hanger is about as good as it ever gets.”
“Grand Confusion in somewhat thin conditions. Climbable but rotten, narrow and detached in spots, fresh plastic in others. Crux up high would be protectable with stubbies.”
“Jeff Slide – Good recovery after the warm spell. Would probably take stubbies in places.”
from 11.21.13 (suunto):
“Drove by Grafton Notch for a short hike today. The ice is coming pretty well.”
Mt. Katadin, South Basin
from 11.22.13 (lukecushman):
“The stars aligned for a one-day car to car ascent of the Cilley-Barber. Four of us took Friday and the opportunity to see if there was any ice up on Katahdin yet this year, and found C-B to be in pretty ideal conditions. All ice sans about 10 meters at the start of the crux pitch and the hike off the top. Could not have asked for a better day!”
from 11.22.13 (TrevorK):
“Went up and climbed the trap dike yesterday. Its amazing how little snow there is everywhere up in the high peaks. The climb was in but thin. There was a bit of water running but much less than I expected. Compared to later in the season, when it is mainly snow, the dike is mostly all ice. The upper slabs were very thin and basically snow free. As for protection, there’s not much yet. If you wanted pro, I’d say bring some rock gear.”
With this new onslaught of freezing rain, sleet and snow, I’d get ready for a great Thanksgiving weekend of ice climbing!
And I heard rumors of a photo contest in the near future.. so get your cameras out and continue to post photos and condition reports.
Make sure to check the Conditions Page and Photo Page for more.
(As always, click on images to enlarge)
By Courtney Ley / NEice.com